Return to Education

Education Notes

Education Notes

by Ken Wiersema


May – July 2019


Backyard Birder Classes

The Backyard Birding series of classes, hosted by members of the Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society, is intended for residents of this area who are interested in knowing more about birds seen locally each season of the year and learning how to develop good habitats for wild birds. The cost of each session is $5 and is free for anyone under 18. 

“Backyard Birding” can be taken either as individual classes or as a series. The cost of each session is $5 and is free for anyone under 18. After the completion of five sessions, participants will be offered free membership in OPAS for one year.

May 4th 10:00 a.m. at Dungeness River Audubon Center

Eighth in the 2019 series will be Sounds of Spring presented by Dow Lambert assisted by Ken Wiersema. Please come a bit early to get your seat at this ever-popular program featuring slides, videos, and audio recordings of the songs & voices of our local birds. You will be able to hone and renew your identification skills by learning the songs and calls of the birds that live and fly through your backyard and over our local fields, marshes, and shorelines. 

June 1st 10:00 a.m. at Dungeness River Audubon Center

Ninth in the 2019 series will be Birds out of the Nest presented by Ken Wiersema.  This program includes a parent bird’s role in protecting, feeding, and teaching young birds.  Learn how food needs of young birds change, be aware of their vulnerabilities, and how to make your property less hazardous to young fledglings. Understand that different species play differing roles in raising their young. Come with your questions and observations.  New insights will be revealed.

July 6th 10:00 a.m. at Dungeness River Audubon Center

The tenth and last in this year’s series, the ever-popular Gull program presented by Bob Boekelheide.  Watch for full details in the July-August Harlequin Happenings and on the OPAS web site.


Focus On Series, a joint program of OPAS and the River Center is on hiatus until October.  It will return with a series of six new programs.  Watch for it!


Learn by the Light of the Moon programs return for 2019 with a whole new lineup.

These talks are offered without fee and will happen once a month, on the evening of the full moon. The series provides opportunity to hear from local naturalists and scientists, working to better understand our world. Presented in the Center’s outdoor amphitheater. Use the padded seating on the amphitheater benches, or feel free to bring lawn chairs and a flashlight [and blankets?] — No rainchecks; if raining, program moves into building.

May 18th 7 p.m. “From the subalpine to the sea: assessing the status and trends of key natural resources within Olympic National ParkDr. Rebecca McCaffery, Wildlife Biologist, USGS.

June 17th 7 p.m.: “A Look into the Beach Lake Conservation Area Nearshore Restoration ProjectJamie Michel, Nearshore restoration biologist, Coastal Watershed Institute.

July 16th 7 p.m.: “Hunting Behaviors of Cougars “ Mark Elbroch, PhD, Director & Lead Scientist, Puma Program – Panthera

Please go to the River Center’s website for more details. And while you’re there, note the excellent array of new and returning programs on WildflowersNature Journaling, and summer camps for kids. Invite your grandkids to visit and spend part of their day learning about our local natural world.


Bird Graphic at Dungeness landing.  Folks have noticed the seascape painting of local coastal birds on the bird viewing platform at Dungeness Landing County Park is gone. This painting, commissioned by OPAS in 2006 was done on plywood by artist Tim Quinn. Tim also did the murals in the Center.  Its surface was fading in the sunlight and paint was cracking and starting to peal.  Chris Perry via some software juju and reference to photos of the original mural has restored the color and repaired most of the damage. We hope to have it reinstalled by end of May this year. 

Attached photo of Chris Perry’s restoration of Tim Quinn’s art work.