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Education Notes

Education Notes

by Ken Wiersema


January – February 2019

Now that you’ve mastered writing 2019 on your checks, use these long nights and the cold of winter to take a class and improve your knowledge of birds and our Olympic Peninsula’s unique habitats. As mild as this winter has been, (so far?) by late February, we could see some of our early migrants returning from their southern vacations.  Please come out, join, and share your knowledge and interest with others.  Be at our members photo night on January 23rd.   Come on our weekly Wednesday morning bird walks and re-tune your ears and eyes to the changing voices as early nesting birds select and establish their pair bonds for the season and their nesting territories.  

Add these programs to your schedules:


Backyard birding programs – at the Dungeness River Audubon Center

Jan 5th at 10 a.m. to Noon – Carolyn Wilcox is a skilled Olympic Peninsula wildlife guide, who lives in urbanized Port Angeles. “Birdscaping”—Inviting Birds to Your Yard, presented by Carolyn Wilcox, owner and guide for Experience Olympic Tours on the Olympic Peninsula. In this class, Carolyn will launch a new community outreach winter campaign to invite birds into our yards. She will touch on topics such as general wildlife ecology, invasive bird and plant species, feeders and nest boxes, snags and other dead wood habitat, landscape planning, cats and window strikes, and discouraging rats.  Don’t let your friends, family, and neighbors miss the unique opportunity for free one-on-one wildlife consulting by Carolyn in your own yard and garden this January and February 2019.

Feb 2d at 10 a.m. to noon – Ken Wiersema will present a program on Bird Nesting and combine it with a short discussion of how you can participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count which occurs on 15 -18 Feb.

Feb 23rd at 10 a.m.  Nest Boxes ‘19 —   Learn why we build boxes. Watch a box being assembled, and then — build one yourself!  Take your new box home and install it!  Materials, tools, and “expert” assistance provided!


Focus On Series:  

Jan 19th at 10 a.m.  — Raptors of our winter skies will be presented by Ken Wiersema.  Keen eyesight, large talons, and strong beaks makes these avian hunters important parts of our environment. A short local field trip follows class.

Feb 16th at 10 a.m.    Jenna Ziogas, Education Coordinator of the Center, will do a new program on the unique environmental niche occupied by Raccoons (rescheduled from Dec 15th due to a storm caused power outage at the Center)

Fun and useful programs. Please fit them into your winter schedule.  Watch websites, media and Facebook for details.


Jamestown S’Klallam Speaker Series (new for 2019)

Dungeness River Audubon Center is a proud partner of Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. Known as ‘the Strong People’ the S’Klallams created a rich culture of art, spirituality, traditional knowledge and self-reliance that continues today. In honor of Jamestown S’Klallam recognition day on February 11th, we are dedicating the month of February to learning more about the people who have lived and prospered on the Olympic Peninsula for more than 10,000 years.  S’Klallam’s rich culture is interdependent with the abundant natural resources of the Northwest Coast. A predominate resource being the Western Red Cedar tree. This series takes a deeper look at the Tribe’s deep connection with “The Tree of Life.”

Where: Dungeness River Audubon Center


Friday, February 8th: Western Red Cedar, Importance to Salmon” Robert Knapp – Environmental Planning Program Manager

Friday, February 15th: “Historical Relationships Between S’Klallam People and Cedar.” – David Brownell – Cultural Resources Specialist

Friday, February 22nd: “X̣páy – Western Red Cedar, the Tree of Life” – Lisa Barrell & Mackenzie Grinnell – Traditional Foods Program

Time: 5:30 pm preregistration not required, no fee


Beginning Birds & Birding Course

A class designed for beginning birders and new residents who wish to learn and recognize our local birds, and anyone who wants to better understand birds. Seminars cover basic bird identification, types of birds, bird behaviors and adaptations, bird sounds, field guides, nest boxes, and birding optics. 

Where: Dungeness River Audubon Center

When: Every Tuesday of February (Feb 5th, Feb 12th, Feb 19th, Feb 26th)

Time: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Cost: $50 for members/ $70 for nonmembers 

Must pre-register.

For more information, contact

360-681-4076 /


In addition to these education programs please attend our monthly meetings and mark your 2019 schedules for the excellent array of field trips, found in this newsletter, Judi White has planned.


Backyard birder program schedule for OPAS years 2018-2019.

[Note: Programs start at 10 a.m. in the River Center.]

Date Subject Presenter(s)
Oct 6 Landscaping for Birds Joe Holtrop
Clallam Cons. Dist.
Nov 3 Being a Birder Denny Van Horn
OPAS Field Trip Chair
Dec 1 Winter Bird Feeding
and Watering
Christie Lassen
Co-Owner, Wild Birds
Unlimited, Gardiner
Jan 5, 2019 Birdscaping – Inviting
Birds to your Yard
Carolyn Wilcox
Feb 2 Bird Nesting & GBBC Ken Wiersema &
Nina Sarmiento
Mar 2 Birds: The Inside story
Bird anatomy & biology
Shirley Anderson &
Ken Wiersema
Apr 6 Migration Tomás Setubal
May 4 Spring Sounds Dow Lambert &
Ken Wiersema
Jun 1 Out of the Nest Ken Wiersema &
Nina Sarmiento
Jul 6 Gulls & Local Shorebirds Bob Boekelheide