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Education Notes

Education Notes

by Ken Wiersema

September – October 2019


Backyard Birder series for 2019-20

The Backyard Birder Series will be starting on October 5th with new offerings of local birding subjects. We have some new instructors and an array of exciting topics for those who are new to the Olympic Peninsula, or might have moved into a different birding habitat, or want to refresh and expand their birding

Our first program will be led by two birding veterans, who will offer their views on the basic skills of birding, some ID tips, discussion of birding optics, the pros and cons of field guides, information on the e-bird system, mobile birding apps — and much more. So join us for the launch of our new program year.

The following schedule is firm through February. Plan to attend on the 1st Saturday of each month. The subjects and presenters may be changed as the year goes along.  If you have questions, or want a specific birding subject presented, please let me know and we’ll make an effort to fit it into a class.

Month Date Subject Presenter [s]
Oct 5 Birding basics & tools of being a birder Bob Iddins & Ken Wiersema
Nov 2 Landscaping your property for birds with native plants Joe Holtrop

Clallam Conservation Dist.


Dec 7 Winter bird feeding and watering.  New bird feeding accessories Christie Lassen,

Co-Owner Wild Birds Unlimited in Gardiner



4 Birdscaping — inviting Birds to your yard Carolyn Wilcox


Feb 1 Bird nesting and GBBC

e-Bird primer

Bob Boekelheide & Ken Wiersema


Mar 7 Birds the – inside story

Bird anatomy & biology

Shirley Anderson & Ken Wiersema


Apr 4 Migration – why they do it, where they go, how they navigate. Tomás Setubal


May 2 Spring Sounds — local recording and video of our Spring singers Dow Lambert and Ken Wiersema
June 6 Out of the Nest – the fledging and vulnerability of new bird lives Ken Wiersema


July 4 (likely moved to July 11th) Gulls and Local Shorebirds Bob Boekelheide


Aiden Braaten

New Student on OPAS team.  This year Aiden Braaten, a junior at Sequim HS, will be assisting with several of our Backyard Birding classes.  Welcome Aiden! 

He will also be participating in other OPAS and Board activities.



OPAS will be partnering again this year with the Dungeness River Audubon Center staff to present a series of Saturday morning programs that offer an in-depth view on the array of fauna and flora we live with on the Olympic Peninsula.  Watch for more details on the OPAS and River Center web sites and in future newsletters. 

Up-coming programs in the Focus-On Series will include the following:

October 19th: Weasels, Otters, and Fishers.

November 16th:  Swans and Geese.

December 21st: Coyotes.

January 18th: Puffins, Auklets, and Murres.

February 15th: Wildflowers.






Learn by the light of the Moon  Series final for 2019 — September 14th at 7 p.m. in the outdoor amphitheater at the Dungeness River Audubon Center

Subject: “Bioluminescence: who needs the light of the moon when you can make your own!”  Speaker – Neil Harrington, Environmental Biologist, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. Neil is an experienced recreational diver and underwater photographer; expect a great talk.

Annual River Festival — Friday September 27th.  Great event for every age.  Many exhibits and displays from environmental groups around our region. Mark you calendar and plan to attend.  And come by the River Center where OPAS folks will be presenting bird exhibits.