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Education Notes

Education Notes

by Ken Wiersema

November – December 2019


Well it’s fall again folks, and an array of excellent indoor and outdoor programs are here. So, get out there and improve your birding knowledge and enjoy our crispy mornings and sunny afternoons. Please look through the different programs that are highlighted in our OPAS schedule of events and those of the River Center’s.

Backyard Birding Programs

The next Backyard Birding class will be on Saturday, November 2nd at 10:00 a.m. at the Dungeness River Audubon Center, Railroad Bridge Park, Sequim.

Cedar Waxwing & Cascara Buckthorn Photo by Mick Thompson

This second in the annual series of programs will be Landscaping for Birds with Native Plants, presented by Joe Holtrop, Executive Director of the Clallam Conservation District. Joe will discuss important aspects of designing and developing a bird-friendly yard – including food plantings, water, and shelter. He’ll emphasize the use of plants native to our area.

Our December Backyard Birding class will be on Saturday, December 7th at 10:00 a.m. at the Dungeness River Audubon Center, Railroad Bridge Park, Sequim.


We feature Christie Lassen, co-owner of Wild Birds unlimited in Gardiner. She will present an array of information on Winter Care and Feeding of Birds in your Garden by providing examples of feeders for humming birds – to seeds for wintering song birds – to suet for woodpeckers. Christie will offer recommendations on what to feed wintering birds and why. She will also have items for sale to put under your Christmas tree.

Backyard Birding can be taken either as individual classes or in a series. The cost of each session is $5. Admission is free for anyone under 18. For participants attending five sessions in the annual series, OPAS offers a complementary one-year membership.

Special programs on the evolution of birds. 

Click on book to enlarge.

Jim Karr, one of our OPAS members, has generously offered to do a series of programs on selected chapters from the recent book “The Ascent of Birds”.  He leads an informal discussion of families of birds and how they have evolved.  His initial program was in October; it was excellent!  The next two programs will be on November 12th and  December 10th at 4 p.m.

Beginning Birds Course

Click on poster to enlarge.

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.

All classes will be held at the Dungeness River Audubon Center on Tuesdays, November 5th, 12th, 19th (No class on the 26th), and December 3rd from 10:00am – 1:00pm. You must pre-register. To register or for more information call 360-681-4076 or email Cost: $60 for members/ $100 for nonmembers 

Focus On Series

Click on poster to enlarge.

The next two Focus On programs will be on November 16th and December 21st at the Dungeness River Audubon Center, Railroad Bridge Park, Sequim. These programs delve into the unique features and behavior of the featured birds or animals. In November, Jenna Ziogas explores the families of Geese and Swans who visit or reside in our communities. In December, Powell Jones will present a discussion of just one unique animal, the Coyote.

Attendees are enjoying these programs. And, this year you’ll get to vote on which animal or bird you want to be featured in March 2020. Attend and vote, or go to the River Center Facebook page and vote. 

There is much more going on with weekly bird walks, field trips, and monthly meetings.  Get out and expand your enjoyment and knowledge.  See y’all at Nature Mart on November 22nd and 23rd.