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General

  • Hunting for Birds with Cub Scouts

    A few years ago, YVAS obtained a grant to buy some lifesized bird models. We used these for events, including the Yakima Greenway’s “Kiddin’ Around” program. This year, when we received a request from a Terrace Heights Cub Scout group for something educational for one of their meetings, we recreated a similar event at the Yakima Area Arboretum.

  • The International Migratory Bird Day is May 12

    Any time of year is a great time to get out and see birds, but migration time is when flocks of colorful birds are at their peak, moving along their migratory flyways toward their breeding and wintering grounds.

    Since 1993, International Migratory Bird Day has been celebrated during the second weekend in May in the Western Hemisphere. World Migratory Bird...

  • When you see a White-headed Woodpecker, check for bands on its legs

    It’s that time of year again when we start getting out to go birding in areas we couldn’t get to in the winter. I want to remind everyone that we are still in the process of color-banding White-headed Woodpeckers in the Wenas in areas of the Ellensburg Pass Road, Mud Flats Road, Wenas Campground and Hog Ranch Road, Milk Canyon,...

  • 2018 - The Year of the Bird

    Psst…Have you heard? 2018 has been designated as the year of the bird. How so you ask? Well in the latest Audubon magazine, David Yarnold, CEO/PRESIDENT, AUDUBON, states that the charismatic editor-in-chief of National Geographic magazine (Susan Goldberg) called and asked about an alliance between the two organizations to declare 2018 as The Year of the Bird. What if other...

  • Vantage Field Trip -- Waterbirds and More!

    On Sunday November 12th, four Yakima Audubon members joined me for a trip to Vantage to view the fall migrant waterfowl spectacle along the Columbia River. A quick stop at the Tjossem Pond in Ellensburg yielded two surprises; 2 female Red-breasted Merganers among the more expected Common Mergansers and two leucistic Canada Geese hanging out with a flock of Canada...

  • Vredenburg Bluebird Nest Box Trail has successful 2017!

    As the human population and activities (habitat alteration & destruction) in North America expanded, bluebird populations plummeted due to the resulting shortage of natural cavities for nesting, pesticide use and perhaps most importantly, by importing two European species of birds to North America, the House Sparrow and the European Starling.

  • Lower Valley Shorebird Field Trip Finds 80 Species

    On August 16th I was joined by Annika Willette for a day of shorebirding around the lower valley. We started at the Kerry’s Pond, which was relatively productive. As soon as we got out of the car to scope the pond most of the ducks flushed, but we were still able to pick out Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, Cinnamon Teal, Mallard,...

  • The Case of the Migrating Warbling Vireo

    While we sitting at our patio table with friends on August 17 and enjoying some of Chris’s blueberry crisp, a Warbling Vireo landed near us in our cedar tree. Unfortunately, I was the only one at the table who got a good look at it. It was nice to see it in our yard and it was the first one...

  • Yakima County's Second Indigo Bunting Found Along Audubon Road in the Wenas on June 10

    Editor’s Note: These are Richard Repp’s reflections about another wonderful bird sighting in Yakima County. This is copied from an e-mail that Richard sent to BirdYak.

    In the event there may be a few Yakkers (shorthand for members of BirdYak) that do not fall into the category one of YVAS former presidents described as “kamikaze birders” (read super intense about...

  • Snow Mountain Ranch Field Trip Produces Fun Bird Sightings

    Seven birders (and flower lovers) took a hike at Snow Mountain Ranch. Despite the cooler, wetter conditions there than in year’s past, we saw some great birds and some beautiful wildflowers. If I knew the plant names better, I could have kept a list of plants as well as birds.

  • Snags Are Important Wildlife Habitat

    Did you know that trees can be more important for wildlife dead than alive? When trees die, their wood softens and rots providing places for animals to create cavities that are used as nest and shelter sites. In the northwest, nearly 100 species of wildlife use snags including some of our favorite birds such as bluebirds, owls, woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees,...