Upcoming Events


2017 Christmas Potluck Dinner and Silent Auction

December 7 (Thursday), 5pm – Yakima Area Arboretum Office, 1401 Arboretum Dr., Yakima, WA

On Thursday, December 7th, we will be holding the annual YVAS Christmas Potluck and Silent Auction at the Yakima Area Arboretum. There will be a silent auction for the larger items as well as the ever-popular bargain table.

We need items to auction. Do you have a special skill or hobby to create unique artifacts? Use your imagination to come up with the item to put everyone in absolute awe. How about sponsoring a dinner or brunch in your garden? Bird related items are well received.

It helps to have the auction items on display when the first members arrive. To make this happen, you can drop items off with Bill Drenguis (bdrenguis <at> gmail.com, 965-5808) or Ellen Stepniewski (steppie <at> nwinfo.net, 731-6805). If you are not able to drop auction items off with us, Bill may be able to pick up items before December 5th.

Doors will open at 5pm, at the Yakima Area Arboretum. The silent auction, wine service, and camaraderie will be underway at 5. Dinner will begin at about 6, so please put your food items out and, if applicable, decorate your table by then. The silent auction will close at 6:30 so we can all enjoy the program, photography by Tom Kogut, which will begin at 7pm.

Potluck food assignments are by the first letter of your last name:

Dishes should serve about 12 people. It would be helpful to list the ingredients of your dish for those with allergies (milk, nuts, shellfish, wheat, etc.) We will be providing ham, coffee, and hot water for tea. Wine will be available by the glass with donations defraying the cost.

In addition to your potluck items, be sure to bring serving utensils for your dish. Please mark them with your name to ensure return. You will need to bring your own table service (plates, cups, silverware).

Come enjoy the friendship, listen to the speaker, view his great photos, have a yummy meal, and surf the auction’s treasures. Arrive early enough to browse through the auction items prior to 6:30. As auction proceeds go directly to fund education and conservation activities for our chapter, an evening of festive, generous bidding is essential for our success.

If you have questions, please contact Bill using the information above.

Before Dec 5 - Donate! Donate! On Dec 7 - Bid! Bid!

-Ellen Stepniewski and Bill Drenguis

2018 Field Trip Planning Meeting

January 6 (Saturday)

We are nearing the end of 2017 and another successful year of field trips has come and gone. Yakima Audubon will meet at Andy and Ellen Stepniewski’s house on January 6th at 9:00 to plan field trips for 2018. If you will be attending the meeting, please email me (downess <at> charter.net) so we can get a count of how many to expect, just in case someone wants to bring donuts. Whether you want to lead a field trip or want to suggest a trip for 2018, attending this meeting is your chance to provide input. If you have input or want to lead a trip, but can’t make the meeting on January 6th, please email me your ideas by December 20th and I’ll ensure they are discussed at the meeting.

Yakima Audubon trips are successful because we have a variety of leaders and unique locations, both near and far where field trips explore. I hope that members continue to lead trips and support trips by attending so that our chapter may continue to have successful trips. I would also like to extend a personal thank you to all of our wonderful field trip leaders who give of their time and expertise to make the YVAS trips a success. Thank you!

-Scott Downes

Christmas Bird Counts

Toppenish NWR — Dec. 16 Eric Heisey (magicman32 <at> rocketmail.com)

Yakima Valley — Dec. 30 Denny Granstrand (dgranstrand <at> gmail.com)

With the Christmas Bird Count season looming on the horizon, it is time to mark your calendar for the 2017 Toppenish NWR and Yakima Valley CBCs. A CBC is a day of great fun to spend with friends, old or new, and enjoy the splendor of a winter’s day birding in our beautiful, if sometimes cold and snowy, county.

The Toppenish NWR Christmas Bird Count, now in its 36th year, is set for Saturday December 16th. Meet at 7:00 a.m. at the Branding Iron Restaurant in Toppenish (junction of US-97 & SR-22). You will be assigned to a team to cover a specific portion of a 15-mile diameter circle in the Lower Valley. If you’re interested, or would just like more information, please e-mail Eric Heisey at magicman32 <at> rocketmail.com.

Birders used to meet on cold mornings at Sportsman’s State Park for the start of the Yakima Valley Christmas Bird Count for many years. We finally smartened up. We now meet for breakfast at the Old Town Station Restaurant at the northwest corner of S. 1st St. and Valley Mall Blvd. on Dec. 30 at 7:00 am and then separate into birding teams for a wonderful day of birding. The Audubon Christmas Bird Count nationwide (and beyond) is the longest running citizen science wildlife survey in the history of the world. And we can all say that we were there and contributed. And we need your help, too. No experience is necessary. Everyone can make a contribution! (Basic birding knowledge, binoculars and warm clothes will help.)