Upcoming Events and Field Trips

Events & Field Trips

Chapter Meeting: Wolves In Washington State with Ben Maletzke

May 23 (Thursday), 7pm - Yakima Area Arboretum Office, 1401 Arboretum Dr., Yakima, WA

The Cascades Carnivore Project is a conservation research organization based in Hood River, Oregon. They are promoting the conservation of rare carnivores and their ecosystems in the Cascade Range through scientific research and collaboration with citizen scientists and other research- ers. They have taken the lead on the conservation of the Cascade red fox, a rare montane fox subspecies that occurs only in the Washington Cascades. They are also documenting the natural recolonization of wolverines into southern Washington, and recently discovered the first reproductive wolverine den documented in Washington’s southern Cascade Range in over 50 years and only the 3rd den in the state. Broadly, they are interested in how climate change will affect these two rare and elusive carnivores.

Jocelyn Akins leads the Cascades Carnivore Project in its effort to study rare montane and forest carnivores. She received her PhD in Conservation Genetics from the Univer- sity of California Davis. She is only one of two researchers who has focused their research on the Cascade red fox. She will be presenting her decade-long research on the Cascade red fox and wolverine.

Future Programs

Field Trips

May 31-June 2 - Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Burns, OR

Our journey in 2012 to Malheur was so memorable we’ve decided to head there again. Since our visit to this iconic refuge in the northern Great Basin, a sad chapter in our nation’s history occurred two years ago when armed militia tried to take this incredible place away from the American people. Luckily, their occupation of the refuge was short-lived and Malheur National Wildlife Refuge has returned to welcoming birders and naturalists.

We leave Friday morning, May 31 and plan on three nights in Burns Oregon (May 31-June 2), We’ll have two full days to explore Malheur’s lakes, marshes, riparian habitats and its vast shrub-steppe. On our last trip, we tallied 148 species! We’ll seek Great Basin waterbird specialties such as White-faced Ibis, Franklin’s Gull, Forster’s Tern, and Wilson’s Phalarope as well as raptors such as Ferruginous Hawk and Golden Eagle. Shrub-steppe species present include Black-throated and Sagebrush Sparrows. Too, this trip coincides with spring migration of landbirds and we’ll be sure to check out the lush plantings at refuge headquarters where “lost” eastern birds are attracted to the tall trees. En route, we’ll make stops in pine forests where we’ll “pad the list” with mountain species such as woodpeckers, finches, and sparrows such as smartly attired Green-tailed Towhee.

We plan to stay at the Best Western in Burns/Hines. You are welcome to stay at another motel in Burns, or camp, but it appears that rates increase toward the date, so making reser- vations soon is advised.

Contact leader Bill Drenguis (509-965-5808, 509-731-8632, bdrenguis@gmail.com) if you’re interested in another trek to one of America’s most fabulous wildlife preserves, noted not only for its birdlife, but also for its astounding Great Basin geology, desert vegetation, and wild, dramatic vistas, emblematic of the Basin and Range Province.

May 24-27 (Friday-Monday)-Memorial Day Wenas Campout

The annual Memorial Day weekend Wenas Audubon Campout. Located at the Wenas Creek Campground on Audubon Road. Birding field trips and flower walks abound at this casual and friendly gathering. In past campouts, activities have included field sketching, bat and owl prowls, and much more. You do not need to be an Audubon member to attend, but a Discover Pass is required. Drive up for a day or camp. All are welcome.

SPECIAL NOTE: YVAS member Jeff Kozma will be the featured speaker at the Saturday evening campfire gathering. Program starts at 7 pm with Jeff talking on his research on White-headed Woodpeckers. The Wenas committee has reorganized and the website has been updated with many improvements. Visit the Wenas Audubon website (http://www.wenasaudubon.org) for directions and complete information.

June 1 (Saturday)-Wenas Area

Jeff Kozma will lead a trip to the Wenas area to look for birds in a variety of habitats. We will be going to areas such as Wenas Lake, Hardy Canyon, BBQ Flats, and Umptanum Road to bird in riparian areas, shrub-steppe, and ponderosa pine forest. Some birds we will try to find are Yellow-breasted Chat, Bushtit, MacGillivray’s Warbler, Pygmy Nuthatch, Lazuli Bunting, Veery, and an all-time favorite, the White-headed Woodpecker. We’ll meet at 7:00 AM in order to carpool. We’ll plan to be back to Yakima by 4:00 PM. Bring a hat, binoculars, lunch, sunscreen, and plenty to drink. We will be on foot, at times on trails and also “bushwhacking” (off trail) through ponderosa pine forest, so wear appropriate and sturdy foot wear. To sign up and get the meeting place, please contact Jeff at jcr_5105@charter.net with “Wenas Trip” in the subject line or at 509-406-1049. The trip will be limited to a maximum of 15 people.

June 8 (Saturday)- Teanaway Basin, Kittitas County

Scott Downes will lead a trip to the Teanaway Basin in Kittitas County. Come explore the forested habitats of the Teanaway, where forests are mixed with riparian streams and con- tain a great variety of breeding songbirds. Expect most of the breeding songbirds found in the mid-elevation areas of Kittitas County. Bring a hat, binoculars, lunch, sunscreen, and water. The trip will be a combination of road birding and walking trails so wear appropriate and sturdy foot wear. Drivers should have the Discover Pass. We’ll leave Yakima at 6:30 am and return around 4:00 pm. To sign up and get the meeting place, please contact Scott at downess@charter.net

June 15 (Saturday)-Woodpeckers.

Teresa Lorenz will lead a trip in the Wenatchee National Forest, focusing on woodpeckers, especially White-headed Woodpecker, Black-backed Woodpecker, Williamson’s Sapsucker. On this trip we typically also see lots of forest songbirds such as Western Bluebird, White-breasted Nuthatch, Cassin’s Vireo, Western Tanager, Townsend’s Warbler, Hammond’s Flycatcher, Red Crossbill, Mountain Chickadee and Pygmy Nuthatch. We might (depending on snowpack and interest of the group) visit higher elevations to try for American Three-toed Woodpecker, Clark’s Nutcracker and Pika. Meet at the carpool lot at the junction of Highway 12 and Highway 410 at 7 am. To sign up, email Teresa at teresajlorenz@gmail.com.

June 22 (Saturday)- Wild Horse Wind Farm

Scott Downes will lead a trip to Wild Horse Wind Farm near Vantage. This trip is a combination birding and wind farm tour. We’ll join Nicholas Mejia with Puget Sound Energy on a tour of the wind farm where participants will get to learn about the facility and explore inside the turbines. Mixed with the wind farm tour, we’ll be able to bird the shrub-steppe habitat there, where shrub-steppe species such as Sage Thrasher, Sagebrush Sparrow and Loggerhead Shrike are found. Following the wind farm tour, we’ll do a few birding stops on the way back to Yakima. Bring a hat, binoculars, lunch, sunscreen, and water. Wear appropriate and sturdy foot wear. Drivers should have the Discover Pass. We’ll leave Yakima at 6:30 am and return by 3:00 pm. To sign up and get the meeting place, please contact Scott at downess@charter.net.