Upcoming Events, Programs, and Field Trips

Events, Programs, & Field Trips

Chapter Meeting: Yakima Valley Audubon’s Vredenburgh Bluebird Trail Marks its 40th Year!

Andy Stepniewski

May 26th (Thursday), 7pm, Zoom - sign in and visit with others onscreen at 6:45 pm

In 1982, when nest boxes for bluebirds were first put out in the nearby Wenas Valley, little did this intrepid group of Yakima Auduboners know that 40 years later that the Vredenburgh Bluebird Trail, as it was later named, would still be going strong. To date, more than 17,000 bluebirds have fledged from this program. This is an amazing tribute to the numerous volunteers who have built and erected nest boxes They also faithfully monitored the birds’ nesting progress through the spring and summer season each year, and compiled the data of numbers fledged for both Western and Mountain Bluebirds. 

Image - Mountain Bluebird - Karen Zook
Mountain Bluebird - Karen Zook

Come hear about both species of bluebirds, and also about the other birds and critters who use the same nesting cavities and boxes. In the nearby lower east slopes of the Cascades, bluebird populations had been severely depleted through widespread logging and habitat loss, eliminating many of the cavities in mature pines in which bluebirds historically nested. Nest box programs have helped augment both bluebird species. Come learn how to visit the bluebird trail, see the birds and their habitats. You also can help monitor and maintain the trail.

Recently, Richard Repp has retired as Vredenburgh Bluebird Trail chairperson after more than 20 years of service. Karen Zook, has taken over the helm of the committee. Thanks are due to Richard Repp and Karen Zook who provided many recent photos and insight.

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

Webinar Viewing tips for YVAS Webinars

Would you like to enjoy Yakima Valley Audubon presentations with the whole family? You can now watch our programs whenever it is convenient for you! Our monthly programs are now available as webinars for viewing both in real time (so you can ask questions) and as recordings from a link on our website.

To view the live presentation on your laptop, tablet, or smart phone, click on the link in that month’s Calliope Crier or go to https://yakimaaudubon.org about five minutes before the program is scheduled to start and click on the Zoom webinar link. If you have never attended a Zoom meeting, you will be asked to download the app this first time. (You do not have to have your own Zoom account to join the webinar.) Be sure to answer ‘yes’ to the questions about joining with video and audio. You can always mute yourself for privacy, but you will need to answer yes to view and hear the presentation.

To better enjoy the beautiful photos in the presentation, you have the option of viewing it on a larger screen, such as your smart TV. To do this, you will need to connect your device to the TV with an HDMI cable. If your device does not have an HDMI port, there are inexpensive multiport adaptors available to enable this. (Try Office Depot or buy one online.)

It is even easier to view a recorded seminar once it has been posted on our website! You can watch the recording through your Internet browser, or, if your smartTV allows you to connect to an internet browser, you can simply go directly to our website and click on the seminar link. Video and sound will automatically be displayed and controlled on your Smart TV. Alternatively, you can pull up the webinar on your computer as above and connect your computer with an HDMI cable to your Smart TV.

Even in these challenging times, Yakima Audubon is committed to bringing you information about our natural world. Please let us know at info@yakimaaudubon.org what you think and what we can do to improve this experience for you.

Previous Programs

Additional programs and videos can be found on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/watch/yakimaaudubon/

Field Trips

Wenas Lake and Spring Migration, Saturday, May 21st, 6:30 am - 3:00 pm

Meet at 6:30 am in Yakima.

This trip is timed to experience the high species diversity along the lower east slopes of the nearby Cascades, justly famed for its spring birds. The Wenas Valley includes a remarkable array of habitats, including shrub-steppe, brushy slopes, riparian woodland, Ponderosa Pine forests transitioning into mid-elevation Douglas-fir and mixed-conifer zones. We’ll visit a number of these distinct vegetation communities and especially seek out the wonderful array of bird species, many having just migrated north from the tropics to breed here. We’ll hope to encounter a nice selection of somber-hued flycatchers and sparrows along with more colorful swallows, vireos, warblers, orioles, and tanagers.

Yakima County Migration Count, Friday, May 13th - Monday, May 16th

YVAS’s annual “Birdathon” will be a county-wide bird count, as we try to tally species from different sectors in the county. Scott Downes will be putting teams together to cover all the best areas to bird around Yakima including the White Pass, Chinook Pass, Lower Valley, Ahtanum, Yakima Training Center, Toppenish, and Wenas areas. Some teams start before dawn with owling, while most teams go all or most of the day.

In addition to cheering on teams on their long journeys around the various habitats of the county, you can contribute as well! If you see an unusual species of bird while out birding during May 13-16, email Scott Downes, downess@charter.net to have your unusual species added to the team effort. You can also contribute by helping YVAS to raise money for important conservation actions in the chapter. See the article in this Crier on how to contribute a donation to the Birdathon effort.

Washington Coast Pelagic Birding Cruise and Shorebirding, Friday, August 26 to Sunday, August 28

We still have a few spots available for this field trip to one of the premier birding hotspots in the Pacific Northwest . Andy Stepniewski writes, “This is an extraordinary opportunity to view seabirds in deep (pelagic) waters beyond the Continental Shelf off the Washington coast as well as migrating shorebirds along the coastal estuaries. Late August is a very good time to view a high diversity of bird species out in deep pelagic waters. There are a variety of bird species never or very rarely seen from shore: albatrosses, shearwaters, fulmars, storm-petrels, skuas, jaegers, terns, and certain gulls. Marine mammals such as whales, dolphins, and porpoises are also often seen. This is also an excellent time to observe migrating shorebirds along the estuary shores in this area. More than 20 species are possible during our pre-boat trip birding on Friday afternoon and after the boat trip on Saturday and again Sunday morning in the Westport-to-Ocean Shores area.”

Westport Seabirds are world renowned guides and have been offering their Washington Coast pelagic cruises for more than thirty years. Bill Tweit with Westport Seabirds will be giving our February YVAS program to give us a preview of what we might see. This will be a wonderful experience for birders and naturalists at all levels. For a complete list of previous Westport Seabirds sightings for August, go to their website: https://westportseabirds.com. This trip will involve two nights in a motel or camping (August 26 and 27) and a nine-hour boat trip ($180/$190 check/Paypal) with Westport Seabirds on the 27th.

YVAS has reserved limited spaces on the cruise and a block of rooms at a local motel with a discounted rate. Reservations must be locked in by the end of February to ensure a place on this trip. Contact Sarah Shippen at ses1440@outlook.com for more information and to sign up.

We hope you will join us!

First Saturday Bird Walk with Kittitas Audubon Society (KAS)

2022 YVAS Field Trip & Event Calendar

Please Note: For the health and safety of all participants, current Washington State Covid-19 Guidelines will be followed on all Yakima Audubon field trips.