Events & Field Trips
Chapter Meeting: Bull Trout of the Yakima Basin
February 27 (Thursday), 7pm - Yakima Area Arboretum Office, 1401 Arboretum Dr., Yakima, WA
Come learn about one of the Yakima Basins Endangered fish!! Bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) are a native species of char that were once abundant throughout the cold streams of the Northwestern United States. Within these cold-water systems, bull trout are an apex predator feeding on a host of fish. Within their historic range and the Yakima River Basin, their numbers have been greatly reduced due to issues associated with harvest, habitat loss, invasive species, reductions of their historic prey base, and climate change. In 1998, bull trout were listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). There are 15 recognized bull trout populations in the Yakima Basin. According to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the status of these 15 populations range from healthy to potentially extirpated. This talk will cover bull trout life cycle, threats to their existence, and current efforts to monitor and recover this species.
Connor Parrish, Project Manager- Connor received a B.A. in Natural Resource Sciences from Washington State University and an M.S. in Biology from Central Washington University. His thesis work focused on the movement and habitat use of salmonids in urban streams. Connor’s previous experience includes working for various entities in Alaska, Idaho, and Washington on projects related to fish and wildlife conservation. He joined Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group in 2017. Connor currently manages restoration projects in the Naches basin and the Bull Trout Task Force.
Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Garden: A Class at the Yakima Area Arboretum - Presented by Jeff Kozma
Hummingbirds are truly incredible birds! They amaze us with their boldly colored iridescent plumage, their wild aerial acrobatics, their overly aggressive personalities, and their miraculous migrations. Please join Yakama Nation wildlife biologist and expert birder Jeff Kozma for a class focusing on how to identify and attract the four species of hummingbirds regularly found in Washington to your garden. Jeff has been growing nectar producing plants and providing feeders in his yard to attract hummingbirds for the last 17 years and he looks forward to sharing his techniques with you.
During the class, Jeff will cover 1) a brief overview of hummingbird biology (e.g., habitat, migration, territoriality, etc.), 2) where and when to expect each hummingbird species, 3) how to landscape your yard with the types of plants that are most attractive to hummingbirds, while focusing on native plants that grow best in our warm dry climate, 4) the proper use of feeders (e.g., making sugar water, maintenance/cleaning/location of feeders, etc.), and 5) how to feed hummingbirds through the challenging winter months.
- Saturday, March 7th, 10 am - 12 noon at the Yakima Area Arboretum
- Cost $ 20 (Arboretum and Audubon members) or $ 25 (non-members)
- Register after February 1 with the Yakima Area Arboretum ( 509-248-7337 or www.ahtrees.org )
- For more information, call the Yakima Area Arboretum, or Ellen Stepniewski (509-731-6805).
Feb 8 Second Saturday Bird Walk
Meet at 9:00 a.m. at the Sarg Hubbard Park parking lot. Bird the Greenway and Arboretum trails for approximately two hours. Leader: Renee Navarrete
Feb. 14-17 (Fri-Sun) Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC)
Feb. 14-17 Skagit Trip - Presidents’ Day Weekend
- When: February 14-17. Depart Yakima about 7:30 am Friday, with birding beginning about noon on the Skagit Flats. Those arriving later, plan on meeting 7:30 am Saturday morning, after breakfast, at Mount Vernon’s Best Western College Way Inn lobby. Breakfast starts at 6 am.
- Where: Yakima Valley Audubon heads over to the northwest Washington’s Skagit and Samish Flats, the state’s premier winter birding area. This is a repeat of the several trips we’ve had in the past.
- Who: Leaders: Andy and Ellen Stepniewski
- Logistics: Later, plan on sharing gas expenses if you are riding with someone
- Lodging: You should have reservations at the Best Western College Way Inn for three nights in Mount Vernon February 15 -17th (1-360-424-4287). They have a 24-hour cancellation policy. In the event of dire weather (in my estimation perhaps a 10 % probability of really foul weather at this time of year) we will cancel the trip ahead of time. Go west from I-5 at Exit 227 a few hundred yards. We will begin the return trip by about Noon Monday depending, arriving in Yakima about 6-7 PM (weather can alter this plan).
- Culinary Notes: Full hot breakfast at the Best Western Sat-Monday mornings. Please pack your own snacks and lunches with drinks for two of the days. We might have at least one lunch out at a Subway or other local establishment. Dinner Saturday and Sunday at a restaurant in Mt. Vernon. We’ll do a recap of the day and make plans for the following day.
- Weather: Bring a rain parka and layers for temps between 30-50 degrees. Gloves are very useful and handerkerchiefs for drying lenses. We will try to stay on dry trails but this will not always be possible. It is indeed the wet season on the “Wetside.” Consider bringing waterproof boots to keep your feet dry.
- Birding: Bring binoculars and a scope if you have one. We will search the Skagit Flats for spectacular concentrations of waterfowl for Trumpeter (by the hundreds) and Tundra Swans, Snow Geese (by the many thousands), and many other species of waterfowl. Raptors abound and we’ll especially be on the alert for a Gyrfalcon. We’ll also try to coax into view a variety of sparrows, “little brown jobs,” that hide in the thickets. We won’t neglect forest birds. Nearby are the Samish Flats. There is no better place to observe wintering birds of prey in Washington than this area of wet farm fields. Bald Eagles are everywhere, as are Northern Harriers and Red-tailed Hawks. Lesser numbers of Rough-legged Hawks, Merlins, and Peregrines, and an Accipiter or two can be expected. Short-eared Owls should be seen hunting the weedy fields. We will also visit the edge of the San Juan Islands ecosystem at Deception Pass State Park for species associated with deeper waters such as loons, grebes, murres, and murrelets, and those of the rocky shores such as Harlequin Duck and Black Oystercatcher. We’re planning on a great trip!
- Questions: Please holler. Andy Stepniewski, 509-949-7404; Ellen Stepniewski, 509-731-6805; email@example.com