Events & Field Trips
Chapter Meeting: Our Backyard Bumbles: An Introduction to Washington’s Bumblebees by David Jennings
March 26 (Thursday), 7pm (CANCELLED) - Yakima Area Arboretum Office, 1401 Arboretum Dr., Yakima, WA
Following the national and local recommendations due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the board of Yakima Valley Audubon has cancelled all events in March. That includes the program on March 26th. We will make a decision about April events, both the program and field trips by the end of this month and continue to re-assess event closures to protect our members and communities.
Bumblebees are some of our most endearing native pollinators. With their furry bodies (and ability to thermoregulate) they are well-adapted to survive in colder and temperate ecosystems, such as those in Washington State. Bumblebees are the only bees native to North America that are truly social – the more familiar European honey bee is not a native species. Bumblebees have a complex social life and their means of communicating within colonies are not fully understood, despite many decades of research. Unlike the European honey bee, bumblebees have an annual lifecycle and only the queen bee survives the harsh winter, subsisting overwinter on food reserves she consumed prior to hibernation.
There are many factors that impact bumblebee populations. While some species have stable populations, others are in decline. As generalist foragers, they do not depend on any one plant species; however, some plants do rely on bumblebees to achieve pollination. Bumblebees are more efficient than honey bees in pollination of some human food crops, including tomatoes and cranberries. Thus, the loss of bumblebees has far ranging impacts due to their role as pollinators.
Come learn about the fascinating ecology of our native bumblebees from David Jennings. David is a well-known expert on bumblebee ecology and identification. He has an academic background in wildlife ecology and conservation and is a former Fish and Wildlife Commissioner. He is also president of the Washington Butterfly Association. David will give a presentation for Yakima Valley Audubon on our native bumblebees, their behavior and ecology, and what we can do to help their populations and attract them to our yards. He will also discuss identification tips for our most common bumblebee species. Learning to identify bumblebees can serve as a great introduction to learning about all our native pollinators.
Learn them, respect them, protect them!
- To learn more about these amazing bees, visit https://xerces.org/bumblebees/about.
- To engage in bumblebee research as a citizen scientist, visit https://www.pnwbumblebeeatlas.org.
- (CANCELLED) March 26 Bumble bees and other native pollinators - David Jennings
- (CANCELLED) April 23 Clark’s Nutcracker - Taza Schaming
- May 28 aspects of crow intelligence - Loma Pendergraft
- August 27 Corvid Research - Kaeli Swift
- September 24 butterflies and their conservation – David James
- October 22 to be announced
- December 3 to be announced
March 14 (CANCELLED) - Second Saturday Bird Walk
Meet at 9:00 AM at the Sarg Hubbard parking lot. Birding as a group along the Greenway and Arboretum trails for approximately two hours.
April 19 (Sunday) - Greater Sage-Grouse on the Yakima Training Center
- Leader: Scott Downes and YTC biologist
- Sign-up Deadline: February 29th
The wonderful Greater Sage-grouse lek trip on the Yakima Training Center is approaching soon. On April 19th, Scott Downes will lead a group of people to join a YTC biologist for an early morning visit to one of the leks of the greater sage-grouse on the training center. Witnessing this birds display on the lek is a truly memorable experience. Some words of caution are that we will be a considerable distance from the birds, so this is not a trip for photo opportunities and scopes are helpful. Scopes will be on hand if you don’t have one yourself. Meeting time will be announced to participants a couple weeks beforehand, but will be at least an hour before sunrise and the trip will likely conclude about mid-morning after the visit to the lek is over. Expect to dress in warm clothes as we will need to stand for several hours watching the lek. The trip is limited to 15 people. YVAS members have preference for signup until Feb 29th. On March 1st, signups will be released to anybody interested.
Email is the preferred method for signing up: email@example.com. Phone works as well if you don’t have access to email: 509-833-8331. For this trip, participants will need to send driver’s license or passport information and date-of-birth, and likely will need to provide me that information by March 15th so the YTC can pre-screen us. If you are not a US citizen, please note that in your sign-up info and get me your information sooner as there is extra screening time for non-citizens and passport information will be required. Carpooling will be required to minimize the amount of vehicles entering. If planning on driving, make sure your vehicle has good tires and you will need insurance and proof of registration for your vehicle. Once I have the list of people, I will be in contact with the group by the end of March to finalize the meeting place and time.
Future Field Trips
Mar 14 (CANCELLED) Second Saturday Bird Walk. Meet at 9:00 AM at the Sarg Hubbard parking lot. Birding as a group along the Greenway and Arboretum trails for approximately two hours.
- Apr 3-4 (Fri/Sat) Richard Repp will lead the annual Bluebird Box Cleanout event. Date may change depending on weather. Check with Richard for updates at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Apr 11 Second Saturday Bird Walk. Meet at 9:00 AM at the Sarg Hubbard parking lot. Birding as a group along the Greenway and Arboretum trails for approximately two hours. “No-host”
- Apr 18 (Sat) (CANCELLED) Arborfest at the Arboretum. Not a YVAS fieldtrip, but YVAS involvement. Coordinated by Ellen Stepniewski. email@example.com
- Apr 19 (Sun) Zimmermann Ponds and Toppenish Wildlife Refuge. Bird walk to Zimmerman Ponds in the morning and access to Wildlife refuge restricted areas in the afternoon. Trip Leader: Kerry Turley, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Apr 19 (Sun) Yakima Training Center Greater Sage Grouse lek trip. There will be special signup requirements. Scott Downes, email@example.com, will be coordinating the YTC. THIS TRIP IS FULL
Apr 24 (Fri) (CANCELLED) Tour of HQ unit of Sunnyside Wildlife Area. Participation is limited, please contact leader, Scott Downes, firstname.lastname@example.org, to ensure a spot.
- May 1-4 (Fri-Mon) Birdathon/Yakima County Migration Count. Coordinated by Scott Downes. email@example.com
- May 9 (Sat) World Migratory Bird Day at Toppenish NWR. Coordinated by Kerry Turley. firstname.lastname@example.org
- May 9 Second Saturday Bird Walk. Meet at 9:00 AM at the Sarg Hubbard parking lot. Birding as a group along the Greenway and Arboretum trails for approximately two hours. “No-host”
- May 20 (Wed) Snow Mountain Ranch half-day trip. Karen and Joe Zook. email@example.com
- May 22-25 (Fri-Mon) Memorial Day Weekend Audubon Wenas Campout. Washington State Audubon Event. Many field trips and other activities.
May 30. Native Plant Society/YVAS Joint Field Trip: Led by Ed Lisowski, WNPS. Meet at Chesterly Park at 8:00 AM.
- Jun 13 Second Saturday Bird Walk. Meet at 9:00 AM at the Sarg Hubbard parking lot. Birding as a group along the Greenway and Arboretum trails for approximately two hours. “No-host”
Jun TBD Forest Service Snag Monitoring Program. Survey on Forest Service roads near Nile for birds making use of 48 artificial “snags” created by the FS. An opportunity for YVAS to support a new conservation project by the Forest Service. Date and leader TBD.
- Sept 12 (Sat) White Pass/Leech Lake birding. Trip Leaders: Andy and Ellen Stepniewski. firstname.lastname@example.org
Sept 26 (Sat) Conrad Meadows, Hwy 12 for grouse and fall migration. Trip Leader: Kerry Turley, email@example.com
- Oct 3 (Sat) Bird banding demonstration at the Yakima Arboretum. Participation is limited and weather dependent. Contact Jeff Kozma, firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Oct 10 (Sat) Back-up date for bird banding demo. Jeff Kozma, email@example.com
Nov TBD Youth Environmental Summit – YVAS to have booth at Yakima County Solid Waste sponsored event. Date and details will follow as available. Coordinated by Ellen Stepniewski, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Dec 3 (Thurs) YVAS Annual Meeting and Christmas Potluck
Dec 19 (Sat) Toppenish CBC. Eric Heisey and Andy Stepniewski, email@example.com
- Jan 2, 2021 (Sat) Yakima CBC. Denny Granstrand. firstname.lastname@example.org