Events, Programs, & Field Trips
Chapter Meeting: Yakima Valley Audubon’s Vredenburgh Bluebird Trail Marks its 40th Year!
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.
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 email@example.com what you think and what we can do to improve this experience for you.
Additional programs and videos can be found on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/watch/yakimaaudubon/
- March 24, 2022 - Bird’s Eye View - Gina Roberti
- February 24, 2022 - Westport Seabirds - Bill Tweit
- December 2, 2021 - Australia - Dennis Paulson and Netta Smith
- October 28, 2021 - Special Birds of Mount Rainier - Jeff Antonelis-Lapp
- September 23, 2021 - Birding Guatemala’s Highlands - Jason Fidorra
- August 26, 2021 - My Woodpecker Big Year - Denny Granstrand
- May 27, 2021 - Shrubsteppe Conservation - YVAS
- April 22, 2021 - Condors in the Greater Northwest - Jack Nesbit
- March 25, 2021 - Our Backyard Bumbles: An Introduction to Washington’s Bumblebees - David Jennings
- January 28, 2021 - Cottonwood - Rivers and Reproduction - Katrina Strahmann
- December 3, 2020 - Charles Bergman - Every Pengiuin in the World - A Quest to See Them All
- October 29, 2020 - Crows: Clever, Curious, and Charismatic with Loma Pendergraft
- September 24, 2020 - Biology and Conservation of Washington Butterfliest with Dr. David James
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.
- What to bring: Dress for weather, bring lunch, fluids, sunscreen, hat.
- Leaders: Andy and Ellen Stepniewski
- To sign up and for further details, email Andy Stepniewski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to sign up.
We hope you will join us!
First Saturday Bird Walk with Kittitas Audubon Society (KAS)
- When: First Saturday of every month, 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
- Where: Parking lot of Irene Rinehart Riverfront Park, Umptanum Road and I-90, Ellensburg; check in with Steve Moore.
- Bring: Binoculars, good walking shoes, sun screen, insect repellent and your mask, and please remain conscious about social distancing.
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.
- May 13-16 (Fri-Mon) Birdathon/Yakima County Migration Count. Coordinated by Scott Downes. email@example.com
- May 21 (Sat) Wenas Lake & Valley Spring Migration, Leader: Andy Stepniewski, firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact Andy for more information and to sign up.
- May 26 (Thu) YVAS Program and Meeting, TBD, 7:00 PM
- May 27-29 (Fri-Sun) Tentative Wenas Audubon Campout. Contact Richard Repp, email@example.com, for information.
- Jun 4 (Sat) Conboy Lake Wildlife Refuge. All day event. Birding the numerous trails and habitats of the Conboy Refuge, Glenwood, WA. Expect to see Sandhill Cranes, many species of songbirds, and woodpeckers. Contact Sarah Shippen at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
- Jun 11 (Sat) Second Saturday Bird Walk. Tieton River Nature Trail. Meet at Oak Creek Wildlife Recreation parking lot. Bird for approximately two hours. Discover Pass required. Co-leaders: Kathy Howell and Sarah Shippen, contact email@example.com.
- Jun 18 (Sat) Mt. St. Helen NP, Birding with naturalist, Gina Roberti. Contact Sarah Shippen, firstname.lastname@example.org for information and to sign up.
- No field trips planned at this time
- Aug 25 (Thu) YVAS Program and Meeting, 7:00 PM.
- Aug 26-28 (Fri-Sun) Westport Pelagic Field Trip: Friday PM birding; Sat: all day Pelagic Boat trip; Sunday AM: Birding Gray’s Harbor NWR. Contact Sarah Shippen, email@example.com for information about signing up.
- Sep 10 (Sat) Second Saturday Bird Walk. Selah Cliffs Natural Area Preserve. Discover Pass required. Leaders Sarah Shippen and Gene Miliczky, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sep 22 (Thu) YVAS Program and Meeting
- Sep 24 (Sat) Conrad Meadows. Spruce Grouse have been observed. Contact Kerry Turley, email@example.com to sign up
- Oct 8 (Sat) Second Saturday Bird Walk Yakima Canyon and Mile Post 8 Pond Walk. Discover Pass required. Meet at parking lot. Leaders Sarah Shippen and Gene Miliczky, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Oct 8 (Sat) Bird Banding Class with Jeff Kozma (alt. dates: 10/9 or 10/15, 10/16). Limit 8 people. Contact Jeff at email@example.com to sign up.
- Oct TBD Youth Environmental Summit. Leader: Ellen Stepniewski, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Oct 27 (Thu) YVAS Meeting and Program, 7:00 PM.
- Oct 30 (Sun) Vantage for Fall Migration. Leader: Scott Downes. Contact Scott at email@example.com
- Nov 12 (Sat) Second Saturday Bird Walk. Meet at 9:00 AM at the Helen Jewett and Poppoff Trail. Leaders Sarah Shippen and Gene Miliczky, firstname.lastname@example.org