Yakima Valley Audubon Society provides programs for the benefit of members and the public at the Yakima Area Arboretum. Program topics, dates and times are announced in the newsletter, Calliope Crier, and on our website.

Upcoming Programs

Yakima Valley Audubon Society Presents

Malachite Sunbird, photo: Eric Heisey

An eastern Washington native, Eric Heisey is a contract biologist and photographer who specializes in working with birds, increasingly in the world’s tropics. In fall 2023, Eric spent three months working in Peru, collaborating with a local NGO to survey the birds of a dynamic, human-impacted landscape in the Amazon rainforest. After his work in Peru, Eric ventured to Kenya to visit a bird-watching friend and explore the fantastic country. Over the course of this incredible four month adventure, Eric observed almost 1,200 species of birds, watched lions herd zebras into a flooded river, saw the coolest frog on the planet, took part in two excellent Big Day efforts, and deepened his knowledge and perspective of tropical conservation considerably. In this talk, Eric will present his photography, stories, and lessons learned from living in some of the world’s most fascinating environments. If you are interested in the tropics, conservation, wildlife, or just like pretty pictures, please join us!

Thursday, April 25 at 7:00 PM 

Yakima Area Arboretum, 1401 Arboretum Drive, Yakima

This program will be available via Zoom at 6:55 PM. To join the Zoom meeting click here.

Meeting ID: 857 5124 1932
Passcode: 385168

About Eric Heisey: After growing up in the Yakima Valley and enthralled with our native avifauna, Eric attended Western Washington University for two years before transferring to the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada to finish his degree. While at Guelph, Eric got his feet wet in the realm of research, conducting an honors thesis on how environmental and demographic factors affect the timing of breeding of Savannah Sparrows (published in Ecology). Since graduating, Eric has been pursuing odd jobs in various locales. In Madagascar, Eric spent four months working as a research assistant studying frog responses to microclimatic stressors associated with rising temperatures, those being the result of climate change and rampant deforestation. Over the past two years he has worked with Greater Sage-Grouse in southeastern Oregon, as a backpacking guide in Yosemite National Park, as a teaching assistant for a university field course in the Amazon rainforest of eastern Peru, and is currently the Washington regional editor for the journal, North American Birds. Eric has diversified his interests over the past few years, branching out from birds into a wider variety of flora and fauna, though he remains an avid birder wherever he may be.

White-crested Turaco in Kenya, photo: Eric Heisey

Eric Heisey with Wood Ducks, photo: Eric Heisey

Fringed Leaf Frog, photo: Eric Heisey

Previous Program


March 2024 – Deb Essman, WHOSE TRACK IS THAT?

For a link to view the recording of this program on our Facebook page, click here.

Discover the secrets of wildlife tracking and decipher the hidden language of animal tracks, signs and behaviors.

  • Time of Day insights: Understand how animals’ movements vary throughout the day.
  • Ground Examination: Learn to read the landscape and tracks on different terrains.
  • Habitat Awareness: Understand how animals interact with their environment.
  • Seasonal Observations: Discover how tracking changes with the seasons.
  • Geographical Context: Delve into the unique characteristics of our local area.

Deb Essman with beaver tree, photo: Deb Essman

Bull Elk, photo: Dev Essman

More Recorded Programs

The following programs and videos can be found here:  YVAS Facebook page. At the top of the Facebook page, click on “More.” A drop down menu will appear. Click on Videos.




October 26, 2023 –Bluebird Country – Karen Zook
August 24, 2023 – Travels in Africa – Deborah Essman
May 25 , 2023 – Nutcrackers and Whitebark Pine – Taza Schaming
March 23, 2023 – Wild America 2022 – Andy Stepniewski
February 23, 2023 – Woodpeckers 2 – Denny Granstrand
January 26, 2023 – Madagascar – Eric Heisey


December 8, 2022 – Forests and People – Ken Bevis
October 27, 2022 – Tahoma’s Biggest Stories – Jeff Antonelis-Lapp
September 22, 2022 – White-headed Woodpeckers – 20 years of Research in WA – Jeff Kozma
August 25 ,2022 – The Secret Life of the Deserts of the Pacific NW – Mike Denny
May 26, 2022 – Yakima Valley Audubon’s Vredenburgh Bluebird Trail Marks its 40th Year! – Andy Stepniewski
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

Zoom Program Viewing Tips

You can now watch our monthly program whenever it is convenient for you! Programs are available in real time (so you can ask questions) or as recordings from a link on our website.

To view the live presentation on your laptop, tablet, or smart phone, simply click on this link about five minutes for before the program is scheduled to begin (6:55 PM).  The host will let you into the meeting shortly.  If this is your first Zoom meeting, you may be asked to download the Zoom viewing app, (this does not require you to have your own Zoom account). Be sure to answer ‘yes’ to the questions about joining with video and audio so you can see and hear the presentation. For your personal privacy, your own device’s camera is automatically in the off mode when you join the meeting—please mute your microphone.

Please hold questions until the end of the presentation.  You may unmute and turn on your video or use the chat function and the host will read the question for you. For Zoom issues during the meeting, please use the Chat button to alert the host.

Links to the recorded programs will be provided on the website a few days following the program.

Yakima Audubon is committed to bringing you information about our natural world. Please let us know at what you think and what we can do to improve this experience for you.