BIRD WATCH: Audubon offers a wealth of information

From newsletters to gorgeous rendered websites, its chapters offer it all.

THERE ARE 25 Audubon chapters in the state of Washington.

Wherever you live, one of these groups is nearby.

They are a cornucopia of information and social activities, both indoors and out, for anyone interested in birds.

Whether or not you just want to know more about birds or become involved with bird-related activities, they are the place to start.

I was reminded of this when Black Hills Audubon’s newsletter, The Echo, arrived in the mail.

This chapter is based in the Olympia region, but field trips and programs can range much farther afield.

Every Audubon chapter publishes a newsletter for its membership.

These publications cover upcoming field trips, membership programs, environmental issues and, of course, birds.

In addition to a newsletter, most chapters maintain a website. These are interesting, informative and entertaining.

Gorgeous photographs

One of the best parts of visiting these sites is the array of excellent bird photographs.

There are many talented photographers in the different chapters, and they are producing a wealth of good bird photographs.

Black Hills’ site has a feature known as Photostream that lets you click on over 75 photos produced by members like Janie Maki. They make you want to grab the binoculars and rush outdoors.

Admiralty Audubon is located on the Olympic Peninsula and serves Port Townsend and the communities of East Jefferson County. Their newsletter is printed under the name “Pipings.”

Along with Peninsula Audubon, they represent this popular region when it comes to almost anything bird-related.

They also maintain great websites.

Andrew Reding pics

Admiralty uses many of Andrew Reding’s bird photos.

On a dreary, rainy day, they can brighten things up with lots of “bird color.”

The value of local Audubon chapters shouldn’t be overlooked when visiting another state or an unfamiliar area in Washington.

Most chapters work to show off their birds.

This is evident in the “Birding Trail Maps.”

These are a collection that the different chapters put together and they cover various regions within the state.

They focus on where to find the best places to see each region’s birds.

Some chapters also print local brochures that cover just their local birding hotspots.

Admiralty Audubon members produced the pamphlet “Where to Find Birds” (Port Townsend, the Quimper Peninsula, Oak Bay, Indian/Marrowstone Islands and Discovery Bay).

It can be downloaded and printed from their website.

Every year and for almost every season, bird festivals are planned events located in various regions of the state.

Knowing where and when these take place allows for proper planning for visiting the different locations.

Audubon chapter newsletters and websites include these festivals.

Ridgefield festival looms

The fall newsletter for Black Hills carried a reminder about the October festival in Ridgefield.

On Oct. 1-2, the annual Ridgefield Birdfest and Bluegrass Celebration will take place.

The Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge is the focal point.

The refuge is located in the Pacific Flyway, one of four bird migration routes in the United States.

Every fall, large flocks of sandhill cranes migrate through the Pacific Northwest on their way to the Central Valley of California, where they will winter.

As many as 3,000 sandhills stop and rest on the refuge during their journey.

Washington’s Audubon chapters offer a wealth of information when it comes to birds and bird-watching.

Thanks to technology, we can access it on the internet as well as in their newsletters.

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Joan Carson’s column appears every Sunday. Contact her at P.O. Box 532, Poulsbo, WA 98370, with a self-addressed, stamped envelope for a reply. Email: [email protected].

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