The Washington Ornithological Society was chartered in 1988 to increase knowledge of the birds of Washington and to enhance communication among all persons interested in those birds.
Topics this issue: the 2021 annual conference, resumption of field trips, the Patrick Sullivan Young Birder’s Fund, the world of a long-time sound recordist, some tips on improving your gull identification skills, rare winter sightings, the opportunity to see and hear monthly meeting presentations you may have missed, the status of the Ferruginous Hawk. Check out the Current Newsletter.
WOS field trips are resuming. The first to be scheduled is a Yakima County birding trip led by Scott Downes. The trip has already been filled with those who signed up for last year’s canceled trip. WOS’s Trip Coordinator Jen Kunitsugu is in touch with other trip leaders, so keep your eyes on this website for other upcoming field trips. Although the situation around COVID is evolving, please follow the current CDC recommendations, including wearing face masks, keeping 6 feet of social distance, etc. to limit potential exposure. Be prepared to drive on your own or with members of your own household. At your own risk and discretion, you may drive with others if all are vaccinated, face masks are worn, and it’s mutually agreed by the riders.
WOS Board Member Jason Fidorra has created a Facebook Groups page to allow for more interaction and participation among WOS members in hopes of engaging a broader public with birds and birding topics in Washington. Thanks to Elaine Chuang, WOS also is now posting many of its monthly meeting presentations on WOS’s YouTube channel, so that people can view them at any time. For more information about WOS’s online offerings beyond this website, go to the WOS Online page.
All messages to the Tweeters listserv during 2020 have been added to WOS’s Tweeters Archive. The archive now contains all messages from 1994 through 2020. The birding listserv is hosted at the University of Washington, which currently keeps only two years worth of messages. WOS agreed several years ago to create and host an archive with all older Tweeters messages. You can search or browse for messages at WOS’s Tweeters Archive.
“Recent reports of sick or dead birds at backyard feeders in King, Kitsap, Skagit, Snohomish, and Thurston counties is prompting the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to recommend that people temporarily discontinue feeding wild birds or take extra steps to maintain their feeders,” says a press release from the department. You can read the full statement here.
The Washington Bird Records Committee met November 14 and has released its decisions regarding sightings of rare birds as well as the updated state checklist and state review list. Three new birds have been added to the official state checklist: Northern Giant-Petrel, Nazca Booby and Scarlet Tanager. As for the review list, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and two subspecies have been removed; White-tailed Kite has been added. You can find the summary of all decisions here.
All 12 of WOS’s Washington Birds journals published between 1989 and 2018 can now be read on this website or downloaded. WOS had already placed the four most recent journals online. But WOS President Jennifer Kauffman recently had the eight earlier journals scanned to .pdfs so the complete set of journals could be made available here. Find them at the bottom of the Washington Birds page.
Jacob and Faye
Jacob Miller, a 15-year-old Mason County birder, will receive the Patrick Sullivan Young Birder award for 2020. Miller is a frequent participant on the twice-monthly Theler Wetlands walk co-led by WOS Board Member Faye McAdams Hands and John Riegsecker. When Hands announced the honor on the Thursday September 10 walk, “all participants cheered,” she reports. “We are always very happy to have Jacob’s young ears, eyes, and brain along!” Diane Yorgason-Quinn says, “We would have been several species and many individual birds short without him! He’s amazing. Plus he mastered eBirding a long time ago!”
Go to WOS’s Monthly Meetings page for information on our fabulous monthly meeting programs. WOS members who live outside the Seattle area (or are on the road) can still attend using a computer, tablet or phone. It’s easy!