The Washington Ornithological Society was chartered in 1988 to increase knowledge of the birds of Washington State and to enhance communication among all persons interested in those birds.
The WOS Board is looking for candidates for board and officer positions for the upcoming year. Board member Kim Thorburn says the camaraderie with really neat people who share a passion for birds has been one of the most meaningful parts of her participation in WOS. Meet the incoming WOSNews Editor Chris Rurik, a writer, naturalist, husband and father who lives adjacent to his great-grandfather’s farm in Key Center, Pierce County. Chris starts his new position with the August-September issue. This June-July issue is the swan song of Ron Post, who is retiring after six years. Be sure to check out some important information from the board about the upcoming Annual Conference in Spokane Valley. The WOS Board is recommending the Washington Birds Journal be discontinued. Read about the substantial review that went in to this recommendation and a potential opportunity it presents. Tom Bancroft takes a deep dive into the Swainson’s Thrush and its two subspecies, the Olive-backed and the Russet-backed. Jane Hadley writes about an enchanting wetland in Skagit County she explored during the early days of the pandemic. The state wildlife department is reviewing the endangered status of the Western Snowy Plover. For all this news see the Current Newsletter.
Nearly 120 attendees will descend on Spokane Valley, Washington June 9 – June 12 for field trips, socializing, and programs. Attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination to attend and follow other COVID-safe guidelines provided by the board. Online registration ended June 1. The theme of the conference: Shrub-steppe to meadows to peaks. It reflects the diverse array of habitats in this lesser explored area east of Spokane. The popular Stump the Experts quiz returns Friday night. Keynote speaker Saturday night is Mike Munts, Refuge Biologist for the Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge. His topic is the Great Gray Owl: Introduction to the Ghost of the Forest. A 2022 Conference T-shirt and poster with original art work by Lisa Hill will be available for purchase. You’ll also be able to pick up bookmarks WOS is handing out to promote WOS membership. Go here for all conference information
Undergraduate students with ties to Washington State are encouraged to apply for grants from the Patrick Sullivan Young Birder’s Fund (PSYBF) to support research related to wild birds or related topics in Washington state. Applicants should propose research to take place during the 2022 calendar year that is done under the coordination or supervision of their undergraduate faculty. Grants will range from $1,000 to $1,500. The new approach is part of the board’s effort to strengthen the Young Birder’s Fund and also WOS’s diversity and inclusion efforts. For more information, go to the PSYBF page.
The Washington Bird Records Committee (WBRC) The Washington Bird Records Committee met /April 28, 2022 via Zoom for its spring meeting.
- 26 reports were accepted as valid new records.
- 1 additional record was accepted as continuing sighting of a record previously accepted at an earlier meeting.
- 13 reports were not accepted.
- 2 reports were tabled for further analysis.
No species were added to the official Washington state list. The list remains at 522 species, including 510 species fully accredited (supported by specimen, photograph, or recording) and 12 species which are sight-only records (supported only by written documentation). Read the WBRC Spring 2022 Meeting Results here.
Thanks to a partnership with Cornell Lab of Ornithology, we now have a terrific new benefit for WOS members: FREE online access to “Birds of the World,” the world’s largest online encyclopedia of birds. Inside its 10,700+ scholarly, in-depth species accounts you’ll find expertly curated media galleries with photos, videos, and sound recordings, dynamic range maps, breeding calendars, and other life history details. Soak up detailed accounts of every species and every family and use the Taxonomy Explorer to explore the birds in your own county. Learn more about this benefit and how to get access to it on our Birds of the World page.
Volume 13, edited by Ed Swan, features articles by more than two dozen contributors. Included are four general interest articles covering diversity and inclusion in birding, habitat change, and birding highlights from all 39 Washington counties. Also in this issue are seven articles with updates, analysis, and expanded knowledge on regularly occurring species covering topics such as the end of the Northwestern Crow as a distinct species and the “Western Flycatcher” problem in Washington. And 11 articles provide species accounts for 14 species new to the Washington State list since 2005, when the latest Birds of Washington State by Wahl et al. came out. Finally, you’ll find the 11th report of the Washington Bird Records Committee (previously published in Western Birds). Read Volume 13 now.
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 13 of WOS’s Washington Birds journals published between 1989 and 2021 can now be read on this website or downloaded. Volume 13 was published in April 2021. WOS had already placed the four most recent journals before that online. And 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.
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!