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.
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.
It was another COVID year, but WOS President Jennifer Kauffman reviews a number of positive developments for WOS in 2021, led by a new benefit giving WOS members free access to Cornell Lab’s Birds of the World. Details are starting to emerge about the 2022 Annual Conference, which will be held in Spokane Valley, Washington. That’s east of Spokane and west of Coeur d’Alene. Tom Bancroft describes a fantastic raptor show he and a friend witnessed in Klamath, Ore. Where are the best places to see swans in winter in Western Washington? What causes about 2 percent of them to die here? What was the best book of 2021, according to Birdbooker Ian Paulsen? Get all the answers in the Current Newsletter.
The next WOS Annual Conference is scheduled for June 9 – 12, 2022 in Spokane Valley, Washington. Many WOS members have not had a chance to explore this area east of Spokane and west of Coeur d’Alene. It offers a diverse array of habitats and access to some little known areas. Kim Thorburn and new WOS Board Member Dave Kreft will no doubt be identifying some exciting field trips.The WOS board is hard at work arranging for meals, speakers, schedule and other details of the conference. But the conference and hotel venues are set. Check out the currently available information here and mark your calendars!
Each year WOS publishes information about most of the Audubon CBCs scheduled to go on around the state, so that birders can consider joining counts whenever and wherever they prefer. The 2021 CBC information has just been posted on this website. The big days look to be December 18th and, for procrastinators, January 2nd, but there are counts on many other dates as well. Jim Danzenbaker, a former WOS president, has gathered this information for the last five years. Thanks, Jim! Check out the counts here.
The Washington Bird Records Committee (WBRC) held its fall meeting via Zoom on October 23rd, during which it added Common Crane to the official state checklist. The checklist now stands at 522 species. Among the accepted reports at the meeting were Costa’s Hummingbird, Purple Gallinule, Little Stint, White-rumped Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull and Snowy Egret. A sighting of a Philadelphia Vireo in September in Washtucna was supported by photo documentation, the first time for this species. Ten reports were not accepted by the committee. Read the WBRC Fall 2021 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!