WOSNews Issue 192

August 2021 – September 2021

Tracking the expansion of California Scrub-Jays

By Steve Hampton

The rate of expansion of the California Scrub-Jay in Washington State appears to be increasing. Roughly, the jay spread from the Portland area to Olympia between 1975 and 2000, covering about 100 miles in 25 years, and from Olympia to Vancouver, BC, from 2000 to 2010, covering about 150 miles in 10 years. The California Scrub-Jay may be running out of habitat, but given a warming climate and the species’ ability to adapt from its preferred acorns to feeders and other food sources, it’s likely it will become established and common throughout the Puget Trough and beyond. In southern Idaho, contact with Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay is inevitable. Read more >>>

From the Board: The WOS Board has been busy  

By Kim Thorburn

Planning for the upcoming historic joint annual conference September 16 -19, 2021 with the Oregon Birding Association has been front and center for the board. At least 85 WOS members have signed up to attend, along with many Oregon Birding Association members. The board also has identified new candidates for vacant board and officer positions.  And the board continues its efforts to include a broader cross-section of the population in WOS — across geography, gender, ethnicity, age and other categories. Currently, the board is working on improving inclusivity for the website and the Patrick Sullivan Young Birder award.  Read more >>>

WOS Board and Officer Election Is Coming Up

Read about WOS’s outstanding slate of candidates for four officer and three board positions. A new treasurer, Bob Schmidt, is running, as well as new board candidate Dave Kreft from Northeast Washington. Be sure to vote September 6 through September 27 on the WOS website. A link to the ballot will be available at https://wos.org beginning September 6. The new and returning officers and board members begin their terms October 1. Read more >>>


A Douglas County Big Year in 2021

By Tim Brennan

The county year list for Douglas is a staggering 259 species, but Tim Brennan says he will likely be satisfied with 200 to 210. He reviews some promising Douglas County sites, including Badger Mountain with over 20 species that he has seen only on Badger this year. Another good place for him has been Redfield Road, which has turned up a boatload of finches and owls. Read more >>>


Encounter with a ghost of the great north

By Tom Bancroft

The “sher-rick” call that repeated every few seconds came from a patch of Douglas firs and lodgepole pines across a small creek in the Okanogan National Forest. Tom and two companions searched for 30 minutes for the source of the sound, but the light was mostly gone, and they could detect no movement. This was prime habitat for the gray ghost of the northern boreal forest: the Great Gray Owl. Read Tom’s account of finally getting a look at this special bird — a family, in fact! Read more >>>

A Mason County Big Day in May

By Ed Pullen

map showing Mason Co in stateEd, Ken Brown and Patrick Sullivan Young Birder Awardee Jacob Miller traveled 99 miles by car, about 8.5 miles on foot, and spent about 16 hours birding Mason County on May 4, 2021. Their list for the day was 118 species, 116 ID’ed by all three. You can experience their day from the comfort of your armchair.  Read more >>>


Washington Field Notes – March to May 2019

By Ryan Merrill

A Band-tailed Pigeon in Walla Walla in mid-May was unusually far east for the species. A Pacific Golden-Plover in Douglas in late April adds to only about half a dozen records on the eastside. Unusual at any time but especially in spring, a flock of 93 Sabine’s Gulls was in Whatcom in late May. A tally of 64 Franklin’s Gulls in Walla Walla in late May was the highest total ever recorded in the state. The Clark Snowy Egret lingered into late March. At least 14 westside Swainson’s Hawks was an excellent total.  Read more >>>


Other stories to check out in this issue

Kelly McAllister and Gary Wiles are soliciting information on the locations of Bank Swallow colonies…It’s time to sign up for a pelagic trip off the Washington and Oregon Coasts during the WOS annual conference in September…A birdfest in Edmonds and another celebrating the Willapa Bay National Wildlife Refuge are coming up in September … Michelle Ma reports on a study of the effects of wildfire smoke on sightings of birds.  Read more >>>

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