WOSNews Issue 201

Spring 2023

Canceled: 2023 WOS Conference

By WOS President Dave Kreft

Picture of the Astoria Bridge over the Columbia RiverThe 2023 WOS conference planning team worked hard to make the planned venue of Astoria, or alternatively, Long Beach work, but logistical hurdles made it impossible. These include the high cost of lodgings and meals in Astoria and the unavailability of facilities in Long Beach for the selected dates in September. The planning team are now looking at a full conference for the spring of 2024. Also, the group will try to plan several “mini conferences” around the state in the meantime. Stay tuned for developments!  Read more >>>


Wintering Songbirds Stretch Their Ranges North  

By Steve Hampton

picture of Yellow-rumped Warbler perched on branchScientific papers have predicted in recent years that winter bird ranges will shift northward with a warming climate, and many studies have documented that this is already happening. Steve says it was hard to miss the trend when he was Christmas Bird Count (CBC) compiler in the Sacramento Valley several years ago. Without freezes, fruit and insects were available to insectivor birds such as Cassin’s Vireo, Townsend’s Warblers and Western Tanagers. Using CBC data, Steve now documents the trend for Passerines that have been rare or uncommon in winter in the Pacific Northwest and that are at the northern edge of their wintering range. He looked at Hermit Thrush, Cedar Waxwing, Lincoln’s Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Orange-crowned Warbler and Yellow-rumped Warbler and found that all have increased in winter abundance since 1975.  Read more >>>


From the Board: Volunteers Needed!  

By Ed Pullen

Ed reports that volunteers are needed for several roles. The Monthly Program Coordinator role has been filled by Vicki King, who will be stepping down in June, when the summer hiatus begins. The next monthly meeting will be in October. Vicki will help the new coordinator with the transition. A new WOS newsletter editor is also needed. Editor Chris Rurik is having to step away from this position. The newsletter recently shifted from bi-monthly to a quarterly publication schedule. WOS uses the Adobe InDesign software to produce the digital newsletter. Chris will help the new editor with the transition. Finally, WOS is looking for a Social Media Coordinator. WOS has Facebook and Twitter accounts, which have been underused.  Read more >>>

Roaming Alone

By Tom Bancroft

Picture of a Wandering Tattler standing on a steep, large rock with roiling water in the backgroundThe Wandering Tattler is a gray shorebird with yellow legs and feet that roams widely — and alone. Tom is drawn to the bird, perhaps because he’s been mostly alone since his wife’s death, he says. Tom describes his trip to Damon Point in Grays Harbor County with friend Bruce during which they observed a tattler. He meditates on his love of solitude and travel, while still appreciating friendship and yearning for a partner. Tattlers are on the decline and may be at a tipping point. Read more >>>


Washington Field Notes

By Ryan Merrill

Picture of a Little Stint walking on a shore

Among the highlights of the Field Notes for the December 2020 through February 2021 reporting period were White-tailed Kites found in both Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties in late December 2020. They are the first records since being added to the Washington review list in 2020. Sightings were expected in much of southwest Washington through 2009, but since then, it has been a struggle to find the species annually in the state. Also notable was a rare Eastside Brant found in Spokane in late January 2021. Six different MacGillivray’s Warblers found this season was astounding considering there were only four previous winter records from the state, Ryan writes. The highlight of the March – May 2021 Field Notes was the Common Crane enjoyed by many in Skagit County in April 2021. The state’s third Little Stint, and first spring record, was seen in Snohomish in late May 2021.   Read more>>>


State’s first Eastern Bluebird Breaks Long Drought

By Matt Bartels

Picture of first Eastern Bluebird seen in Washington State perched on branch

Jane Abel spotted an Eastern Bluebird in Richland this winter, the first time the bird has ever been seen in Washington. The last time a new species was added to the state checklist was the Common Crane seen nearly two years ago. That’s a mighty long gap, given that the state has been averaging two or three new state birds per year for quite a while, Matt says. Also worth noting is that since the last time Matt invited people (in 2021) to predict the next five birds to be added to the state list, three of the predicted birds have been seen, including this Eastern Bluebird. The other two are Winter Wren and Common Crane.   Read more>>>

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