9796upcoming Birding Class
- Feb 4, 2014If any Birdyakkers are interested in taking the upcoming Birding Basics
class, you'd be most welcome. Here is the information, including ways to
contact the Arboretum to sign up.
BIRDING BASICS , a class sponsored by the Yakima Valley Audubon Society and
Yakima Area Arboretum
Yakima Audubon Society experts will conduct Birding Basics, a class that
will teach you how to watch and appreciate birds and their world, both at
feeders in your yard or out and about in the rich mosaic of natural habitats
around Yakima. Learn about the "tools of the trade," too, including
binoculars, spotting scopes, field guides, and birding apps. In four
Wednesday evening lectures at the Arboretum from 7 - 8:30 pm, followed by
Saturday fieldtrips to local spots rich in birds, this class will address
four main themes:
The lectures are as follows:
February 26. "Waterbirds" This lecture will focus on the wide variety of
waterfowl, both geese and ducks, that form the bulk of the first wave of
northbound migrating birds. More than 20 species of ducks and geese stream
north as soon as the ice and snow melts locally. The class will focus on
waterfowl and how to differentiate these species plus tidbits on their
biology and habitat requirements. We'll introduce you, too the various other
waterbirds such as loons, grebes, cormorants and pelicans. Luke Safford will
present this lecture. Luke is an active birder and waterfowl hunter. His
perspective will be most interesting on this much-loved group of birds. The
field trip to Toppenish NWR will be on March 1, where the early waterfowl
migration should be in full swing.
March 12. "Raptors." Birds of prey always command attention due to their
size, dramatic predatory habits, and mastery of the skies. We'll cover the
basic groups of daytime or diurnal raptors such as eagles, soaring hawks,
falcons, and "bird hawks." The Yakima region is also rich in owls, those
mysterious nighttime predators. Denny Granstrand, longtime Yakima Audubon
member, has studied and photographed raptors for over 35 years and will
share amazing images of these incredible birds. The fieldtrip will be to the
Toppenish NWR and nearby fields, an area rich in raptors. It will be on
April 16. "The Shrub-steppe." The hills surrounding Yakima appear brown and
lifeless for much of the year. In this lecture, you'll see this landscape of
gray shrubs and intermixed bunchgrasses, the "shrub-steppe," comes alive
each spring with colorful wildflowers and a variety of colorful, and
not-so-colorful birds. Andy Stepniewski has studied the shrub-steppe for
more than 35 years and guarantees you will come away from this class with a
new appreciation for the "barren" hills around Yakima. The fieldtrip will
take you to a local areas of shrub-steppe habitat will be on April 19.
May 28. "Woodpeckers and Mountain Birds." The forests around Yakima contain
more species of woodpeckers than almost any other region in North America.
This is due to the mosaic of forest types-from "Wetside-to-Dryside" in close
proximity. This class will focus on this interesting and colorful group by
Jeff Kozma, a professional biologist and an authority on this group of
birds. A wide variety of other birds inhabit our Cascade east slopes, some
residents year-round, others pouring north from their winter quarters in the
tropics. We'll introduce you to the wonders of Neotropical migrants, too.
The fieldtrip on May 31 will be by "leader's choice" into a forested area in
the nearby Cascades.
Attendance will be limited. To register online use the Arboretum website
www.ahtrees.org, or by phone contact the Yakima Area Arboretum (248-7337).
The cost for four lectures and four fieldtrips is $65 for Arboretum or
Yakima Audubon members, and $85 for non-members (this includes local Audubon
membership for one year). Fieldtrips will be car-pooling affairs, with
riders sharing the cost of gas.