Take Flight

Wing it for the weekend

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Now that the recent snowfall has (mostly) melted, there’s no excuse not to take flight and get better acquainted with the wildlife among and above us. We’ve already written about the Skagit Eagle Festival—which comes to an end Jan. 25-26 in eastern Skagit County—so you may already be aware winter is the perfect time to find out even more about our resident and visiting feathered friends.

A good place to begin is the third annual La Conner Birding Showcase happening Sat., Jan. 25 at the town’s Maple Hall. In addition to discovering details about snow geese and trumpeter swans—two species that migrate southward by the tens of thousands every year from nesting grounds in Siberia and Alaska—attendees can also discern where to spot local raptors at places like the Samish Wildlife Area and Fir Island Farm Reserve. And prior to Sue Cottrell giving a “Raptors of the Northwest” keynote speech, interested parties can visit with educational and artistic vendors such as the NW Swan Conservation Association, North Cascades Institute, Birdland Art, Nancy Crowell Photography, Fine Feathered Friends, and many more. When: 10am-5pm Sat., Jan. 25 Where: Maple Hall, 104 Commercial St. Cost: $5 Info: http://www.lovelaconner.com

That same afternoon, a Bird Smarts: Surviving Winter in Whatcom County presentation taking place at the Ferndale Library will draw attention to many of the species you can expect to see in the area during these colder months. Participants can also find out why many birds who migrate to the Pacific Northwest decide to stick around, and the creative ways they survive cold and wet weather (and the occasional snowstorm). Tips about where to spot them and how you can make their stay easier in your own backyard will also be on the avian agenda. When: 2pm-4pm Sat., Jan. 25 Where: Ferndale Library, 2125 Main St. Cost: Free Info: http://www.wcls.org

On Sunday, Paul Woodcock will be on hand at 1:30pm during North Cascades Audubon Society’s monthly Audubon at the Museum event at Whatcom Museum’s John M. Edson Hall of Birds at the Old City Hall. “Birds on the Shelf: Taxidermy and Our Complex Relationship with Birds” will be the focus of the special presentation that is part of this year’s Whatcom READS lineup. A couple of days later, Dr. Trina Bayard of Audubon Washington presents “Survival by Degrees: 389 Species on the Brink,” focusing on a new climate report showing that two-thirds of North American bird species are at risk of extinction from climate change. It’s not all bad news, though. The report also shows that if we take action ASAP, we can help improve the chances for 76 percent of the species at risk. When: 1:30pm Sun., Jan. 26 and 7pm Tues., Jan. 28. Where: Whatcom Museum, 121 Prospect St. Cost: Varies Info: http://www.whatcommuseum.org

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