Dinner Party for Black Hills

Three members of the chapter and fine cooks, Deb Nickerson, Robin Shoal and Meagan Thorn are hosting a fall dinner as a fundraiser for the chapter. For $50 a person, diners will enjoy a five course meal and drinks. Vegetarian and meat options provided. It will take place on September 23rd at 6pm. Only 7 seats are available. Meet and converse with others for whom bird conservation is important. All proceeds go to chapter conservation and education efforts. To reserve your seat at the table, contact Deb Nickerson at debranick@nullgmail.com.

Burt’s Birds (Sept 2017) – Barn Owl

Owls sometimes seem like birds of paradox, as some of the most common denizens of our woods yet some of the least seen. The paradox arises because they are primarily birds of the night, when we humans are generally not out and about observing. Of course, many species can be seen by day, but the Barn Owl is one of the most nocturnal. Its stealthy night-time habits, combined with its unusual “monkey” face, has made it a common harbinger of the mysterious, the occult, the sinister, ghostlike, and vaguely evil.

Barn Owls constitute a single cosmopolitan species, widely distributed and native to most of North America, irregularly to the northern states and Canada. It is a lowland species that thrives in farmland, grassland, deserts, and some marshes. Pete Dunne notes that you are most likely to see one as it flushes from a structure you’ve just intruded into, or perhaps caught at the edge of your headlight beam as it flies in open country. Barn Owls do, indeed, commonly nest in structures such as barns, raising the interesting question of where they nested before humans built such structures. A. C. Bent, admitting he has had little personal knowledge of the species, quotes Bendire, from 1892: “Their nesting sites . . . include all sorts of places, such as natural hollows in trees, holes and cavities in clay banks and cliffs, burrows underground enlarged to suit their needs, in the sides of old wells, abandoned mining shafts, dovecots, barns, church steeples, etc.” and even rarely on the exposed roof of a building. Local observers taking part in the Pigeon Guillemot study have reported Barn Owls nesting in the same cliff areas as the Guillemots.

A female commonly lays five to seven eggs at a time, at intervals of a few days, so the emerging nestlings vary considerably in age. Both parents incubate the eggs and are sometimes found incubating side by side, with the eggs spread beneath them. The young tend to be a noisy, very active, and pugnacious lot, fighting with one another and making strange noises. They remain in the nest for about 7-8 weeks after hatching, but may stay in the nearby trees where the parents continue to feed them. Their parents bring in abundant food of various small mammals, most commonly mice of different species, and so have traditionally been considered beneficial to agriculture. (by Burt Guttman, Barn Owl Photo – courtesy Carlos Delgado)

How is climate change affecting Western Washington?

Join us and learn!

Pat Pringle, Professor Emeritus of Earth Science at Centralia College, will share his insights on climate change and its potential impacts in Western Washington. He will draw from more than three decades of geologic research that includes using radiocarbon dating and tree rings to study recent geologic and environmental history. Pringle has numerous publications including popular guidebooks to the geology of Mounts St. Helens and Rainier.


  • Pat Pringle: Climate change impacts in Western Washington
  • Citizens’ Climate Lobby: Our bipartisan approach and our small-government, market-based climate solution
  • Question and answer session
  • Small group discussions facilitated by CCL volunteers


Wednesday October 11, 7:30 -9:00 PM
Centralia College, 600 Centralia College Blvd., Centralia, WA 98531
Washington Hall (off Pear Street, Room #115)











Beachwalkers Wanted!

Join the COASST Marine Debris program and help make a difference for the environment! COASST Marine Debris participants survey local beaches and collect data on the characteristics and location of debris—data that will ultimately be used to map the source and transport pathways of debris, as well as the potential harm to people, wildlife, and local coastal ecosystems.

Beach surveys are best conducted in groups of 2 or more—please come with a survey partner in mind or plan to join a team during training. Reserve your training spot by emailing coasst@nulluw.edu or calling 206-221-6893.

10:00 AM–4:00 PM
Coastal Interpretive Center
1033 Catala Ave SE
Ocean Shores, WA 98569

SUNDAY, SEPT 17, 2017
10:00 AM–4:00 PM
Pacific Operation Center
9610 Sandridge Rd.
Long Beach, WA 986319

Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST)
University of Washington School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences

A Sideways Look at Clouds

Mountaineers Books Web Series, Episode 3
Thursday, September 21, from 7 – 8 p.m.

Join us for Episode 3 of Mountaineers Books Web Series with author Maria Rudd Ruth. Maria calls herself an accidental naturalist and has written more than a dozen books about natural wonders that, one, fascinated her and, two, she became obsessed with learning about. In this case, Maria’s current book, A Sideway Look at Clouds, shares her curiosity about clouds and what she’s learned about them—why there are so many variations, what they tell us, how far away they are,and why they are even there, among much more.

Maria is a captivating storyteller who blends science, wonder, and humor in ways that make natural phenomena understandable. You’ll have fun listening to her presentation and also learn things about clouds that you didn’t know before. If you’ve wanted to be able to identify clouds, understand what they’re doing up there, and how they affect you, this is the webinar for you.

“This book is a true delight: a beautifully written, lyrical account of the drama and mystery of clouds.”
–Richard Hamblyn, author, The Invention of Clouds

“Maria Mudd Ruth’s irresistible journey to understand, appreciate, and explain clouds somehow makes the daily sky more fascinating and beguiling. What a gift!”
¬–Jim Lynch, author, The Highest Tide and Before the Wind

(Register even if you can’t attend this evening and we will email a recording of the webinar to listen to whenever it’s convenient.)

Maria Mudd Ruth has been researching, watching, photographing, and blogging about clouds for many years. She is the author of more than a dozen books on natural history topics for young readers, general audiences, and accidental naturalists like herself. In2005, she published Rare Bird: Pursuing the Mystery of the Marbled Murrelet, a critically acclaimed natural history that was reissued in 2013 (Mountaineers Books). Maria lives in Olympia, Washington, with her husband and two sons. You can learn more about her fascinations at www.mariaruthbooks.net.