Volunteers Wanted to Help Monitor Birds

We are looking for a few birders interested in leading other volunteers to record bird species at several Olympia-area city parks. The Olympia Stream Team is undertaking a project to gain a better understanding of the bird species found there and their changes over time. The idea is to start with three or four parks this year and expand in the future. The four parks chosen for a start are Grass Lake off Kaiser Rd. in West Olympia, Taylor Wetlands in Lacey, Black Lake Meadows off R.W. Johnson near the Community College, and LBA Woods near Boulevard and Morse Merriman in southeast Olympia.

Black Hills Audubon would provide leaders who know the birds and who would lead volunteers interested in learning the birds and participating in citizen science. We plan to have three visits to each park—one a month in March, April, and May—to record the winter birds before they leave and the summer migrants as they arrive. Ideally you would be quite familiar with the park you chose so that you could easily lead the way, and could lead all three walks at your chosen park; but if that’s not possible we can arrange for more than one leader at your park. I have volunteered to lead at LBA Woods, but a second leader would be very helpful.

Stream Team has arranged for an E-bird class to be taught by Bill Tweit, a long-time WDFW. biologist who is well known as an expert birder. E-bird is an ideal repository for the collected data. The class will be on March 23, from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Olympia City Hall, 601 E. 4th Avenue in Olympia.

If you are interested, please contact me by email at RWADSRK@nullGmail.com. (from Mar/April 2017 Echo newsletter, by Bob Wadsworth)

Black Hills Audubon Christmas Bird Count

Goldeneye_Barrow's copyTo sign up to count birds or lead a group contact Bill Shelmerdine at 360 866- 9106 or georn at hotmail.com.  Everyone’s welcome.   No prior experience is required.  There’s a chili feed afterwards at 5 p.m. at Temple Beth Hatfiloh at  201 8th Ave SE, Olympia, WA.

You don’t have to stay in one spot all day, nor participate all day long.  Join us.  It’s a lot of fun.    Christmas Bird Count data are sent to National Audubon for analysis.  Data is used to monitor the status and distribution of bird populations across the western hemisphere.   


Susan Markey, Helen Engle Volunteer of the Year for 2015.

Susan Markey photo

A core member of Black Hills Audubon Society leadership for more than three decades serving as Co-President, Conservation Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Echo Editor, and Publications Chair.  Integral grassroots advocate; served as the Chair for the Washington State Audubon Conservation Committee.  A champion for a collaborative Audubon voice at all levels. Thoughtful, insightful, steady and trusted voice for the Audubon network in Washington.  A positive force for change who tackles issues and challenges with intelligence, organization, a wealth of history and wisdom.  READ MORE

Seattle Audubon Seabird Survey

You are invited to join Puget Sound Seabird Survey sponsored by Seattle Audubon.

According to the Seattle Audubon Society’s website “….The Puget Sound Seabird Survey (PSSS) is a citizen-science survey managed by Seattle Audubon that empowers volunteer birdwatchers to gather valuable data on wintering seabird populations in Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Together, our team creates a snapshot of seabird density on more than 2,400 acres of nearshore saltwater habitat. It is the only land-based, multi-month survey in the Puget Sound region.

For more information see the Seattle Audubon Society’s website.

Vaux’s Happening (Vaux’s Swifts Study)

Mission:  Count Vaux’s Swifts as they enter chimneys during spring and fall migrations.

In the spring of 2008, the first research project focusing on the spring migration of the Vaux’s Swift in the Pacific Northwest was undertaken.  This was an Audubon project, spearheaded by Larry Schwitters, in cooperation with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS),  the Monroe School District, and the Washington state on-line birding list, “Tweeters”READ MORE

Audubon Christmas Bird Count

The mission of the Christmas Bird Count is to identify, count, and record as many different bird species as you see in a particular area. You don’t have to stay in one spot all day, nor participate all day long.

The Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is held each year during a two-week window around the Christmas holiday. Audubon chapters all across the country choose a date within that window for their own count.


This count is part of a larger citizen science effort led by Audubon chapters throughout the nation. CBC data are then sent to National Audubon for analysis.


Bill Shelmerdine
or call 360-866-9106.

Stream Team

StreamTeamlogoGoal:  Collect data/samples to help monitor various indicators of water quality in the urban environment.  These include macroinvertebrates in streams (aquatic insects), amphibians in ponds by counting egg masses, monitoring the downtown Olympia Purple Martin population, and most recently training to do shoreline surveys for forage fish



Michelle Stevie

Pigeon Guillemot Foraging and Breeding Survey

The Pigeon Guillemot is one of the 314 birds the National Audubon Society has identified as at-risk from climate change and will potentially experience eastward-shifting ranges.

The second season of the Nisqually Reach Aquatic Reserve and South Sound Pigeon Guillemot Foraging and Breeding Survey was conducted in summer 2014 as part of the Nisqually Reach Aquatic Reserve Citizen Stewardship Committee monitoring program.

Sixty volunteers and substitute monitors collected data weekly at 28 sites for one hour in the early morning, mainly during June, July, and August. Data collected included the number of adult birds seen in colonies, number of active burrows, trips to burrows, fish delivered to burrows, and disturbances to nesting areas.

Volunteers tally birds, record observed prey species, activity at burrows, and record disturbances (bald eagles, boat traffic, dogs on beach, etc)

Results of the study are provided to federal and state agencies, and organizations monitoring the health of Puget Sound. The program is funded wholly or in part by the National Estuary Program (of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).


Anne Mills

Snowy Plovers

Volunteers are needed for monitoring Snowy Plovers during designated dates in May that coincide with razor clam digs.
Location: Midway beach near Grayland, WA
Details: Volunteers are requested during designated dates in May that coincide with razor clam digs. Volunteers will be assigned to assist with patrolling Midway Beach and conducting outreach on protecting snowy plovers from accidental harm.
One or two volunteers will be located at the site at least 2 ½ hours before the start of low tide. The typical shift should take about 6 hours. The location for this project is Midway beach near Grayland, WA in Grays Harbor County. Volunteers may need to visit Montesano beforehand, to pick up equipment. You will need your own vehicle. Volunteer hours can be applied to Master Hunter certification or recertification.

May 2-3, 7-10, 15-17


WDFW Technician John Diebert at (360) 249-4628 ext 232, email John.Deibert@nulldfw.wa.gov

WDFW District Wildlife Biologist  Anthony Novack at (360) 249-4628 ext 238, email Anthony.Novack@nulldfw.wa.gov