Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Volunteer Opportunities with National Wildlife Federation

Habitat Steward:
Teach others in your community how to create habitat for wildlife by giving presentations, volunteering to create a Schoolyard Habitats™ site, writing articles for local media or restoring habitat in a public site. Habitat Stewards make a commitment to volunteer for at least 30 hours within the year following their training. Since you have taken the Backyard Habitat classes with Woodland Park Zoo, all you need to do is meet with NWF staff.

Habitat Steward Host:
If you like to train and inspire others, this is the volunteer job for you! You organize and host a Habitat Stewards training and then mentor your Stewards during their first year. You don’t need to be a habitat expert, but must be able to facilitate the training and pull together guest speakers and other resources. Training is done by a correspondence course run by NWF, and it lasts about three months.

Habitat Ambassador:
Help others learn how to garden for wildlife by hosting a table at a community event, giving a short presentation or distributing National Wildlife Federation literature. The training is done online with an NWF-provided CD.

Community Wildlife Habitat™ Team:
Once you have registered your own yard as a Certified Wildlife Habitat™, you can take your commitment to the next level by forming a Community Wildlife Habitat team and getting your community certified. Or you can become a member of one of the over 30 teams already working in Washington. More info on

Benefits of Volunteering:
• Contribute to community and national change
• 30% discount through NWF Catalog
• Invitation to exclusive events and openings
• "Insider" communication and news about national issues
• Special discounts and invitations from NWF corporate partners
• Volunteering 30 hours annually equals a free children’s magazine subscription

If interested, please contact Courtney Sullivan, Education Manager, Pacific Regional Center or (206) 577-7175

Friday, September 9, 2011

Seattle Audubon Fall Classes!

Molt Demystified
With Daniel Froehlich, President of the Puget Sound Bird Observatory & master bander.

Feathers are an amazing adaptation unique to birds. Maintaining high-quality plumage requires a considerable investment. Molt (the replacement of feathers) along with breeding and migration represent the major life-history stages in the annual cycle of birds. Yet until recently, molt has been little studied and, as a result, is often poorly understood by birders. This class will explore how feathers grow, how birds replace feathers, why different species molt at different times, the significance of feather wear, and how understanding these qualities will help you become a better birder. The class includes a field trip to Discovery Park where we will examine plumages for evidence of molt.

Lecture: Thursday, September 15 and 22, 7:00 – 9:00 pm,
Location: CUH – Douglas Classroom
Field Trip: Saturday, September 24th, 7:30 a.m. - noon.
Cost: $50 members/$65 non-members
Limit: 20

Introduction to Birding
Hans de Grys, Chemistry Teacher, Lakeside School
Master Birder
Recipient, MIT’s Inspirational Teacher Award

Interested in learning more about the birds of Seattle and the Puget Sound? Do you have birds in your yard or local sightings that you are curious about? This course is an introduction to bird-watching, and will familiarize you with the common birds of the Seattle area, with special emphasis on identification by sight, sound, and behavior. No previous knowledge or experience necessary. A basic field guide for birds is recommended. Two evening sessions, two hours each, plus a local morning weekend field trip.

Lecture: Thursdays, Sept 22 and Oct 13th , 7pm to 9pm
Location: The Lakeside School
Field Trips: Saturday, October 15th, 8am to noon, location to be announced in class
Cost: $50 members, $65 nonmembers for lecture and field trip.
Limit: 20 for lecture and field trip

Nature Journaling with Carleen Zimmerman

Come and explore techniques for recording observations and discover the fascination of creating nature journals. The class will cover field sketching, creative writing, and journal projects. This will be an "in the garden" class at our home in our backyard wildlife sanctuary. The focus will be observing plants and birds in a backyard habitat. Bring your favorite journaling supplies (paper, journal books, pens, watercolor pencils etc). This is an accessible class. In case of inclement weather, we will be outside under our covered deck.

Carleen is a Seattle Audubon volunteer who has led nature journaling activities at Audubon Wenas campouts for the past five years. She has been a guest artist at Seattle Audubon's Nature Camp summer 2011. She gave a powerpoint presentation on nature journaling at Brier Library in March 2011 for Brier Wildlife Habitat Project. She has offered nature journaling classes through Seattle Audubon in 2007 and 2008. She has had her field sketches on display at Harborview Medical Center. She has taken many field sketching and nature writing workshops. She travels and "birds" with her husband, Neil, and has been nature journals for the past 10 years.

Class: Sunday, September 25, 9am-3pm
Location: Meet at Seattle Audubon, caravan to my house. Bring lunch, bring own supplies; instructor will provide an exercise book.
Cost: $10
Limit: 8

Four and Ninety Blackbirds
Gordon Orians, Professor Emeritus of Biology at the University of Washington
Member, National Academy of Sciences and American Academy of Arts and Sciences

The nearly 100 species of blackbirds (Icteridae), which are found only in the Americas, are remarkably variable in their ecology, social organization, and the environments they live in. Consequently, they have attracted the attention of many scientists who have used them to test theories of habitat selection, mate selection, choice of foods and foraging modes, and the evolution of social systems. The species will be described, with a review of traits that unite them despite their great diversity. Also discussed will be the rich array of investigations that have used blackbirds as subjects, including what has been learned to date and what is yet to be explored. The class will conclude with the blackbirds that live in Washington State, where to find them, and what is special about them. One evening session of two hours.

Lecture: October 24 -- 7 – 9 pm
Location: CUH – Douglas Classroom
Field Trips: None
Cost: $35 members, $50 nonmembers -- for lecture
Limit: 30

The Latest and Greatest Advances in Birding Technology
With Eric Harlow, former SAS board member, master birder student, and bird geek.

Having trouble keeping iBird, eBird, Birdseye, eGuides, iPhones, iPads, and Androids straight? Have you been birding with people who spend almost as much time looking at tiny screens as they do looking at the birds? Are you still trying to figure out how you can have multiple recordings of every bird species in the US at your fingertips? This one-evening class will explore and review the latest birding technology that can help improve your ability to find, identify, and list our feathered friends. The class will demonstrate and review the pros and cons of the latest birding apps for iPhone and Android smartphones, options for iPods and iPads, computer software for bird identification and listing, various sources of bird recordings. We will also discuss the ethics of playing songs in the field to lure birds.

Lecture: November 8, 7 -9 pm
Location: CUH – Douglas Classroom
Cost: $20 members, $35 non-members
Limit: 30

Attracting Birds to Your Yard
Join Neil Zimmerman, Seattle Audubon Outreach Chair and Master Birder

Learn how to attract and care for birds in your yard through plant selection, placement and maintenance of bird feeders and nestboxes, and use of water features.

Lecture: Wednesday, Nov 9 – 7-9 pm
Location: CUH – Douglas classroom
Fee: $20 members, $35 nonmembers
Limit: 24

To register for classes by credit card, call Seattle Audubon, 206-523-4483, Monday-Saturday, 10:00AM-4:00PM, or mail your check to Seattle Audubon, 8050 35th NE, Seattle WA 98115.