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After a recent presentation about birding for kids (creating a bird-friendly backyard, saving old trees for keystone species, places to go birding, etc.) at Pinewood Elementary, the students who attended sent these amazing thank-you cards. Wow! Very talented and creative kids. Thank you so much. I just had to share them with others.
Lorenzo was invited to be keynote speaker at the 75th Anniversary Better Ground Showcase. Along with his video and slide presentation, he spoke about the importance of backyard habitats and the need to preserve not only living trees, but old and dead trees (snags) that are necessary for nest-cavity birds, such as woodpeckers, sapsuckers, owls, ducks, chickadees, nuthatches, and many others.
This inspirational event honored many individuals and businesses in the region for their impressive conservation leadership. The list of those honored included kids and teens. I was particularly impressed by Val Schroeder, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award. She has been promoting the Backyard Wildlife Habitat Program on Camano Island since 2002 resulting in 866 certified properties on Camano Island. Individuals can make a difference! Read about the others here.
The evening was hosted by the Snohomish Conservation District at the Rosehill Community Center.
If you are unaware of the Snohomish Conservation District, I urge you to check them out at their website:
“Across the United States, nearly 3000 conservation districts offer free help to residents to conserve land, water, forests, wildlife and related natural resources. Their mission, which began after the devastating dust bowl era of the 1930’s, relied on working with farmers and rural landowners on a one-on-one basis.”
I was particularly impressed by their efforts and commitments to backyard habitats that are so vital to the future of birds.
“In response to the critical need for the protection of Puget Sound, a unique and precious feature of northwest Washington, as well as a vast network of salmonid streams and rivers, SCD has developed an urban and suburban program that exemplifies our heritage of working with partners and landowners on land and water resource concerns. Our programs have grown to include low impact development, Firewise communities, backyard wildlife habitat and on-site septic programs and natural yard care.”
Snowy Owl drives away wolves.
Just got back from our first time attending the Annual Othello Sandhill Crane Festival (March 18-20).
Years ago we were in the Columbia Basin area to find Sandhill Cranes and were fortunate enough to see thousands of them. A few photos from that trip are included in our book, A Kid’s Guide to Birding. The natural landscape there is spectacular on its own, but with huge numbers of cranes, it was like something you would only imagine existing in the earlier days of exploration.
So when an invitation to speak at the festival came from the organizers in Othello, we were more than happy to head back out to the area.
So let me tell you about this festival. It is fantastic! The festival’s organizers put a lot of effort and careful planning into the event. There were regular scheduled buses and vans taking people out to the best wildlife viewing areas (which also included private agricultural areas) as well as areas of geological interest. Breakfast was served on Saturday and there was a Banquet in the evening along with one of the keynote speakers. All the speakers had impressive credentials and did great presentations. There were displays, book sales, and more. But what impressed me the most was the incredible community involvement, with both young and old involved in all sorts of ways. I was beginning to wonder if there was a town ordinance that required everyone to be involved, because it seemed like everyone and every organization had some role in helping the event come together.
So make plans to be there for the next one, the “20th annual” Sandhill Crane Festival in 2017. But book early because when we tried, ever hotel in the area was fully booked!
Here are a few photos from the trip.
Lorenzo was invited by Everett Parks & Recreation to lead the Aquanauts Science Camp on a birding trip to Spencer Island (July 21, 2015). Bird sightings included Great Blue Herons, Cedar Waxwings, Killdeer, Caspian Terns, Marsh Wrens, Red-wing blackbirds, and Belted Kingfishers. The highlight was Osprey doing repeated dives for fish as shown in the photo sequence taken by Lorenzo. Notice in image #3 how the Osprey goes down with feet first before reaching the water.
Spencer Island is a 400-acre island in the Snohomish River estuary.
Very strange stuff…
Here’s a good article about the Sage Grouse: What People Talk About When They Talk About Sage Grouse
Lorenzo giving a presentation about birding for 2nd-grade students at Wellington Elementary today. He will also be at the Puget Sound Bird Fest in Edmonds this year.
This is a very interesting story about a kid that has made friends with crows that bring her gifts!
Click her to read about her: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31604026