Eastside Birders participate in the 2017 Karismatic Kestrels Birdathon. Locals spotted and recorder 109 bird species throughout Eastern Washington during a single day in May. Mick Thompson, Eastside Audubon

Eastside Birders participate in the 2017 Karismatic Kestrels Birdathon. Locals spotted and recorder 109 bird species throughout Eastern Washington during a single day in May. Mick Thompson, Eastside Audubon

Eastside Audubon provides an active community for birders

The organization will host itsnext Juanita Bay Park tour on Sunday.

The first thing that most children learn about birds is that they fly south for the winter. This winter is no exception, but Eastside Audubon is still offering weekly programs for locals to get out and watch some birds that only migrate as far south as Seattle.

Eastside Audubon, which is based in Kirkland but includes communities throughout the greater Eastside, will host its next Juanita Bay Park tour on Sunday. During the tour, attendees can observe the Pacific Loon, Trumpeter Swan and Tundra Swan, which have all been spotted at the park.

“Winter is a perfect time to learn about the beautiful water birds that spend these months in our bay,” said Jill Keeney, Eastside Audubon liaison to the organization’s volunteer park rangers, said in a press release.

Eastside Audubon hosts numerous field trips, bird walks and tours throughout the year to educate people and promote wildlife conservation. A calendar for all the events can be found on its website.

The Juanita Bay Park tour is hosted by volunteer park rangers on the first Sunday of every month. The free event begins in the park’s parking lot at 1 p.m., at 2201 Market St. in Kirkland, and is open to children ages 6 or older as long as they’re accompanied by an adult.

The Eastside Audubon chapter has multiple teams to promote bird education and actively work to conserve bird habitats from the Snohomish County line to I-90 on the Eastside.

“For many people in the world, birds may be the only contact for wildlife,” said executive director Tereza Marks. “Especially if you’re living in an urban area. What else are you going to see?”

Marks added that birding is such an easy way to keep in touch with nature as humans expand and greenspace disappears.

Another group within Eastside Audubon’s focuses on birding or bird watching and simply provides a community for local enthusiasts.

“It’s our more fun aspect,” president Jan McGruder said with a laugh. “There are birds everywhere, people just don’t notice them…(everyone should) look up and go birding.”

The monthly Eastside birding trips focus on Lake Sammamish, Juanita Bay and other local hotspots. These are free and open to non-members, but Eastside Audubon also hosts weekend-long trips, with the next one set for at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, leaving for George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Canada.

“We’re into birds around here,” McGruder said. “(Birding) is just a way to decompress and relax. And you meet a lot of nice people, I’ve made a lot of friends through Audubon.

BIRDING WITHOUT BORDERS

Eastside Audubon is partnering with Seattle Audubon and Leica Bellevue to host the Coffee, Cameras and Conversation event and Noah Strycker “Birding without Borders” presentation. Strycker, who will host the events on Jan. 13 and 14, is a world-famous birder who broke the Big Year record in 2015 after spotting 6,042 of the world’s estimated 10,400 bird species in a year-long trip around the globe.

The Big Year record was subsequently broken in 2016 by a Dutch birder with 6,833 species spotted according to world.observation.org.

The presentation will feature Strycker’s photography and a book signing at the Leica Store in Bellevue. Strycker will also lead photo walks throughout Magnuson Park in Seattle starting at 8:30 a.m. during which where Leica will provide sport optics for participants. The event will meet in southern-most parking lot, south of the boat launch where Northeast 65th Street becomes Lake Shore Drive Northeast.

McGruder and Marks encourage locals to attend any of the community events or even just pay more attentions to birds. McGruder said that interactions with birds can be common and many people have bird experiences.

“It’s nice to have some contact with nature and birds are so easy,” Marks said. “Put up a bird feeder in your front yard or plant native plants and you can attract birds year-round…it’s one of the easiest ways to make a difference.”


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Life

Forbes Creek Park. Courtesy photo/City of Kirkland
Kirkland reopening playgrounds

The city states there’s been an increase in compliance in masking and social distancing in the city, leading to the reopening

Diya Garg, left, distributes Mighty Crayon recycles crayons and coloring books for Seattle students. Courtesy photo/Diya Garg.
Getting crayons to kids runs in the family

Eastside nonprofit Mighty Crayon is relaunched by younger sister of founder, repurposing used restaurant crayons

Terry Lentz, pictured, has won the I am AGELESS Community Builder Award. Courtesy photo/Woodlands at Forbes Lake
Kirkland volunteer to receive award for spirit and service during COVID-19 pandemic

Presented by SHAG Community Life Foundation, the award recognizes those whose service, skills and spirit defy aging’s stereotypes.

2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid. Courtesy photo
2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid | Car review

There’s a reason Honda’s CR-V has been America’s top-selling crossover vehicle over… Continue reading

2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew Lariat. Courtesy photo
2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew Lariat | Car review

Ford’s venerable compact Ranger pickup went away for a while. But it… Continue reading

Courtesy photo
Sign up for 2020 ‘Run to Rwanda’ Fun Run slated for September

Clyde Hill resident Sophie Sharp, an 11th grade student at The Overlake… Continue reading

Screenshot of the stray kitten and the Rev. Aaron Burt from the July 12 liturgy video.
Stray kitten surprises local priest during virtual Sunday service

“It was one of the most difficult sermons I’ve ever had to offer, because I was trying not to step on her.”

Washington State Fair cancelled

COVID-19 outbreak claims another event

Listen and Talk students playing on playground. Courtesy photo.
Specialty school coming to Kirkland

Listen and Talk is a specialized program for young children who are deaf or hard of hearing

Decorated statue at Marina Park in support of Black Lives Matter efforts. Reader submitted photo.
Ribbons for Black Lives Matter

The display at Marina Park coincides with statewide efforts of the local King County Black Lives Matter chapter.

Kirkland Wednesday Farmers Market will run every Wednesday from June 5 through September 25.
Kirkland farmers markets are ready for shoppers

Both Kirkland Wednesday Market and Juanita Friday Market are practicing social distancing during their reopenings.

TLG Motion Pictures CEO Erik Bernard and TLG founder Courtney LeMarco on a set. Photo courtesy TLG Motion Pictures.
Local production company seeking film, TV pitches from young minority creatives

The Big Pitch competition, put on by TLG Motion Pictures (“Hoarders”), started about six months ago.