WILDLIFE WATCHING -- Local Audubon Society chapters have tapped professional biologists to present special pre-Christmas Bird Count programs on identifying and understanding “winter birds:”
Whether you're gearing up for joining a group outing during the Audubon Society's 114th annual Christmas Bird Count or simply brushing up on your bird identification skills, check out one of these free programs:
Coeur d’Alene Audubon will feature Carrie Hugo, BLM wildlife biologist, on Tuesday (Dec. 10), 7 p.m., at Lutheran Church of the Master, 4800 N. Ramsey Rd. in Coeur d’Alene.
Spokane Audubon will feature Gary Blevins, Spokane Falls Community College biology professor on Wednesday (Dec. 11), 7 p.m., at Riverview Community Building, 2117 E. North Crescent Ave. Driving directions: tinyurl.com/SASmeeting.
- Birds are not climate skeptics, having spoken with their wings. (Many North American species’ winter ranges have moved northward and inland.)
- The Bald Eagle is back; the Endangered Species Act works.
- Many of America's most familiar and beloved birds are in serious decline, including Evening Grosbeak, Field and Grasshopper Sparrows, Snow Buntings and Ruffed Grouse.
- Eurasian Collared-Doves have invaded the US.
- Peregrine Falcons are reclaiming territory they had disappeared from in the 1950s-60s.
- Sage-grouse are in deep trouble.
- More and more hummingbirds are staying in the USA and Canada for winter.
- "Eastern" House Finches having been moving west for 60 years.
- How fast and how far West Nile virus has spread.
- Birds are early indicators of environmental problems that can affect people (see #1).