Birdwatchers who want to get more involved with the activity can sign up for a beginners class hosted by the Whidbey Audubon Society.
Whitney Neufeld-Kaiser, a master birder from Seattle, will be teaching the online Zoom class 7-8:30 p.m. Oct. 19 and leading an optional field trip to Deer Lagoon starting at 8 a.m. on Oct. 24.
The class is fittingly titled, “10 Gateway Birds of Whidbey Island and How to Find Them.”
“Whidbey is so delightful because there’s so many different kinds of habitat,” Neufeld-Kaiser said.
The cost of attending is $20, and registration for the class is available at whidbeyaudubonsociety.org. The optional accompanying field trip is limited to the first 10 people.
Neufeld-Kaiser will be teaching students what resources to use in order to see birds that are popular on Whidbey.
“It’s not especially helpful to teach someone what a wood duck looks like if they don’t know how to go see them,” she said.
The self-described “bird nerd” said many different kinds of ducks are especially plentiful on Whidbey, because it is surrounded by Puget Sound.
“There’s a hilarious saltwater duck called a surf scoter,” she said. “The males have this crazy yellow, orange and white colorful bill. They’re super charismatic.”
Near Deer Lagoon, where the optional field trip will be taking place, short-eared owls have been known to hang around.
“Everybody loves a good owl sighting,” Neufeld-Kaiser said.
She stressed that while there will be some general identification of birds that will be discussed, the class is really about using the resources that are available to find birds, such as books or websites. The goal of the class is to make birdwatching as accessible as possible.
“At its heart, the class is about the idea that birds are everywhere and everyone can learn about birds and enjoy birds as much as they want,” she said.