The Whidbey Audubon Society will codify the island’s changing bird-scape this week with the release of the organization’s “Birds of Whidbey” checklist.
Local bird enthusiasts hailed 2016 as “Pelican Summer” due to the white pelican population that took up residence at Deer Lagoon. Those and some of the other “dramatic changes” that have occurred on Whidbey will be reflected in the revised checklist, which is being released Thursday, Jan. 12 at the Audubon meeting at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 20103 Highway 525 outside Freeland.
The organization maintains the checklist as a tool for bird watchers. It is organized by species and describes which birds to expect in any particular season. It includes a notation as to which birds are common or rare. It has been four years since the last revision and it reflects the changes in birds that visit or inhabit the Whidbey area.
Steve and Martha Ellis will lead the program presentation, themed “Wings of Change: An Overview of Whidbey’s Bird Populations.” It will address the following questions: which birds appear to be in trouble, how are bird populations estimated, can anything be done for species in decline, how are the eagles doing, and which areas of Whidbey’s avian life need research going forward. Also where did all those pelicans come from, and will they be back?