The Burien Birdfest was a ‘chirping’ success


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Jay Galvin, Judy Lane and Robert Maughan, Jr. at Saturday’s Burien Birdfest.

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Andy Waters of Birds Unlimited at Saturday’s Burien Firdfest.

Today – Monday, Feb. 17 – is the last day to count birds and send your results into the Great International Backyard Bird Count, www.birdsource.org.

So get out there and count for 15 minutes!

The Burien Birdfest  – held on Saturday, Feb. 15 – was a chirping success in spite of the heavy rains. It was sponsored by Sustainable Burien.

Jay Galvin from the Rainer Audubon gave a presentation on birds along the Green River. Historically, anywhere from 100,000 to 200,000 waterfowl used to come into the Green River Basin to winter over. The recent development in this basin has destroyed habitat for this birds and is one of the factors contributing to their decline in numbers. Members of the Rainer Audubon are currently focusing their work on trying to preserve some portion of the remaining  habitat  for these birds. If you are interested in joining or knowing more about this group, they can be contacted at info@RainierAudubon.org.

Burien’s own Andy Waters spoke about how to attract birds to your backyard. He brought along his great box of goodies that the birds long for at this time of year when the weather is down right miserable and they need energy forms to make it through the extreme cold-like many of the days have been this winter. Andy shared some of his quirky stories about encounters he has had with birds and some of their habits with the audience such as the Anna’s Hummingbirds that have lived around his yard for years and that he can individually recognize them.  When people talk about their birds that they see in their yards, it is really true that they know them. Recent studies of bird behavior have shown that many birds actually spend a majority of their time in a relatively small area. Anna’s Hummingbirds can live up to 13 years.

Food supplies and devices to hold them can always be found at Andy’s store, Birds Unlimited in Burien. Birds Unlimited is one of the partners of the Great Backyard Bird Count along with the Audubon and Cornell Labs. No fees are required to participate in this noble project to help count and preserve bird populations around the world. The information on the website is a wealth of knowledge about birds: www.birdsource.org – check it out.

Judy Lane, a West Seatlle bird artist and author, was a delightful and addition to the Burien Birdfest. Judy is a Crow fan. She has written a book, “Keiko and the Crow”, about her dog and and a Crow friend they made-Crooked Feather Girl. Judy works in mixed media to produce some incredibly beautiful images of many species of birds but her favorite bird is the Crow. She spoke about techniques for getting great photos of birds and how to transform them into other forms of art work. One of the key features of Judy’s work is the emotion and feeling between birds that she manages to capture in her body of work. Her stories of how to get up close and personal with birds were enthralling and highly useful. Judy currently has a show going,”Love Is For The  Birds”, at the Des Moines Florist in Des Moines, Wa. Her co-author, Robert Maughan, Jr. was also at the Birdfest to share stories and relate antidotal encounters with birds. If you missed Judy at the Birdfest, stop by the florist to see her work.  Her website is crookedfeathergirlstudio.com.

Birds have inspired us to learn how to fly and escape our earthly bonds. Their songs start our days. Take a moment to help their populations survive. Keep your cat indoor. Cats kill 2.6 millions birds in the U.S. annually. Be a citizen scientist and help count and report on their numbers in your yard, today.

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