By Sharon Wooton
Sunny Walter, co-author of “Washington Nature Weekends: 52 Adventures in Nature,” appreciates the diversity of birds in Washington state.
Walter is a speaker at the Puget Sound Bird Fest May 14 in Edmonds, which celebrates birds and nature on International Migratory Bird Day.
“We don’t have the glorious wading birds like Florida, but we have some wading birds. We have wonderful eagles; bluebirds are all over the eastern part of the state with people building bluebird trails; ospreys are increasing on the Columbia River.”
Walter’s book and talks are geared to one goal: “To get people out having wonderful experiences in nature so they will learn to love it and then want to protect it,” she said.
Edmonds may seem like an unlikely place to search out nature, but wildlife is where you find it. The city is on the Cascades Loop of the Great Washington State Birding Trail map developed by Audubon Washington to make it easier for bird-watchers to find a wide variety of birds.
Edmonds offers Puget Sound waterfront, the Edmonds Marsh, Yost Park and other natural areas.
The Puget Sound Bird Fest is organized by the city with several partners and includes talks, exhibits and guided walks.
Walter will speak at 10 a.m. in the Edmonds Theater, 415 Main St., and sign her books at Edmonds Bookshop, 111 Fifth Ave. S. Free tickets will be available at 9:30 a.m. at the theater.
Biologist Jane Westervelt and the WSU Raptor Club will present live hawks and owls commonly found in the Northwest at 7 p.m. in the Plaza Room, Edmonds Library, 650 Main St. Free tickets will be available at 10 a.m. at Artworks, 201 Second Ave. S.
Bird walks are scheduled at 8 a.m. at Edmonds Marsh and 9:15 a.m. at Yost Park. From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., knowledgeable bird-watchers will help visitors at viewing stations at Edmonds Marsh, south of Dayton Street and west of Highway 104; the fishing pier at the foot of Dayton Street; the Edmonds Senior Center parking lot, one block south of the ferry on Railroad Avenue; and the Brackett’s Landing jetty on the north side of the ferry dock.
View exhibits about PAWS, native plants, songbirds, bats, raptors, critical areas and other topics from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Artworks.
Children can dissect an owl pellet, make a paper bag owl puppet or a bird mask, play The Migration Game or plant a sunflower.
Workshop topics include:
11:15 a.m. Avoiding Window Collisions, Cat Attacks and Conflicts, Kevin Mack, PAWS Wildlife Center.
12:30 p.m. Common Backyard Birds: Identification and Behavior, Candy Brown, Pilchuck Audubon Society.
1:30 p.m. Living in a Land of Streams: Tips, Tools and Techniques for Healthy Backyard Streams, Dave Ward, Snohomish County Surface Management.
3:15 p.m. Gardening with Native Plants, Silvia Kealy, Washington Native Plants Society.
Quality time on the move
May is the Washington Trails Association’s Families Go Hiking month. One of its sponsored hikes is at 10 a.m. May 14 on the Lake Elizabeth Trail off U.S. 2 near Index.
Joan Burton, author of “Best Hikes with Children in Western Washington &Cascades,” will lead the easy hike around a small mountain lake with frequent stops to enjoy plants and wildlife.
For more information, call 206-425-1367.
Columnist Sharon Wootton can be reached at 360-468-3964 or www.songandword.com.