Fans of the feather can flock together with Audubon groups in Pierce and King counties

Rain or shine, Tahoma Audubon’s monthly bird walk hits the trails at the Adriana Hess Wetland Park in University Place.

Russ Smith and Rosanne Becker lead the monthly walks, which they say are designed for all ages and mobility levels. The avid birders help participants identify local backyard birds by sight and sound.

The walks happen on the second Monday of every month at 10 a.m., starting at the Tahoma Audubon Center in front of the park’s parking area at 2917 Morrison Road W. (Morrison runs parallel to Bridgeport, and the center is just south of 27th). Participants can check out binoculars to use on the walk for closer looks at their feathered friends.

For an hour or so, participants observe birds among the native plants, at feeders and at the small pond in back of the park. The trails are American Disabilities Act-compliant, relatively flat, and include crushed gravel and compact dirt, so it’s good for a variety of ability levels, Smith noted.

Additional information is available from Tahoma Audubon at 253-565-9278.


Go the birds in south King County


Rainier Audubon Society is a chapter based in Auburn and covering south King County.  Recent field trips included one to Dumas Bay in Federal Way Oct. 23 for a look at ducks, gulls and shorebirds. Also on the calendar is the Kent-Auburn Christmas Bird Count on Jan. 3. Volunteers will bird by car and foot from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., followed by a potluck dinner at 6 at Federal Way United Methodist Church. Information and signup is available at 253-670-5513 and The Rainier group can also be contacted at

The chapter emerged from work in the mid-1970s that spared a Great Blue Heron nesting area between Auburn and Federal Way from being disrupted by planned construction of a freeway off-ramp. The ramp was rerouted and the herons were spared. Since forming in 1978, the chapter has offered monthly free programs and field trips for members. It also has participated in local conservation and birding activities, including the annual Tukwila Backyard Habitat Festival and bird censuses at Kent Ponds.


Care to count birds over the holiday season?

Russ Smith (middle) is a volunteer guide for birdwatching walks sponsored by Tahoma Audubon. (Emily Matthiessen/courtesy photo)
Russ Smith (middle) is a volunteer guide for birdwatching walks sponsored by Tahoma Audubon. (Emily Matthiessen/courtesy photo)


The annual Christmas Bird Count is organized nationally and locally by the Audubon Society. The data collected by observers helps Audubon researchers, conservation biologists, wildlife agencies and others study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America. When combined with other surveys such as the Breeding Bird Survey, it provides a picture of how bird populations have changed in the past 100 years and how to protect them and their habitats in the future, according to Audubon officials.

Christmas Bird Counts are conducted between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5. Anyone can participate. Each count is done within an established 15-mile wide area and is organized by a count compiler. Volunteers follow specified routes, counting every bird they see or hear during the day.

Information on how to get involved is available from local Audubon chapters and at