On Friday, May 3rd, 2013, Martha Jordan came to Highland Wonders to share information about the Trumpeter Swans who grace the waters of the Okanogan at various points in the year.
On Friday, Feb 1st, 2013, Dr. Michael Schroeder brought his wealth of experience with, “Grouse of the Okanogan.” We learned that Okanogan County is home to seven species of grouse, more than any other county in the US. Okanogan County is home to: Sage Grouse, White-Tailed Ptarmigan, Sharp-Tailed Grouse, Spruce Grouse, Ruffed Grouse, Dusky Grouse, and Sooty Grouse. There are 12 species in total across the United States.
On Friday, January 4th, 2013, Dr. Scott Ford, avian medicine and surgery specialist, shared information about local loons. Their biology and conservation were discussed, along with stunning images taken by Dan Poleschook and Ginger Gumm, local professional photographers. Dr. Ford discussed where our loons go in the winter, and provided updates on telemetry technology that will allow researchers to better track individual loons from our area in the coming years.
Paul Bannick’s presentation took us on a visual and auditory exploration of local habitats, through the owls and woodpeckers that most define and enrich these places. His photographic field report celebrates the ways the lives of these two iconic birds are intertwined with one another, and their role as keystone and indicator species for their environment. The Highland Wonders audience was immersed in the sights and sounds of forest, grassland, and desert, and in the entertaining and informative details of Paul’s narrative.
On May 6th, 2011, Daniel and Ginger Poleschook presented breathtaking photos and unusual stories about Washington loons, providing a history of the loon’s shrinking breeding range and what we can do to help. Their experience as Research and Education Coordinators for the Loon Lake Loon Association and Adjunct Field Scientists for the Biodiversity Research Institute brought many tales and images that humans would otherwise not be privy to.
From eagles to hummingbirds, Idie Ulsh explored with us how and where birds make nests, and related interesting facts about their construction. She has photographed the nests of more than 30 species and done an extensive three year perusal of bird nest literature. In addition to her own photos, she included in this unique program photos from many excellent local photographers and University of Puget Sound Slater Museum.
Live birds of prey visited Highland Wonders from the WSU Raptor Club, from the Washington State University campus in Pullman, WA. Volunteers from this non-profit volunteer organization aim to promote wildlife conservation through the use of non-releasable raptors as living representatives in public environmental education programs. These injured raptors helped tell the story of how birds of prey are doing in today’s world and what we can do to help.