Previous Programs

The life histories of a number of Lower Columbia River birds

Andrew Emlen will speak about bird species having special stories connected with the Columbia River. The program is co-sponsored by Willapa Hills Audubon Society and Friends of Skamokawa, is free and will be at 1 p.m. Feb. 27 at the River Life Interpretive Center (Redmen Hall) in Skamokawa.

Since starting the Wahkiakum Christmas Bird Count circle in 1998 sponsored by WHAS, Emlen has been the organizer and compiler for the count. He has conducted shorebird census for US Fish and Wildlife, helping to establish the Lower Columbia as a national Important Bird Area, and leads field trips for WHAS, Washington Ornithological Society, and the American Birding Association. He is currently co-owner and guide for Columbia River Kayaking.

Following Emlen’s program, Keith Hoofnagle, retired chief artist for the National Park Service, will read from his book “The Story of Linda Lookout.” The history of fire lookouts, originally published in 1965, was recently re-published. 

Annual Lake Sacajawea Walk & Social

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Practice waterfowl identification with the abundance of ducks, grebes & herons hanging out at the lake.  After walking a portion of the lake, we will congregate for backyard birds, socializing, hot drinks and snacks at the Greens.  Join old friends and meet new ones at this fun event. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (360-575-7238) for more info and to sign up. 

Vaux's Swift Migration Viewing CANCELED

Hello all you bird enthusiasts. 

Thursday night, we had only 4 Vaux's Swifts counted in Rainier so we expect there will be no swifts by Saturday night for the WHAS field trip.  
Once again, the swifts have moved through earlier than their historical journey.  We apologize for this need to cancel the viewing as we had certainly thought they would be here.  We have been viewing them all week until last night's low number.
Maybe next year?

Annual Picnic for members and friends on July 26

WHEN: Sunday, July 26, 1:00 PM

WHERE: The Brandt Family Home, - Cathlamet, WA 98612

Please join us for the annual summer picnic for a fun, fun, fun time. This casual get together is a great opportunity to be outdoors and chat with our Board, other members, meet their families, join old friends and make new ones over a potluck lunch. It is always a really wonderful time.

This year we will gather at Board member Larry Brandt’s lovely home on a beautiful property overlooking the Columbia River in Cathlamet. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the address and directions. The gardens attract many species of birds for relaxed observation or there will be horseshoes for more lively activity.

Each person or family should bring a dish (entree’, salad, dessert, appetizer or. . . your choice) to serve 6 to 8 and your own plates, utensils and any additional beverages. WHAS will provide napkins, cups, ice, and water. Bring a lawn chair if you can.

We will chat, eat, play, and enjoy the beautiful setting.

Earthday on Saturday, April 18th

Earth Day at the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds is scheduled for Saturday, April 18, 2015. Yes, it is fast approaching. In the past we have made bird feeders out of TP rolls, peanut butter, and bird seed. They are extremely popular with the kids and their families. If anyone has a different idea please come forward and let me know.

We need 2 people at the booth: one to help with the bird feeders (or whatever project we have for kids) and another one to talk with the adults and share information. There will be some handouts.

We need help to staff the booth most of the day. Please consider volunteering to work in the booth for one or two hours on Saturday. Just let me know what times (am or pm) and how much time you could donate to the day.

Contact Charlotte Persons by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or phone at 360-431-1174

Larry Schwitters to speak on Vaux’s Swift Migration

In this fast paced PowerPoint Presentation, Larry Schwitters of Issaquah, Washington, will examine Audubon's ongoing citizen science project, Vaux's Happening, launched eight years ago to gather the data necessary to make a compelling case for the preservation of what has proven to be one of the most significant Vaux's Swift communal migratory roost sites in North America.  Vaux's Happening quickly expanded into an attempt to locate, raise awareness of, and hopefully preserve the important roost sites used by this species all along their migratory path.  In the last fourteen migrations the project has documented over seven million Vaux's Swift roosting events from San Diego to the Yukon. Schwitters will also share images and information captured by the project's chimney surveillance cameras and precision temperature recorders.

Larry Schwitters holds a Master's of Science degree and spent 30 years in the trenches of public education, mostly as a Middle School Science Teacher and Coach in the Seattle area.

He spent four years tracking down Black Swifts at Washington State's waterfalls for the American Bird Conservancy before his involvement with Audubon Vaux's Happening.

Willapa Hills Audubon Society (WHAS) is sponsoring this presentation. For several years, members have participated in the annual count of migrating Vaux Swifts. This fall WHAS will plan a gathering to observe the migrating swifts, to be announced at a later date.

The program is at 7:00 PM, Sunday, March 29, at the Kelso Senior Center, 106 NW 8th, Kelso, WA.

The event is free and open to the public

Annual Membership Dinner and Meeting

Come join us for food, fun, and fellowship. The annual membership dinner meeting and program for members, family, and friends will be held on Sunday, March 29th with dinner at 5:30 at the Kelso Senior Center. The address is 106 NW 8th, Kelso, WA. This year will be a potluck. WHAS will supply coffee, tea and water. Please bring a potluck dish to share that would feed 8 to 10: salad, dessert, casserole, bread, appetizer, or your own specialty. Let’s make it a green event and bring your own tableware too. The first 40 families to arrive will receive a Charles Kingsland Print. Also there will be other door prizes for those who come. Doors open at 5:15.

If you have questions, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or call Carol at 360-849-4324 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Gloria at 360-636-3793.

At 7:00 keynote speaker, Larry Schwitters, will present his program on the Vaux’s Swift monitoring project he manages for Audubon.

Bird Box Tidy at Indian Jack Slough

To Participate: Notify Russ Kastberg, Willapa Hills Audubon Society member, by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or call (360) 430-5541.

Ready your feather dusters – it’s time for a bird box cleaning on Saturday, November 8th  from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. Indian Jack Slough contains 17 wood duck boxes, 2 Purple Martin colonies, 2 Flickr boxes, and one Barn Owl box. You’re invited to join us as we ready these boxes for next year’s avian residents. Volunteer will work in teams of 3 or 4, venture to bird boxes scattered throughout the property, and sweep out the mysteries found inside.

About Indian Jack Slough: This 180-acre site sits directly adjacent to the 5,600-acre Julia Butler Hansen Wildlife Refuge for the Columbia White-tailed deer. Formerly a poplar plantation, Indian Jack Slough was purchased by Columbia Land Trust in 2006 to provide additional foraging, resting and breeding habitat for this federally listed endangered species. It’s a site that’s also home to bald eagles, songbirds, waterfowl, amphibians, beaver, river otter, and elk.

Safety Considerations:  Be prepared to navigate uneven terrain, standing water, and a few spikey/thorny plants.  Those who feel comfortable doing so should be prepared to climb up a 12 foot ladder to reach nest boxes.

What to Bring:  Bring warm clothes, rain gear, and rubber boots. This wetland is a wet one!  Bring hip or chest waders if you have them – we’ll also have some adult sized waders for loan.  Bring a water bottle, snacks, and a lunch if you’re one to get hungry before 1pm.

Directions and Meeting Location: Take Highway 4 west to Cathlamet, WA.  Proceed approximately  one mile west, cross Elochoman River Bridge, turn right on Nelson Creek Rd.,  and proceed to the Red Barn at the intersection of Nelson Creek Road and Risk Road. Park along the roadside. 

Sacajawea Bird Walk and Social

This has been an annual event for almost 10 years. We will meet on December 6th at 8:30 AM at Hemlock Square and Kessler at Lake Sacajawea in Longview, to spend a couple hours checking out the bird life before retiring to the Green’s. We will have tea, coffee, or chocolate and some snacks available in the dry and warmth while viewing backyard birds. The conversation is always fun and lively. To sign up, call John Green at 360-575-9238 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Lower Columbia School Gardens - Successes, Challenges and Opportunities

Willapa Hills Audubon Society welcomes Ian Thompson, Director of Lower Columbia School Gardens, to share successes, challenges and opportunities of developing and sustaining school gardens at local middle and elementary schools.  Lower Columbia School Gardens is a local nonprofit (no government or school district funding) that is getting kids OUTSIDE digging in the mud, noticing, observing and learning about critters in the compost, pollinators at the flowers and whatever other natural life presents itself (see photos).

In the past year Lower Columbia School Gardens has engaged nearly 3,000 students in Cowlitz County in garden related activities.  Come hear how participating in planning, planting, weeding, watering, composting, harvesting, selling, cooking and eating actual vegetables (and fruit) impacts students and volunteers and fosters connection with nature.  

Where: Lower Columbia College Physical Science Building Room 102; Located next to the LCC 15th Ave parking lot in Longview, WA  

When: Thursday, April 17th from