Make birds count for Bird Fest!
Do you want to learn what birds are in your backyard? Do you want to help researchers take a snapshot of their populations? You can do both, and more for Bird Fest. You can do both Saturday, Feb 18 at Bird Fest. The event goes from 10 am – 2 pm at the Burien Community Center and offers families, friends and neighbors an opportunity to learn about their local birds and plants while participating in the annual Great Backyard Bird Count. The Environmental Science Center has coordinated Bird Fest with sponsorship from the City of Burien to spread awareness on watershed health through creating native habitat for birds.
There will be hourly bird walks, presentations, family nature walk, booths, door prize raffle, crafts and hands-on activities for all ages. Participating organizations include the City of Burien Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services, Green Burien Partnership, Hansen Photonics Inc., Master Gardener Foundation of King County, Nature Stewards: Weed Warriors, Page 2 Books, Rainier Audubon, Seattle Audubon, Seward Park Audubon Center, South Sound Nature School, Tiny Trees Preschool, Washington Native Plant Society, and Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife. Raffle prizes sponsored by Wild Birds Unlimited in Burien.
Please note: Each of the walks will be capped to 20 people and live lectures will be capped at 30 people. This will help us ensure the best quality of program for attendees. Half of the spots for each program will be open for advanced registration and half will be set aside for day of participants.
Schedule of Events
Join Eileen Lambert (South Sound Nature School), Ed Dominguez (Seward Park Audubon), and alongside ESC naturalists to learn bird identification skills and put them to practice during guided walks at Dottie Harper Park! Meet us at the entrance to the Burien Community Center!
Feathers & Friends (Family Nature Hike) with Tiny Trees Preschool- 11:00 AM
The youngest through the oldest nature explorers can participate in collecting scientific data while enjoying the outdoors together! Join Tiny Trees Preschool and ESC staff for Feathers and Friends (Family Nature Hike) to learn about the plants and animals around us while participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count. Meet us at the entrance to the Burien Community Center!
Owls in Seattle with Ed Dominguez from Seward Park Audubon Center- 12:00 PM
Join us for a Bird Fest presentation about Owls in Seattle given by Ed Dominguez from Seward Park Audubon Center. Winter is peak owl courtship and mating season in our area and Ed will enlighten us all about owl behavior, identification, and seasonality. Enjoy a live streamed version if you cannot join us in person. Meet us inside the Burien Community Center!
Bird Watching & Home Habitats with Kelsey Hansen from WDFW- 1:00 PM
Join us for a Bird Fest presentation about creating bird habitat, feeding, and viewing at home with Kelsey Hansen the Watchable Wildlife Coordinator from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Kelsey will enlighten us about the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife’s Habitat at Home and Watchable Wildlife programs and how you can help make your living area bird friendly! Enjoy a live streamed version if you cannot join us in person. Meet us inside the Burien Community Center!
WHY BIRD FEST?
This free annual event offers families, friends and neighbors an opportunity to learn about their local birds and plants while participating in the annual Great Backyard Bird Count, which goes for four days in Feb. This year it’s from Feb 17-Feb 20. There are counts, conversations, activities and resources to help you learn identification and counting tips, have your questions answered, and simply be awed by birds. There are also plenty of resources below to help you count on your own, investigate your local birds and plants, and connect with local organizations and community groups in neat ways. This annual event is sponsored by the City of Burien to help folks help their watershed.
The Environmental Science Center has coordinated Bird Fest with sponsorship from the City of Burien to spread awareness on watershed health through creating native habitat for birds. It promotes the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society with partner Bird Studies Canada and is made possible in part by founding sponsor Wild Birds Unlimited. In 1998, this was the first online community-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time. In 2020, 268,674 worldwide bird watchers helped in the four-day count to create an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of 6,699 species of birds. In 2019, 224,781 people took part. In 2018, it was 192,456. Join in to keep the numbers rising!
If you help count during this GBBC weekend, or any other day, you’ll enter species into eBird, which is a global online program for collecting bird observations every day of the year (and is a phone app!). Researchers can’t be everywhere, including your backyard, so just 15 minutes can make a big difference for your local birds!
Check out additional information from our Bird Fest event partners and find helpful resources below!
In the meantime…
4 keys to bird IDs can come from asking these 4 questions to help with identification.
What does it LOOK like?
What does it SOUND like?
WHERE is it?
WHAT is it doing?
HELPFUL BIRDING RESOURCES – to view –
For teens and adults: Watch our Making Birds Count session to learn about Winter Backyard Birds from Ed Dominguez and local bird counts from Kharli Rose.
View last year’s virtual event YouTube replays HERE! View last year’s virtual event Facebook replays HERE!
Literally check out some King County Library books on birds.
Watch our Toddler Time Birding Bits (for ages 3 and up) with Kharli Rose to look and listen for local backyard birds through songs, felt board games and exploring outdoors. These were recorded in spring of 2020.
HELPFUL BIRDING RESOURCES – digital & physical –
For more information about the Great Backyard Bird Count visit birdcount.org. You’ll find simple tools on identifying birds, submitting them for the count, and any steps in between. These include phone and web apps below.
Find out more about ebird.org
For help identifying local western Washington birds, visit Seattle Audubon Society’s BirdWeb.
Use Audubon’s Native Plant Database to discover what native plants will attract birds to your neighborhood and where to purchase them locally.
For information on feeding backyard birds visit Project Feeder Watch.
There are too many wonderful resources to list, but below are some local brochures, books, and even a game that tests all skill levels on North American birds.