Curlew Drawing

Lower Columbia Basin Audubon Society

Serving Benton and Franklin Counties since 1965

Report Sightings at Bird Sightings and LCBirds2

Monthly Meeting: Tuesday, November 25
7 - 9 pm

Kennewick First Lutheran Church
Corner of Hwy 395 and Yelm

Birds and Plants of the Shrub-steppe

Andy Stepniewski

Andy started birding as a teenager in California and grew to love all aspects of nature from birds, plants, to geology. He is a graduate of the University of British Columbia and was an interpretive ranger in B.C. forests in his 20s.Andy has lived in Yakima since 1978 and is the author of “The Birds of Yakima County.”

Andy will introduce you to the plant and bird communities of the shrub-steppe ecosystem in the Columbia Basin of eastern Washington. He will take you on a journey into the arid "sagebrush wasteland" that is actually a mosaic of plant communities, some with nary a sage, based on precipitation, slope and aspect, and soil depth. He will emphasize the relationships between birds and their habitats, and impart much in the way of botanical tidbits as these relate to birds.

Each plant community hosts a unique assemblage of birds. For example, the Horned Larks prefer the rocky (thin) soils, and the threatened Sage Sparrows like some bare ground between the sagebrush to forage in. Sage Thrashers, Brewer's Sparrows and Sage Grouse depend on high quality native bunchgrasses mixed in with the sagebrush. Vesper Sparrows seem wedded to the lusher grasslands. Andy will also talk about the coulees in eastern Washington, nesting habitat for raptors and birds of the cliffs and talus. He will describe the riparian zone community and its wealth of plant and bird life, oasis in an arid region.

Finally, Andy will touch on conservation issues affecting the shrub-steppe ecosystem. Over 60% of the original shrub-steppe landscape has been converted to various forms of agriculture and much of the remaining habitats are degraded.

But wait! That’s not all. Spring wildflowers are yet another feature of the shrub-steppe!

The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. with a brief business meeting and a bird identification segment presented by Ivar Husa. Following the business meeting, there is a 15 minute break for those attending to visit and enjoy cookies, tea or coffee. The speaker usually begins the presentation around 7:45 p.m.

What species is this?

Bird ID Tooltip Horned Grebe photo by Larry Umthun

Birds of the Tri-Cities Checklist
[Note: This checklist is designed to be printed on 8.5 x 14 in paper and folded in 4 folds width-wise.]

Birds of the Tri-Cities Annotated Checklist

Benton County Bird List for 2014
This is a list of species reported in Benton County by date.

Join - Renew - Donate

Bateman Bird Walk, Saturday
December 6, 8 AM

Bateman Island Sign

Junior Audubon Schedule

  • Oct. 23 - After School
  • Nov. 6 - Bird Walk After School
  • Dec. 18 - After School
  • Jan. 17 - Going Ducky
  • Feb. 12 - After School Bird Walk and Count
  • Mar. 26 - After School
  • Apr. 23 - After School
  • May 21 - After School Quiz and Migratory Bird Game

Buy Seed - Feed the Birds - Earn Money for LCBAS!

the 13th Annual Seed Sale

Any time you buy seed at Columbia Grain & Feed, just mention Audubon and LCBAS will receive a donation.

Learn bird sounds with Larkwire. It's a great tool and your purchase supports Lower Columbia Basin Audubon Society!

Larkwire is an application that resides on the web – meaning that you have to be connected to the internet to access it - and can be played on a computer or on several other devices  (iPad, iPod, some Android systems).

[NOTE: If you don't use our link above, and purchase Larkwire independently, be sure to include the code 'LCBAS' and our Chapter will still get credit.]

Next Board Meeting

December 1, 2014
6:15 PM
Richland Public Library

Lower Columbia Basin Audubon board meetings are open to all members.

AUDUBON MISSION STATEMENT - To conserve and restore ecosystems, focusing on birds and wildlife, for the benefit of humanity and Earth's biological diversity. Audubon educates adults and children about the environment, advocates responsible public policy and legislation for natural resources, and conducts science-based projects using birds as indicators of health of the natural world.

All photos used on this website are the property of the photographer and subject to copyright.

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