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Karen Zook

Karen Zook is a Washington native and grew up in Port Townsend and Puyallup. She grew up exploring the forests, fields, and beaches of Washington, where she developed a love of birds and nature. Although she has had a lifelong love of nature, she did not start "serious” birding until she retired in 2006. It was her ears that led her to birding. An avid gardener, she would be out in her yard and hear a bird song, which led her to find the bird, then to identifying what she'd found. She loves to bird by ear, and has been asked to lead field trips because of her “bird ears.” The bird songs and sounds played on BirdNote have inspired her to learn more and develop her birding-by-ear skills.

Karen discovered BirdNote in 2005, and was immediately hooked. She listens daily with her parrot on her shoulder - the parrot loves BirdNote, too. She began volunteering with BirdNote by helping in the transition to the new website. Today, she searches the web for videos to go along with BirdNote episodes. It's a great excuse for watching videos of birds, and she is always learning something new.
After retiring, Karen and her husband Joe moved to Sequim for a few years, and have now settled in Yakima, where there is abundant sunshine and lots of great birds. Karen is the treasurer of Yakima Audubon, and she and Joe lead field trips, do bird surveys and bird counts, monitor and maintain a string of bluebird boxes, and participate in conservation and education efforts. Karen believes that it is not enough to just enjoy the birds; she strongly believes that we must be advocates for birds and conservation.

When she is not birding, Karen enjoys gardening, photography, walking, hiking, and spending time with her family, including a couple of "grand dogs."