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Learn from Others

Meet Some of Our Environmental Champions

Corbin Klaft - A Friend to the Birds

Nine-year-old Corbin Klaft has a birdfeeder outside his bedroom window. "I want to see the birds, how they hunt and perch, what they do with their feet. The birds come and eat, and I try to identify them." Corbin has an idea for a birdhouse, too. "I'm going to make a regular bird house and then put a shield with a hole in it that predators can't get in." What's one of the best things about watching birds from your room? "It's experiencing nature but not scaring them away!" Hear his full story >


Mark Borden and the Swallows

Mark Borden of Whidbey Island has invited Violet-green and Tree Swallows to nest in his fence. Why? Originally, it was to control the insects on his horse farm. He once watched as a horse fly flew across the pasture. In came a Tree Swallow, and phwapp! It grabbed that fly! So he built a nestbox out of a leftover piece of horse-fence. Within a day, a pair of swallows moved into it. Mark then figured out how to put a nestbox in a post. Bring on the swallows! Hear his full story >

Landowners Help Endangered Birds

Habitat is nearly always critical for birds. For this endangered Greater Sage-Grouse, it comes down to preserving stands of healthy sagebrush. And essential to saving habitat is the cooperation of landowners. Recently, Rob Wesselman and his family placed 1100 acres of their land – home to Greater Sage-Grouse – into a federal conservation program called State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement, or SAFE. Hear their full story >


Rita Shultz: Friend of Bluebirds

Rita Shultz, a rural mail carrier, says, "Every person's yard is an important bird area!" When Rita discovered that Eastern Bluebirds were nesting in some of the newspaper delivery boxes on her route – and that many customers were throwing the nests out – she went into high gear. Rita asked all the people on her route if she could put up bluebird boxes on their property. More than half of them agreed! Hear her full story >


Bird Scare - With Carl and Rita Comfort

When it’s time to pick their four acres of wine grapes, Carl and Rita Comfort would rather the birds didn’t beat them to it. They could easily lose about 10% of their harvest. So at their vineyard, Comforts of Whidbey, they broadcast the distress calls of birds, to keep would-be grape-eaters, like these starlings, at bay. Before the BirdScare machine, they tried the blast of a cannon, but it bothered the neighbors. Now, the calls of a Cooper’s Hawk do the job. Hear their full story >


Chuck Pettis: Earth Sanctuary

At a place called Earth Sanctuary on Whidbey Island in Washington State, Osprey and Song Sparrows raise their young. Swainson’s Thrushes and Yellow Warblers find a welcome refuge when they return from South and Central America. Wood Duck young have a safe place to grow. Chuck Pettis is creating this sanctuary. Chuck’s goal is to create an old-growth forest, so he’s looking ahead 500 years. Hear his full story  >

Read more stories about stewards of the land!

Patrick Comins, executive director of Connecticut Audubon, explains what being a conservationist means to him.

Jim Brown, who was instrumental in establishing an Audubon Important Bird Area along 25 miles of the Clark Fork River in Montana, talks about conserving habitat for birds -- through partnerships.

Across the country, native prairie occupies only small fragments of its former range. On Washington's Whidbey Island, the Whidbey Camano Land Trust is restoring a remnant prairie.