Warm winter greetings, Seattle Audubon members,
Over the course of this drawn-out pandemic, so much of the organizing, advocacy, and activity in support of our mission has been happening behind the scenes. That’s why I’ve been especially looking forward to this annual report, to share our many accomplishments with you, our members. Rest assured, we have been BUSY!
I am incredibly proud of the work Seattle Audubon’s network of members, volunteers, board, and staff accomplished during our 2020–2021 fiscal year, guided by our strategic plan—Cities at the Center.
We continued to focus our work on urban conservation, equity, and resilience. We uplifted the cause of urban conservation for the birds that share our backyards, city parks, and flyways; we centered equity and anti-racism to build a more inclusive coalition for the protection of birds; and we stewarded our resources, both human and financial, with care to make it all possible.
As we turn the corner into 2022, the strength of our community has never been more important.
We are slowly and safely resuming in-person activities. Our volunteers and staff are eager to greet you this holiday season in our Nature Shop, and we hope you will all join us for the annual Christmas Bird Count on December 19. After all, birds of a feather were meant to flock together!
To the new year,
Mission & Vision
Seattle Audubon advocates and organizes for cities where people and birds thrive. We envision our local cities integrating and valuing nature, minimizing threats to birds, and protecting habitat.
The People of Seattle Audubon
People are at the heart of fulfilling our mission. Through a full year of COVID modifications our members, staff, volunteers, advocates, and partners continued to show up and support our work in so many important and creative ways. Even when we couldn’t be together, we were still together on behalf of birds.
Stories from our Community
by Megan Elfman, Burien
Member and Volunteer
We first fell in love with our house because of the big beautiful windows looking onto the maple tree in our front yard. We knew it would be a great spot to set up feeders and watch birds right from our living room. However, not long after we settled in, we heard a startling “thunk!” against the big window. After our hearts starting beating again, we looked out and saw a Pine Siskin resting on the deck, looking stunned. We knew something must be wrong with it, because it was still sitting in the same spot after about half an hour. My husband took it to a rehab clinic in a padded shoebox.
Since that point, we heard more collisions to the point that we knew we had to do something. We first tried adding clear stickers to the outside of the smaller windows, but the bigger window still had problems. We created and installed our own collision deterrent using long black cords dangling from the roof to cover the big window, about 10 cm apart. The change is astounding. Since we put them in, we have had only one bird strike. The other day, I saw a finch perching on one sideways!
We know this is the change that needed to happen at home, and I wanted to contribute to prevention on a larger scale, so this fall I started volunteering for Seattle Audubon’s new Collision Monitoring program. Once a week I monitor the ‘North Cluster’ buildings, four of eight buildings being monitored. This program is contributing scientific data, giving Seattle Audubon a greater understanding of bird-window collisions.
For beginning birders, noticing is one of the most important skills to develop.
Spotlighting Mohini Paul, Bellevue
Young Birder and Volunteer
When Mohini started high school three years ago, her teacher approached her about starting a birding club. She grew up being interested in backyard birds with her mother, but the birding club is when, according to Mohini, she really started down the bird identification rabbit hole. She learned to identify backyard birds and honed her ability to notice subtle bird characteristics and behaviors. For beginning birders, noticing is one of the most important skills to develop, she says. She particularly enjoys observing waterfowl, because they hold still long enough to notice all of their beauty and subtleties.
This same teacher knew about Seattle Audubon’s Young Birders, designed just for teens interested in birds and conservation, and recommended that she get involved. Mohini joined in the spring of 2021 and has enjoyed being part of a second group teens who share her common interests. She remembers one Young Birders speaker, Jared Strawderman with Friends of the Columbia River Gorge Wildlife Refuge, as being particularly impactful, explaining how his career gives him the opportunity to observe and protect wildlife on a daily basis.
Mohini also has a part-time job working retail. With this experience, and her interest in birds, she knew she would be a perfect fit to volunteer in Seattle Audubon’s Nature Shop. She enjoys helping find the perfect gift for a shopper’s grandchild, or helping a caller determine how often to clean their feeders. In birding, she says, there are no black and white answers, just knowledge sharing. She is happy to have a volunteer role that lets her skills shine, and we are so grateful to have volunteers like Mohini, who are giving back on behalf of birds.
House Finch | Michele Black | Great Backyard Bird Count
Program Highlights of 2020-21
752 advocacy actions
were taken to tell local and national lawmakers that we need policies that benefit birds and people, like stronger tree protections and bird-safe building practices.
389 reports of and pledges for wildlife
were collected through dbird, the dbird Challenge, and the City Nature Challenge to further our understanding and commitment to protecting urban wildlife.
at our Nature Shop—more than 3,000 products to aid in appreciating, understanding, and protecting birds. This included over 34 tons of bird seed sold! The Nature Shop remains an important way to engage the public in actions they can take at home.
36 online adult classes and workshops
were offered to build connection, knowledge, and community. Almost half of those, including our Nature of Your Neighborhood series and quarterly Program Meetings, were offered free to the public, with the rest offered on a sliding fee scale.
In-person field trips
returned in June, which are still continuing. Members have the opportunity to be led by expert volunteers to places like Juanita Bay, Magnuson Park, Union Bay Natural Area, and more!
received environmental education and conservation messaging through a combination of virtual and in-person age-appropriate curriculum provided during school visits, Young Birders, Nature Camp, education kit rentals, and video storytelling. This doesn’t include the numerous downloads and viewings of free youth curriculum available on our website.
Photo: Addie Asbridge of Bertschi School
14,686 individual birds
were counted through a community science survey during Christmas Bird Count Feeder Watch, Neighborhood Bird Project, and Climate Watch. These data represent the efforts of 140+ volunteers, monitoring species at 338 survey sites or locations.
Over 25 Community Partners
who share our common goals, and amplify our reach and mission impact!
Furthering our Mission
Cities at the Center 2020–2023 Strategic Plan
Now halfway through our strategic plan, Seattle Audubon is making significant progress on our urban conservation, equity, and resilience priorities.
Goal: Advocate for bird-safe cities and include specific conservation calls to action in all our programs.
Goal: Understand and eradicate racial inequity and injustice in our field and in our own organization, shifting our culture and practices to create welcoming spaces.
Goal: Be excellent stewards of our existing resources, diversify and enhance our funding sources, and maximize retention by developing our staff, board, and leadership.
Progress towards Urban Conservation Goal:
- Reduced urban hazards to birds
- Better understanding and prevention of window collisions including launching dBird.org and creating a new Collision Monitoring program
- Encouraged alternatives to pesticides, specifically rat poisons
- Created a guide to enhance biodiversity and green space connectivity for people and wildlife in Capitol Hill
- Advocated for conservation prorities like tree protections and bird-safe building practices
- Developing clear, actionable, and age-appropriate conservation messaging and incorporating those in to all of our programs
Progress towards Equity Goal:
- Launched Hoot Camp, an annual workshop series for all staff and volunteer leaders to foster a shared understanding of our conservation and equity goals
- Worked with an outside consultancy to perform a comprehensive culture audit and create an actionable plan for an anti-racist future
- Making policy changes to support a future organizational culture that attracts, retains, and supports BIPOC leadership
Progress towards Resilence Goal:
- Launched a new board on-boarding program
- Increased pay band equity among staff, stabilized our staffing model, and increased employee retention
- Secured two Paycheck Protection Program loans, which have been fully forgiven
- Maintained our existing funding sources and are supporting the growth of our Conservation Action Fund, a board-designated strategic reserve
Red-tailed Hawk | Peter Ferguson | Big Backyard Bird Count
As a local, independent, nonprofit organization, Seattle Audubon relies on diverse funding sources including individual donations, membership dues, grants, investment income, and earned incomes like class and Nature Camp registrations and profits from The Nature Shop. These diverse revenue streams provide us with a secure financial foundation.
Thank you for your investment last year! We believe in transparency and accountability on how your support funded our programs and mission. Complete financial statements are available upon request, and more information can be found on our Finance page.
This is a summary of the Seattle Audubon’s July 1, 2020–June 30, 2021 audited financial statements.
|TOTAL SUPPORT & REVENUE||$1,291,036|
|Funding the Mission||$210,685|
*Includes the work of Urban Conservation, Environmental Education, Community Science, Community Engagement, and The Nature Shop
We had excess revenues over expenses of $344,120, which includes approximately $303,000 in unrealized gain on our endowment investments and approximately $41,000 from our operating activities. While we are pleased with the positive investment returns, these earnings are not readily available for operations.
The Nature Shop is open for all your in-person and online shopping needs — binoculars, feeders, games, gifts, & more!
The Nature Shop Holiday Hours
Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm,
Sunday 11am – 4pm,
Closing at 3pm December 24 and 31.
Closed December 25 and 26, and January 1
All special offers good through December 31, 2021.
Use Coupon Codes ANY SEED, ANY BOOK, or ANY ITEM.
Limit one of each coupon per household.
BONUS DECEMBER MEMBER BENEFITS
- Additional 10% OFF any bag of seed
- Additional 10% OFF any book
- 10% OFF any one item (binoculars, scopes, and tripods excluded)
Buy 2 children’s books, get 1 FREE
Book of least value is free. In-store only.
Contribute to important data collection from the comfort of home! Join the Seattle Christmas Bird Count as a Feeder Watcher and report the birds that visit your yard. A perfect option for beginner birders and families interested in community science!
Band-tailed Pigeons | Dennis Paulson
You’ve already shown you care by being a member of Seattle Audubon. Please consider making an additional year-end gift today to fuel Seattle Audubon’s mission to advocate and organize for cities where people and birds thrive.
Your gift is an investment in the preservation and protection of local birds and habitat for generations to come. Thank you!
Suzannah Yu | Queen Anne Snowy Owl