Learn all about diving birds at OPAS meeting

Many water birds in the Salish Sea are “divers,” meaning that they submerge themselves from the surface of the water to pursue prey below the surface, using their wings and/or feet for propulsion.

Learn about these birds from local birding expert Bob Boekelheide as he presents “Bottoms Up! How Diving Birds Survive and Thrive in the Salish Sea” at the next Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society meeting set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, in the Rainshadow Hall at the Dungeness River Nature Center, 1943 W. Hendrickson Road.

There is no charge to attend.

Local diving birds include loons, grebes, murres, guillemots, auklets, cormorants and diving ducks. Some go all the way to the bottom to capture prey like mollusks and crustaceans, whereas others capture fish and other organisms in the middle of the water column. Learn about how they do it, how deep can they go, and how their bodies cope with the physiological changes?

Boekelheide was the first director of the Dungeness River Audubon Center, as well as a biologist at Point Reyes Bird Observatory in California and a high school science teacher in Washington state. He has compiled the Sequim-Dungeness Christmas Bird Count and Clallam County Migration Count for OPAS since 1995, as well as initiated several community science projects and surveys.