Welcome to Bird Stories, a new column devoted to articles of interest to those who enjoy watching or learning about the birds in our area.

The column is created and maintained by the Discovery Coast Audubon Society. Submissions are welcome - you can contact us at www.discoverycoastaudubon.com. Each column will include information about birding events, habitat issues and Audubon Society news.

Did you know the Peninsula is a favorite destination for bird-watchers in the northwest? The rich diversity of our environment - seashore, forest, grassy areas and wetlands - all serve to attract over 300 species of birds. The area not only serves as habitat for a large number of resident critters, it is also an important link in the migratory movements of many wildlife species.

To sustain this diversity, we have to sustain the habitat. Every grove of trees removed, every marsh filled in, reduces the ability of our area to provide home and sustenance for an ever-smaller number of birds. And ultimately, what happens to birds happens to us. We all need the same things to survive: a healthy habitat consisting of clean air, water and an abundance of food and shelter. In the coming weeks, we will talk about things we can all do - both large and small - that can contribute to a viable habitat.

Our annual open house is scheduled for Sunday, May 20 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Senior Center on Pacific Hwy near Ocean Park. The folks from the Wildlife Rehab Center in Astoria will be there with live birds to view. We'll also have slide shows and many hands-on learning tools for school children. Come join in the fun!

The local Audubon Society chapter is now involved with Sea Resources, the fish hatchery in Chinook. We will be available to help expand and build their walking birding trail in the future. Now we are beautifying the grounds to be certified as a garden habitat. We will be planning Saturday morning field trips in the near future - watch here as our plans and schedules develop.

We have now set our board meetings to the second Friday of each month beginning at 10:30 a.m. at the P.U.D. auditorium in Long Beach. All are welcome!

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