A group of bird banders hatched the idea during long volunteer hours banding birds at monitoring sites. Founded in 2008, the organization united existing projects, teams, and trainers dedicated to bird research in the Puget Sound.
Our vision grew to encompass an organization that identifies gaps in our knowledge about local birds, mobilizes and trains people to collect data to address the gaps, and provides the results both to the general public and to land managers.
We envision an organization that can bridge the space between the resource management and monitoring efforts of the state government, the research efforts of our academic institutions, the public outreach of our Audubon Societies, and a motivated birding public. This concept evolved into our motto, "Sound science. Scientific information. Informed public.
The PSBO Board of Directors
Since 1994, Chris’ yards have been registered both with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as a Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary, and with the National Wildlife federation’s Wildlife Habitat Program. She has planted a variety of native berried shrubs and trees that provide some sort of food for birds in every season. For additional winter food, she leaves the flower heads until spring. Chris keeps her garden organic and lets the birds and beneficial bugs eat all the pests they want, resulting in an arrangement that makes both the humans residents and visiting wildlife happy.
As one of the founding members, Chris has been a MAPS volunteer, and site manager for several PSBO projects including the five-year study of Wintering Avian Populations in Northwest Certified Wildlife Habitats.
Chris also belongs to several land conservancies and has helped plant hundreds of trees and pulled thousands of pounds of ivy. In Shoreline, she has worked on the successful Save the South Woods campaign, and she is currently an appointed member of the Shoreline Parks and Recreation Tree Board.
Currently PSBO’s President, Chris has been banding birds since 2003, and teaches a beginner banding class each year. Chris is one of the founding members of PSBO. Chris also writes the For the Birds column for the Shoreline Area News.
Donald Norman has a background in environmental toxicology and wildlife ecology that is based on strong empirical approaches using monitoring methods. Don brings a strong background in wildlife conservation in the Pacific Northwest, an understanding of Critical Area Ordinances and Washington’s Growth Management Act, and a familiarity with development mediation issues. He has worked on numerous bird projects relating to the management of priority species identified by Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife and is involved in many wildlife and mitigation projects in the urban zone.
As an active member of numerous conservation organizations, he has excellent working relationships with the conservation community. He is also involved in restoration projects, is a licensed Master Bander and owns his own native-plant nursery.
Don has operated a Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship bird-banding station since 1996 in the Fort Lewis area and has operated a Breeding Bird Survey route since 1993 on the outer coast. Don frequently teaches Breeding Bird Survey classes and Bander classes. Don is one of the creators and founding members of PSBO.
Cindy Easterson has served on the Board of Puget Sound Bird Observatory since 2010 filling the roles of both Secretary and Treasurer.
She is an advocate for engaging community scientists in projects to support the documentation and assessment of local bird populations and wildlife habitat. Cindy manages Puget Sound Bird Observatory’s Wintering Fox Sparrow Habitat Study and co-manages the Secretive Wetland Bird Monitoring project. Her experience includes conducting Breeding Bird Surveys, participation in Washington Audubon’s Sagebrush Songbird Survey project, monitoring and support for Vaux’s Swifts, shorebird surveys for the Puget Sound Shorebird Count, and serving as an area lead for Pilchuck Audubon’s annual Christmas Bird Count.
She has supported bird banding efforts with PSBO’s Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) station at Morse Reserve and provided training assistance and skill development at workshops for bird identification, bander training and a variety of bird survey methods. Cindy has a passion for birds and finds gratification in studying their behaviors, habits and needs. In addition, she takes great delight in sharing her interest with others and mentoring community scientists.
Cindy holds an integrated Bachelor of Arts and Science Degree with a focus on Wetland Science from the University of Washington. She has received HAZWOPER training for Oiled Wildlife Care and completed Washington State Department of Ecology training for Wetland Rating Systems and for Grass, Sedge and Rush Identification for Western WA Puget Lowland Habitats.
Elaine Chuang is a semi-retired physician (ophthalmologist at the University of Washington and Veterans’ Administration) with over 40 years of experience in the world of eye care and vision science. She continues to inspire people to look at the world around them as a member of the PSBO Board of Directors.
Connecting and sharing are key words that guide Elaine’s contributions to those around her. She finds deep appreciation in the natural environment, especially the avifauna that surround us. Elaine is grateful to have been a member of the Seattle Audubon Society’s Master Birder Program, Class of 2018-19, and gets a steady rush of endorphins from participation in community science of many sorts. She is actively involved with Seattle Audubon (Neighborhood Bird Project, Puget Sound Seabird Survey), several Christmas Bird Counts, and PSBO’s efforts such as the Secretive Wetland Bird Survey. An amateur but persistent photographer, she contributes images which aid in documenting the many things happening under the wing of the Puget Sound Bird Observatory. Elaine is also deeply committed to Environmental Education as a volunteer with the Seattle Parks and Recreation.
Her favorite days are spent being instrumental in the vital work of our many bird-related organizations, appreciating the marvels of the natural world and underlining efforts aimed at its preservation.
While enjoying birds and nature growing up in Oregon, Glenn Johnson began actively studying ornithology under Dr. Steven Herman while studying at the Evergreen State College in Olympia.
Since then, he has monitored and banded birds throughout 11 states in the western U.S. and Mexico, helped establish the Klamath Bird Observatory (becoming its first employee when it became a 501c3), earned a Master of Science from the University of Arizona studying the effect of beavers on desert riparian vegetation and bird communities, and helped develop educational programs for diverse communities.
He is a master bird bander and certified by the North American Banding Council at the bander and trainer levels.
Glenn is a biologist and project manager with Harris Environmental Group, where his work largely focuses on monitoring marine mammals and marbled murrelets in the Salish Sea/Puget Sound. He is actively working on several other natural resource projects.
Scott Markowitz is an avid birder, researcher, educator, and scientist who has developed a strong passion for all things feathered. From studying the process of molt in Passerines to looking at large scale conservation and habitat restoration, Scott is a true bird nerd.
Falling into birding accidentally over 25 years ago, Scott started perusing field guides and chasing new birds and rarities over hill and dale. Since then, he has birded all over North, Central, and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Scott’s current passion is research. He started banding birds in England where he earned his ringing license from the British Trust for Ornithology. There he contributed research on Sand Martins (Bank Swallows), Gulls, Eurasian Coot, and other waterfowl, and the effects of vegetation management on migrant Acrocephalus warblers.
Scott currently holds a master bird banding license.
Since returning to the USA, Scott’s new project involves developing processes to better age and sex Melospiza Melodia morphna, Thryomanes bewickii, Pipilo maculatus, and Certhia americana in hand, using feather wear and morphology, so that bird banders can more accurately age birds in hand. Scott is actively involved with PSBO’s MAPs banding projects at Morse, and is working to build a tiered training program for developing banders in the region. Scott is coordinating the Edmonds Marsh Project for Pilchuck Audubon and is president of Tahoma Audubon.