Guests read about the Hall of Birds

Community Partnership: Audubon Society

Sometimes two organizations come together to better achieve their missions. The Whatcom Museum and the North Cascades Audubon Society (NCAS) are an example of this. Through an ongoing partnership, the Museum and Audubon Society have produced a variety of events, and an exhibit, that have informed and inspired people throughout Whatcom County.

Museum and Audubon Society form partnership

The partnership began in 2013 when the Museum opened an exhibit in the Syre Education Center that showcased its collection of taxidermy birds and Native American artifacts on a limited basis. Shortly after the exhibit opened, Museum staff invited NCAS to help assist with programs about the birds. NCAS agreed, and representatives spent time each month volunteering in the exhibit to answer questions.

A collage of birds set up in the “John Eden Hall of Birds” exhibit.

Then the Museum decided to move its founding collection of taxidermy birds from the Syre to Old City Hall in 2016-17 to create the John M. Edson Hall of Birds. The North Cascades Audubon Society played a key role in the exhibit development.

“When planning began for moving the birds to Old City Hall, knowledgeable NCAS birders joined in and we discussed key birds to move and important themes for the exhibit. These became foundational to the new exhibit,” said Chris Brewer, a previous Museum educator involved in getting the Audubon active at the Museum.

The Hall of Birds showcases more than 500 mounted birds and helps visitors learn about migration, conservation, and more. The North Cascades Audubon Society is still involved with the Hall of Birds exhibit. Every fourth Sunday of the month from 1:30-3:30pm is Audubon at the Museum. There, volunteer experts from the Audubon Society answer questions about the exhibit and birds in general.

Beyond the Hall of Birds

The North Cascades Audubon Society holds monthly meetings in the Rotunda Room of Old City Hall. Educational presentations are on the fourth Tuesday of every month. The programs are open to the public and highlight a diverse range of topics.

NCAS has also been a key financial contributor to many of the Museum’s programs. It helped fund four summer camps in 2015 and 2016, providing scholarships for four children as well as purchasing materials. NCAS also co-sponsored two presentations by well-known bird photographer Paul Bannick. During the Vanishing Ice exhibition in 2013-14, NCAS helped facilitate family educational events.

The Audubon Society does a lot of work for the community outside of the Museum. It continues to support scientific research about local wildlife and the environment. It has also provided grants for more than 30 college students who have completed work on 31 research projects. NCAS also served as Whatcom County Coordinator for a five-year, state-wide study on seabird mortality. Through all of these actions, the Audubon Society continues to provide opportunities for the public to engage with the natural world.

“Audubon is not only a birding organization, but an educational and conservation oriented [organization] as well,” said Pam Borso, current president of the North Cascades Audubon Society. “The Museum has provided us the opportunity to further our presence in the community.”

The Whatcom Museum thanks the North Cascades Audubon Society for their contribution to the community, and to our visitors.

–Written by Colton Redtfeldt, Marketing Assistant



Audubon: Learn about Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association & Whatcom Land Trust

Join the North Cascades Audubon Society for their monthly program in the Rotunda Room of Old City Hall. The Audubon will offer both an in-person event, as well as a virtual option. Alex Jeffers from the Whatcom Land Trust and Rachel Vasak from the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association will discuss their efforts to acquire, restore, and steward high quality habitat throughout Whatcom County for a multitude of fish and wildlife species, including birds.

They will provide examples of how partnerships, community-supported efforts, and science-based data have improved habitat quality for future generations and how volunteers can be involved in ongoing and future efforts. Their focus on riparian habitat is especially crucial for supporting and protecting the most diverse bird communities in the Pacific Northwest.

Cost: $5 suggested donation/members free

In-person programs in the Rotunda Room of Old City Hall will have distanced seating with a maximum capacity of 60 people on a first come, first serve basis. We will also provide a link to our livestreamed program for viewing offsite. Masks will be required for all participants regardless of vaccination status. If you feel unwell or have any symptoms of illness, please tune in virtually to our programs.

The Audubon will require proof of vaccination to attend this program. Please bring your vaccination card or a photo of it.


COVID-19 Disclaimer: While the Whatcom Museum has implemented rigorous protocols to maintain a clean and safe environment, an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is a very contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens and visitors with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable. By visiting the Whatcom Museum you, and all members of your group, voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.

The Whatcom Museum acknowledges that we gather on the traditional territory of the Lhaq’temish – Lummi People – and the Nuxwsá7aq – Nooksack People – who have lived in the Coast Salish region from time immemorial. The Museum honors our relationship with all of our Coast Salish neighbors and our shared responsibilities to their homeland where we all reside today.