The Birds of Vashon Island

Ed Swan

Vashon is a rural island of great bird habitat set in a sea of urban development. Its wind-swept beaches, thick stands of second-growth conifer and madrone forest, open farmland, and thickets are home to more than 250 different species of birds.

Naturalist and author Ed Swan helps readers know more about the Island’s bird species and how and where to find them.  He illuminates the connectedness of the birds to the condition of the land and water on which we all depend.

First published in 2005, this book inspired Island residents and visitors to explore Vashon habitats and document and share their sightings of birds.  Now, nearly a decade later, this new edition documents 15 additional species on the Vashon list.  It includes updated and expanded species accounts, all-new color maps, dozens of color photos from some of the best nature photographers of the region. In addition, it includes:

  • Seasonal abundance charts for every species ever seen on Vashon
  • An updated site guide to all the best birding hot spots
  • A description of the habitat and history of this unique island jewel
  • A checklist of all the birds of Vashon, including every rarity ever spotted

The Birds of Vashon Island is available at The Swan Company and at Seattle Audubon's Nature Shop.

Ed Swan is a nature writer living on Vashon Island who learned to enjoy birds from his grandmother as a boy. Swan has led field trips for Audubon Society chapters for over 20 years and currently guides birding trips on Vashon and around the Puget Sound country.

Fill of Joy

Constance Sidles

In her newest collection of 32 essays about wild nature, Constance Sidles describes in luminous prose the natural beauty and wonder she finds at Montlake Fill, an island of nature in a sea of urban development. The birds Connie observes here are living gems of color, celestial singers who fill the air with their liquid notes, selfless parents, ruthless predators, clever survivors--and always fascinating.

This is not a book about birds, however. It's a guide that describes how to find joy in ordinary life. By studying the interactions of the wild creatures who share our planet, Connie distills the essence of what it means to be human -- and happy.

Share the joy. Buy your own copy of "Fill of Joy" and find out why Connie writes, "There is real joy to be found in nature, and gladness in the world. We create it ourselves."

Birding in Seattle and King County

Eugene S. Hunn


Now available at fine bookstores everywhere, and at Seattle Audubon’s Nature Shop and website (link).

272 pages
377 species
70 full-color images
25 maps

King County stretches from the lowlands of Puget Sound to the heights of the Cascade Crest and includes a wide variety of habitats, everything from urban cityscapes to rugged mountains. Scattered throughout this most urban of all counties are unexpected pockets of the wild, where birds lead their secret lives, far away from the control of humans. If you’re quiet, though, and know where to look, you can peek into this world, maybe even enter it for a time and become one with nature.

No one knows the wilds of King County better than Gene Hunn, birder extraordinaire, citizen-scientist, environmentalist, and explorer. His newest book, Birding in Seattle and King County, takes birders and budding naturalists to all the county’s hotspots. With GIS-inspired maps, stunning color photographs, frequency graphs, and lists of all the rarities ever found since the 1860s, Hunn opens the doors of this magical world to anyone with an interest in nature and a pair of binoculars.

Published by Seattle Audubon Society October 2012; edited and produced by Constancy Press.

Second Nature

Constance Sidles

In the rush of modern life, in the chaos of a world that is often in crisis, where can you find peace of mind? Constance Sidles finds it in nature. If, like her, you're searching for a haven that gives you respite from care and grants you hope for the future, then come with her as she takes you on a journey into the wilds of a natural area set in the heart of a big city: the Montlake Fill in Seattle.

The Fill is 75 acres of wild beauty  on the campus of the University of Washington. In 32 essays arranged into four seasons, Connie describes the birds who come here and the things they do.In the process, she reflects on the meaning of wild nature and its healing role in our modern lives.

Connie's essays are by turns funny, serious, light, and dark. Like her first book about the Fill, In My Nature: A Birder's Year at the Montlake Fill, Connie writes about the human heart, as wild and free as the birds she finds at the Fill, as worn by care, and as lifted up by beauty.

Her essays are illustrated with spectacular photos of the birds of the Fill, taken by some of the best wildlife photographers in the world. Visually stunning and emotionally uplifting, this book is for everyone who loves nature, both human and wild...

In My Nature

Constance Sidles

You don't have to go to Alaska or Patagonia or even Timbuktu to find exotic nature. It's right here in your own backyard. Come along with Connie Sidles as she explores the wilds of the Montlake Fill, a natural haven in the heart of Seattle. The Fill is host to more than 240 different species of birds. In 32 essays arranged into four seasons, Connie documents the birds who come here and the things they do. In the process, she reflects on the meaning of wild nature and its relationship to human nature.

"Why do we go out into nature?" she asks. "Because it is eternal. It's bigger than we are. It grants us clarity and insight into ourselves. It gives us peace of mind and an understanding heart. It's funny, exciting, serene, and dangerous by turns. The Fill is a little piece of the wild where the unexpected is always around the next bend in the trail."

Come along with Connie and experience the surprises she finds.

Readers' comments:

"I can't be bothered with the Internet. I'm busy reading this book. Maybe you've heard of it. It's called In My Nature by Constance Sidles. It's all the rage in the Pacific Northwest. If you aren't reading it, you're out of the loop!"

"I am writing to congratulate you on your magnificent book. I was impressed with all of the care and dedication you have put into it. The thoughtful essays and the illustrations complement each other beautifully. Congratulations!!"

"I just had to drop you an email to tell you how wonderful your book is! I sent it to my mom, and she got it this afternoon, and she's very excited to read it. Your book will be having a positive effect on my mom's health in the coming days. Did you know you possessed such powers? It's a good thing."