Etcetera - 12/16/10


Who could turn down the chance to spot ruby- or golden-crowned kinglets, white-crowned sparrows, American kestrels, California quail, black-billed magpies, black-capped chickadees or red-breasted nuthatches?

Opportunity will knock as steady as a woodpecker when intrepid volunteers strike out at 7:30 a.m. Sunday for the Walla Walla Christmas Bird Count with members of Blue Mountain Audubon Society.

Thousands have braved all kinds of weather to do this around the country for 111 years, the chapter's December Magpiper newsletter reported.

Locally, folks have volunteered since 1973 to count every bird they see or hear on an assigned route.

Leaders Mike and MerryLynn Denny will pair experienced birders with beginners for the day-long count.

Those who can't make the outing or leave home are encouraged to count the birds at their yard feeders and report their findings to the Dennys at 529-0080 or

Walla Wallan Shirley Muse has participated for 36 years, followed by Priscilla Dauble, with 32 years, the newsletter reported. In 1998, volunteers ventured out in 8-degree weather and in 2002 they were met with a balmy 67 degrees.

The non-profit BMAS was chartered in 1972. For more details, see


Four area students performed in the 25th annual Feast of Carols Dec. 5 at Cordiner Hall on the Whitman College campus as members Whitman College Chorale.

Participants included Walla Wallans Michael Blackwood, Joyce Chen, Eva Reich and Jeremy Ross.

"This popular event brought the finest choirs in the Walla Walla Valley to the Whitman campus to help usher in holiday cheer. The assortment of vocalists delighted in the opportunity to show off their pipes will simultaneously spreading the joy of the season," a release said. Founded more than 100 years ago, the Whitman Chorale's tradition includes performing masterworks from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The 100-member group sponsors an annual Commissioning Project, wherein major American composers are invited to write new works, especially for the Chorale. The Chorale performs regularly with area symphony orchestras. Members have recently performed Mendelssohn's "Elijah," Stravinsky's "Symphony of Psalms," Mozart's "Requiem" and the world premiere of John David Earnest's "Second Symphony."

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at or afternoons at 526-8313.


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