Tag Archives: Laurel Bohart

The 2023 Christmas Bird Count

The Cortes Island Museum has been sponsoring two birding events every year for the past two decades.* 2,873 birds were seen during the 2023 Christmas Bird Count, but this number would have been much higher if there were more participants. 

“We can only go to a certain number of places where we know there will be birds, and that’s mostly along the coastline,” explained Laurel Bohart, a keen birder as well as co-curator of Wild Cortes.

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This year’s recipients of the Jo Ann Green Ward: Laurel Bohart and Donna Collins

Laurel Bohart and Donna Collins were the recipients of this year’s Jo Ann Green Award

“We thought they encapsulated what the Joanne Green Award is about. We had a number of nominations, but we considered their’s to be the best because of all the work that they’ve done for Wild Cortes. They put in a lot of unseen work in the background to make the Wild Cortes exhibit the success it’s been, and they’re doing that as volunteers,” explained Helen Hall, Executive Director of the Friends of Cortes Island (FOCI).

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Return of a bird species not seen on Cortes for 50 years? Or a Horned grebe?

The most recent addition to Wild Cortes may turn out to be a species that has not been seen on Cortes for close to 50 years. Or it could be a Horned grebe, which is said to be fairly common.

“It’s a Black-necked grebe. It’s possibly an adult molting, or it could be an immature. I believe it’s an adult male,” said Laurel Bohart, taxidermist and co-curator of Wild Cortes.

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Cortes Day: Then and now

The Southern Cortes Community Association (SCCA) estimate 500 people may have turned out for Cortes Day on Saturday, July 15, 2023.

Mike Manson, whose great uncle(1) and grandfather(2) were among the island’s first known European settler, remembers there were once two festivals.

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Fresh look at an iconic display: The Cortes Island Water Cycle

Wild Cortes came into being as a result of a series of interactions between Laurel Bohart and Lynne Jordan, former President of the Cortes Island Museum. They started in 2005, shortly after Bohart moved to Cortes Island.  

“I met Lynn Jordan on on the ferry. She had this parrot, an African grey, and it was dead and frozen. She wanted to find a taxidermist, so I mounted her bird. That was the beginning of Wild Cortes, because we did ‘Ravens Relations,’ and put it up in the museum for a few years. People were absolutely enthralled. They wanted to know if we would have more animals, so we dreamed up the original Wild Cortes, the story of water,” she explained.

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