Daily Archives: May 5, 2014

Musicians sought for July’s Bainbridge in Bloom garden tour

Contributed photo / Dave Gibson From left, violinists Lia Hardy and Lea Fetterman perform during last year's Bainbridge in Bloom garden tour.
Contributed photo / Dave Gibson
From left, violinists Lia Hardy and Lea Fetterman perform during last year’s Bainbridge in Bloom garden tour.

With July fast approaching, the Bainbridge Island Arts & Humanities Council is putting a call out for musicians interested in performing during its 26th annual Bainbridge in Bloom garden tour July 11-12.

Folk, jazz groups and classical chamber artists are sought by the Arts & Humanities Council to play hourlong sets from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Friday and Saturday of the event. Musicians can also perform longer than an hour and more frequently if they’d like.

Interested artists can contact, Bainbridge in Bloom music coordinator Karla Zimmerman at karlajzimmerman@comcast.net or (206) 979-9981.

Last year’s event drew more than 700 people.

Magazine ranks BHS 6th in state, 276th nationally

U.S. News & World Report ranked Bainbridge High School the sixth best high school in the state and 276th best nationally in its recently released eighth annual rankings of more than 19,400 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Last year, BHS was ranked seventh in the state and 274th nationally in the magazine’s “Best High Schools Rankings.”

Only 133 Washington state schools made the magazine’s 2014 list. Eligibility for the list required school’s garnering a national gold or silver medal; Bainbridge won a gold medal.

Kirkland’s International Community School was ranked the top school in the state, followed by Bellevue’s Community School, Bellevue High, Newport (Bellevue) High and Interlake (Bellevue) High.

Des Moines’ Aviation High, Seattle’s Roosevelt High, Seattle’s Garfield High and Winthrop’s Liberty Bell Junior/Senior High rounded out the state’s top 10.

Dallas’ School for the Talented and Gifted in Dallas, Texas, earned the top honors nationally, followed by BASIS Scottsdale in Arizona and Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology in Lawrenceville, Ga.

Kirkland’s International Community School was ranked the highest nationally in the state at No. 13.

According to information the magazine posted online, Bainbridge High has a 67 percent participation rate in Advanced Placement course work. Out of its total enrollment of 1,309, 50 percent of the student body is made up of males, and it has a total minority enrollment of 11 percent.

City needs volunteers for its advisory groups

Are you passionate about particular issues on Bainbridge Island?

Until 5 p.m. Friday, May 16, the City of Bainbridge Island will be taking applications for residents who would like to volunteer their time to one of nine citizen advisory groups.

Opening are on the Design Review Board, Environmental Technical Advisory Committee, Ethics Board, Harbor Commission, Historic Preservation Commission, Non-Motorized Transportation Advisory Committee, Planning Commission, Roads Ends Advisory Committee and Utility Advisory Committee.

Advisory group volunteers are appointed and receive no compensation for the time.

If you have questions, contact City Clerk Roz Lassoff at RLassoff@bainbridgewa.gov or (206) 780-8624.

Birding on Bloedel: A sparrow’s time of year

“A Year of Birding in Bloedel” is a column that runs every Friday in the Bainbridge Islander. The project is planned to continue in 52 parts through 2014 to help readers find and identify birds in the island’s garden sanctuary. Beginning with this entry on the bald eagle, each column will also be published  here on the Bainbridge Conversation blog each Friday. 

The author, Ted Anderson, is a retired professor of biology, having taught at McKendree University (Ill.) for 32 years and for the University of Michigan’s summer biological station for 20 years, where he frequently taught the biology of birds.

Anderson is also the author of “Biology of the Ubiquitous House Sparrow, from Genes to Populations” (2006), and “The Life of David Lack, Father of Evolutionary Ecology” (2013). Ted and his wife Carol have been members of Bloedel Reserve for seven years. They live in Kingston. 

Photo © David Seibel, BirdsInFocus.com. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Sparrows, like the White-crowned Sparrow, must hear their own species song during the first month of life if they are to develop a normal song as adults.

In the Seattle area, April Fool’s Day, give or take a day, is the date when the photoperiod-driven internal clock of the male White-Crowned Sparrow (Zontrichia leucophrys) signals him to begin singing. This year the resident male in my yard began singing on March 31, and when my wife and I arrived at the gate of Bloedel on April 3, a male White-crown was singing there.

The song of the White-Crowned Sparrow is a pleasing series of notes that begins with a clear whistled note, followed by several slurred notes, “see, ch-ch-ch-ch, chew,” the last note falling slightly in pitch.

The songs of songbirds belonging to the order Passeriformes are learned, and much of the pioneering scientific study of song learning was done of the White-Crowned Sparrows. The studies involved rearing sparrows in acoustic isolation, thereby completely controlling all sounds heard by the developing birds.

In a nutshell the studies revealed that male sparrows must hear their own species song during the first month of life if they are to develop a normal song as adults. They have a hereditary ability to recognize their own species song from among many songs they are exposed to, and create a memory for that song.

Many months later, when they are stimulated to sing by rising testosterone levels, this memory serves as a template for the development of a normal song. Speaking of testosterone levels, I recently took a checkup at balancemyhormones.co.uk to see my hormone levels, and as I guessed, there was an imbalance, which was treated.

Look and listen for this charming little brown songster with white and black stripes on the top of its head near the gate at Bloedel, or in your own backyard.