Nature Night

Portland Audubon’s 2021-2022 Nature Night Speakers Series is committed to presenting entertaining and expert talks on natural history, wildlife, and conservation issues.

Nature Night is a chance for the community to engage with naturalists, authors, artists, enthusiasts, and activists about issues that affect the world around us. With topics ranging from hidden places of the Pacific Northwest to diversity in the conservation movement to bats, there is a talk for everyone. Our series takes place on the second Tuesday of the month, September through May (unless otherwise noted).

Questions? Contact the Curator of Nature Night, Matthew Hushbeck at

Become a Sponsor

Portland Audubon is currently seeking sponsors, both businesses and individuals, for the 2021/2022 Nature Night season. Learn more.

2021/2022 Season

April 12, 2022

Advancing Climate Action and Environmental Justice with the Portland Clean Energy Fund

Join Sam Baraso and David Grandfield of the Portland Clean Energy Fund (PCEF) team to hear about how they are granting resources to nonprofits to bring clean energy, green infrastructure and clean-energy jobs to Portland. The Portland Clean Energy Fund was passed by Portland voters in November 2018 to provide funding to weatherize homes, install solar and other renewable energy projects, provide green job and contractor training, expand local food production, and create green infrastructure. All well prioritizing communities hit hardest by environmental degradation, including communities of color and low-income communities. Hear from Sam and David about the projects PCEF has funded and how they continue to improve the program.

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March 8, 2022

The State of Western Organizations Working on Indigenous Landscapes

Friends of Tryon Creek Executive Director, Gabe Sheoships, will share a presentation that draws cultural differences and parallels between Indigenous stewardship practices and western models of environmental engagement, sharing examples and lessons from his work.

Friends of Tryon Creek is a 52 year old 501©(3) organization dedicated to the 660 acre urban forest within the boundaries of SW Portland and Lake Oswego, Oregon. Environmental education, community engagement and landscape restoration have been the focus of the organization’s mission, in partnership with Oregon State Parks. The organization has taken strides to recognize the Indigenous narrative of the land, and to serve the forest and human community through the relationship of an Indigenous worldview.

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Gabe Sheoships, photo by Alex Milan Tracy

December 14, 2021

Michelle Nijhuis: Finding Hope in Conservation History


In the late nineteenth century, humans came at long last to a devastating realization: their rapidly industrializing and globalizing societies were driving scores of animal species to extinction. Over the decades since, the conservation movement has evolved from early campaigns to save charismatic species like the American Bison into an effort to defend life on a larger scale. Journalist Michelle Nijhuis, the author of the book Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction, will share some of her research on the accomplishments, oversights, and outsized personalities of the conservation movement, and discuss how this colorful history can guide and inspire today’s activists.

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November 9, 2021

Elakha Alliance: Restoring Sea Otters to the Oregon Coast: An Ecological and Cultural Imperative


Sea otters were once common along the Oregon coast, a protector of the rich biological productivity of ocean waters and a meaningful element in the culture of coastal Indian people. Their fur made them the target of commercial hunting and by the late 1800s, they were mostly gone from their former range. The Elakha Alliance, an Oregon non-profit organization, seeks to return these essential keystone predators to their former homes and thereby restore the ecological productivity of the nearshore marine ecosystem and restore the ancient cultural connection between coastal Indian people and sea otters.

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Photo courtesy of Jerry Burke.

October 12, 2021

Behind the Scenes: The Wildlife Care Center


Join Portland Audubon’s Wildlife Care Center team for a behind-the-scenes look at the treatment they provide to give injured and orphaned wildlife a second chance. Learn about the most common hazards that bring animals to the Care Center and what we can do to co-exist with our wild neighbors. Finally, take a tour of the NEW Wildlife Care Center and learn how this facility will provide the tools we need to meet the growing demands of our region.

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Connie Lo, staff veterinarian, and Stephanie Herman, Wildlife Care Center manager, examine the Turkey Vulture.

September 14, 2021

Nathan Pieplow: The Language of Birds


All around us, all the time, the birds are telling us who they are and what they are doing. In this talk, Nathan Pieplow, author of the Peterson Field Guide to Bird Sounds, unlocks the secrets of their language. You’ll listen in on the pillow talk of a pair of Red-winged Blackbirds and learn the secret signals that Cliff Swallows use when they have found food. You’ll learn how one bird sound can have many meanings and how one meaning can have many sounds—and how, sometimes, the meaning isn’t in the sounds at all.

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Stay tuned for the full season announcement!