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Volume 74, Number 4 March/April 2008

WESTERN
TANAGER
a publication of Los Angeles Audubon www.laaudubon.org

Using eBird, An Easy Way to Make a Big Difference


by Tom Stephenson

I
f you found $50 on a deserted Ornithology, National Audubon, and inclined scientists and engineers. The
street, you’d most likely bend the NSF, along with many other first iteration was a bit plain, and
down and pick it up; Very little organizations, eBird’s mission is to relied mostly on the good will of
effort, nice benefit. If a neighbor said collect observational data from the birders to input data with little hope of
they’d collect your empty beer bottles millions of individual sightings made using it again or gaining other benefits
and use the return money for a charity each year by all levels of individual from their effort.
you’d probably say “Sure, why not”; bird watchers. A couple of years ago Brian
Very little effort, nice benefit, ….helps Their site provides all of the easy Sullivan and Chris Wood joined the
clean up the clutter around the trailer. to use tools you need to enter your team. Brian had worked in the field
Now suppose someone offered you bird checklist data, just they way you for 12 years and wanted to find a
free software to track all of your bird might do when using paper checklists project that could have a broader
sightings, keep your state, county and or birding software. It stores the data impact than the typically more
life lists, see the status and distribution for you, and provides easy ways to isolated field research projects. Both
of any species from sightings by you or look at your Life, County, State and brought a birder’s perspective to the
thousands of other birders; AND, by other lists. project and designed the features in
using this software, you’d be You can also view the sightings the current Version 2 software that
contributing valuable information that made by everyone else who uses make it rewarding for not only the
could help researchers all over the world. eBird, info that shows when and research analyst but also, and
Seems like a no brainer: No cost, where birds migrate, when they might importantly, the birders gathering all
little effort, many benefits. be seen in your area, what birds have of the data.
Well the Cornell Laboratory of been seen in your favorite birding Their efforts brought about a 10
Ornithology and National Audubon spots, where birds breed, and lots of fold increase in sighting entries, from
Society are making this very offer. It’s other useful information. 3,500 to 35,000-40,000 submissions
called the eBird project, located at And more importantly, all data are per month.
www.eBird.org. By using their easy to made available to a wide range of By the way, Brian and Chris are
operate online system, you can enter research and conservation excellent birders and members of the
and keep records of your own organizations including larger world Cornell team that has won the annual
sightings and at the same time help research databases like the Avian World Series of Birding event two
with important bird research and Knowledge Network. years in a row. No small feat.
preservation efforts.
And it’s all free. HISTORY WHY USE IT?

WHAT IS EBIRD? The original eBird site was funded Think of all of the bird sightings
by the National Science Foundation you have made over the years. Then
Sponsored by the Cornell Lab of and designed by academically add to your lists the lists of the
hundreds of thousands of other birders ● eBird was used to help make and simple to use. With just one quirk
in the U.S. projections for potential avian flu noted below, it was in some ways
That’s millions of bird records per movements across the US. easier to enter a day’s list in eBird
year. All these add up to very valuable ● NASA has requested the data to than with any other bird-related
information about bird distribution predict bird traffic at their space software I’ve used in the past.
and abundance. shuttle launch site. Depending on your internet access
But by themselves, these millions of ● In Virginia one of eBird’s speed, the system can be a bit slow to
records are doing no good to anyone regional experts, while “vetting” bring up location and bird sightings
beyond the individual who made the submissions, found a report of a wood data. But once you have the reporting
sighting. This is valuable data sitting idle; stork, contacted the submitter, verified form for your location loaded,
data that could be of immense value in the sighting with pictures, and was entering your own trip list is very fast.
tracking presence of absence of species, able to release the location so many
showing population trends, migration birders could see this rarity. Here are the basic steps for putting
paths, and breeding locations. Data that in your first list.
could be used to help direct and refine More information about eBird-
efforts to preserve breeding grounds, related projects is on their site. Creating your account
protect important fly ways and highlight Just like any other internet site that
species of conservation concern. collects personal data, you have to
These data have a lot of value! create an account. eBird makes this
eBird’s mission is to collect these very easy.
records, use sophisticated data quality Choose a user name, put in an
filters to help verify it, and then make email address and a password and
it available in a usable form for both you’re ready to go.
individuals and conservation and No return emails to wait for to get
research organizations. complicated access codes; in fact, no
SCOPE OF THE DATA AND THE waiting at all.
HOW THE DATA ARE USED PROGRAM The email address is used to contact
you in case you report a sighting of an
First and foremost, the data are Currently eBird covers North unexpected species, as noted above in
made available to research America, the Caribbean and parts of “How the data are used.”
organizations doing bird studies Central America. Soon South America In a future version you will be able
through applications like the Avian will be added for full Western to opt to have people contact you for
Knowledge Network Hemisphere reporting and listing. unusual things you have seen, and
http://www.avianknowledge.net/, So you may still need some other vice versa. The new version may even
The Nature Conservancy sponsored, software to track your European, have a feature that will alert you when
Nature Serve, African and Asian birding treks. someone logs one of your target
http://www.natureserve.org/, and However an upcoming data species….Wouldn’t that be great?
other similar data sources for NGOs importing/exporting feature will make
and researchers worldwide. interfacing with other programs
It also provides the data entry tools possible, reducing any need for
and reporting mechanisms for less duplicate entries.
well funded research organizations eBird must add regions slowly as
and field observers who can’t afford it has very rigorous standards for
to set up the systems themselves. filtering and verifying data, which
often requires the use of local experts
More specifically here are some to help “vet” the data. This takes time
recent ways the database has been used. and lots of initial ground work. Checking out distribution statistics
is straightforward.
● eBird was helpful in a recent SO HOW EASY IS IT TO USE eBird’s data from all entered
grassland conservation effort by the EBIRD? sightings are available on their site.
Bird Conservation Network in the You can look up the status and
Chicago area http://ebird.org/BCN/. I found eBird to be very intuitive
2 Western Tanager
distribution of any species covered by Using eBird to prepare for a trip
the system, including your own to a specific location
sightings or sightings from everyone I was going to bird Bashakill State
else using the system. And you can Wildlife Management area. So I
see that data in many different formats brought up and printed out a status and
from frequency plots on a map to distribution list for all of the recorded
graphs of individual sighting counts. sightings for this NY State “Hot Spot”.
This is a very easy way to get a
Here are the steps for checking out How about during breeding season? field check list for any location you
Cerulean Warbler. may want to bird.

Enter the species name

Breeding season in certain counties


Choose the kind of information Entering your own sightings
where you bird?
you’d like to see. It’s fairly straightforward and easy
to enter your own sightings.
Here’s a map of all sightings. The first step is to pick a location,
either from one of your previous
locations, a supplied list of hot spots,
or a new location.

My locations:

As you can see, this is very useful


information.
And of course to a research project
The totals tab shows you the total
it could be invaluable.
count of this species reported across
N. Am. on all submitted reports.
Hot spots in NY State:

Find out where the warbler is seen in April

March/April 2008 3
You can even use Google Maps to Here I accidentally entered HOW GOOD ARE THE DATA?
choose your location! Mississippi Kite instead of Osprey for
Prospect Park in NY City… the Of course the data entered into eBird
software caught it and asked me if I are only as good and accurate as the
was sure of that sighting.. skills of the person recording the data.
If I had done the programming I might To help “vet” the data and ensure
have used ruder language…But eBird is that it is as relevant and accurate as
much kindler and gentler than I… possible, eBird employs sophisticated
filters based on a variety of criteria
including input from local experts
who know an area well. Sightings that
Choosing locations is one area that are out of season for an area, very rare
I did encounter a bit of an eBird quirk. or unexpected are flagged as
If I entered too much data (City mentioned above.
and County and Zip), sometimes the Whenever possible, regional
system got confused and couldn’t experts periodically review all of the
come up with any locations. The basic entry list that comes up sightings data for their region, and
But if I limited the input to State, gives all of the expected species for contact people who have reported any
the system always worked and I was the location. There is also a selection sighting that needs verification.
always able to then filter down the to show all rare species on the The goal, of course, is to be sure that
location either using eBird’s hot spot checklist form. the data are as accurate as possible.
location list or by using a map. I needed this to enter the Curlew
Once loaded, the entry screen is Sandpiper I saw during a recent trip I IMPORTING YOUR OLD
very fast to use. You just scroll thru led around Forsythe NWR in NJ. RECORDS
the list and check off species seen, or Again, eBird asked me to make sure Currently you have to manually
preferably note the number of I meant to check off this unexpected enter your records. However, eBird is
individuals of each species seen. species. And this time I did! working with the major bird listing
You can also add comments for software companies and an upcoming
each species. I often use comments to release, now at the end of a one year
record specific ID thoughts or other beta testing process, will allow
info about a species I noted in the field importing records from their
on that trip. programs, as well as Excel and
Access, making it easier for the entry
Checking out your lists of legacy lists.
Mine is a bit paltry as I’ve only
entered one trip so far. (But please BACKING UP YOUR DATA
note the Curlew SP….)
You’re encouraged to enter every It’s very easy to download any trip
bird you encountered on your trip, list to an Excel file. It contains the trip
even common species like European dates and numbers seen. (I was a bit
Starling…That helps with presence surprised that the lists don’t contain
and also “absence” studies….(Is there the scientific names of the species.)
anywhere that starlings haven’t I haven’t experimented with
invaded..? etc) getting lots of lists out, but you can
If you make a mistake and enter a certainly capture your data for
bird that would be a really rare personal backup if you feel the need.
sighting, the software asks you to You can view multiple trip lists,
And of course the eBird data
confirm your entry. month or year lists, and look at your data
entered into the site is backed up very
in a few different presentation formats.
rigorously on their end.

4 Western Tanager
HOW CAN YOU HELP OUT ● Volunteer your time. Would you Editor’s note:
THIS IMPORTANT PROJECT? like to see 20 years of records of
sightings from Gambell, Alaska? Tom Stephenson lives in Brooklyn,
Here are a few things you can do eBird could use some careful New York but travels frequently to Los
to help the eBird effort volunteers to enter lots of paper Angeles and presents occasionally for
records from many interesting and Los Angeles Audubon. His last
● Use the software. It’s an easy important birding sites. presentation was a Photoshop workshop
and convenient way to record and ● Take a trip. There are many in October, 2007, and a photo
store your sightings. locations in the US that are very under- presentation on Madagascar before that.
● Add your records to those of This article was originally written
birded; areas with very few birders, or
for www.surfbirds.com and adapted for
others across North America and areas just birded during certain seasons. our Western Tanager.
provide data that can help in For example, N. and S. Dakota may Tom’s examples for “hot spots” and
conservation of species and habitats. have only a few active birders for the locations are in New York but Los
● Record every species, not just whole area. If you have the interest and Angeles birders can add to our
the special ones. For researchers it’s time, look into adding data for areas that knowledge of status and distribution of
very important to know all of the are now under reported. You never know birds in Los Angeles County and
species that were present during your what you might find, and your sightings California through two new California
field time. could uncover important flyways or eBirds partnerships with Audubon
● Record the number of individual California and California State Parks.
range expansions.
Audubon California encourages you
birds seen whenever possible.
to select one of the Important Bird
● Visit the same sites often. If you are interested in helping the
Areas (IBAs) in California and enter
Consistent reporting from one eBird project, contact the team at your records (for a list of IBAs go to
location gives much more complete Ebird@Cornell.edu www.ca.audubon.org/iba). You can also
and useful data. For example, it seems select any IBA site and learn about the
that Cerulean Warblers are reported SO GO AHEAD, GIVE EBIRD A birds others have seen at the site, times
TRY of year, abundances, and more. With
only during migration season for
Log on to www.eBird.org. Take a your help, Audubon California can
several sites in NY State where I
look at sightings data for species you begin to paint a complete picture of how
know they breed. No one has reported are interested in; enter one or two of birds are distributed across the diverse
them out of the typical migration-time your trip lists. You’ll see right away California landscape and track what
birding trips. (More motivation for me that the system is easy to use. And no changes may be occurring in the future.
to get my sightings into the system…) doubt you’ll get hooked immediately! Visit the California eBird website
● Tell your friends about eBird. Brian and his team are working on (www.ebird.org/California) to read
Also, the eBird team is looking for many new features for Version 3. It’s timely information on birds and birding
those special local birders who have still a ways off but promises to make news in California and try entering
great status and distribution eBird even more fun to use and useful some bird data!
knowledge for a specific area. If you to us civilian birders. Los Angeles Audubon and
are one of those people who know all But right now, the bottom line is California State Parks are partnering in
that eBird is an easy way for civilian studying bird usage of Los Angeles
of the first sighting dates for the last
birders like us to play an important County parks, especially along the L.A.
20 years for any species, get in touch
part for bird conservation. River and in Baldwin Hills where
with eBird. You can help with the restoration projects might attract new
“vetting” process by contributing to © 2007 Tom Stephenson species of birds. Help us add to our data
the Advance Data Quality filters used by birding a California State Park
by the system. MARK YOUR CALENDAR destination and entering your data on
eBird--WHERE BIRDING MEETS eBirds.
SCIENCE, with Brian Sullivan Brian Sullivan, the California
Evening Program, Wed. Apr. 9th coordinator for eBirds, will give a
7:30 (see back cover). presentation at Los Angeles Audubon
on April 9, 2008.

March/April 2008 5
CONSERVATION CONVERSATION
—by Garry George
A WIN FOR HERONS, abandoned totally in the next few
EGRETS & CORMORANTS IN years. The Commission also rejected
THE MARINA! the County’s presentation of
examples of successful Great Blue

O
n Wednesday, January 9, Heron relocation programs in other
2008 the California parts of the U.S., reporting that one
Coastal Commission of the County’s examples was a
granted the strongest protections rehabilitation of an existing site, not
available to colonial roosting and a relocation as represented. The
nesting sites for Great Blue Herons, Commission also showed that the
Snowy Egrets, Double-crested “reports” calling the relocation
Cormorants, Black-crowned Night- projects a “success” were written by
Heron ibu and seconded by the company that manufactured the
Audubon California Board Chair nesting platforms, and were not
Marina Del Rey Herons, Photo by Lisa Fimiani
Steve Blank, the Commission sent scientifically peer reviewed.
the strongest message possible to nesting platforms in another area of
Los Angeles County Beaches & the Marina, and found that plan Los Angeles Audubon joined the
Harbors to incorporate findings that controversial, not peer-reviewed fight to protect the Marina rookery,
the areas important to birds in the scientifically, and experimental. The one of two coastal rookeries in Los
Marina are Environmentally Commission also rejected the Angeles County, almost two years
Sensitive Habitat Areas as defined County’s report of the success of a ago. Then President Dexter Kelly
under the Coastal Act of 1972. The relocation project at Long Beach and Treasurer Lisa Fimiani spoke
unanimous vote was a victory for Naval Station of Black-crowned publicly in support of the birds in
environmentalists in Marina del Rey Night-H erons from the Naval hearings in the Marina. Then Board
who had been fighting for years to Station to Gull Park as controversial, member Jason Stuck’s photos
protect the rookeries, and other areas and presented data from studies that proved that Great Blue Herons were
of the Marina from the pressures of actually showed that total active nesting in sites unreported by Los
development. Los Angeles County nests diminished from 503 to less Angeles County biologists.
Beaches and Harbors administers than 250 in the year after the move. Audubon members in the Marina
the public land in the Marina for Although there was an increase in contacted Los Angeles Audubon’s
purposes such as recreation and active nests the following year, the Urban Wildlife Task Force to report
leasing to commercial and Commission rejected that data as upcoming tree trimming of roosting
residential development. inconclusive in that the nest counts and nesting sites and Lisa Fimiani
In making its determination, The didn’t distinguish between relocated protected the birds on site from
Commission rejected Los Angeles nests and already established nests aggressive trimming. Los Angeles
County’s plan to relocate nesting in Gull Park. The nests were Audubon’s Larry Allen, co-author of
Great Blue Herons to man made
6 Western Tanager
the upcoming Breeding Bird Atlas of who roost and nest literally in his
Los Angeles County, provided back yard, galvanized Los
crucial data from his species Angeles Audubon as well as the
accounts, especially Great Blue Commission into action.
Herons, that cleared up
misconceptions of the breeding Los Angeles County may decide
history of the birds in the Marina. not to follow the recommendations
According to the data, Great Blue of the Coastal Commission in
Herons were not observed nesting in adopting the findings of ESHA in
the Marina during the field survey the Marina, but disregarding the
period for the BBA, which ended in Commission recommendations will
1999. This was critical as Los cause problems for the County

V
OLUNTEERS are
Angeles County and the Coastal down the road as the County returns needed for the 2008
Commission had determined in to the Commission for development Tricolored Blackbird
1995 that there was “no ESHA in permits on several large projectsSurvey for one full day between
Marina del Rey.” The new currently in the works. Destroying
April 25 to April 27th, 2008,
circumstance of nesting by Great the habitat after the Commission’s
coordinated by Audubon California
Blue Herons after 1999 allowed for unanimous strong message would in collaboration with the U.S. Fish
a new determination to overturn the be an egregious act by the County.
and Wildlife Service. This citizen-
prior designation. This writer For now, the heron, egret and based, statewide survey provides
worked with Commission ecologist cormorant rookeries enjoy the critical information for determining
and also with Coastal strongest protections possible the status of Tricolored Blackbird
Commissioners directly, and spoke thanks to the hard work by populations in California and is
at the hearing on January 9. passionate activists in the Marina
critical in conservation strategies to
Biologist Andrea Jones, Audubon and at Los Angeles Audubon, and protect this species. The colony
California’s Director of Important the California Coastal Commission.
locations and numbers of Tricolored
Bird Areas, worked with Blackbirds change from year to year,
Commission ecologist on her To view a video stream of making it impossible to track
findings. The Ballona Valley, not the full Coastal Commission without the help of volunteers across
just the wetlands, is an Audubon hearing of January 9, 2008 visit the state. Locating populations in
California Important Bird Area. www.coastal.ca.gov click Southern California is especially
“Video archives” click January critical to their protection.
But it is the years of heroic 9 COMPLETE. To volunteer for a Southern
efforts by new Los Angeles California survey contact leader
Audubon board member Dr. David The public testimony includes Jon Feenstra
DeLange and members Marcia hours of public testimony on feenstra@alumni.caltech.edu
Hanscom and Roy van der Hoek viewscape, boating, and other
issues, but you can fast forward Sea & Sage Audubon is pleased to
that set the stage for the final announce that David Sibley, renowned
victory in the Coastal Commission by dragging the small circle on ornithologist, author, and gifted bird artist,
hearing room. David’s video the left under the video screen. will be the guest speaker at their Annual
footage of the destruction of Great David DeLange and this writer Dinner on March 21st at the Irvine Hilton. He
Blue Heron nests by “tree speak in the public comment will speak on “The Evolution of a Birding
Field Guide.” The evening's program will
trimmers” and his documentation period, and the Commission’s also include the presentation of their chapter's
of every attempt by developers to motion to protect the birds and Fern Zimmerman Conservation Award and
drive the birds from the Marina the unanimous vote follows Letters of Commendation, a celebration to
public testimony. commemorate their 50th Anniversary, and a
was worth a thousand words, and silent auction. On the following morning,
caused more than one Sibley will conduct a workshop to help birders
Commissioner to sit up and take improve their birding skills. Full information
on these events and how to sign up for them
notice. His passion for the birds, can be found on the Sea & Sage website at:
www.seaandsageaudubon.org .
March/April 2008 7
The Olga Report information was then relayed from neighborhood of Bly, where she
the satellites to an Argos ground would remain for about 5 weeks. In
By Pete Bloom, Karyn station. Transmitted information a little over a week at less than 2 ½
Sernka, and Scott Thomas included the date, time, location and months of age Olga had traveled at
altitude of the hawk as well as a least 735 miles (1,183 km)!

O
lga, a female red-tailed hawk measurement of location accuracy.
(Buteo jamaicensis), named For data analysis as well as map The habitat in this northernmost
in honor of Olga Clarke, was production we extracted the most stop-over, Eastern Cascade foothill
born in April 2007 at the Starr Ranch accurate data. As a consequence area consists of a mix of agriculture
Audubon Sanctuary. Her nest was some days were not represented by & pastureland, sagebrush, and
located in a sycamore tree within location data, thus resulting in gaps juniper intermixed with grassland,
Bell Canyon where habitat consists of time when the whereabouts of ponderosa pine and other conifers.
of sycamore & oak riparian Olga were not documented. The Sprague River runs through the
woodland. The elevation of this area valley where Olga was mainly
is about 700 feet. On June 14, 2007, Following her release, Olga roosting. Elevations range from
at an age of approximately 6.5 remained in the vicinity of her nest 4,500 feet at the valley floor to over
weeks, 1,200 grams and ready to site for only another 12 days, and 6,100 feet. During this stop-over the
fledge, Olga was banded and fitted then at an age of about 8 weeks Olga location data indicated Olga would
with a satellite platform terminal decided to take a flight beyond the travel up to 55 miles (88 km) in a
transmitter (PTT) attached as a local vicinity of her nest. On July day and then return to the main roost
backpack. 26th transmissions indicated Olga area. The circle on the map
was northwest of Twenty-nine indicates the general area of Olga’s
The satellite transmitter, a solar- Palms, California, approximately 84 northernmost stop-over location.
powered PTT-100 made by miles (135 km) northeast of her nest!
Microwave Telemetry, Inc., was By the next day, July 27th, Olga had After a little over a month, on
donated by the Los Angeles flown an additional 218 miles (351 September 9th, Olga headed about
Audubon Society in support of km) northeast and location data was 150 miles (241 km) south to Lassen
research on the movements of transmitted from the Mohave Desert Volcanic National Park. Elevations
fledgling red-tailed hawks. in the vicinity of Lida, Nevada. in this area range from 5,300 to over
Communications Specialists, Inc. 10,000 feet with a number of diverse
contributed the funding for The following day Olga habitats, including coniferous forest,
downloading data acquired by the continued north and by July 30th had wetlands, moist and dry meadows, a
satellite transmitter. Satellite flown approximately 324 miles (522 number of rocky areas, and high
telemetry enables the study of km) to the vicinity of Calcutta Lake elevation alpine environments. Olga
animal movement outside the in northwestern Nevada. She then remained in the Mount Lassen
confines of local study areas and the changed direction slightly, bearing region from September 12th through
ability to compare dispersal patterns west, and continued another 25 September 27th. Several data
throughout the range of a species. miles (40 km) to arrive in northeast locations were recorded in the
The resulting data from this research Oregon on July 31st. Still on the vicinity of the entrance ranger
will help determine migration move, Olga flew 48 miles (78 km) station, food service and
behaviors, flight patterns, roost northwest to the vicinity of Coyote campground, suggesting that the
locations, and areas of foraging and Meadow on August 2nd, which human activity, which often attracts
habitat use throughout the seasons. would be considered the southeast small mammals, possibly resulted in
This information may also be end of her stop-over area, as she a food source for Olga.
valuable for interpreting population returned to this locale in the midst of
trends and for identifying potential her stop-over. The next location As the season progressed Olga
habitat conservation needs. transmission was actually 36 miles continued southeast on her journey,
(56 km) to the north on August 7th at spending a week from September
Data collection occurred daily as her main roost location in the 28th through October 6th in the Indian
signals were transmitted from the Fremont-Winema National Forests Valley, which is an area of
transmitter to receivers aboard in Southern Oregon, 35 miles pastureland surrounded by the
satellites orbiting the earth. The northeast of Klamath Falls, in the coniferous forests of the southern

8 Western Tanager
Cascade Mountain Range near
Greenville, Crescent Mills
&Taylorsville. A relatively short
trek of 33 miles (54 km) led her to
the south end of Lake Davis on
October 7th, and to her arrival in the
Sierra Valley, California on October
8, 2007. Elevations in the Sierra
Valley range from 4,500 to 5,500
feet. The natural vegetation is
chiefly a mixture of sagebrush and
grass, and marshlands run through
the valley, which also houses the
headwaters of the Middle Fork of
the Feather River. There is some
pine and juniper on part of the
western and southern slopes of the
Sierra Valley and red-tailed hawks
are reported to roost and hunt from
the juniper perches.
Olga remained in the Sierra
Valley until November 5th, 2007
when an inactivity signal was
deployed. In accordance with
statistics for approximately 85% of
hawks, Olga likely did not survive
her first year of life (unless the
transmitter backpack somehow northward movements of nestling transmitter following the snowmelt
became detached). and immature red-tailed hawks and to reattach the transmitter to
nesting in southern California another bird to continue research
This research demonstrated that appear to represent a pattern or and build on the important data
Olga followed a similar pattern to possibly a life history characteristic provided by Olga.
other nestling red-tailed hawks and not simply an anomaly. Prior to
recently equipped with satellite current research, the movements of References
transmitters in southern California: immature red-tailed hawks were not
she traveled north during the well understood or documented. Bloom Dissertation Proposal,
summer. Olga and other nestling University of Idaho, Moscow.
red-tailed hawks are showing similar We would like to thank the Los
Bureau of Land Management,
patterns of significant northward Angeles Audubon Society for their Eagle Lake field office. 2007.
movement, in the range of 700 to generous contribution of the satellite Proposed Resource Management
1000 miles, soon after fledging. transmitter and Spence Porter of Plan and Final Environmental
Subsequently the hawks have Communications Specialists, Inc. Impact Statement: Chapter 3:
typically remained at a northernmost for funding the downloads of data Affected Environment. May
stop-over location for several weeks, which made the Olga report 2007.
and then gradually migrated possible, and to Pete and Sandy
southward, stopping for one to two Desimone who support our research North American Breeding Bird
weeks in areas suitable for foraging at the Starr Ranch Sanctuary. Survey. 2006. Route 69060,
as they travel south to their Currently the transmitter is buried Bly, Oregon.
wintering locations. The results of under a blanket of snow in the Sierra
this study are significant in that we Valley near Beckwourth, California. USGS Interactive Mapping Tool.
are able to ascertain that these Our present goal is to retrieve the Vegetation layer: Gap Analysis.

March/April 2008 9
birds of the season
by Jon Fisher

A
t last, there was rain. Common Goldeneye, Lewis’s A few Greater Scaup are typically
Several fronts passing Woodpecker and Western Kingbird. present on larger bodies of water in
through the area in the interior, but thirteen at Quail
November and December brought Here’s a review of reports from the Lake on December 8 was an above
some precipitation, but a series of middle of November through the average number (Jon Feenstra).
storms moving through in early first half of January.
January brought the first real relief Four White-winged Scoters at
from drought conditions. These Snow Geese are quite uncommon Quail Lake at the west end of the
fronts alone dumped more rain in on the coastal slope, thus a bird at Antelope Valley on December 8
three days than we’ve seen in nearly Legg Lake in South El Monte on (Mary Freeman, Jon Feenstra) was a
two years. If the trend continues, it November 27 (Rob Bates) was of good record at this inland locale. At
bodes well for spring and summer interest. Three others kept company least three of them remained through
with conditions much improved for with four Ross’s Geese at Malibu January 6. Another White-winged
breeding birds and other wildlife. Lagoon from December 14-28 graced Castiac Lagoon on the Santa
Almost anything would be an (Muriel Kotin) and another two were Clarita CBC on December 29
improvement over last year. on the lower L.A. River on January (Kimball Garrett).
7 (Mike San Miguel).
Though often seen as a slow period Two Long-tailed Ducks were
following autumn migration, A handful of Cackling Geese were found, with one at Zuma Creek
November and December were scattered around the county, but ten lagoon on December 7 (Muriel
anything but dull in the county. along the San Gabriel River near Kotin) and another at Marina del
While observers turned up plenty of South El Monte on December 11 Rey from December 30-January 12
birds on their own, several was an high concentration in a small (Larry Allen).
Christmas Bird Counts combined to geographic area (Brian E. Daniels).
produce some really good finds in Common Goldeneye, usually
the latter half of December. Eight Tundra Swans, a real rarity in present in very low numbers, were
L.A. County, were found on the much more widely reported than
While a smattering of Golden- Lancaster CBC on December 15 usual this winter.
crowned Kinglets, a few (fide Mary Freeman). One Tundra at
Red-breasted Nuthatches and a Quail Lake on January 13 (Gary File) Quite a surprise was a Red-necked
handful of other montane species may have been from this group. Grebe on the Santa Clarita CBC.
were reported, in general there were This bird was found at Castaic
no significant irruptions during the Also very rare was a returning Lagoon on December 29 (Kimball
period, though some earlier fall Eurasian Green-winged (Common) Garrett). While one bird in L.A.
reports suggested they might occur. Teal along the San Gabriel River County does not constitute an
near Whittier Narrows from invasion, three more Red-necked
A few species did turn up in above November 18-December 15 (Jon Grebes just next door in Kern
average numbers. These included Feenstra). County and one in Santa Barbara

10 Western Tanager
County made this an above average Castaic Lagoon on December 29 Lewis’s Woodpeckers staged a
year for this species in the region. offered a good mix of gulls that more small-scale invasion with at
typically occur closer to the coast, least three along upper Malibu
A count of 160 Northern Fulmars with a Glaucous-winged Gull, a Creek on November 19 (Kevin
off Point Vicente on November 22 Mew Gull and two Thayer’s Gulls Pickard, Tom Halpin), one and
(Kevin Larson) was a good (Kimball Garrett). These were then two in lower San Dimas
concentration close to shore. followed by a Glaucous Gull at Canyon from November 29
Castaic on January 1 (Mark & Janet through December 15 (Dan
Three Brown Pelicans over Bonelli Scheel). Another Glaucous Gull, Gregory, Tom Ryan), and three
Park in San Dimas on November 25 perhaps a first for the Antelope Valley, more in Glendora on December
were well away from their usual was at the Lancaster Sewer Ponds 10 (Dick Swinney). No fewer
coastal haunts (Rod Higbie). from January 2-4 (Mike San Miguel). than eleven were tallied on the
Claremont CBC on December 15
A sub-adult Bald Eagle, first found An impressive 164 Rhinoceros (fide Dan Guthrie). Finally, two
on December 1, remained at Bonelli Auklets were off Point Vicente on were at the Cheeseboro Canyon
Park throughout the period. A few December 16 (Kevin Larson). Quite trailhead on December 22 with
weeks after its discovery, two rare was a very late Craveri’s one reported through January 1
Golden Eagles showed up here on Murrelet at Point Dume on (Jim Hardesty).
December 29 (Rod Higbie). November 29 (Mike San Miguel).
Apparently the coots here still Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers included
appeal to hungry Golden Eagles, just A Burrowing Owl, typically a rare one continuing through the period at
as they did last winter. migrant away from the deserts, was Ed Vincent Park in Inglewood
midway between there and the (Richard Barth), one at the South
While regular and expected in coastal plain at Castaic Junction on Coast Botanic Garden on November
winter in the Antelope Valley, December 29 (Dan Cooper). 25 (Kevin Larson) and two at the
several Ferruginous Hawks were Village Green Condominiums in
recorded on the coastal slope where Eurasian Collared-Doves appear to Los Angeles on November 27 (Don
they are decidedly scarce. One was be undergoing population increases Sterba), with at least one still there
in Rancho Palos Verdes on in very localized areas. Forty-five through the period. Single birds
November 22 (Pam Ryono), another were in Pico Rivera on November were also at Bonelli Park on
was in Saugus on November 25 25 (Jon Fisher) and twenty-four December 12 (Ken Watanabe) and
(Bobby Walsh) and a third was seen were at Point Dume on December on the Claremont CBC on
first at the El Monte Airport and then 16 (Kimball Garrett), but over much December 15 (fide Dan Guthrie).
at Peck Pit in Monrovia from of the county they remain scarce.
November 9-December 9 (Larry Far from any area of normal
Schmahl, Andrew Lee). Two Vaux’s Swifts were at Point occurrence was a White-headed
Dume on November 13 (Mike San Woodpecker at El Dorado Park
As expected in winter noteworthy Miguel) and five were at Santa Fe in Long Beach from December
shorebirds were few, but one Dam on November 19 (Andrew 6-30 (Jeff Boyd).
interesting sighting was of a rare Lee). Another six were at Echo
leucistic oystercatcher seen at Point Lake on December 20 (Judy Raskin) A Vermilion Flycatcher found
Vicente on November 3 (Mike San and a few were over Griffith Park in at Piute Ponds during the
Miguel). Other reports included a December as well (Dan Cooper). In Lancaster CBC on December 15
group of 186 Mountain Plover in the past this species has been (fide Mary Freeman) was the
the Antelope Valley on January 4 irregularly common locally in only one reported.
(Mike San Miguel) and concentration winter, but recent years have seen a
of thirty-nine Wilson’s Snipe at decline in winter records.
Ballona Freshwater Marsh on
December 5 (Don Sterba).

March/April 2008 11
Five Hammond’s Flycatchers was a Barth). Formerly virtually unheard A Galapagos Mockingbird at the
decent number in winter, with one at of after November, this species is L.A. River mouth on December 8
Long Beach Recreation Park on becoming a rare but regular winter was of course an escapee (Kevin
November 13 (Brian E. Daniels) visitor. An increasing abundance of Larson). This bird illustrates the
another at Peck Pit in berry-bearing plants and also bees, a potential for virtually any escaped
Arcadia/Monrovia from December 2- favorite kingbird food, may well exotic or legitimate vagrant to turn
22 (Andrew Lee) and one at explain the increase. up in the county.
Woodlawn Cemetery in Los Angeles
on December 9 (Richard Barth). A Single Plumbeous Vireos were Two Sage Thrashers in the Antelope
fourth Hammond’s was at Wardlow widely reported, but five at Legg Valley on January 2 were too early
Park in Long Beach on December 29 Lake in South El Monte on not to have wintered, even for this
(Robb Hamilton) and the last one was November 13 was an impressive early migrant (Mike San Miguel).
at Pacific Avenue Park in Burbank on number for one location (Mike San
January 2 (Richard Barth). Miguel, Jon Feenstra). Quite rare was a Nashville Warbler
found on the Lancaster CBC on
A total of seven Gray Flycatchers, Cassin’s Vireos, expected but less December 15 (Pam Stones). More
the expected Empidonax in winter, common in winter than Plumbeous, expected along the coast was a
were detected during the period. were at Legg Lake on November 15 Nashville at the Los Angeles Country
(Mike San Miguel, Jon Feenstra), at Club on the December 30 L.A. CBC
A presumed but silent Pacific-slope Ed Vincent Park in Inglewood on (Kimball Garrett, Ken Kendig) and
Flycatcher was along the Rio Hondo November 19 (Richard Barth), at another on the UCLA Campus from
in South El Monte on December 9 Heartwell Park in Long Beach from January 4-13 (Richard Barth).
(Jon Fisher). Another was discovered December 4-14 (Robb Hamilton)
at the Arboretum in Arcadia on and at Sepulveda Basin on January The Legg Lake area in South El
January 9 (Mike San Miguel) and a 6 (Mark & Janet Scheel). Monte was a virtual gold mine for
third was found on January 12 at the vagrants. The first good find here
Village Green Condominiums in Los Very rare on the desert was a was a Bay-breasted Warbler seen
Angeles (Don Sterba). Hutton’s Vireo found in September from November 15-20 (Mike San
(Kimball Garrett) and remaining for Miguel, Jon Feenstra). More
Tyrannids included a Tropical the Lancaster CBC on December 15. remarkable was a Blackburnian
Kingbird present for the El Dorado Warbler, found in the same general
CBC in Long Beach through at least Conversely, a Horned Lark— area on December 15 (Mark & Janet
December 29 (Robb Hamilton) and common in the deserts but now quite Scheel). Quite rare as a fall migrant,
a Thick-billed Kingbird on scarce on the coastal slope— was this early winter record is
November 23-January 13 that observed flying over Santa Fe Dam particularly notable. Other birds of
returned later than expected for its in Irwindale on December 2 interest in the vicinity were a
third winter at Banning Park in (Andrew Lee). Hermit Warbler from November
Wilmington (Kevin Larson). 15-December 15 and a Black-and-
In addition to an October report of white Warbler on November
Western Kingbirds put on a good Pygmy Nuthatches in Griffith Park, a 13-December 22 (both Mike San
show in early winter. One was at single additional bird was seen in Miguel, Jon Feenstra).
Woodlawn Cemetery in Santa Calabasas on November 15, well away
Monica on November 29-December from expected areas (Richard Medvitz). Other Black-and-white Warblers
22 (Richard Barth) and a second was were at Taylor Yard Park in Glassell
at Bonelli Park on December 2 (Jon Two Mountain Bluebirds at Santa Park on November 22 (Mike San
Fisher). Others were at the L.A. Fe Dam on November 19 and three Miguel), at Occidental College in Los
National Cemetery on December 9 there on December 9 (Andrew Lee) Angeles on January 6 (Maria Homiak)
and at Valhalla Memorial Park in were the only ones reported away and at Loyola Marymount University
Burbank on January 1 (both Richard from the Antelope Valley. on January 8 (Richard Barth).

12 Western Tanager
A Palm Warbler seen briefly along the Dam in Irwindale on November 19
San Gabriel River in Pico Rivera on (Andrew Lee). WESTERN TANAGER
November 25 (Jon Fisher) was the only Published by
Los Angeles Audubon Society,
one reported in the period. This bird A Clay-colored Sparrow found at a chapter of
was still in the area through January 13. Hansen Dam on December 2 was seen National Audubon Society.

through January 12 (Kimball Garrett). EDITOR: Garry George


Another nice warbler find was a LAYOUT: Susan Castor
CONSERVATION: Garry George
Grace’s Warbler in Rolling Hills on Orioles included a Baltimore Oriole at FIELD TRIPS: Nick Freeman
December 26 (Kevin Larson). West L.A. College from November 18 PELAGIC TRIPS: Phil Sayre
PROGRAMS: Mary Freeman
through December 30, when it was ORNITHOLOGY CONSULTANT:
An American Redstart in Altadena joined there by a Hooded Oriole (Don Kimball Garrett
PRINTING: G2 Graphics Services, Inc.
on December 3 (John Garrett) was Sterba). Another Baltimore was at the
the only one reported. Two Painted L.A. National Cemetery on December 2 Opinions expressed in articles or letters
herein do not necessarily express the
Restarts at Monrovia Canyon on (Richard Barth) and a third was at position of this publication or of
November 16 had apparently been Heartwell Park in Long Beach on Los Angeles Audubon Society.

present for some time (Terry Basey). December 29 (Robb Hamilton). PRESIDENT:
One of these birds, and another at Mary Freeman
1st VICE PRESIDENT:
Bonelli Regional Park, were A lone male Cassin’s Finch was reported David De Lange
spending their third winter at their away from the mountains in Claremont 2nd VICE PRESIDENT:
Linda Oberholtzer
respective locations. Another on January 9 (Cathy McFadden). EXECUTIVE SECRETARY:
Painted Redstart was in West Los Jenny Jones
RECORDING SECRETARY:
Angeles from December 28-January Reports of Red Crossbills away from Eleanor Osgood
3 (Eleanor Pelcyger). the mountains included a flock of thirty TREASURER:
Lisa Fimiani
at Apollo Park on December 1 (Pat EXECUTIVE PAST PRESIDENT:
Along with the usual Westerns, over a Heirs, Judy Howell). The Lancaster Dexter Kelly
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR:
dozen Summer Tanagers were present CBC on December 15 then recorded Garry George
in the county during the period. nine at Apollo Park and twenty-seven at
the Antelope Valley Country Club. Membership in Los Angeles Audubon is $25
A Rose-breasted Grosbeak in Individual, $35 Couple, $50 Family, $100
Donor or $250 Donor per year. Members
Glassell Park adjacent to the L.A. As usual this winter we had a mix of receive the Western Tanager newsletter and
River on November 27 (Richard neotropic migrants that never went other benefits. Donations and memberships
can be made online at www.laaudubon.org
Barth) was the only one reported. Also south, wintering waterfowl from the
of interest was a very late female north, a variety of exotics and plenty of Make check payable to Los Angeles Audubon.

Indigo Bunting at Sepulveda Basin rarities. Somehow they all flourish to Los Angeles Audubon Headquarters, Library
from November 23 through December an amazing extent given all the concrete and Nature Store are open to the public
Monday – Thursday
3 (Jim Royer, Jean Brandt). and steel, endless traffic and an 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM
overwhelming human population. Plummer Park
Two White-throated Sparrows 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90046-6694
returned to winter at Eaton Canyon in We’re fortunate to live in an area where
Pasadena. The first was seen on good birding never seems to end, thanks (323) 876-0202 – office
(323) 876-7609 – fax
November 26 (Mickey Long) and the in part to mild weather throughout the (323) 874-1318 – bird tape
second appeared on December 10 (Will year and a wide array of habitats. While
WesternTanager@LAAudubon.org – e-mail
& Lois Fulmer). The only other report many of our birds are seasonal, birding LAAS@LAAudubon.org – e-mail
of a White-throated was from DeForest itself is definitely not. Even before this www.LAAudubon.org – website
Park on December 29 (Robb Hamilton). issue comes out, a number of early Printed on Recycled Paper
migrants will already be northbound…
A Grasshopper Sparrow, rarely ‘spring migration’ in southern
detected in migration, let alone after California begins in mid-winter.
mid-November, was at Santa Fe

March/April 2008 13
my pat c h
Owens Valley
—by Mary Freeman
enchanting then and that first
memory still holds.

2008 will mark the 17th year I’ve led


this annual winter trip. I’ve nicknamed it
the “Dancing Chicken Weekend”.

Over the years, this trip has gained


popularity with people wishing to
find and watch Greater Sage Grouse
and Sooty Grouse. The Sage Grouse
come to their lek near Crowley Lake
to perform their mating display in
front of curious and selective
females. Over the years we’ve
counted from 60 to over 200 grouse
dancing on the sage flats. They inflate
and jiggle their air sacs in front of
2007 Crowley Lake, Greater Sage Grouse Lek, photo by Mary Freeman
prospective females, and the sound is
like that of boiling, bubbling water.
It is a spectacle never to be forgotten.

C
ertainly, everyone should Great Basin sagebrush and
experience the endless space rabbitbrush scrubs to montane Not only is there the birds performing
and magnificent scale of meadow and coniferous forest. The their traditional mating display, there
Alaska at least once, but many people beautifully austere east slope of the is the adventure of getting to the area,
don’t know that we’ve got a little bit Sierra Nevada mountain range is all with the breathtaking backdrop of
of Alaska right here in California’s often covered with snow even the eastern slope of the Sierra.
Owens Valley. Sure, there’s no through the blazing summer months
tundra but this panoramic area that cook the valley. In some areas of Typical of the Sierra Nevada
approximately five hours north east the east-facing side of the Sierra, mountain range, you must be
of Los Angeles is flanked by huge, remnants of glaciers still exist. The prepared for adverse weather
craggy mountain peaks that remind White Mountains, while less dramatic conditions no matter what time of the
me of Alaska in beauty and grandeur, but still massive in size, lie in the rain year. Even though Lake Crowley is
if on a slightly smaller scale. It is an shadow of the mighty Sierra and at an elevation of 6,500 feet, some
area rich in geological history, much receive less rain and snowfall. years heavy snows have kept us off
from recent geologic times – the dirt roads to the lek and the lake
earthquake faults, volcanic eruptions, My first visit to the Owens Valley as they are deep under the snow pack.
glacial moraines and ancient lakes was back in 1985 on a Los Angeles I recall one year where I was a
and rivers. The upper Owens Valley Audubon trip led by the late David passenger in a 4x4 pick-up truck with
lies between two major mountain Gaines. I saw my first Blue and Sage Frank and Susan Gilliland. We drove
ranges - the Sierra Nevada to the Grouse - now changed to Sooty and out to see if the road was passable for
west, the White Mountains to the Greater Sage, respectively. I recall participants in their passenger cars.
east. Various habitats exist from how cold it was watching the Sage Woo hoo! Off we went bouncing and
cottonwood riparian ravines, rolling Grouse! The Sierra Nevada was sliding across the slush until we

14 Western Tanager
banged into a frozen snowdrift. We edge, but I don’t remember any skittering filled with grosbeaks, and when we
had to turn back to the group to begin around on the icy edge that day. walked into the forest, or drove down
the walk to the lek. A couple of the road a mile, or two miles, it was
adventurers in their Jeep Wrangler Then there was the year of the always the same! As we kept looking
came sloshing up the same road we great Evening Grosbeak invasion. all around us through our binoculars
had just tried, and suggested another Having been shut out of the road to and scopes, we estimated we had
road. Off we went to the new road, the lek due to snow and ice, we what must have been thousands, or
which was longer, but had more continued north to Mono Lake. Here tens-of-thousands of Evening
gravel and less snow. We managed to to the south of the lake, we visit the Grosbeaks covering the entire forest!
make it out to the dancing chickens Jeffrey Pine forest for Piñon Jay.
just as they flew out from under the We’ve encountered over the years If you do not recall, two nearly
snow-covered sagebrush bushes and uncommon birds such as Juniper identical species that vary not in
onto their dancing grounds. Huge Titmouse, Red Crossbill, Long-eared general color, and are named by the
birds, almost as big as a turkey! What fun! Owl, Williamson’s Sapsucker and synonyms sooty and dusky, recently
numerous other woodpeckers, and if replaced a grouse that is not blue.
Another year, a large storm came we’re lucky, a Northern Pygmy-Owl The Sooty Grouse, denizen of the
into the valley and we were on the can be heard tooting away in the coniferous canyons above Owens
verge of postponing the visit to the forest. This particular year as we Valley, is another target species of the
dance performance. The Saturday of stopped alongside the road, I was region. The road up Big Pine Creek
that weekend trip, we were dodging baffled by the deafening sound of out of Big Pine, terminates at Glacier
snow flurries near Glacier Lodge and chirping, rolling twitters from the Lodge; an area that is known to be a
Westgaard Pass. That was the year I trees. I couldn’t identify the reliable haunt of this hard-to-find
finally found Gray-crowned Rosy- cacaphony of singing birds. Then bird. Its deep low frequency booming
Finches at Tollhouse Springs, east of Nick looked in the trees and counted hoot makes it quite the challenge to
Big Pine. But that night during close to a dozen Evening Grosbeaks locate in the trees, as the sound is
dinner with the group, the winter in one tree! Many trees seemed to be bounced off the canyon walls. We’ve
storm watch was cancelled. Arriving
at the lek the next morning, Nick
exclaimed that the big birds took
second place to the scenery which
registered a resounding first. At -1º F,
the entire Long Valley Caldera – from
mountain top to Lake Crowley, to
mountain top - was covered with a
thick layer of fresh snow. It made for
unforgettable and magnificent
scenery. Though the snow was
powdery, we were able to drive the
road out, and witnessed some
confused Greater Sage Grouse on the
open ground. They were shuffling
around, belly deep in snow,
seemingly not sure what to do next!
We counted about a dozen brave
chickens making a go of it. Near
steamy Crowley Lake, we saw Bald
Eagles flying around the edge of the
lake. This is also the time of the year to
see migrating shorebirds at the lake’s 2005 Big Pine Canyon, photo by Mary Freeman

March/April 2008 15
eye open for a Black-Rosy. Minutes
after his announcement, sure enough
a male Black was feeding on the floor
of the porch below the feeders.
Amazingly enough, a detailed
description submitted to the CBRC
ascertained that this was a second bird!

The hawks of Chalfant Valley is


the icing on the cake, often near the
end of the trip. We have come
tocheck over the alfalfa fields of this
Greater Sage Grouse, photo by Bob Steele / www.bobsteelephoto.com
area northeast of Bishop. In one
traversed over snow and ice and up craggy glacier-cut eastern Sierra ranch along Highway 6, we’ve had
the sides of the canyon to be Nevada. They are truly the snowbird! up to two dozen Swainson’s Hawks
rewarded with a view of a booming They normally follow the snowline in different ages and color morphs.
male perched high on a horizontal up and down the mountains, as the We’ve also found radio tagged
branch of a gnarled Jeffrey Pine seasons change. At the mountain Swainson’s. Pete Bloom’s crew of
crown. hamlet of Aspendell during the late banders have given me the history
winter, snow is often covering the and travels of some of these tagged
One year we were rewarded with ground around the residential homes, birds. Added to this list of raptors are
a Northern Pygmy-Owl experience. the sides of the road and the adjacent Golden Eagle, Prarie Falcon,
We were drawn to the mobbing mountains. I first met the late Virginia Ferruginous Hawk and, becoming
sounds of chickadees and found the and Robert Wallace about 18 years less common, Rough-legged Hawk.
owl as it flew by with a chipmunk back. My friend, the late Dan
meal in its talons. Three years ago, Williams spoke to them of my As I continue to lead this trip,
we were unable to take our group fieldtrip, and it was through Dan’s some years we’ve seen super cold
here as that winters’ snows brought “letter of introduction” to the temperatures, other years the weather
down avalanches destroying picnic Wallaces that I received an invitation has been balmy and we’ve birded
tables on the opposite side of the into their home when I first visited around with t-shirts instead of our
canyon! As we drove into the here with Bob and Darlene Johnson, many layers of fleece and down.
canyon to scout, remaining drifts as searching the neighborhood for Twice we’ve had a comet in the night
high as 15 feet remained on the side feeders. The first year that I included skies. It is my hope that the steep
of the road and signs of this visit as part of the fieldtrip, canyons of the eastern Sierra, and the
“AVALANCE AREA” were posted. Virginia and Robert welcomed me wide open sagebrush habitat of the
We can’t imagine the sights and with open arms. The highlight of this Greater Sage Grouse, will not be lost
sounds of snapping trees and tossed visit began as we parked ourselves in to development or overgrazing, so we
dumpsters! This is also a reliable the living room and watched the can continue to experience these
canyon for Dipper. They are usually frenzied activity of the Rosy Finches “Dancing Chickens” of the great
seen flying up and down the stream, at the feeders just outside of the Owens Valley and the scenery of the
if you wait a while. Only one year, window. I sat three inches away from mighty Sierra Nevada, the patch that
a peculiar year for weather, have we one of my favorite birds! Even after I call a little bit of Alaska in California.
experienced fog and mist. many years of leading this trip and
visiting this area, seeing the pink MARK YOUR CALENDAR
The Rosy-Finch is always a crowd snowbirds is still a breathtaking Owens Valley Grouse Field Trip on
pleaser. I feel it’s one of the most experience. On one trip, a Black- Apr. 12th & Apr. 13th (see page 18).
beautiful birds in the US. Shades of Rosy Finch had been reported there
pinks with splashes of black and gray in February of the same year. When Errata: Ferruginous Hawk photo on back
—gorgeous! And they live in one of I led my field trip later that winter, cover of JAN/FEB Western Tanager is by
presenter, Todd Battey, not Mary Freeman
my favorite places of California, the Nick suggested to the group keep an
16 Western Tanager
THANK YOU!
Don Sterba MEMBERS WHO RENEWED
DONORS William Stern
Larry Allen Valerie Anderson
Jane Alexander Stewart Oscar Benitez
Peter Bloom Michael Swimmer
Judy Boster-Mark Olga & Herb Clarke
Jacolyn Vermillion Tori Collender
David Bottjer Aino Vimb
Ms. Brubaker Richard Congersky
Catherine & Robert Waters Wanda Dameron
Paul Butler David Weeshoff
Shirley Eckstein Julian & Kathy Donahue
Summer Wilson Peter Dullea
El Dorado Audubon Society Cynthia & Curt Wohlgemuth
Judith Forrest Jon L Dunn
Nicholas & Mary Freeman Mary Flicker
NEW MEMBERS Joan Franco
Jan Gaffney Dinah Berland
Gayle Hackamack Albert & Elizabeth Ann Garrison
Tiffany Bixler Frank & Susan Gilliland
William & Bernhild Heckmann Dr. & Mrs. Harvard & Helen Horiuchi
Mr. & Mrs. L. Joseph Iskovic Marion Hack
David Lang Cindy & Jonathan Hardin
Joanne Jones Tom Ludes
Dexter & Elizabeth Kelly Fred Heath
Greg Pelner & Bonnie Pelner Joi Jibotian
Anne Kurosumi Ralph Potkin
Arthur Langton Joyce & Burt Kaiser
Tom & Miriam Schulman Arnold Kassoy
Jason Lavitt Gerard Thomas
L.A. River Center & Gardens, Susan Lapham
John Thompson Donna Matson
Lynne Dwyer
Judy Medvitz Antonio Paiz
Kim Patrick O'Brien Los Angeles Audubon Robert Perry
Palos Verdes South Bay Audubon Colleen Rooney
thanks an anonymous
Rachel Price Dr. Raymond Schep
donor for a $ 20,000 Ellen Sherwood
Katherine Rogowski
donation to our Thomas Smith
Carol Jean Selvey
Patricia Shanks Baldwin Hills Park Mark & Suzette Stambler
William Slaton Gregory Stewart
Education Program.
Dr. Nellie Becker-Slaton Laura & George Stoneman
Mike Stebsvold Elva Yanez
Robert Zappala

old sectors and regrets that she couldn’t those experienced birders who got the
Christmas Bird Count participate on the count day due to an beginners introduced to a count.
2007/2008 out of state commute. We are also
by Barbara Courtois pleased that members of other chapters We do not have all the data in as of
helped us. Specific names are not used this writing, but there were over 160
First, we want to thank all who because the writer knows that someone species seen. The exact number of
contributed to the count in any way this would be overlooked since all unusual sightings is also not known at
year. There were more than 60 who information is not available at this time. this time, but Cackling Goose, Greater
were in the field on December 30. In White-fronted Goose, Western
addition to the people who were Our goal was to cover all sectors of Kingbird, Summer Tanager, Nashville
actually counting, there were people the count circle, which we did, thanks Warbler and Common Poorwill are
who helped get permission to various to ambitious people who, after lunch, some of the candidates that may be
country clubs and other private covered some target areas that were on added after the review of the write-ups.
property and former count compilers our “to do” list.Another goal was to get
who shared their knowledge of areas to new people involved in our count. We We hope that all who participated
be covered. There were a number of feel that we were successful in this had an enjoyable time while involved
people who drove in from great also. A number of novices called, and in “Citizen Science” and will be willing
distances to help and one who helped were assigned to teams of experienced to be as helpful next year as they were
start the project by sending maps of the birders. And, a great “thank you” to all this year.

March/April 2008 17
f i e l d t r i p s
Bird Walks are geared for the beginner / intermediate looking for an introduction or less strenuous excursion.

Field Trips often require more time or effort, and delve more deeply into identification, natural histories and
interactions observed in the field. All are welcome on either type of trip. Reserve per directions in the gray box
posted elsewhere. No pets or small children, please.

INCREASE IN PRICES: L.A. Audubon is increasing prices on longer trips to build up funds including the
Schreiber Grant Fund, which is given out to deserving non-professional avian researchers who have limited ac-
cess to funding. Envelopes for voluntary contributions will be distributed on some other trips.

Saturday, March 8 – Campground. Limit 20 people. Send Saturday, April 5 –


Upper Franklin Canyon Birdwalk. SASE with phone number, e-mail and Owens Lake & River Delta
Docent Steve Botts will be escorting us $30 fee (Schreiber Grant Fund Raiser) Botanist and birder, Mike Prather,
around this local bird haven, with to LAAS to learn more details. Pleasant will be showing us the recently
stunning Wood Ducks, resident to warm days, cool to cold nights. rewatered lower Owens River, which
chaparral species, and a few migrating is another mitigation site for our DWP.
songbirds expected. Franklin Canyon is Saturday, March 29 – We may be able to see Le Conte’s
located between Sherman Oaks and Bonelli Regional Park Thrasher in this area. In the river delta,
Beverly Hills. Meet in the parking lot at Leader Rod Higbie there will be waterfowl, Yellow-headed
8:00 AM, and bird for a few hours. Bonelli Regional Park is a remarkable Blackbirds and possible bitterns,
From the 101 Fwy, take Coldwater Cyn. island of habitat. It has lake, coastal falcons, and nesting harriers in the
Ave. S into the hills. Immediately after sage, mixed woodland, park and reeds, and Swainson’s Hawks nearby.
Mulholland Dr. merges from the W with riparian habitats. Birds regularly seen At the outflow, we should have a
Coldwater Cyn. Ave., make a 90-degree in the past include California multitude of migrating shorebirds. If
right turn onto Franklin Cyn. Dr. and Gnatcatcher, Cactus Wren, dancing staying in Lone Pine, Olancha is 22
continue west to the Sooky Goldberg grebes, and occasionally Golden miles south. If staying in Mojave
Nature Center. The lot is through a gated Eagle. 200 other species throughout (Motel 6?), the drive will be more like
drive on the left. the year. From LA, take the 10 or 210 90 miles north. Meet at the Ranch
Fwy east towards San Dimas to the top House Café in Olancha around
Sat., and Sun., March 15 and 16 – stretch of the 57 Fwy. Proceed N from 7:30AM if you plan to eat here, and be
Anza Borrego - Birds, Butterflies the 10, or S from the 210 on the 57 ready to depart at 8:30AM. It may be
and Beyond Leader: Fred Heath Fwy to the Via Verde exit just N of the hot or cool. Bring sunscreen, a large
High points over the years: blooming 10/57 interchange (at the bottom of hat, a full tank of gas, (mud shoes?),
desert evening-primrose and indigo Kellogg Hill). If coming from the N, lunch, FRS, and a scope if you have
bush, chuckwalla, collared lizard, turn left onto Via Verde, and left into one. Reserve by phone with LAAS.
desert bighorn (annual), Swainson’s the “Park and Ride” lot. If coming Maximum 20. A $10 (or greater)
Hawks, LeConte’s Thrasher, Long- from the S, be alert that the offramp suggested donation to the Owens
eared Owl (hopeful). Suggested comes up fast. Proceed Rt. off the Valley Committee Foundation will get
accommodations: Tamarisk Grove ramp onto Via Verde to the “Park and you a membership.
Campground (reserve through Ride” lot. We will meet here at 7:30
www.reserveamerica .com), or Stanlund AM to carpool since there is a Sat., and Sun., April 12 and 13 –
Motel in Borrego Springs (760) 767- $7.00/car park entrance fee. Rod will Owens Valley Grouse Trip
5501. Anticipate a busy weekend, and continue after lunch, if there is interest. Mary & Nick Freeman lead.
reserve camping and motels very There are picnic tables and facilities. Sage Grouse on the lek, Sooty Grouse
early. Meet at 7AM at Yaqui Wells Bring lunch, if you plan to bird past in trees, breathtaking scenery, raptor-
across from Tamarisk Grove noon. No limit or reservation. rich valleys, early shorebirds heading

18 Western Tanager
f i e l d t r i p s
north. Meet early Saturday and Empidonax flycatchers. To get there, and more. NEW in 2008: Owens Valley
Sunday mornings in Bishop. Limited take the 10 Fwy E about 17 miles past birding . Trip size restricted. FREE trip
to 20. To sign up, send $55 (Schreiber Banning to Hwy 62 N. Pass through planning services. Area’s spring birding
Grant Fund Raiser), phone#, and e- the town of Morongo Valley, take a featured in ABA’s “A Birder’s Guide to
mail in a SASE to LAAS. 260 miles right on East Dr., then a left into the Southern California” 2007 edition.
from LA, and 4.5 hours of driving preserve (or straight to Covington Contact: Bob Barnes, Field Trips
(bring a driving buddy!). Reserve Park). Bring lunch, water, sensible Chair. E: bbarnes@lightspeed.net,
rooms and trip early, for this clothing and sun block. Desert Hot P: 760-382-1260.
perenially popular trip. Motel 6, Springs offers the nearest
Mountain View Inn, Bishop Elms are accommodations, or camp at Joshua Saturday, May 3 –
some of many hotels in Bishop. Tree NP. No sign up. Rancho Sierra Vista.
Biologist, birder and ex-docent Scott
Saturday, April 19 – Sunday, April 27 – Harris will be traipsing through the
First Ever – Owens Lake Big Day. Point Dume Seabird Watch tussocks in search of the elusive
You are invited to participate in the first with Kimball Garrett. Grasshopper Sparrow, Blue Grosbeak,
comprehensive census of this important We will be concentrating on how to Lazuli Bunting as well as other
and evolving birding area. Birders will identify loons, shearwaters, late gulls, foothill and grassland species. This is
spread out over the extensive dike and other migrating seabirds in flight one of the few spots in the Southland
system that covers the entire surface of and at a distance. Some may be near, that reports Grasshopper Sparrow on
Owens Lake in order to survey all and we may start with gulls on the an annual basis. A visit to the
habitats in a single day. We expect a beach by the meeting spot. Take PCH Satwiwa Indian Cultural Center will
total of 50,000 to 100,000 birds based on N to Westward Beach Road, turn left, follow, if it is open. Take the 101 Fwy
a partial survey last October. Sunday is and meet along the right side of the west past Thousand Oaks just into
open for exploring the southern Owens road before the restrooms to carpool. Ventura County, exit south on Lynn
Valley or relocating any rarities found on We will carpool up to the pay lot or Road for 5.2 miles, turn left on Via
Saturday. After orientation Saturday street parking at the overlook. Goleta, and proceed to the last parking
morning, groups will survey their Spotting scope required. 8:00 AM lot where the group will be meeting.
assigned ‘slice of the lake’ followed in until about noon. Meet at 8:00 AM, and bird until noon.
the afternoon by a tally and a big Moderate hiking in rolling hills. Have
potluck. Note: This is NOT the LAAS Wednesday through Tuesday, sunscreen & water on your person.
field trip (see April 5). To sign up for this April 30-May 6 –
historic conservation effort at a limited Bird Kern County Kern River Valley Sat., and Sun., May 10 and 11 –
access area, or if you have questions, Spring Nature Festival. Galileo Hills & Butterbredt Springs.
contact botanist and birder Mike Come visit “America’s Birdiest Inland Leaders: Nick & Mary Freeman.
Prather of Eastern Sierra Audubon. County”, including Sequoia National These are two of the best spring
at mprather@lonepinetv.com Forest and South Fork Kern River migrant traps in the state. Western
(760)876-5807. Valley, Globally Important Bird Areas. warblers and flycatchers should
242 species during 07 festival! Thirty- headline. Reptiles may be
Saturday, April 26 – five+ birding trips with twenty+ encountered! Saturday: Take Hwy
Big Morongo Wildlife Preserve excellent leaders set for 08 including 14 about 4 miles past Mojave, then
Leader: Dexter Kelly. Central Valley/Kern National Wildlife turn right on California City Blvd.
Meet at 8:00 AM in the preserve Refuge, Mojave Desert/Butterbredt Drive through town about a mile past
parking lot, or 7:00 AM at Covington Spring, Kern River Valley/Kern River the shops, turn left past the golf course
Park next door. Breeding desert and Preserve, and Sierra Nevada/Giant on Randsburg-Mojave Rd., and veer
oasis birds such as Ash-Throated and Sequoia National Monument. Go right on 20 Mule Team Rd. Turn left
Vermilion Flycatchers, Summer birding during a “Best in West” spring at the Galileo Hills sign before the
Tanager, Scott’s and Hooded Orioles, migration. Owling, art/photo contests, hill, take your first paved right, your
Yellow-breasted Chat and migrating butterflies, dinner speakers, exhibitors, first right again, into the Silver Saddle

March/April 2008 19
F i e l d T r i p s
Country Club, followed by two paved of water, durable shoes, functioning
lefts into the lot. Park and meet at AC, and FRS radio (we have extras).
7:00AM by the first pond. Sunday:
RESERVATION & FEE EVENTS
Veer right heading north out of Fri. through Mon., June 13-16 – Policy and Procedure
Mojave, take Hwy 14 for about 20 Southern Sierra Extended Weekend (For Limited Participation
miles over the river bed to Jawbone Leader: Bob Barnes. Field Trips & Pelagic Trips)
Canyon Road on the left, and meet High deserts to High Sierra. The most Reservations will be accepted ONLY if
right at the turnoff at the ranger station diverse, species-rich region in the ALL the following information is supplied:
parking lot at 6:30AM. We will state. Likely: Goshawk, Yellow-billed
1) Trip desired. 2) Names of people in
carpool to Butterbredt Springs, and Cuckoo, Pileated Woodpecker and your party. 3) Phone numbers: (a) usual
perhaps finish the day at California owls. 150 species likely in 4 days. and (b) evening before event, (in case
City. LAAS sign-up mandatory. Fee: Participation limited. To reserve, and of cancellation) (c) email address (if
used). 4) Separate check (no cash
$25. 12 max. Bring lunches, sun receive trip information, send SASE please) to LAAS for exact amount for
block. Reserve rooms (Motel 6 or with e-mail, phone number and $15 for each trip. 5) Self-addressed stamped
other) in Mojave. each day attended ($60 for 4 days). envelope (SASE) for confirmation and
associated trip information.
Dawn to dusk (and more) birding ideal Our Mailing Address:
Saturday, May 17 – for enthusiastic begining to advanced
Santa Anita Canyon Los Angeles Audubon - Reservations
birders. Meet Friday at Union 76
P.O. Box 931057
Leader: Mary Freeman. station in Inyokern. Reserve Fri.-Sat.- Los Angeles, CA 90093-1057
Take the 210 Fwy toward Arcadia, and take Sun. night rooms in Kernville area
If there is insufficient response, the trip
Santa Anita Avenue N to the parking lot at early (listed in flyer). Lots of driving, will be cancelled two Wednesdays
the very end of the road. Meet at the so bring a friend. prior to the scheduled date (four weeks
trailhead at the bottom of the lot. 4 mile RT for pelagics). You will be so notified
and your fee returned. Your
moderately strenuous walk through oak and Thursday through Sunday, July 3-6 – cancellation after that time will bring a
chaparral canyons. Good selection of Quaking Aspen Camping Trip for Owls refund only if there is a paid
breeding and migrating birds including Leaders: Mary and Nick Freeman. replacement. Millie Newton is
available at Audubon House on
warblers, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Band- Campground is above Springville, near Wednesdays from noon to 4:00 PM to
tailed Pigeon, three hummers and Dipper Ponderosa in the southwest Sierras. A answer questions about Pelagic trips.
possible. Pack in a lunch and water. Our office staff is also available
group campsite will be reserved. Monday through Thursday for most
Meeting time 7:30AM. Owling by night, bird walks by day! reservation services.
We may also look at some butterflies!
Saturday, June 7 – Hopeful birds: Flammulated, Northern REFUND POLICY FOR
Apple Valley Herps. Saw-whet, Spotted owls and others; PELAGIC TRIPS
Leader: Harvey Fischer. Pileated Woodpecker, Winter Wren, If a participant cancels 31 days or more
prior to departure, a $4 service charge will
We will explore a small portion of Hammond’s Flycatcher and more. be deducted from the refund. There is no
participant refund if requested fewer than
open desert and poke around rocky Some meals will be potluck, others 30 days before departure, unless there is a
desert outcrops searching for desert provided or eat out. Tentatively meet paid replacement available. Call LAAS
for a possible replacement. Please do not
reptiles. “Feathered” reptiles will be Thursday 3:00PM at Quaking Aspen offer the trip to a friend as it would be
unfair to those on the waiting list.
included. Lunch at Morongo Preserve, Campground (look for poster). More
followed by more exploration for details in flyer. Send SASE, phone, e- All pelagic trips
must be filled 35 days prior to sailing.
critters. High clearance vehicles mail and $70 to reserve. 10 sign-ups Please reserve early.
suggested but not mandatory. Meet at max., no children or pets, please.
the San Bernardino County Museum NOTE: Destinations may be changed in
order to maximize bird sightings, or
parking lot at 8:00AM. Take 10 Fwy E minimize rough seas. In order to meet
past the 215 Fwy, take California unexpected increases in fuel costs, there can
Before setting out on any field trip, please call
be a $5 to $10 energy surcharge per person.
Street N, Orange Tree Lane E, and turn (323) 874-1318 (Events & Announcements, #4).
Special instructions or possible cancellations that
into the museum lat on the left (N) side may have occurred, by the Thursday before the
of the street. Come with lunch, plenty trip, will be announced at this number.

20 Western Tanager
B I R D W A L K S
Bird walks are geared for the beginner / entrance kiosk ($4 parking fee), turn new in the area. From Ventura Blvd.,
intermediate looking for an introduction left (leading to the “Olympic Forest”) take Topanga Canyon Blvd. 7 miles S,
or less strenuous excursion. and park in the first available spaces. turn E uphill on Entrada Rd. Follow
Meet at 8:00 AM. the signs and turn left into Trippet
Franklin Canyon/ Ranch parking lot. From PCH, take
Sooky Goldman Center Debs Park Audubon Center Topanga Cyn. Blvd. 5 miles to
Leader: Irwin Woldman Leader: Jenny Jones Entrada Rd. Parking $2.
Sunday, March 9 – Saturday, March 1 – Contacts: Ken: (310)455-1401,
Time: 8:30 Saturday, April 5 – ksafarri@aol.com;
Join Irwin as he escorts us around this Saturday, May 3 – Chris: (310) 455-1270
local bird haven, with Wood Ducks, and First Saturday (September -July)
resident chaparral species expected. Time: 9:00 a.m. Ballona Wetlands Birdwalk
Franklin Canyon is located between Join Jenny for a leisurely morning Leader: Bob Shanman
Sherman Oaks and Beverly Hills. Meet walk through the diverse natural areas Sunday, March 16 –
in the parking lot of the Sooky Goldberg that surround the Audubon Center at Sunday, April 20 –
Nature Center at 8:30 A.M and bird for Debs Park. A wide variety of birds of Sunday, May 18 –
a few hours. From the 101 Fwy, take riparian, walnut woodland, and Third Sundays (Aug – May)
Coldwater Cyn. Ave. S into the hills. chaparral habitats can be found, Time: 8:00 a.m.
Immediately after Mulholland Dr. including raptors. Meet at 9:00. The leads this trip to our nearest wetland
merges from the W with Coldwater Cyn. Center is located on Griffin Avenue on and adjacent rocky jetty. Migrating
Ave. make a 90-degree right turn onto the west side of the park. From the shorebirds and terns should be coming
Franklin Cyn. Dr. and continue west to south, take the Pasadena Fwy north to through. Meet at the Del Rey Lagoon
the Sooky Goldberg Nature Center. the Avenue 43 exit. Bear right on Ave. parking lot. Take the Marina Fwy (90
From Sunset go N on Coldwater 43 up the hill to Griffin Ave. Turn left W) to Culver Blvd. and turn left for a
Canyon; turn left on Mulholland Dr. on Griffin Ave., and go about a quarter mile, turn right on Pacific Ave. The lot
Remain on Mulholland. Immediately mile to the Center’s driveway, which is on the right. Lot or street parking is
after passing Coldwater Canyon Dr. as it goes steeply uphill on the right. From usually not a problem. Three-hour
heads down into the valley, look on the the north, exit the Pasadena Freeway walk. ’Scopes helpful. Meet at 8:00
left side for Franklin Canyon Dr. Turn southbound at Avenue 52. Turn left on AM.
left down Franklin Canyon Dr and park Ave. 52, and follow it across the Contacts: Bob: (310)326-2473,
in the first parking lot on the left. freeway to where it becomes Griffin wildbirdbob@cs.com
Ave. The driveway is a quarter mile
Kenneth Hahn State Recreation on the left. Whittier Narrows Bird Walk
Contact Info: Jenny: (323)633-1920, Leader: park ranger Ray Jillson
Area Bird Walk
redshoulderedhawk@earthlink.net Saturday, March 22 –
Saturday, March 15 – Ann and
Eric Brooks Saturday, April 26 –
Saturday April 19–TBA Topanga State Park Bird Walk Saturday, May 24 –
Saturday May 17–Eleanor Osgood Leaders: Ken Wheeland & Chris Fourth Saturday every month.
Third Saturday (Sept. through Jun.) Tosdevin Time: 8:15 a.m.
Time: 8:00 a.m. First Sunday of every month View colorful resident and wintering
This trip covers landscaped parkland Sunday, March 2 – birds, possibly including the introduced
and natural coastal scrub habitats, and Sunday, April 5 – Northern Cardinal. Take Peck Dr. off the
is paced for beginning birders and Sunday, May 3 – 60 Fwy in South El Monte (just west of
members of the Baldwin Hills Time: 8:00 A.M. the 605 Fwy). Take the off ramp onto
community. The park entrance is off Ken & Chris will lead participants Durfee Ave. heading W (right) and turn
of La Cienega Blvd. between Rodeo through this beautiful and diverse left into the Nature Center, 1000 Durfee
Rd. and Stocker St. After passing the coastal mountain area. An ideal trip Ave. Meet at 8:15 AM.
for a beginning birder or someone Contacts: Ray:, odri@juno.com

March/April 2008 21
2008 pelagic schedule

Saturday, May 3 Saturday, June 7 Saturday, September 6


A deep water trip toward the Land on Santa Cruz Island for the A deep water trip to Cherry,
San Juan Seamount. Island Scrub Jay, and then out to sea. Tanner and Cortez Banks.
This trip departs from the Santa This 8 hour trip departs from the This trip departs from the Santa
Barbara Harbor on the fast Island Packer dock in the Oxnard Barbara Harbor at 7:00 a.m. on
catamaran Condor Express at 7:00 Harbor at 8:00 a.m. on the m/v
the fast catamaran Condor Express
a.m., and will return approximately Vanguard. We will land at Prisoner’s
and returns approximately at 8:00
by 8:00 p.m. We will cruise along Cove where the endemic Island
Scrub-Jay is easily seen. Then we p.m. We are far offshore in 3
the deep water shelf by the San Juan
will cruise out to sea for pelagic counties Santa Barbara, Ventura and
Seamount. Birds previously seen:
birding, returning by Anacapa Los Angeles. Birds expected:
Laysan and Black-footed albatross;
Island. Birds seen on prior trips: Northern Fulmar; One Cook’s
Northern Fulmar; Sooty and Pink-
Northern Fulmar; Sooty and Pink- Petrel was seen in 2005; Ashy and
footed shearwaters: Parasitic,
footed shearwaters; South Polar Leach’s storm-petrels; South Polar
Pomarine and Long-tailed jaegers; Skua; Parasitic and Pomarine
Ashy, Leach’s and Fork-tailed Skua; Parasitic, Pomarine and Long-
jaegers; Sabine’s Gull; rocky
storm-petrels; Pigeon Guillemot; shorebirds (up to 5); Pigeon tailed jaegers; Sabine’s Gull; Arctic
Xantus Murrelet; Cassin’s and Guillemot; Xantus Murrelet. Tern. Red-billed Tropicbirds are
Rhinoceros auklets; Tufted Puffin. Rarities seen: Flesh-footed usually seen on this trip. Rarities
Rare possibilities are Murphy’s Shearwater and American seen: Black-footed Albatross;
Petrel and Red-billed Tropicbird. Oystercatcher. A Tufted Puffin Buller’s Shearwater; Least Storm-
Leaders: Todd McGrath, Jon seen in 2002. Petrel and Craveri’s Murrelet. Blue,
Feenstra, Kimball Garrett, Dave Leaders: Todd McGrath, Jon Fin and Minke whales as well as
Compton and David Pereksta. Feenstra and David Pereksta several species of dolphins can be
$198. There is a complete galley that $95. A box lunch and breakfast can
seen.
serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. be ordered from the adjoining dock-
Leaders: Todd McGrath, Jon
side deli. Galley onboard.
Feenstra, Dave Compton, and
David Pereksta
Save $5.00 with an early sign-up 60 days prior to the trip departure. $198. The trip will be cancelled if
there is insufficient response 35
days prior to departure. There is a
NOTE: Destinations may be changed to complete galley that serves
maximize bird sightings, or minimize Look for more exciting
breakfast lunch and dinner.
rough seas. new trips to be added
With increased fuel costs there can be a to this Schedule!
$5 to $10 energy surcharge per person.

22 Western Tanager
i nt er n atio na l b i rdi ng tours
MOROCCO: FROM THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS TO THE SAHARA
April 19 - May 5, 2008
P o s t - E x t e n s i o n Ta n g i e r t o F e s — M a y 5 - 1 0 , 2 0 0 8

The thought of Morocco brings visions of casbahs, deserts, minarets, camels,


and Arabian nights. These sights, coupled with shopping excursions in
Marrakech and Fes, will frame your experience, but the primary purpose of
this trip is Morocco's birds. With its coasts, islands, wadis, plains, forests,
mountains and deserts, Morocco is a birding wonderland-quite distinct from

Photo by Herb Clarke


European habitats to the north.

From the moment you arrive in Casablanca, you'll be on your way to look
for the over 460 bird species that have been recorded in this country. We will
visit numerous habitats to search for species such as Crested Lark, Fan-tailed
and Sardinian Warblers, and migrants such as Olivaceous Warbler, Barbary
Partridge, the rare Bald Ibis and the difficult-to-find Double-spurred
Francolin, to name only a few. From a birder's point of view, we will be in
Morocco at probably the most
interesting time of year. After the
For information and itinerary, contact: winter and early spring rains,
hundreds of dayas (temporary
Olga Clarke White Stork nesting on top of miniret.
ponds) form, and an abundance of
Los Angeles Audubon - Travel Director
2027 El Arbolita Dr. flowers and lush green forests
Glendale, CA 91208-1805 resound with birdsong. Beyond birds many natural wonders will be encountered:
minerals from the Middle and High Atlas Mountains, fossils, orchids, mammals,
Ph/Fax: 818-249-9511 herps and insects. Accommodations are outstanding, and the cuisine excellent. We
e-mail: oclarketravel@earthlink.net will be accompanied by expert birding guides. Space is limited.

New at the nATURE sTORE

N12367 N12400 N12446 N12450 N12374


$27.95 $24.95 $19.95 $40.00 $22.95

w w w. l o s a n g e l e s a u d u b o n . o r g / s t o re
Please visit our online Nature Store
for complete descriptions, or call 888.522.7428
March/April 2008 23
programs & evening meetings
Meet at 7:30 at the Community Center in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd (at Martel between La Brea & Fairfax)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


INLAND ISLANDS OF WOODPECKERS, with Steve Shunk

From the western Transverse Ranges north of Santa Barbara to the Laguna Mountains
west of Anza Borrego, nine species of woodpeckers hold year-round territories in largely
complimentary habitats. Winter brings an influx of flickers and sapsuckers to the region,
when some of the resident species wander a bit. Some of Southern California's local
woodpecker populations have developed uniquely specialized lifestyles suited to their
preferred islands of habitat, and at least one endemic subspecies inhabits the region's
pine forests.
Join Oregon naturalist and woodpecker specialist Steve Shunk as he interprets the
lives and times of our local woodpeckers. For the last 10 years, Steve has studied
woodpeckers on the east slope of Oregon's Cascade Mountains, and he is nearing
completion of the Peterson Reference Guide to Woodpeckers of North America. Steve
will discuss natural history, adaptation, and hybridization among our resident and White-headed Woodpecker,
migratory woodpecker species, as well as potential identification challenges. photo by Steve Shunk

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


eBird--WHERE BIRDING MEETS SCIENCE, with Brian Sullivan

Find out how you can become part of the big picture! Brian Sullivan, eBird Project
Leader, from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology will demonstrate how eBird has
revolutionized the way that birders report and access information about birds. The
website www.eBird.org is amassing one of the largest and fastest growing
biodiversity data resources in existence. In 2007, participants reported more than 8
million bird observations across North America! In this talk you’ll learn about the
concept of eBird, how it works and how you can contribute your observations to help
conserve birds and biodiversity.

Brian Sullivan

Los Angeles Audubon Society


P.O. Box 931057 DATED MATERIAL
Los Angeles, CA 90093-1057 Please Expedite

www.laaudubon.org