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President’s Annual Appeal for 2021

December 10, 2021

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The Western Gulls have already chipped in. (Photo: Grace Murayama 7-23-17)

A Reminder…

We are asking you to consider giving us your support this year. Remember, this is our only fund raising effort. We don’t pester you weekly, monthly, or throughout the year. Your help allows our all-volunteer group to accomplish our mission “to be a center for wildlife education, habitat protection, and conservation issues that involve birds.”

These efforts are of increasing importance in view of the past decreasing support for environmental issues coming from the Federal Administration.

You can DONATE four different ways:

  • With the self-addressed envelope enclosed with the annual appeal letter (sent to those already on our membership rolls)
  • Send a check to our mailing address: SMBAS, PO Box 35, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
  • With PayPal using the PayPal Widget located on the right side bar of the blog
  • With a Credit Card using the same PayPal Widget located on the right side bar of the blog.  You do not have to join PayPal to donate, just have your credit card “standing by.”

Please take a moment and make a donation today.

We continue our strong backing of all things birds, habitat, native plants, the environment and conservation through education, field trips, bird monitoring, speakers and grants to students and conservation groups.

Please take a minute to read the annual appeal letter below and see what we have been doing this year.

Thank you,

Jean Garrett
President


This year again has not been the kind that any of us anticipated.   In times like this, it can be difficult to look forward and see a clear pathway ahead.  So it is with some trepidation that we come to you and ask our fellow members for their annual support.  This is our only fund raising effort by our all-volunteer group. The pressures on our natural habitat continue unabated and are likely to require more effort than normal to find sustainable conservation solutions as we face unprecedented environmental conditions.  Your donation is needed to continue the strong SMBAS support of all things bird, habitat, native plants, natural environment, and conservation.

In addition, would you please fill out the enclosed survey even if you cannot make a donation.  Your information will help us plan programs and field trips better suited to your interests.  Currently, some of our activities – those which can be transferred to electronic discussion, or involve only small numbers of people – continue without interruption.  But we are looking for alternate approaches and your responses will help.  Even with the pandemic, SMBAS continues to focus on:

Education

  • We continue our support of the Student Conservation Association which provides hands-on conservation service and training where possible in the Santa Monica Mountains and/or Butterbredt Spring area, the site of our annual Christmas Count.
  • For the Audubon Education Program at Ballona Wetlands, we will (when the program resumes), fund bus scholarships to help elementary school students visit Ballona Wetlands for field trips that – for many – is their first glimpse of a natural area.

Public Outreach

  • Our evening speaker programs are diverse and insightful. They are held the first Tuesday of October through May, except January. We are currently conducting Zoom meetings, so keep in touch for topics and access via the BLOG, http://www.facebook.com/SantaMonicaAudubon/ or Twitter at http://twitter.com/SMBAudubon.  Zoom has allowed us to have speakers from as far away as Australia.  We will continue Zoom only programs thru December, and hope to have hybrid programs when we meet in person.
  • Our ever popular monthly Malibu Lagoon walks will resume them when it is safe to do so.  Our diverse and richly rewarding series of field trips on the second Saturday of the month also are on sabbatical.  We hope to restart Malibu Lagoon and other field trips in January 2022.  By signing up to receive email notifications via our BLOG, www.smbasblog.com, you will always be on top of upcoming trips and meetings when they are scheduled.

Bird Monitoring

  • Western Snowy Plovers (a Threatened species). Our support for this monitoring effort (and for the Endangered Least Terns and for Brown Pelicans) into subsequent years is imperative in collaboration with State, Federal, and local agencies. We continue our monthly Snowy Plover counts at Malibu Lagoon, Santa Monica Beach, and Zuma Beach.  Check out our Snowy Plover page and slideshow on the blog. 
  • To support the Snowy Plovers, we also help fund the cost of maintaining fencing at Santa Monica beach and a plover/tern volunteer coordinator for Los Angeles County. We also participate in regional coordination efforts and the Rangewide Snowy Plover Conference.

Habitat Conservation and Research

  • We offer small, but essential, research grants to local college students. Grants last year were limited because Covid closed the schools. We are able to increase the number of grants for students from UCLA, Pepperdine, Loyola Marymount, and California State University Los Angeles. Since 2005, sixty-two grants have been awarded.
  • We endowed a second scholarship at Santa Monica College, and made an additional contribution to the original scholarship endowment.
  • We also support Friends of Big Morongo, Endangered Habitats League, American Bird Conservancy, and Birder’s Exchange.
  • We have send a donation to support the Mountain Lion Freeway Crossing in Agoura.

This is your chapter and we hope you will join us in many of these activities, either in distance learning format, or in person when they again become available.  We welcome your input to this diverse program of events. If you wish to receive or continue to receive our bi-monthly, single sheet paper news update/calendar, please indicate on the enclosed remittance envelope.  (You need not donate to receive the print version.). Please remember all contributions are fully tax deductible and will be used exclusively in direct support of our programs. 

We hope you will consider the solid positive impact of our group and make a
contribution if you are in a position to do so.

Thank you in advance for your consideration and your generosity.  We very much hope you are healthy and in good spirits. Your critical support matters to the environment and to the birds.

Jean Garrett
President
post office box 35  pacific palisades  california  90272

Future Meetings:

Dec 7, 2021   TBA
Feb 1, 2022   Ashli Gorbet, Banding Projects Manager, Black Swamp Observatory, Ohio
Mar 1, 2022   TBA
Apr  5, 2022   TBA
May 3, 2022   TBA

Please check the blog www.smbasblog.com for changes and updates.

[posted by Chuck Almdale]

Important birds of ancient Lake Cahuilla and the Salton Sea, with Kurt Leuschner. Zoom Evening Meeting reminder, Tuesday, 1 February, 7:30 p.m.

January 28, 2022

You are all invited to the next ZOOM meeting
of Santa Monica Bay Audubon Society

Kurt at Salton Sea January 2022
On February 1, 2022 at 7:30 pm, Join the Zoom Presentation by CLICKING HERE

Important Birds of Ancient Lake Cahuilla and the Salton Sea, with Kurt Leuschner.
Zoom Evening Meeting, Tuesday, 1 February, 7:30 p.m.

Before the Salton Sea, there was Ancient Lake Cahuilla. Only hundreds of years ago this giant freshwater lake filled the entire Salton Sink and most of the Coachella Valley. Birds and people depended on this body of water just like they do today. In this program you’ll learn about the special birds associated with this lake that was six times bigger than today’s Salton Sea”. You’ll also receive an update on the current situation at the Salton Sea and the “10 year plan” to keep it going.

Salton Sea (Ray Juncosa)

Kurt Leuschner is a Professor of Natural Resources at College of the Desert where he teaches courses on Conservation, Entomology, Field Ornithology, Native Plants, and GPS Navigation. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology from U.C. Santa Barbara and a Master’s in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Florida. Kurt has led numerous field trips both locally and as far afield as Africa, New Zealand, and the Galapagos.  He is the founder of the Desert Cities Bird Club, on the Board of Directors of Western Field Ornithologists, and is past President of the Natural Science Collaborative. He has studied sound recordings of the various subspecies of North American Scrub-Jays.  In 2009 Kurt finished the Palms to Pines Birding and Nature Trail map, a two-year project, which details the ten best birding and hiking locations in and around the Coachella Valley. Kurt also teaches weekend courses and workshops on birdwatching, insects, GPS, and backyard habitats for UCR Extension, the Desert Institute, the Desert Studies Center, and the Living Desert. He also teaches natural history courses for the Bureau of Land Management, UCR Extension, the Desert Institute, California State Parks, Riverside County Parks, and many other conservation organizations.

On February 1, 2022 at 7:30 pm, Join the Zoom Presentation by CLICKING HERE
A curfew of Long-billed Curlews (Ray Juncosa)

(If this button isn’t working for you, see detailed zoom invitation below.)


Meeting ID: 879 5169 1699
Passcode: 729555
One tap mobile:

+16699009128,,87951691699#,,,,729555# US (San Jose) +13462487799,,87951691699#,,,,729555# US (Houston)
Dial by your location
+1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
Meeting ID: 879 5169 1699
Passcode: 729555
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/krk1jTKtd
[Posted by Chuck Almdale]

Find the Neotropic Cormorant (Ray Juncosa)

Important birds of ancient Lake Cahuilla and the Salton Sea, with Kurt Leuschner. Zoom Evening Meeting, Tuesday, 1 February, 7:30 p.m.

January 20, 2022

You are all invited to the next ZOOM meeting
of Santa Monica Bay Audubon Society

Kurt at Salton Sea January 2022
On February 1, 2022 at 7:30 pm, Join the Zoom Presentation by CLICKING HERE

Important Birds of Ancient Lake Cahuilla and the Salton Sea, with Kurt Leuschner.
Zoom Evening Meeting, Tuesday, 1 February, 7:30 p.m.

Before the Salton Sea, there was Ancient Lake Cahuilla. Only hundreds of years ago this giant freshwater lake filled the entire Salton Sink and most of the Coachella Valley. Birds and people depended on this body of water just like they do today. In this program you’ll learn about the special birds associated with this lake that was six times bigger than today’s Salton Sea”. You’ll also receive an update on the current situation at the Salton Sea and the “10 year plan” to keep it going.

Salton Sea (Ray Juncosa)

Kurt Leuschner is a Professor of Natural Resources at College of the Desert where he teaches courses on Conservation, Entomology, Field Ornithology, Native Plants, and GPS Navigation. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology from U.C. Santa Barbara and a Master’s in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Florida. Kurt has led numerous field trips both locally and as far afield as Africa, New Zealand, and the Galapagos.  He is the founder of the Desert Cities Bird Club, on the Board of Directors of Western Field Ornithologists, and is past President of the Natural Science Collaborative. He has studied sound recordings of the various subspecies of North American Scrub-Jays.  In 2009 Kurt finished the Palms to Pines Birding and Nature Trail map, a two-year project, which details the ten best birding and hiking locations in and around the Coachella Valley. Kurt also teaches weekend courses and workshops on birdwatching, insects, GPS, and backyard habitats for UCR Extension, the Desert Institute, the Desert Studies Center, and the Living Desert. He also teaches natural history courses for the Bureau of Land Management, UCR Extension, the Desert Institute, California State Parks, Riverside County Parks, and many other conservation organizations.

On February 1, 2022 at 7:30 pm, Join the Zoom Presentation by CLICKING HERE
A curfew of Long-billed Curlews (Ray Juncosa)

(If this button isn’t working for you, see detailed zoom invitation below.)


Meeting ID: 879 5169 1699
Passcode: 729555
One tap mobile:

+16699009128,,87951691699#,,,,729555# US (San Jose) +13462487799,,87951691699#,,,,729555# US (Houston)
Dial by your location
+1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
Meeting ID: 879 5169 1699
Passcode: 729555
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/krk1jTKtd
[Posted by Chuck Almdale]

Find the Neotropic Cormorant (Ray Juncosa)

More Monarchs | Los Angeles Times

January 19, 2022

[Posted by Chuck Almdale]

Monarch butterfly (Roxie Seider 10-29-16)

The L.A. Times seems to publish something on Monarch Butterflies every 3-4 months in their Saturday Section, and they’re always worthwhile reading. This one is largely about the annual census as seen from the eyes of one counter, with some additional comments from scientists.

To Glimpse a Butterfly or here
A day in the life of an L.A. Monarch counter, as he looks for the elusive endangered insects.
Los Angeles Times | Jeanette Marantos | 15 Jan 2022 | 8 minute read

It also has useful advice for you, the home butterfly & bird aficionado:

  • Plant Native Milkweed: Tropical milkweed supports parasites that affect the butterflies; native milkweed doesn’t.
  • Use Milkweed Plants Without Pesticides: I hope you aren’t shocked, shocked! to learn that pesticides on the plant surface or in the plant tissue have adverse effects on caterpillar and butterfly, such as: a) killing them, b) dead.
  • Browse Native Plant Nurseries: Where better to buy native plants?
  • Plant Nectar Producing Flowers: Only the caterpillars eat milkweed; adult butterflies (the ones with wings, fluttering around) feed on many other flowers, but not on milkweed.
  • Do Not Raise Monarchs: For some reason, they’re often diseased and will spread their disease to wild monarchs.

Link to Western Monarch Count website – They don’t have the Nov-Dec 2021 data posted yet (coming soon), but you might want to sign up for the 2022 counts, or just learn more.

Early results from Nov-Dec 2021 seem to indicate that the population rebounded from the horribly awful 2020 census counts. According to BayNature.org.

“We’re well over 100,000 butterflies at this point,” said Emma Pelton, the Xerces Society’s senior endangered species conservation biologist and western monarch lead.

Data from over 200 monitoring sites show significantly greater numbers than last year. For example, more than 10,000 monarchs were counted at overwintering sites in Pacific Grove, Pismo Beach, and Big Sur. Last year, those three sites had less than 300 butterflies total. Similar trends are being reported from sites in Santa Cruz, Ventura, and Los Angeles. “We definitely haven’t seen an increase of this magnitude before,” Pelton said. The final numbers from the count overall are expected to be reported sometime in January.

Though this rebound gives cause for hope for the struggling monarch population, it does beg the question: How did it happen?

“That’s the question of the day,” Pelton said. “I would love to know.”

Monarch Butterfly (L. Plauzoles 10/28/12)
Painted Lady for comparison (Roxie Seider 10-29-16)

Wanted: Proofreader

January 15, 2022

[Posted by Chuck Almdale, submitted by Ellen Vahan]

From: Amazing Birds: A Treasury of Facts and Trivia about the Avian World by Dr. Roger Lederer – 2007

Submit application to editor.

Update: This was a joke. Look at the picture.

Red-necked Stint 2021: Oregon on 9-Aug, SoCal on 22-Aug

January 13, 2022

[Posted by Chuck Almdale]

One or more Red-necked Stints appeared on the west coast this fall. We have five photos of the single Oregon bird, taken 9-Aug-2021 at DeLaura Beach Access, Clatsop, OR, and twelve of the Malibu Lagoon, Malibu CA, taken on 22-Aug and 25-Aug, 2021. We don’t know if these are of the same bird, but they are a selection of those taken at both locations on three days.

Red-necked Stint 1 at DeLaura Beach Access, Clatsop, OR (Ryan Downey, 09 Aug 2021)
Red-necked Stint 2 at DeLaura Beach Access, Clatsop, OR (Ryan Downey, 09 Aug 2021)

Compare to the Malibu Lagoon bird 22-Aug-2021.

Red-necked Stint, left side. Malibu Lagoon (Photo: Chris Tosdevin, 8-22-21, time: 10:25:02)

Back to the 9-Aug-2021 Oregon bird.

Red-necked Stint 3 at DeLaura Beach Access, Clatsop, OR (Ryan Downey, 09 Aug 2021)

Compare to the Malibu Lagoon bird 22-Aug-2021.

Red-necked Stint, left side angle. Malibu Lagoon (Photo: Chris Tosdevin, 8-22-21, time: 10:24:19)

Two more photos of the Oregon bird 9-Aug-2021.

Red-necked Stint 1 at DeLaura Beach Access, Clatsop, OR (Colby Neuman, 09 Aug 2021)
Red-necked Stint 2 at DeLaura Beach Access, Clatsop, OR (Colby Neuman, 09 Aug 2021)

The following photos of the Red-necked Stint are all of the single Southern California bird, taken 13 days later, on 22 Aug 2021. This was reportedly the 4th historical sighting of Red-necked Stint in Los Angeles County.

Red-necked Stint; upright. Malibu Lagoon, CA (Photo Chris Tosdevin, 8-22-21, Time 09:38:41)

Red-necked Stint, approaching. Malibu Lagoon (Photo: Chris Tosdevin, 8-22-21, time: 10:01:11)
Red-necked Stint, right side bending. Malibu Lagoon (Photo: Chris Tosdevin, 8-22-21, time: 10:22:58)
Red-necked Stint and closer Western Sandpiper. Malibu Lagoon (Photo: Femi Faminu, 8-22-21, time: 11:08)

The following photos of the same Red-necked Stint were taken three days later, on 25-Aug-2021, at the same location, Malibu Lagoon, Los Angeles County, CA.

Red-necked Stint. Malibu Lagoon (Photo: Chris Tosdevin, 8-25-21, time: 08:02:31)
Red-necked Stint. Malibu Lagoon (Photo: Chris Tosdevin, 8-25-21, time: 08:02:37)
Red-necked Stint. Malibu Lagoon (Photo: Chris Tosdevin, 8-25-21, time: 08:04:36)
Red-necked Stint. Malibu Lagoon (Photo: Chris Tosdevin, 8-25-21, time: 08:05:52)
Red-necked Stint. Malibu Lagoon (Photo: Chris Tosdevin, 8-25-21, time: 08:05:54)
Red-necked Stint. Malibu Lagoon (Photo: Chris Tosdevin, 8-25-21, time: 08:25:07)
Photos taken at blue pin at SE corner of lagoon. Bird first seen from pavilion area next to Malibu Lagoon car park. The lagoon outlet to the ocean is currently closed.

There you go. We report, you decide. I don’t know enough about plumage changes in shorebirds in general and Red-necked Stints in particular to make an informed judgement as to whether this is the same bird. Photography and lighting have a lot to do with how a bird can look. The first three Oregon photos appear to be taken in “golden light” of early morning or late afternoon, enhancing reddish colors. Same thing for many of the Malibu Lagoon photos.

Additional photos of the Oregon bird are here:
https://ebird.org/media/catalog?taxonCode=rensti&sort=rating_rank_desc&mediaType=p&regionCode=US-OR-007

Additional photos of the Malibu Lagoon bird are here:
https://smbasblog.com/2021/08/24/red-necked-stint-at-malibu-lagoon-8-22-21/
and
https://ebird.org/media/catalog?taxonCode=rensti&yr=YCUSTOM&mr=M8TO11&mediaType=p&sort=obs_date_asc&ey=2021&hotspot=Malibu%20Lagoon,%20Los%20Angeles,%20US-CA&hotspotCode=L597658&by=2021

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