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Major Change to Members’ Slide Show

January 16, 2019

Apparently SMBAS has some shy photographers out there. I spoke with someone I expected would send me photos for the show and he (generic person) said he thought his photos were not good enough to win, so no go. After talking with more people, I find this is not an unusual response.

Also, I found that some people take decent/good/great photos but do not know much about editing them, and some are not sure what species of bird they have photographed, leading them to feel even more shy.

So, we are scrapping the ‘contest’ and making the March 5th program a show-and-tell slide show. This is how it will work:

  • You send me your photo file(s) and tell me in what order you want them shown.
  • You can use single shots, sequences, panoramas, whatever. Obviously we need nature to be the subject. If you’re not sure what species you photographed, we’ll help.
  • On March 5th, we will randomly call on people to come up and narrate their photos in whatever manner they want.

As to the nitty-gritty details on what to send me and how to send it:

  • We want JPGs. Most people take JPGs, and those of you who shoot RAW know how to do a “save as JPG” in your editor.
  • We don’t need huge files. Most cameras take large photos. Even cell phones take 4000×3000 pixel (12MB) and larger photos. Sending one of these by email might crash the email, and for the show we have to downsize them anyway. So, if you use an editing program, do a “Save As” or “Export” as JPG and fill in the size as 1280 pixels for the longest edge. If there is a quality option, take the highest number. This should result in a file that is 500 to 900KB.
  • If you don’t have an editing program you know how to use, and you have a Windows PC, I can send you a tiny program that will do the re-sizing for you, as long as the original is a JPG.
  • Please send photos by February 15th.

You can call or email me with questions. Any questions.

I hope this change of plans will result in a flood of submissions. The whole idea is to share experiences, see what others are doing, learn a few things, and have a good time!

Call me at 310-454-9662. Email me at cgbjr67 AT gmail dot com.

[This post will “stick” to the front page for two days.]


Antelope Valley Raptor Search Reminder, Saturday, 19 January 2019

January 15, 2019

This post is intentionally stuck. Scroll down for newer, unstuck posts.

This trip is rescheduled from the original date.

This is the trip for the raptor enthusiast.

Prairie Falcon, Patrick McCaffey, 01/14/17

We will be birding in both the northeastern and northwestern Antelope Valley.  The raptors we are most likely to see are Red-tailed Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, Northern Harrier, Cooper’s Hawk, American Kestrel, Merlin, Prairie Falcon and White-tailed Kite.  We hope to see Golden Eagle, Rough-legged Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk and there is always the chance of a Long-eared Owl.  We will be looking for Mountain Plover, Mountain Bluebird, Horned Lark and other species that are year-round residents or winter visitors.

Mountain Bluebird, Ted S., 01/14/17

Links to prior trips: Jan’18, Jan’17, Jan’16, Jan’15, Jan’14, Jan’13, Jan’12, Jan’11

Family guide:  Mostly driving, under 1/2 mile walking on roadsides.  Probably boring for young children.  Expect cold weather.  The trip will be postponed by one week if rain or high winds are predicted.

Directions:  Carpools will leave the North Hills (San Fernando Valley) area by 7.15 am so we can be in the Palmdale area by 8am.  Allow 1/2-hour drive time from Santa Monica to the carpool meeting place.  For directions to the meeting place or additional information, e-mail leader at: <smbaudubon [at] BY THURSDAY EVENING.  This trip is limited to 5 vehicles, with priority given to those who are carpooling.

This trip has been rescheduled from the prior Saturday.

Bring lunch, drinks, additional water and dress for the weather.  If you have an FRS radio bring it with you.

For additional information and directions to the meeting place, e-mail leader at: <smbaudubon [at]>
or call or send a text to the leader the leader at 310-617-8904 and leave a message with your name and phone number.
We must know who is coming on the trip; the leader will reply to confirm your participation.


Off goes the Prairie Falcon (C.Almdale 12/10/11)


Donation Reminder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

December 8, 2018
Have you donated Yet? (

Have you donated Yet? (

This post is intentionally stuck. Scroll down for newer, unstuck posts.

Finished with eating turkey???  Tired of endless football, basketball, hockey games??? Sick of shopping and Black Friday ads???

Why not take a minute, go to the blog and click the Donate or Join Button on the right side of the screen to help us with our Annual Appeal?
[Get to the blog quickly by clicking above on the title “Reminder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!“]

Or you can use the return envelope that came by snail mail.

Now don’t you feel better for helping the birds and the environment?

(Click here to see what we’ve been up to over the past year).

Don't let this happen to you. (Clipart -

Don’t let this happen to you. (Clipart –

SM Mountains BirdFest Announcement

January 17, 2019

As we all know, the Santa Monica Mountains BirdFest 2018 was cancelled because of the Woolsey fire. The heart of King Gillette Ranch, site of our BirdFest activities, was unscathed although the area around it was devastated. That sadly includes both Paramount Ranch and Peter Strauss Ranch where many public events and concerts take place.

The BirdFest committee met to discuss planning for the next festival. We decided to plan for the 5th Festival to take place in November 2020 rather than in 2019. This will allow more time for the area and habitat to recover from the ravages of the fire.
We also took other factors into consideration, notably the pressure on National Park and other agency staff to rebuild, the backlog of work on NPS lands after the shutdown, and the demand on the reduced number of facilities in the Mountains during rebuilding. Planning for events must start months ahead of time and we are at this time unable to speak to National Park personnel.

We are sorry to miss two years, but we hope to welcome you to a stronger and better BirdFest 2020!

The BirdFest of the Santa Monica Mountains is a free cooperative event sponsored by San Fernando Valley Audubon Society, Western National Parks Association, the National Park Service, Conejo Valley Audubon Society and Santa Monica Bay Audubon Society. 

Antelope Valley Raptor Search cancelled

January 16, 2019

The Antelope Valley Raptor Search scheduled for Saturday, the 19th of January 2019 has been cancelled because of road conditions in the search area.

There is no alternate date so the trip is cancelled for this season.

Inspection & Touch: and the Birds-of-Paradise | Cornell / National Geographic

January 16, 2019

Courtship has distinct phases. It begins with a male’s loud calls for attracting females to his display site, and ends when females decide whether to mate or leave. The final phase, just before the female chooses, is critical. This stage includes close inspection by females and sometimes even physical touch. It all leads up to a crucial moment of female choice. The Cornell Lab’s Ed Scholes explains. Filmed and photographed by Tim Laman.

There are currently seventy-two short films in the entire Birds-of-Paradise Project playlist, ranging from 26 seconds to 8:29. In the upcoming weeks, we will present some of our favorites.

A film from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. If no film or link appears in this email, go to the blog to view it by clicking on the blog title above. If the film stops & starts in an annoying manner, press pause (lower left double bars ||) to let it buffer and get ahead of you. The lab is a member-supported organization and they welcome your membership and support. [Chuck Almdale]

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