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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]

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.

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

49 Bird Bird Quiz | ABC

January 11, 2022

[Posted by Chuck Almdale]

I snipped the following from the 2020 Annual Report of American Bird Conservancy. They send me this every year because I send them money every year. It’s a worthy organization, deserving of your support, which in turn supports bird and bird habitat projects throughout the Americas, frequently through partnering with local organizations such as Fundación Jocotoco of Ecuador. Bird conservation projects received 69% of their expenditures in 2020, Education and Outreach another 4%, and they blew only 3% on fundraising. Charity Navigator gives them four stars, their highest rating. I think giving you this information is fair exchange for my borrowing their bird quiz, which I promise to return.

All 49 species are birds of the Americas, but I’ll give you an almost useless hint and tell you that over 10% of them are not found in the wild within the 50 U.S. states or Canada. Answers follow the two pages of birds. Reproduction by ‘snip’ is imperfect, but I think the photos are sufficiently clear for identification.

Link to ABC’s Bird of the Week: https://abcbirds.org/birds/bird-of-the-week/

No peeking!










Low tide down, High tide up: Repeat

January 8, 2022

[Posted by Chuck Almdale, photos by Ray Juncosa]

Here’s another offering in our never-ending effort to document tidal fluctuations in Malibu Lagoon. Future oceanographic historians will be enormously grateful, no doubt.

Ray commented on his photo shooting:

I was stopped by a couple who wondered if I came to the lagoon frequently – they could have sworn you could walk from the west lifeguard station all the way back past the Adamson House to Surfrider’s Beach and were surprised that they needed to do a u-turn.  

Sometimes you can, sometime you can’t. Depends on the storms and tides.
Look below.

Osprey overhead (Ray Juncosa 2-28-16)

The ‘Winter Ramp – Summer Clock‘ sidewalk is inundated when water levels are high. This is intentional. There are tiles along part of the sidewalk showing the height above mean low low sea level.

Tidal clock sidewalk (Ray Juncosa, Malibu Lagoon 18 Dec 2021)
Tidal clock sidewalk (Ray Juncosa, Malibu Lagoon 2021)
Tidal clock sidewalk, other end; storm-brought wood (Ray Juncosa, Malibu Lagoon 3 Jan 2021)

The following set shows where Malibu flows out under Pacific Coast Highway. When the bridge was replaced several decades ago, due to very high flows and trees coming down the creek in an El Nino winter, the Cliff Swallows stopped nesting under it. They moved over to the brick or cement walls of the shopping and civic center buildings a few hundred yards away. The water is deepest just the other side of the bridge.

Pacific Coast Hwy bridge (Ray Juncosa, Malibu Lagoon 18 Dec 2021)
Pacific Coast Hwy bridge (Ray Juncosa, Malibu Lagoon 2021)

Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy #1) bridge and Malibu Lagoon as seen from near Malibu Colony.

Pacific Coast Hwy bridge and Malibu Lagoon (Ray Juncosa 18 Dec 2021
Pacific Coast Hwy bridge (Ray Juncosa, Malibu Lagoon 3 Jan 2022)

The west end of the public part of Surfrider’s Beach begins here, where the Malibu Colony houses end. Cormorants, seals and shorebirds that prefer rocks to sand can be found here, but not at high tide.

West Surfrider’s Beach, east end of Malibu Colony, offshore rocks (Ray Juncosa, Malibu Lagoon 3 Jan 2022)
West Surfrider’s Beach, east end of Malibu Colony, offshore rocks currently subtidal. (Ray Juncosa, Malibu Lagoon 3 Jan 2022)

The south channel looking back towards the Winter Ramp sidewalk, with Pepperdine University and Hughes Research Lab on the distant hills.

South channel looking northwest towards Hughes Research Lab on the distant hill (Ray Juncosa, Malibu Lagoon 18 Dec 2021)
South channel looking west towards Pepperdine University and Hughes Research Lab on the distant hills (Ray Juncosa, Malibu Lagoon 3 Jan 2022)

Looking east across the lagoon towards Adamson House on east side.

Looking east across the lagoon towards Adamson House, Santa Monica in distance (Ray Juncosa, Malibu Lagoon 18 Dec 2021)
Looking east across the lagoon towards Adamson House (Ray Juncosa, Malibu Lagoon 3 Jan 2022)

A regular denizen.

Great Egret fully plumed (Joyce Waterman 2-26-17)

Bird Checklists for California & Los Angeles County

January 6, 2022

[Posted by Chuck Almdale]

California Bird Checklist
The latest update to the Official California Checklist — as per the California Bird Records Committee — is always here: https://www.californiabirds.org/checklist.asp. It’s a multi-page list, not a handy pocket-sized checklist.

Kimball Garrett posted this recent update (5 Jan 2022) to the list:

The California Bird Records Committee has completed a review of two more naturalized bird species and has now officially added them to the California state list: Mitred Parakeet (Psittacara mitratus) and Lilac-crowned Parrot (Amazona finschi). 

These two additions bring the state list to 679 species of which 15 are established introductions. Following the AOS Checklist, they are placed on the California list under family Psittacidae in the following order:

Mitred Parakeet (Psittacara mitratus)
[Yellow-chevroned Parakeet]
[Red-crowned Parrot]
Lilac-crowned Parrot (Amazona finschi)

The CBRC web site has been updated to reflect these additions: https://www.californiabirds.org/

The Committee is also reviewing proposals to add Nanday Parakeet (Aratinga nenday) and Red-masked Parakeet (Psittacara erythrogenys) to the state list; those proposals are still in review.


Los Angeles County Bird Checklist
The closest I could find to the equivalent of the Calif. checklist is this PDF file, also from Kimball Garrett, of 523 species as of April 2017:
https://nhm.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/avifauna_la_checklistnew2016aou.pdf
It’s also a multi-page list, not a handy pocket-sized checklist.

The prior LA County checklist from 2006, which actually looks like a checklist, is available on the San Fernando Valley Audubon website here.

Kimball Garrett posted this recent update (5 Jan 2022) to the LA County list:

The CBRC has recently added Mitred Parakeet (Psittacara mitratus) and Lilac-crowned Parrot (Amazona finschi) to the official California state list as naturalized non-native species.  Since both of these species are well-established in Los Angeles County, they are now officially added to the county bird list as well.

Also, the CBRC accepted a record of Mexican Duck (Anas diazi) from Los Angeles County: a bird shot by a hunter (specimen photographed) at Piute Ponds on 18 December 2019. This adds another species to the county list.  [Two other county reports of Mexican Duck, from the San Gabriel Coastal Basin Spreading Grounds 23-26 December 2014 and from Santa Fe Dam 1 May 2016 received much support from the CBRC in the first round of circulation but are going through another round of voting.]


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