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No salesman will call, at least not from us. Maybe from someone else.
Argentine ants are spreading across the globe, eliminating local ants with their take-no-prisoners tactics: invade, dismember, repeat. But this ruthless killer seems to have met its match in the winter ant, a California native with a formidable secret weapon.
This is another installment of the PBS Deep Look series. 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. [Chuck Almdale]
It turns out that they know a lot!
In this dynamic, illustrated presentation, Jonathan Balcombe combines science with story-telling to explore the colorful lives of the least understood and most exploited vertebrates on Earth. Balcombe explores fish perceptions, cognition, emotion, social behavior, and cooperation, and wraps it in the context of our evolving relationship to fishes and their vital aquatic habitats.
Link to our September 2016 review of “What a Fish Knows.”
Jonathan Balcombe is a biologist, author, and a life-long animal advocate. He has a PhD in ethology from the University of Tennessee, where he studied communication in bats. He has published over 50 journal articles and book chapters ranging from turtle nesting behavior to the ethics of animal dissection. His 2006 book Pleasurable Kingdom is the first in-depth examination of animals’ capacity to enjoy life. [Facebook page]
His subsequent books Second Nature, and The Exultant Ark also present animals in a new light and presage a revolution in the human-animal relationship. His latest book, the New York Times bestseller What a Fish Knows, explores the private lives of the planet’s most misunderstood and exploited vertebrates. Balcombe is Director for Animal Sentience with The Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy, based in Washington, DC. In January, he and his colleagues launched Animal Sentience, the first scholarly journal of animal feeling. A popular commentator, he has appeared on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the BBC, the National Geographic Channel, and in several documentaries, and has contributed features and opinions to The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Nature, and other publications. He recently moved to Florida, where in his spare time he enjoys biking, baking, birding, Bach, and trying to understand the lizards on his patio.
Our meetings are at Christine Emerson Reed Park, 1133 7th Street. (between 7th St. & Lincoln Blvd., California Ave. & Wilshire Blvd.), Santa Monica. Previously known as Lincoln Park. If you’re coming from outside Santa Monica, exit the #10 Fwy at Lincoln Blvd., turn north and drive 5 blocks north to Wilshire Blvd.
Link to Google Map
Meeting Room: Mid-park in Joslyn Hall, accessible from Lincoln Blvd, California Ave. and 7th St. Its glass wall faces north towards St. Monica Church on California St. If you’re walking from Lincoln Blvd., it’s located directly behind (west) of the large Miles Playhouse building. Not accessible directly from Wilshire Blvd.
Meetings begin at 7:30 sharp with a little business, and then our main presentation. Refreshments are served afterward. Please leave your coyote at home, however much they whine to come.
Parking: The entire block between Wilshire and California Ave, 7th and Lincoln, on the sides closest to the park, is metered. Meter enforcement ends at 6PM, so free parking for the meeting! We had almost 50 attendees in February and we know of only two people who couldn’t find parking. However, the local natives are engaged in a survival-of-the-fittest scramble for free parking, so the after-6pm free parking spaces disappear quickly. We suggest that you arrive no later than 7:15 pm.
If all those spaces are filled, go south of Wilshire, not north of the park, as resident-only permit parking zones abound to the north. The east side of Lincoln Blvd. is also by permit parking only. We found plenty of spaces on 7th St. or Lincoln south of Wilshire. Most of those seem to be “until 6PM” meters also. Wherever you park, please read parking signs carefully and avoid a big fat $40+ parking ticket. [Chuck Almdale]
Some of the wintering birds have left, but many remain, and our breeding birds are arriving. The air may be filled with swallows. Grebes, loons, pelicans, ducks, egrets, hawks, shorebirds, flycatchers, orioles, finches, ad infinitum.
Some of the great birds we’ve had in April are: Brant, Clark’s Grebe, Osprey, American Kestrel, Virginia Rail, Sora, Snowy Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Black Turnstone, Surfbird, Dunlin, Bonaparte’s Gull, Royal, Elegant & Forster’s Terns, Eurasian Collared & White-winged Doves, Tree & Violet-Green Swallows, American Pipit, Cedar Waxwing, Orange-crowned & Wilson’s Warblers, Lazuli Bunting and Lesser Goldfinch.
Adult Walk 8:30 a.m. – Beginner and experienced, 2-3 hours. Species range from 40 in June to 60-75 during migrations and winter. We meet at the metal-shaded viewing area (see photo below) next to the parking lot and begin walking east towards the lagoon. We always check the offshore rocks and the ocean. When lagoon outlet is closed we continue east around the lagoon to Adamson House. We put out special effort to make our monthly Malibu Lagoon walks attractive to first-time and beginning birdwatchers. So please, if you are at all worried about coming on a trip and embarrassing yourself because of all the experts, we remember our first trips too. Someone showed us the birds; now it’s our turn.
Children and Parents Walk 10:00 a.m. One hour session, meeting at the metal-shaded viewing area (see photo above) between parking lot and channel. We start at 10:00 for a shorter walk and to allow time for families to get it together on a sleepy Sunday morning. Our leaders are experienced with kids so please bring them to the beach! We have an ample supply of binoculars that children can use without striking terror into their parents. We want to see families enjoying nature. (If you have a Scout Troop or other group of more than seven people, you must call Lu (310-395-6235) to make sure we have enough binoculars and docents.)
Map to Meeting Place
Directions: Malibu Lagoon is at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Cross Creek Road, west of Malibu Pier and the bridge. Look around for people wearing binoculars.
Parking: Parking machine recently installed in the lagoon lot: 1 hr $3; 2 hrs $6; 3 hrs $9, all day $12 ($11 seniors); credit cards accepted. Annual passes accepted. You may also park (read the signs carefully) either along PCH west of Cross Creek Road, on Cross Creek Road, or on Civic Center Way north (inland) of the shopping center. Lagoon parking in shopping center lots is not permitted.
2016: Jan-June, July-Dec 2015: Jan-May, July-Dec
2014: Jan-July, July-Dec 2013: Jan-June, July-Dec
2012: Jan-June, July -Dec 2011: Jan-June, July-Dec
2010: Jan-June, July-Dec 2009: Jan-June, July-Dec.
Chris Thacker and Kimball Garrett take us on a tour of our local birds, some in the skies, some in trays: resident, migrant and introduce (especially all those parrots).
This comes from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. 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. [Chuck Almdale]