All Programs Announcements

General Membership Meeting: SPECIAL Field Trip to the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

See page two of the October 2011 issue of the Phainopepla for more information about this event

Directions: From the San Fernando Valley, take Hwy. 101 to Pleasant Valley/Santa Rosa Road exit in Camarillo, turn left at the end of the off-ramp, going back over the freeway. Follow Pleasant Valley west for 2 miles to where it crosses Lewis Road (at a signal). Move to the right lane and continue heading west on Pleasant Valley to the second street on the right, Calle San Pablo. (If you cross the railroad tracks, you have gone too far.) Turn right on Calle San Pablo. The foundation is the fifth building on the left (439 Calle San Pablo).


Guy Commeau Presents…

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Flora and Fauna of Alaska and Victoria

Come to the SFVAS Membership Meeting Thursday night, September 22, 2011, 7:00 PM at the Encino Community Center, 4935 Balboa Blvd., Encino.

Guy is an exceptional photographer, birder and traveler who spent six months in Alaska and will be sharing his Alaskan adventures with us through his stories and photography.

Guy is well known to our Audubon Chapter and many others from his presentations in the past.

Guy will show us the beautiful Butchart Gardens on Victoria Island.  We will see shots from the Pribilof Islands where Guy encountered Jon Dunn and some exceptional birds.  We’ll hear about and view his encounters with a wolf and other mammals and enjoy the beauty of the Alaskan countryside.

Walter Sakai presents: Bird Banding in Zuma Canyon: An Update

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Walter Sakai is a Master Bird Bander who has been banding birds in Zuma Canyon since 1995. Bird banding allows us to learn about migration patterns, population changes, mortality, longevity, feeding behaviors and territoriality of birds. Walt’s emphasis is on teaching students how to band birds. Thus, most of his help comes from Santa Monica College where he teaches biology, but he has other volunteers as well.

Because Walt’s emphasis is on teaching, his banding covers a wide variety of habitats. Walt and his students generally band 60-80 species each year, including 1000-1500 individual birds. You can find some very interesting information on his homepage.

Walt was recently awarded $1000 from Los Angeles Audubon Society and $500 from Santa Monica Bay Audubon to start and operate a MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survival) bird banding station in Solstice Canyon in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Come to the monthly membership meeting on Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 7:00 PM. Click here for details.

Mike Prather to Speak at General Membership Meeting

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

TOPIC: “Owens Lake—A Globally Significant Shorebird IBA in the Making”

An enormous wildlife resource has returned to Owens Lake, once a migration stopover for tens of thousands of shorebirds and waterfowl that was lost nearly 100 years ago. The lake was dried as a result of water gathering by the City of Los Angeles, but now is receiving careful application of water by LADWP to control the regional dust storms born with the lake’s death. Roughly 40 square miles of Owens Lake playa are covered with shallow ponds or sheet flooding resulting in thousands of acres of rich feeding habitat for sandpipers, Snowy Plovers, ducks, and geese.

In 2001 Bird Life International designated Owens Lake a nationally significant Important Bird Area (IBA.) Creation of a collaborative lake-wide conservation action plan was begun by Eastern Sierra Audubon and Audubon CA in partnership with LADWP, Department of Fish and Game and the State Lands Commission. This process has grown into a larger effort to design an Owens Lake ‘Master Plan’ that would seek to save water for the City of Los Angeles in return for large tracts of designated habitat for shorebirds and waterfowl. Today birders and wildlife watchers are visiting the lake on guided field trips to see this amazing migratory spectacle. Snowy Plovers (the largest inland nesting site in California), large flocks of Least and Western Sandpipers, thousands of American Avocets, Peregrine Falcon, White-faced Ibis, and more are all observed on tours of the lake. Now the challenge is to determine how much of this rare resource can be protected in perpetuity. Can a balance be found between the need for water by Los Angeles and need to protect wildlife for the citizens of California?

Mike Prather has been residing in Inyo County since 1972 when he and wife Nancy moved to Death Valley to teach in a one room school house. Mike has been actively working on land and water issues in the Owens Valley since 1980 with the Owens Valley Committee (past president), Eastern Sierra Audubon (past president) and Sierra Club (past chapter chair). The re-watering of 62 miles of the Lower Owens River and the massive wildlife return to Owens Lake as a result of the Los Angeles Owens Lake Dust Control Project have been the center of Mike’s conservation focus since the early 1980s. The enhancement and protection of the Owens River and Owens Lake IBAs attract most of his current efforts and he invites everyone to join in the fun.

See the Calendar for directions to this meeting on October 28, 2010.

General Membership Meeting

Encino Community Center, 4935 Balboa Blvd., Encino.

Located between Moorpark and Ventura Blvd., on the west side of Balboa, just south of the Presbyterian Church. Come early for social hour.

Our speaker Mike Prather will discuss “Owens Lake—A Globally Significant Shorebird IBA in the Making.” See “Program Notes” on page 1 of the October Phainopepla.