It’s Birdathon Time!

April 3, 2016 in Uncategorized by

Join the annual SFVAS Birdathon as we put “fun” in fundraiser! April and May dates are scheduled for Birdathon leaders trying to improve on their last year’s count and competing with each other to see who identifies the most species. Everyone is a winner when SFVAS has the funding to continue it’s important functions.  Anyone can participate in SFVAS’s only fundraising event by pledging sponsorship to one or more of the team leaders listed on the Pledge/Contribution form. Practice your birding skills by joining one or more Birdathon events to help maximize the species count. Birdathon leaders welcome your participation at Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve on April 3rd  (Kris Ohlenkamp), Malibu Creek State Park on April 17th (Art Langdon), and O’Melveny Park on April 19th (Carolyn Oppenheimer). Birders are welcome to join Jim Moore for the Antelope Valley Big Day on April 20th, Richard Barth for the Morongo Valley Field Trip on April 24th, and Mark Osokow for a Simi Hills and Santa Susana Mountains birding day scheduled on either May 5th or 6th.  Look for details about these activities in the Calendar of Events. The Children’s  Birdathon, for youth and their families, will occur on May 7th.  Details about
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by rebecca

The April / May 2016 Phainopepla is NOW Online

March 25, 2016 in Uncategorized by rebecca

April May 2016 Phainopepla CORRECTION: The date of the MAY MONTHLY FIELD TRIP to WALKER RANCH was published incorrectly in the paper copy of the PHAINOPEPLA. The correct date is SATURDAY, MAY 14, 7:30 a.m., FOR WALKER RANCH. Sorry for the inconvenience. See the Google Calendar.  

Everyone’s talking about the Superb Owl

February 3, 2016 in Events, Uncategorized by Jackie Wollner

This Sunday Feb 7, you can see owls right here in the San Fernando Valley and they are indeed superb. For several years, a pair of Great Horned Owls have nested in the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve during the winter-spring months. The pair was spotted and logged to eBird just a few days ago. Join us for our regular first Sunday of the month birdwalk at the Sepulveda Basin and make it a Superb Owl Sunday. If you want some Superb Owl excitement before the big day, check out the Burrowing Owls that make their home in San Jose, not far from Levi Stadium. Or you can watch live streaming web cams of a nesting Great Horned Owl Pair or Barn Owls. Photos of Great Horned Owls at Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve by Scott Logan of Wild Wings Backyard Nature Store. The walk starts at 8:00 am Sunday Feb 7. Directions here.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled — American Robins and Cedar Waxwings Are In Town!

February 2, 2016 in Uncategorized by

This is the time of year when American Robins gather into large flocks and Cedar Waxwings come South to stay warm. If you see a tight-knit flock of medium-small birds cruising around, quite likely they’re CEWAs. Follow them to their landing spot and get a special treat. The AMROs spend a lot of time in the trees yakking with one another; you may hear them before you see them. Both birds are a lot of fun to watch. From Wikipedia: The cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) is a member of the family Bombycillidae or waxwing family of passerine birds. It is a medium-sized, mostly brown, gray, and yellow bird named for its wax-like wing tips. It is a native of North and Central America, breeding in open wooded areas in southern Canada and wintering in the southern half of the United States, Central America, and the far northwest of South America. Its diet includes cedar cones, fruit, and insects. The cedar waxwing is not endangered. The American robin is widely distributed throughout North America, wintering from southern Canada to central Mexico and along the Pacific Coast. It is the state bird of Connecticut, Michigan, and Wisconsin. According to some sources, the
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General Membership Meeting: Speaker Kris Ohlenkamp

January 27, 2016 in Uncategorized by

Kris’ Topic: What it means to be a “good birder.” We all have our own definition and some may want to share theirs. Kris will be giving tips on how to locate and identify birds and his target audience will be everyone who has an interest in birds and wants to improve their knowledge, skills, and level of respect within the greater birding community. Kris has led walks at Sepulveda Basin monthly for 35 years. His current USA life list is 715 and his current USA year list is 550 birds. If you’re guessing from this year’s number that Kris is doing a big year for the USA, you are correct. Location: San Fernando Valley Arts & Cultural Center, 18312 Oxnard Street, Tarzana, CA 91356 Time: 7:00 PM Directions: Located between White Oak and Reseda. Ample parking in the lot behind the center — take the alley off Etiwanda Avenue south of Oxnard, then south into the fenced-off parking area. Do not park in front of businesses between the alley and Oxnard.

by rebecca

The February / March 2016 Phainopepla is Now Online

January 19, 2016 in Uncategorized by rebecca

February March 2016 Phainopepla  

Hansen Dam Bird Walks – 2/27/16, 3/26/16 — Meeting location changed!

December 31, 2015 in Uncategorized by

Time to see some cactus wrens – note meet-up location is changed.  The walks will start at 9AM at the Gabrieleno Equestrian Park, 11126 Orcas Avenue, Lake View Terrace, California 91342.   From the 118 Eastbound to the 210 Freeway Eastbound, Exit at Osborne, Turn left, you will be on Foothill, follow Foothill Blvd to Orcas and turn right, continue straight into park.   From CA 210 in Pasadena go West on I-210,  Exit at Wheatland and go right to Foothill Blvd, go left to Orcas, and then left on Orcas into Park.  Follow driveway curving left to furthest (dirt) parking area.  In the event of mud, park in the furthest paved lot.  Rain may cancel – please contact Leader Pat Bates (818)425-0962 or if conditions are questionable.


December 21, 2015 in Uncategorized by

The environmentally destructive Hidden Creeks Estates gated housing development proposed by a Texas land and oil field developer, Forestar Group Inc., was recently approved by an Advisory Agency of the City of Los Angeles Planning Department. The developers plan to build 188 large homes on 245 acres in a currently unincorporated area that lies between Brown and Mormon canyons in the Santa Susan Mountain foothills. SFVAS has filed its own independent Appeal of this decision, as have at least four other important groups. The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA), the Sierra Club and the Santa Susana Mountain Park Association also oppose its approval. The reasons for our vehement opposition go beyond a simple desire to slow the out-of-control growth that Los Angeles continues to experience, taking wildlife habitat with it. Access to this development site will mean the construction of a major road through the Aliso Canyon Gas Storage facility, the source of a serious gas leak affecting the health and well being of thousands of residents in the Porter Ranch area, forcing evacuations and school closures. (Check out this KCAL 9 YouTube video regarding the connection between the gas leak and the development.) Additional adverse impacts include outright destruction
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by rebecca

The December / January Phainopepla is now online!

November 29, 2015 in Uncategorized by rebecca

December 2015 January 2016 Phainopepla

by rebecca

New T-shirts for Sale!

November 20, 2015 in Uncategorized by rebecca

Three new T-shirts are now available for sale.  The shirts come in three colors: Army Green (Adult sizes), Dark Teal (Ladies cut), and Indigo Blue (Adult Long Sleeve).  All three shirt styles have the “Heron Tracks” design and  come in sizes S-XXL.  Our chapter logo is imprinted in matching ink at the top of the left sleeve. The “Heron Tracks” design shows a sketch of a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) on the back of the shirt.  The front of the shirt has a line of heron tracks running up one side!  The short sleeve shirts cost $20.00 and the long sleeve shirt is $25.00. The Heron Tracks shirts will be available for purchase at our monthly General Membership meetings and at the Bird Fest at King Gillette Ranch on December 5.  If you need more information about the shirts, contact Diana Keeney at Support our chapter and show your spirit with a Heron Tracks T-shirt!