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Volume 74, Number 3 January/Febuary 2008

a publication of Los Angeles Audubon

Looking Forward in 2008

by Garry George, Executive Director

ur mission has four legs that Park Lake. As our three other legs have
support it: recreation, strengthened to match our decades long,
education, conservation and strong recreational programs for bird
restoration. Our future depends on a watchers, we can look forward to
balance of these essential Audubon progress on all legs in 2008 using some
elements and a weakness in any one leg engines that the current Board of
can affect the forward movement of the Directors has identified as key to
entire organization. In 2004, the Board expand our growth and continue to the
of Directors shared a vision of imperative of the 2004 Board of
strengthening the education, Directors to position Los Angeles
conservation and restoration legs of our Audubon as a conservation organization
body by putting the funds to work that © Photographer: Alain that has the power to affect policy and
had built up over the years from Agency: inspire people to protect and enjoy birds
bequests and investment income. The and their habitat.
supervision of our education programs began advocating for protections for
at Ballona saltwater marsh and birds in chambers and halls in which 1. Reaching out
Sepulveda Wildlife Basin which we had Los Angeles Audubon had been absent.
relinquished to Audubon California City Hall, Coastal Commission, The future of any membership
were reclaimed and revitalized. We California Energy Commission, Los organization depends on fresh new
strengthened our own conservation Angeles Chamber of Commerce, Los members, new blood, and new ideas.
programs rather than supporting other Angeles Department of Water and While National Audubon membership
non-profits, and focused on endangered Power began to see representatives numbers have remained around the
and threatened species of birds, and from Los Angeles Audubon speaking same over the last four decades, our
urban conservation challenges in Los publicly about protections for birds, or Chapter Only Membership program has
Angeles. We didn’t anticipate that those the lack thereof. We were loud and clear more than doubled every year, now
challenges would include crimes of in public hearings on wind energy topping 400 members. This
causing the deaths of Elegant and projects. Our restoration programs have achievement is thanks to Membership
Caspian Terns in Long Beach Harbor been strengthened by the interest in drives, Board leadership and a fantastic
(Terngate), the death of thousands of renewed habitat through the removal of new brochure. Our former Membership
raptors in Los Angeles to protect roller invasive non-natives in Los Angeles Chair Jason Stuck demanded we carry
pigeons (Raptorgate), and the protection County, and our message of the use of this brochure with us at all times. We
of Great Blue Herons and their nests native plants to attract biodiversity may turn up a new supporter while bird
and roosting sites from developers at especially of species of birds in re- watching, getting coffee at Starbucks or
Marina del Rey and Long Beach. In our development projects throughout Los standing in line at the bank. Jason
revitalized mission, we involved Angeles like the L.A. River, Silver Lake taught me well, and I recently gave one
ourselves in efforts on Endangered Reservoir, Baldwin Hills Park and Echo to Councilmember Eric Garcetti after
Species and Important Bird Areas and our meeting on the Silver Lake
reservoir! Board member Eleanor resources from donors who are with Friends of Ballona on our saltwater
Osgood enthusiastically has taken on encouraging us to sustain and broaden marsh education program and San
the role of Outreach and Volunteer our impact. Although all paid staff are Fernando Valley Audubon on our
Coordinator, and takes the Audubon on a part-time basis, we focus on our Sepulveda Basin Wildlife education
message to new audiences through bird programs on a daily basis, and that program, with Pasadena Audubon and
watching classes (with Board member means we can take on more of the Audubon Center of Debs Park on
Jenny Jones), to new audiences projects we care about and not burn out AUDUBON FILM FRIDAYS, with
including UCLA Environmental Bruins, our volunteers and Board or Directors. Committee to Save Silver Lake
to the Latino community with the help These programs build our organization Reservoir on re-naturalization of native
of bird watcher and L.A. Audubon and it’s identity to the public. We’re habitat, and with the City of Beverly
member Antonio Paiz, through already on the way to building capacity Hills on the Great Backyard Bird
programs like AUDUBON FILM at Los Angeles thanks to the generosity Count. These partnerships create links
FRIDAYS, and in bird walks for of conservation and education donors and to our local and state communities that
beginners in areas of Los Angeles like grant partners of over $100,000 in 2007, expand our message, our mission and
South Central, Baldwin Hills and and the fine work of our staff and Board. our role in the enjoyment and protection
Northeast Los Angeles where Audubon of birds and their habitat, and we’ll
has seldom ventured. This is attracting 3. Partnering continue to nourish them and make new
not only new nature lovers through ones in 2008.
watching birds, but new conservation Our organization cannot
activists through an awareness of the accomplish our goals alone. We are not The three engines of Reaching Out,
natural habitat that birds need. This a silo serving our own interests, but just Reaching In and Partnering will move
engine is full steam ahead. like species are a part of a biodiversity our organization forward on the four legs
web we are part of a web of of our mission throughout the New Year.
2. Reaching In and Building Capacity organizations with common goals. We
have entered into partnerships with Los Angeles Audubon is looking
We’ve learned in the past few years Audubon California through forward to a great ‘08! Thank you for
how to build capacity at Los Angeles collaborative funding on endangered being a part of it.
Audubon, and that’s through strong species, and through conservation of
conservation and education programs Important Bird Areas like Santa Clara Happy New Year!
and dedicated people to staff those River, Hansen Dam, Bolsa Chica, and
programs. Successful programs attract lower Los Angeles River. We enjoy Garry George
funding through grant partners and partnerships with Santa Monica Bay Executive Director
donors, and we’ve seen our Audubon Society, California
conservation and education programs Department of Fish & Game, and U.S.
attract enough resources to not only pay Fish & Wildlife Service on endangered
for the programs and the part-time staff Western Snowy Plover and California
to run them, but attract additional Least Tern. We’ve created relationships

New crop of birders joined Dexter Kelly’s bird walk at Debs Park before AUDUBON FILM FRIDAYS.

2 Western Tanager
b o o k r e v i e w
by Larry Allen
consisting of 1160 four-color identification basics, comments on
photographs and five illustrations. The distribution and habitat, details of the
plates are organized into sections and molt sequence at each age, and known
subsections, with each subsection hybrids. Particularly helpful is a
beginning with one representative photo discussion of similar species, with
of each taxon therein. Following are separate headings for similar species
from seven to 40+ photos for each that are common and rare respectively.
taxon, illustrating identifiable stages in On a disquieting note, I found the
its maturation sequence. These photos book's layout hard to use. The title page
include a sequence of perched gulls, contains a list of all taxa addressed, with
followed by a similar sequence of gulls numerals denoting the order in which
in flight. they are treated. It neglects, however, to
The goal seems to have been to include page numbers for either the
Peterson Reference Guides: Gulls of include a photo (occasionally plates or the species accounts. In
the Americas, by Steve N. G. Howell illustration) of the plumage at each flipping through plates in search of a
and Jon Dunn, Houghton Mifflin, 2007 major stage in a gull's development, and species of interest, there is an
photos of some transitional plumages as occasional stumble if your first glance
well. With rare exception, the authors lands upon a plate in the mixed group at

his work is the first in what
appears to be a new series of have succeeded admirably. The figure the head of each subsection, since you
in-depth identification captions address morphological will get an erroneous idea of where in
guides published under the aegis of the structure, plumage details, aging, and the sequence you are. (The procedure
Roger Tory Peterson Institute. It molt. As is the case with Western Gull with the species accounts is similar, also
addresses 36 gull species, and eight in the introduction, the photos provide a made inconvenient by the lack of
identifiable subspecies (I will hereafter much more immediate sense of the species number in the running footers.)
use “taxa” to refer species and/or sequence of plumage development and This is not difficult to solve: most
subspecies together). The book is the identification of subadult gulls than family-group volumes manage to
divided into three sections: words can convey. Additionally helpful provide page numbers for both plates
introduction, plates, and species in this section is a comparison of and text in their tables of contents.
accounts. wingtip patterns for the Iceland- Heavy users of this book may wish to
The introduction covers definitions, Thayer's Gull complex (p. 252). tape a list of gulls with the paginations
hints on how to examine gulls, pitfalls Following the recognized taxa are noted inside the front cover (people
that may arise in the field, and an sets of plates illustrating plumage wishing a copy of the one I made for my
extensive section on gull molt and age features of 14 hybrid gulls. This series volume may e-mail me at
characteristics. The authors have used of plates provides much food for
the most recent research to clarify the thought and an extensive number of For some reason the bibliography is
molt strategies employed by the various cautionary examples. Every gull split among four sections: a main
gull species (summarized on p. 45). The watcher is likely to benefit from perusal sequence followed by references
discussion of molt is enhanced by a of these photos. Inexplicably, a series of grouped into three geographic regions.
series of 34 photos illustrating the photos illustrating hybrid Ring-billed Some references in the latter are
sequence of molts and maturation of the California and Mew Gulls is not duplicated in the main sequence, and
Western Gull, from juvenal to adult. included here, but placed instead some are unique. Every reference I
Another nice feature of the introduction following Ring-billed Gull on pp. 144– followed was in the main sequence, but
is a comparative gray-scale ranking of 145. These plates are not listed on the there was occasional page turning to
gull dorsal colors (p. 26). contents page. I trust a future edition find that sequence.
The plates occupy the bulk of the will fold this series into the “Hybrids” I noticed a few minor problems that
book (251 pp.), and for most users will section. would be easy to fix at the next printing:
be the most consulted portion. This The species accounts follow the on plate 1.22 (p. 19) the label pointing
portion of the book is truly impressive, same order as the plates, and include
continued on page 9

January/February 2008 3
—by Garry George
One fire burned what is probably the
biggest contiguous coastal sage scrub
WEBSITE Environmental challenges hit
habitat in California near San Diego,
Northern and Southern California with a
and along with it most likely the
We’ve put up a Conservation page one two punch in October and November.
Gnatcatchers that live, breed and nest in
on under MAIN
it. Two sites in Southern Orange County
MENU, CONSERVATION thanks to In October, wildlifes devasted
contained a high percentage of the
the suggestion of many folks. On this Southern California from San Diego to
coastal Southern California population
page we’ve posted our conservation Magic Mountain, and devastated
of Cactus Wren. We won’t know the
priorities by species, area, and issue, species of birds as well. Anecdotal
final impacts until an inventory and
along with documents and policies that reports were that the fires were
analysis is done, but these two
are relevant. Have a look, please make unnaturally hot and fast due to the
populations will surely move up on
suggestions and comments, and most of drought. Attention was focused on two
anyone’s watch list or sensitive species
all GET INVOLVED! We’ll try to put species of birds that in initial
list, and recovery efforts may be
up as many links and documents as inventories seem to have suffered a
required. California Gnatcatcher is
possible in the next months. heavy loss due to the fires, California
already federally endangered due to
Gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica) and
habitat loss.
the coastal population of Cactus Wren
(Campylohrynchus brunneicapillus).
On November 8 a 60,000 gallon oil
spill in San Francisco Bay from a vessel
that collided with the Bay Bridge
poured into the Bay at the worst
possible time when Fall migration was
still in full swing and wintering birds
were returning to the Bay. Within a
week, rescuers had attempted to clean
over 1200 birds but Point Reyes Bird
Observatory predicted that between
10,000 and 20,000 would be affected by
the spill. Initial reports were that Surf
Scoters had been the species most
affected by the accident.

Audubon California’s Center at

Richardson Bay became a hub of rescue
activity in Marin County. For almost an
entire day the spill threatened to enter
the 900 acres of Richardson Bay owned

Cactus Wren, Arnold Small Photo Collection, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County continued on page 6

4 Western Tanager
January/February 2008 5
Conservation Conversation
continued from page 4 Sage mounted a “Wall of Death” field
trip every Saturday to document the WESTERN TANAGER
by Audubon which would impact the mortalities and to protest to the Published by
eelgrass and native oyster bed developer. A campaign brought in the LA Los Angeles Audubon Society,
restoration. At the last minute, the tide a chapter of
TIMES, KPPC and other media. As of National Audubon Society.
took the spill in the other direction, but press time, the developer had not taken
oiled and injured birds continued to be down the glass wall. EDITOR: Garry George
LAYOUT: Susan Castor
brought to the Center for rescue and CONSERVATION: Garry George
cleanup. Audubon California created a MARINA DEL REY HERONS FIELD TRIPS: Nick Freeman
map of the Bay showing the scope of the PELAGIC TRIPS: Phil Sayre
PROGRAMS: Mary Freeman
spill in comparison to the Important Bird At the same Coastal Commission ORNITHOLOGY CONSULTANT:
Areas that ring the Bay, and a map of the hearing L.A. Audubon Board member Kimball Garrett
fires in Southern California. Those color PRINTING: G2 Graphics Services, Inc.
David DeLange gave a presentation on
maps are available on our Conservation the nesting and roosting herons in Opinions expressed in articles or letters
page of our website. Marina del Rey in advance of the herein do not necessarily express the
position of this publication or of
upcoming Coastal Commission hearings Los Angeles Audubon Society.
BOLSA CHICA on the Marina Del Rey LCP Review.
That hearing will take place in January Mary Freeman
Coastal Commissioners voted 8-4 on in Marina del Rey. To find out the times 1st VICE PRESIDENT:
November 14 to approve development of and location of the hearing, or to watch David De Lange
homes on the upper Mesa of Bolsa Chica 2nd VICE PRESIDENT:
Coastal Commission hearings live or Linda Oberholtzer
with a few conditions, but not as many archived on video, go to EXECUTIVE SECRETARY:
conditions asked for by the Watch our website Jenny Jones
conservationists that gathered at the for an Eleanor Osgood
Commission hearing in San Diego in announcement of any group action to TREASURER:
their eight hours of public comment. Lisa Fimiani
make public statements at the EXECUTIVE PAST PRESIDENT:
The Commission approved a variable Commission hearing to protect the heron Dexter Kelly
buffer zone around the raptor nesting and and egret rookery in Marina del Rey. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR:
roosting habitat on the mesa that has Garry George

already been declared an SANTA BARBARA COUNTY WIND

Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area FARM Membership in Los Angeles Audubon is $25
Individual, $35 Couple, $50 Family, $100
by the Commission instead of a 100 Donor or $250 Donor per year. Members
meter minimum buffer zone advocated The County of Santa Barbara is receive the Western Tanager newsletter and
by Sea & Sage Audubon Conservation other benefits. Donations and memberships
currently working on a final EIR on a can be made online at
Director Scott Thomas and biologist Pete large wind energy project near Lompoc.
Bloom. Bloom cautioned the Los Angeles Audubon joined La Purisma Make check payable to Los Angeles
Commission on the precarious status of Audubon.
and Santa Barbara Audubons in writing a
White-tailed Kite, a fully protected lengthy comment letter, available on our Los Angeles Audubon Headquarters, Library
species, on that site. The Commissioners website under MAIN MENU, and Nature Store are open to the public
Monday – Thursday
recognized around five acres of the 21 or CONSERVATION. At issue, again, are 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM
so acres as wetlands, but ignored testimony inadequate studies on birds, especially Plummer Park
that other sites were wetlands and had been migratory songbirds which migrate at night. 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard
filled illegally over many years. West Hollywood, CA 90046-6694

(323) 876-0202 – office

Meanwhile at Parkside Homes, (323) 876-7609 – fax
another development adjacent to Bolsa (323) 874-1318 – bird tape
Chica, bird carcasses were discovered – e-mail
next to the glass wall erected by the – e-mail
developer. Northern Harrier, – website
hummingbirds and warblers were some Printed on Recycled Paper
of the species found. In response, Sea &

6 Western Tanager
my pat c h
Starr Ranch
—by Linda Oberholtzer

will become scientists. Justin Shew,

Biologist/Educator has a giant board
which simulates the data collection
sheet. He has the kids mark in the the
data. He holds a Sooty Fox Sparrow and
then weighs it on a scale. He tells the
weight and a boy writes it on the board.
Later, all the kids want to help release
the bird. He patiently lets each one hold
a bird close to the ground and let it fly
away. The kids are excited and thrilled.

Southern Orange County, one of

California's Important Bird Areas
(IBA), encompasses some of the last
remaining expanses of California’s
southern coast wildlands. Starr Ranch
plays a significant role in this IBA,
protecting nearly 4,000 acres of
Bird Banding, Photo by Linda Oberholtzer
imperiled habitats such as coastal sage
scrub and needlegrass grassland in

small unmarked road winds Starr Ranch is a MoSi Station
down into Trabuco Canyon which monitors the overwintering mosaics with oak and riparian
to Starr Ranch. The sounds survival of birds coming from Mexico woodlands. Rare habitats provide
of cars are replaced with singing White- and Central America. The Starr Ranch foraging and nesting for rare bird
crowned Sparrows hopping around the Bird Observatory helps with estimates species such as the Coastal California
bushes. Deer walk casually across the of monitoring overwintering and annual Gnatcatcher (federally threatened) and
path and a quiet calmness draws you to survivorship of birds by assessing their Coastal Cactus Wren (CDFG Species of
this place where time stands still. One physical condition. Special Concern) in coastal sage scrub
feels like an early pioneer might have and Grasshopper Sparrow (proposed
upon coming to California. As I embarked on a two-day classroom listing as a Species of Special Concern)
civilization disappears, the delightful training session and several in-the-field in needlegrass grasslands.
sound of birds can be heard in the trees. observation days. We learned about bird
safety and how birds’ physical SRBO's mission is to provide
Starr Ranch is located within the condition are assessed through looking science-based educational programs
Dove Canyon gated community near at molt, body fat, weight, and other that stimulate an interest in birds and
Mission Viejo in Southern Orange indicators. I learned that extracting a conservation of bird habitat and to
County. Visits to Starr Ranch need to be bird from a net is a very complicated contribute to avian conservation
arranged in advance. I had decided to process and that once the bird is out of through applied and basic research.
volunteer at the Starr Ranch Bird the net, the process of banding and
Observatory this fall and play a role in collecting the data is very involved. If you are interested in
helping to monitor the survivorship of volunteering for Bird Banding, contact
birds over the winter. I did not know Starr Ranch Bird Observatory also Justin Shew at or
that this place would call to me and has home-school programs where look at the webpage at
become my “patch.” young kids can watch and “help” gather
scientific data about the birds and see
how it plays a role in monitoring a
bird’s survival. Maybe some of the kids

January/February 2008 7
birds of the season
by Jon Fisher

he middle of September through Dockweiler Beach and Marina del Rey. on October 14 (Todd McGrath).
mid-November was nothing if Sightings of this species are on the
not varied. With summer Horned Grebes are quite scarce away increase, but there’s always the problem of
waning, we had some cool weather, from the coast, thus one at Apollo Park determining whether any record involves
heat, Santa Ana winds, wildfires and in Lancaster on November 3 was of a naturally occurring bird or an escapee.
even a bit of rain. All typical in some interest (Kimball Garrett).
measure for fall in southern California. A great find— and the second in the
Very rare in L.A. County-- and indeed county this fall— was a Buff-breasted
Also typical in fall is diversity in anywhere in California waters-- was a Sandpiper near the Ballona Creek
the types and movements of birds. Masked Booby found and recovered on mouth in Playa del Rey on September
Some montane species-- Mountain September 29 between Catalina Island 28 (Christopher Taylor). The bird was
Chickadees for example-- were and San Pedro. The bird was seen again the following day but then
recorded away from breeding areas in rehabilitated and released on October 9 apparently moved on.
above average numbers. It's probable (Susan Kaveggia).
these movements were related at least Following a lively summer for
in part to dry conditions and resultant Two Cook's Petrels were in L.A. shorebirds, the lower L.A. River was
lack of food sources. In addition to that, County waters southwest of San quiet after mid-September, with the
the usual shorebirds, waterfowl and Clemente Island on September 4-5 only notable report being three Baird’s
passerines were all on the move, which (Todd McGrath). This species is regular Sandpipers near DeForest Park on
makes for great variety. well offshore elsewhere in California, but September 20 (Richard Barth). Another
rarely recorded in L.A. County. trio of Baird’s was at the Lancaster Sewer
Though the appearance of three Ponds on September 24 (Jon Feenstra),
Arctic Warblers in L.A. and Kern An American Bittern was at and a Stilt Sandpiper was not far from
Counties and an Eastern Yellow Wagtail Sepulveda Basin on October 19 (Bob there at Piute Ponds on Edwards AFB the
in Malibu sparked hopes of a fallout, the Pann). While somewhat regular in same day (Jon Feenstra).
tantalizing possibility of an winter at this locale, they are very
Alaskan/Siberian 'invasion' never scarce on the coastal plain. There’s Scarce as a migrant along the coast was
materialized. Objectively we can say simply not much habitat left capable of Franklin’s Gull at Hermosa Beach on
no more were found, though a few supporting them. October 18 (Martin Byhower).
certainly passed through undetected.
Raptor reports included five Also quite rare as a transient was a
Unusual waterfowl included two Swainson’s Hawks over Claremont on Burrowing Owl at Kenneth Hahn Park
“Aleutian” Cackling Geese at Apollo September 24 and another seven there on October 2 (Eric Brooks).
Park in Lancaster on November 3 on October 2 (Tom Miko). Rather
(Kimball Garrett). There was a White- unusual was an immature Ferruginous A ground-dove was at the Sepulveda Basin in
winged Scoter and two fly by Black Hawk first seen at the El Monte Airport Van Nuys on October 7 was likely a more
Scoters at the Ballona Creek mouth on and then at Peck Pit in Monrovia from expected Common Ground-Dove, but
October 28 (Martin Byhower). The November 9-10 (Larry Schmahl, under poor viewing conditions it could not be
number was up to two White-winged Andrew Lee). identified to species (Raymond Schep). With
Scoters there on November 9 (Barbara L.A. County’s first Ruddy Ground-Dove
Johnson). All three scoters are to be A Crested Caracara was seen briefly appearing in La Canada last year, either
looked for in late fall and winter between over the 10 Freeway at Rosemead Blvd. species is possible.
8 Western Tanager
Four Common Poorwills turned up A Vermilion Flycatcher was in West Los Not unexpectedly, warblers made up the
away from breeding areas in rapid-fire Angeles on October 11 (Dan Cooper). bulk of unusual passerines, with three
succession with one returning for a dozen vagrants of thirteen species
fourth year at Kenneth Hahn Park on Tropical Kingbird reports included recorded. The list begins with a
October 9 (Ann and Eric Brooks), one two at Harbor Regional Park in Tennessee Warbler at Bonelli Park in
at Madrona Marsh on October 12 (Dave Wilmington on September 29 (Kevin San Dimas on September 17 (Andrew
Moody) and another at Malibu Lagoon Larson, Carol Selvey). Another was at Lee) and another (?) on the opposite
on October 13 (Dan Cooper). The last El Dorado Park on October 24 (Karen side of the park the following day (Rod
report was of one at Peck Pit in Gilbert) followed by a bird returning for Higbie). Others were found at the
Monrovia on October 14 (Andrew Lee). its second winter at Lincoln Park in Village Green Condominiums on
Many populations of poorwills are Lincoln Heights on October 30 (Tom September 20 (Don Sterba) and at
migratory, and each year we see this Miko). The last one recorded was at the DeForest Park in Long Beach on
October influx into the area. Ballona Freshwater Marsh on October 31 September 24-29 (Karen Gilbert).
(Don Sterba).
Reports of swifts included a Black Two Virginia’s Warblers was less then
Swift and a Chimney Swift over A Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was at average, with one at DeForest Park in
Hazard Park in Los Angeles on Banning Park briefly on October 27 Long Beach on September 20-22
September 24 (Tom Miko). (Kevin Larson), but the bird flew off (Karen Gilbert, Jeff Boyd) and another
and could not be relocated. at Kenneth Hahn Park in Baldwin Hills
Quite late was an adult male Rufous on September 23 (Richard Barth).
Hummingbird at Banning Park on Plumbeous Vireos were relatively
October 28 (Steve Sosensky, Bruce & widely reported with over a half dozen The only Northern Parula reported was at
Greg Aird). Given the date, this bird birds in the county between mid- Banning Park on October 2 (Tom Wurster).
may well spend the winter. September and mid-November. The
productive Village Green On the other hand, Chestnut-sided
The only Lewis’s Woodpecker found Condominiums in Los Angeles held a Warblers kept turning up. The first one
thus far was a bird flying over Red-eyed Vireo on October 10 was at Ladera Park in Ladera Heights
Exposition Park on October 9 (Kimball (Kimball Garrett). from September 17-19 (Richard Barth).
Garrett). Other woodpecker reports Others were at the Village Green
included Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers at Two Purple Martins were reported for Condominiums on September 19
Ed Vincent Park in Inglewood on the period, with one at DeForest Park (Kimball Garrett, Johanna Dawes), at
October 20, and at the Village Green on September 20 (Jeff Boyd) and Creek Park in La Mirada on September
Condominiums in Los Angeles on another at Peck Pit in Monrovia on 20 (Jonathan Rowley), at DeForest Park
October 19 (both Don Sterba). September 24 (Tom Ryan). from September 25-30 (Richard Barth,
Karen Gilbert) and in Studio City on
Bonelli Park had a Gray Flycatcher from An above average number of Red- September 27 (Bruce Katz).
September 17-28 which was apparently a breasted Nuthatches were scattered
continuing bird (Andrew Lee). What is through the lowlands, but of greater The only Magnolia Warbler was one at
probably the same individual was first interest were four Pygmy Nuthatches Sepulveda Basin on September 16 (Jon
reported here on August 6. Another Gray at Griffith Park on October 7 (Dan Fisher). The bird apparently liked this
Flycatcher was at Elysian Park on Cooper). While some degree of dispersal location as it lingered here through October 4.
October 31 (Richard Barth) and a third is normal in Red-breasted, movements of
was at Ballona Freshwater Marsh on Pygmy Nuthaches into the coastal Two Black-throated Blue Warblers
November 9 (Jim Moore). lowlands are comparatively rare. were found, with one at Holmby Park
near Westwood from October 10-13
Apollo Park in Lancaster produced a Brown Creepers also were more (Richard Barth), and another at Zuma
Least Flycatcher on September 24 widely encountered than usual. Most Beach on October 14 (Jon Fisher).
(Mike San Miguel, Jon Feenstra). reports were of single birds, but three
were at Bonelli Park in San Dimas on A Black-throated Green Warbler was at
A Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, a long October 11 (Rod Higbie). Apollo Park in Lancaster on September 20
overdue first for the county if the record (Jim Lomax). This locale was well-worked
is accepted, was at Apollo Park on The only Winter Wren reported thus and productive this fall.
September 19 (John Sterling). far was at Griffith Park on October 10
(Dan Cooper).

January/February 2008 9
Five Palm Warblers were reported, As expected, a few Summer Tanagers McFadden, Paul Clarke) and seen
with one at Peck Pit in Monrovia on turned up. Reports came from through the end of the period.
October 14 and another at Sante Fe Sycamore Canyon in Whittier on
Dam in Iwrindale the following day September 29 (Andrew Lee), Elysian Three White-throated Sparrows
(both Andrew Lee). Additional birds were Park from October 21 through included one at Augustus Hawkins Nature
at El Dorado Park in Long Beach from November 12 (Richard Barth), Park in south central Los Angeles on
October 20-24 (Richard Barth), at Oak Park Woodlawn Cemetery in Santa Monica September 28 (Richard Barth). A
Cemetery in Claremont on October 26 (Rick on October 23 (Barbara Johnson) and returning bird was at Eaton Canyon on
Clements) and in Willowbrook on October Ladera Park from October 26-27 November 8 (Will & Lois Fulmer) and the
30 (Richard Barth). (Richard Barth). last was at Polliwog Park in Manhattan
Beach on November 11 (Bob Shanman).
Two Blackpoll Warblers, one at A Green-tailed Towhee in Lomita on
Pomona Cemetery on September 30 October 22 was the only one reported on the In Claremont, a Rose-breasted
(Tom Miko) and another at Sand Dune coastal slope (Martin Byhower). Though a Grosbeak stuck a window and then
Park from October 7-13 (Kevin fairly common breeder in the higher San recovered to fly away on September 23
Larson), was a below average number Gabriels they are virtually absent from the (Dan Guthrie). Another was at Oak
for the period. coastal lowlands as migrants. Park Cemetery in Claremont on
October 11 (Michael San Miguel Jr.).
Among the more common vagrants-- Several Clay-colored Sparrows were
more accurately labeled ‘rare migrants’- found, with the first at Sand Dune Park A Blue Grosbeak in San Pedro on
- was a Black-and-white Warbler was in Manhattan Beach on September 22 November 2 was late (David Ellsworth).
at Ladera Park on September 18 (Tori (Lori & Mark Conrad). Others turned
Collender). This was followed by up at Hansen Dam the same day Two Indigo Buntings were at Bonelli
Black-and-whites at Peck Pit in (Kimball Garrett), at Vanderlip Park on Park on September 17 (Andrew Lee) and
Monrovia on October 2 (Andrew Lee), the Palos Verdes Penninsula on October three were present there on September 22
Legg Lake on October 2 (Peter Sharp). 8 (Martin Meyers) and at Peck Pit in (Lance Benner, Kathi Ellsworth).
Two Black-and-whites were found on Monrovia on October 14 (Andrew Lee).
October 28, with one at Banning Park In early October, there was a second-hand
in Wilmington and another at El Dorado Vesper Sparrows, regular but sparse report of a probable female Painted
Park the same day (Steve Sosensky, migrants away from the deserts, were Bunting at Madrona Marsh in Torrance
Bruce & Greg Aird). A Black-and- recorded at Ballona Freshwater Marsh (fide Tom Miko). Unfortunately the bird
white at Legg Lake on November 4 on September 24 (Dan Cooper), in was not confirmed.
may have been the same bird seen on south central Los Angeles on October 6
October 2 (Andrew Lee). (Richard Barth), at Debs Park on A count of two Bobolinks was below
October 23 (Richard Barth) and at Oak average, with single birds at Madrona
Three American Redstarts were found, Park Cemetery on October 25 (Mike Marsh in Torrance from September 15-
with birds at Peck Pit in Monrovia on San Miguel Jr.). 20 (fide Tom Miko) and another at Peck
September 24 (Gjon Hazard), at Sand Pit in Monrovia on September 18
Dune Park in Manhattan Beach on Quite rare in the county was a Lark (Andrew Lee).
September 28 (Richard Barth, John Bunting discovered at Griffith Park on
Ivanov) and at the Earvin Magic Johnson September 20 (Dan Cooper). An Orchard Oriole and a Baltimore
Recreation Area in Willowbrook on Oriole were at DeForest Park in Long
October 1 (Richard Barth). Though an uncommon local breeder Beach on September 15 (Tom Wurster,
Grasshopper Sparrows are rarely Liga Auzins, Kevin Larson). Another
A Northern Waterthrush near Orcas detected in migration. Nonetheless, two Orchard Oriole was at DeForest Park on
Park in Lake View Terrace on of them were at Rose Hills in Whittier on September 30 (Kevin Larson) and a
November 4 (Kimball Garrett) was the October 21 (Andrew Lee) and another was third was at Banning Park in
only one reported in the county this fall. found and photographed at Madrona Wilmington on October 6 (Kevin
Marsh in Torrance on November 9-10 Larson). Other Baltimores were at
A Painted Redstart was back for its third (Tracy Drake, David Moody). Bonelli Park in San Dimas on September
season at Bonelli Park as of October 17 28, with the same or a second bird there
(Rod Higbie). Another returning bird was A Swamp Sparrow returning to on October 12 (Andrew Lee), and at
in Glendale at the Bette Davis Picnic Area Bonelli Park for its second winter was Forest Lawn in Glendale on October 14
on October 21 (Mike San Miguel). first reported on October 27 (Cathy (Richard Barth).

10 Western Tanager
A Scott’s Oriole, always rare on the
Book Review continued from page 3 NATURE STORE
coastal slope, was in north Glendora on
September 26 (Mickey Long). Another JANUARY / FEBRARY SCHEDULE
to the secondaries (the “skirt”) is
Scott’s was at St. Andrew’s Priory near obscured by the background; on plate Open Mon., - Thurs., 9:30AM to 4:00PM
Valyermo on November 10 (Mark 1.41 (p. 29) the picture is cropped so Normally closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Scheel), well after most have departed. that a feature being compared is not
Additional Closing
visible on one of the specimens; the
Thus was the story of fall caption to plate 25A.43 (p. 167) refers Mon., Dec. 31, 2007 & Tues., Jan. 1, 2008
migration. The continuing drought, and to left and right upperwings, but they SPECIAL SATURDAY OPENINGS
to a lesser degree fires and other forces, are arrayed upper and lower in the
will continue to affect bird distribution plate; and the bird on plate 23.26 (p. 10:00AM to 3:00PM
and movements. Continuing dispersal 144) appears to be in third cycle, not Sat., Jan., 5, 2008 & Sat., Feb., 2008
of montane species into the lowlands is adult, plumage.
to be watched for. Observations over I do not wish to leave the
the next few months and Christmas impression that I have more quibbles The Nature Store is open one hour before the
Bird Counts will better illuminate the than kudos for the volume. It is an Wednesday General Meetings and 30 to 45 minutes
movements and numbers of nuthatches, excellent work, to some degree after the meeting.
creepers, chickadees and others. sabotaged by poor layout. The authors
have not only included an impressive New At The Nature Store
With summer’s heat behind us, the amount of factual information in this
cool mornings are a welcome change. compendium, but are also giving us the
The excitement of passerine migration N12371, $19.95, Field Guide to
results of their long experience and
is over, but other birds are just arriving deep familiarity with this family. I Owls of California and the
in mid-November, and there are always recommend it unhesitatingly. West
lingering migrants and wintering
vagrants to be found. N10849, $29.95, Bird Songs of
Larry Allen is the co-author, with the Pacific States (CD)
By January and February, the first
Kimball Garrett, of the forthcoming
northbound migrants will appear… Los Angeles County Breeding Bird N12433, $24.95, Fifty Places to
White-fronted Geese and Turkey Atlas to be published by Los Angeles
Vultures, Selasphorous hummingbirds Go Birding Before You Die
Audubon, and frequently leads gull
and swallows among them. workshops, field trips and bird walks
for us. N12346, $49.50, Birds of Peru
In the brief meantime, the winter
months can be put to good use
indulging in that favorite pastime of
refining gull ID skills. It’s also a good
time to check those female ducks
closely. There are certainly a few See Gull Workshop
female Eurasian Wigeons present each Details on page 14.
winter that go undetected.

There are also plenty of birds to be

found and much to be learned by
birding a local patch on a regular basis,
a prospect made all the more palatable
by the price of gas.

Ross’s Gull Photo by Mary Freeman

January/February 2008 11
Dorsey High School Eco-club Group Photo

Dorsey High School the students diligently set to work. If

Eco-club Helps Out you were flying out of LAX that day
and happened to look down at the
Least Terns colony (yes, you can see it from the
By Stacey Vigallon air – very cool!) you would have
seen a small army busily scouring
On a sunny Sunday morning in the enclosure. Teachers Robert
October, 37 students and two Jeffers (club advisor) and Kate
teachers from Susan Miller Dorsey Rainey provided encouragement,
High School trekked across the supervision, and strong arms for
Venice Beach sand and into the hauling out the bagged up sea
Least Tern colony enclosure. rocket. Within about three hours
Though the terns were basking in almost all the sea rocket was gone
warmer climes at the time, come from the colony, a feat that would
spring they will return to nesting have taken one or two biologists
grounds greatly improved through working alone many days to
the help of the Dorsey eco-club. accomplish. The volunteer effort Dorsey High School
These students are serious about the provided by the Dorsey eco-club Eco-club President
environment, and were willing to was extremely helpful in
arrive at school early on a Sunday maintaining quality nesting habitat
morning to take a bus from the for the terns, and the students were Stacey Vigallon is Volunteer
Adams District out to the tern able to get hands-on experience in Coordinator for Los Angeles
colony in Marina del Rey. Tom Ryan an important coastal conservation Audubon and Santa Monica Bay
of SWCA Environmental issue. This was an extremely Audubon Western Snowy Plover
Consultants was there to greet them, and California Least Tern
successful event, and we hope to monitoring and protection
and gave them information about the plan more in the future. Many thanks
terns and the importance of program. She also illustrated
to the teachers and students of and wrote much of the Native
removing invasive plants (namely, Dorsey High School as well as Tom Plant & Wildlife Garden booklet
sea rocket) from the colony Ryan for donating their Sunday to for Baldwin Hills Park, and
enclosure. The mission of the day: the terns. recently wrote the curriculum
out with the sea rocket! Armed with for the education program at
implements of destruction (a.k.a. Baldwin Hills Park.
rakes, shovels, and garbage bags)

12 Western Tanager
t h a n k y o u !

Jonathan K Armstrong Family Wendy Averill
Gloria Barrios & Bonita Bielski Gloria & Marvin Baker Paul & Barbara Caplan-Bennett
Lorna Bitensky Martha Balkan Joseph C Cotten
Lorna Brown Robert E Barnes Seth Davidson Family
Dr Francis F & Ande Chen Richard Barth Roberto Fradera
Kathleen Crandall Lance Benner Ilona Grothe
Roy E & Patricia Disney Ellen K Bergeron David Haake
Denver Museum of Nature & Science David Bradley David Lang
- Library Joseph Brooks Stewart Lozano
Thomas L Drouet Terry A Callahan Sue McHenry
Jon L Dunn Kathleen Carey Geoffry Oblath
Ms Janice L Feinstein Suzie & Ron Cyger James Wheat Family
Mary Ellen Hanrahan Thomas E Duque Joe Zell & Ellen Gelbard
Curtis O Johnson Merilee France
Frances M Kubica Georges & Germaine Fusenot Charity
Martha Lesser Foundation
Robert E Munsey Jr Linda Gaigler
Robert W Pann Garry George
Ms Jean Pickus Susan & Frank Gilliland
Myra Pomerantz Kitty & Ginny Goldstein
Marion Porter Pat Heirs
Dr Ronald M Rothman Loretta Hersh Selinger
Judith S & John Rothman Mary Jo Hoover
Peter R Sharp Winona & Vernon Howe
Willard Huyck
Ellsworth Kendig Los Angeles Audubon
Arthur Langton thanks an Anonymous Donor
John Lobel
Elaine MacPherson
for the generous contribution
Marilyn E Morgan of $50,000 to our
Margery & Herb Morris Conservation & Education
Robert E Munsey Jr Endowment
Eleanor Osgood
M Louise Owen
Judith Raskin
Melvin M Sigman
Esther & Mark Warschaw
Catherine Waters
Paulus M Weers
Joe & Mary Zeitchick
January/February 2008 13
f i e l d t r i p s
Sunday, December 30 – Los Saturday, January 19 – East hopeful to certain. Fee: $10. No Limit,
Angeles Basin Christmas Bird Antelope Valley but sign up with phone, e-mail, and
Count. Contact compilers with leaders Stan Gray and Todd SASE for more details. Meet at 7:00
Eleanor Osgood (310) 839-5420, Battey. Beyond 50th Street East is AM Saturday at the Wister Unit parking
Barbara Courtois (310) 379-4669, neglected territory for many birders. lot by the portapottys. This is 5 miles
Cindy Harding, (310) 301-0050 or However, both Todd and Stan bird the north of Niland where Davis joins Hwy
email to to be area extensively; so they know that 111. Calipatria Inn (800) 830-1113
placed on a team or be given an area. Mountain Plover, raptors, LeConte’s (leader’s preference) and Brawley Inn
Thrasher and other AV specialties are (760) 344-1199 are recommended. FRS
Friday & Saturday, January sometimes easiest to find in the far radios & 'scopes helpful. Arrive fed,
eastern reaches of the Valley. Take Hwy bring lunches, those who wish will dine
11&12 – Slaty-backed Gull
14 N to Avenue S (next to Lake together at Calipatria Inn Steak House.
Workshop with Jon Dunn.
Palmdale). Drive into the Park-and-
A knowledgeable second guide will Saturday, February 2 – Seal
Ride just to the east of the offramp.
assist, if sign-ups warrant. Extensive
Meet at 8:00 AM at the W end of the Beach Naval Weapons Station
Lecture in Half-Moon Bay will be
main lot. Bring lunch and a full tank of Wetlands. John Nieto, Nick Freeman
Friday from 8AM until 2PM with a
gas for a full day of splendor in the and a base biologist will drive 12 lucky
break, then look for gulls at Half-Moon
alfalfa. No fee, no reservation. ‘Scopes LAAS participants - and 12 from PVAS
Bay on Friday afternoon and all day
and FRS radios helpful. A precursor to - around this prime wetlands site where
Saturday. Saturday morning meeting
Todd’s February 13 LAAS program on wintering Pacific Golden-Plover,
time and place at the beach TBA at
Raptors and Other Wildlife of the Mountain Plover, Nelson’s Sharp-tailed
lecture with maps. We may bird as a
Antelope Valley. Sparrow, Sage Thrasher and numerous
self-guided group on Sunday morning
if there is interest. Sunday morning will raptors are often sighted. Send SASE to
also serve as a back-up day for the Sunday, January 20 – Sepulveda Audubon House with e-mail and phone
official field trip in case of rain on Basin Wildlife Area. Leader: Kris number (phone # required) by January
Saturday, although the nearby dump is Ohlenkamp. “Freeway close” morning 23. Only SASE-confirmed U.S. citizens
closed on Sunday, and the loafing gulls of birding. Kris has led this walk on- with photo ID allowed on base. No
at the beach thin out. Bad weather may and-off for 20 years, noting 200 species, cameras or weapons. Meet at the main
actually increase the flock size. A and averaging 60-65 per walk. Take the public lot at 800 Seal Beach Blvd. at
Friday lecture will give us the best 405 fwy N into the San Fernando 7:30 AM, and bird until noon. Take Seal
chance to see thousands of gulls, and to Valley, turn W on Burbank Blvd. and N Beach Blvd. S from the 405 Fwy, pass
possibly study rare gulls like Slaty- (Rt.) on Woodley Ave. to the second Rt., Westminster Blvd., turn left onto the
backed. No guarantees, of course, but which is marked “Wildlife Area”. Turn base at the Forrestal Lane light, and left
we will probably find Thayer’s, here and park in the lot at the end. Meet again into the lot. No fee.
Glaucous, perhaps hybrids such as at 8:00 AM, and bird until about 11:30
Nelson’s, and all of the more common AM.
gulls (Ring-billed is rare here!). Most Before setting out on any field trip, please call
Slaty-backed Gull records for the lower Saturday & Sunday, January 26 (323) 874-131
(Events & Announcements, #4).
48 states have been at this beach in this & 27 –Salton Sea with leaders Nick Special instructions or possible cancellations that
time frame, a number every year since and Mary Freeman. Yellow-footed may have occurred, by the Thursday before the
people have been looking, so we do Gull, Ruddy Ground-Dove, Snow & trip, will be announced at this number.

have a real chance of finding one! $80 Ross' geese, Sandhill Cranes, Stilt
for workshop with field trips. 25 max Sandpiper, and Gila Woodpecker all Please see page 17 for
reservation information

Birdwalks (pages 16 & 17) are geared for the beginner/intermediate looking for an introduction or less
strenuous excursion.
Field Trips often require more time or effort, and delve more deeply into identification, natural histories and
interactions observed in the field. All are welcome on either type of trip.

14 Western Tanager
f i e l d t r i p s
Saturday and Sunday, February 9 Saturday, February 23 – Parrot Yaqui Wells across from Tamarisk
and 10 – Carrizo Plain. Leaders: Patrol. Parrots have become a Grove Campground. Limit 20 people.
Larry Allen & Mary Freeman. Meet common sight in much of the L.A. Send SASE with phone number, e-mail
at 8AM in Maricopa. Spectacular basin, with many species well and $30 fee (Schreiber Grant Fund
scenery. We will see Ferruginous established. Larry Allen will take us to Raiser) to LAAS to learn more details.
Hawks, Prairie Falcons, Golden Eagles, staging areas and roosting spots for up Pleasant to warm days, cool to cold
LeConte’s Thrasher, Merlin and to eight species of parrots and parakeets nights.
pronghorn; with likely Rough-legged now found in the San Gabriel Valley.
Hawk, Mountain Plover and Sandhill Meet at 3:00 PM in South Pasadena, Saturday and Sunday, April 12
Crane. We will meet in Maricopa, drive and pick out parrots until about 5:00 and 13 – Owens Valley Grouse
around the Plain all weekend, then leave PM. Take the Pasadena Fwy (110) to Trip. Mary Freeman leads. Sage
the Plain heading north via Bitterwater Orange Grove Ave, turn S, and meet on Grouse on the lek, breathtaking scenery,
Road on Sunday before we away to LA. the W side of this small street just raptor-rich valleys, early shorebirds
If possible, please carpool or avail your beyond the offramp. heading north. Meet early Saturday and
vehicle to others when you reserve. Sunday mornings in Bishop. Limited to
Your phone number will be released for Saturday, March 8 – Upper 20. To sign up, send $55 (Schreiber
carpooling unless you request Franklin Canyon Birdwalk. Grant Fund Raiser), phone#, and e-mail
otherwise. Send name, phone number, Docent Steve Botts will be escorting us in a SASE to LAAS. More details next
e-mail, $40 per person (Schreiber Grant around this local bird haven, with issue and in mailer. Reserve rooms and
Fund Raiser), and SASE to sign-up stunning Wood Ducks, resident trip early, for this perenially popular
with Audubon House for exact chaparral species, and a few migrating trip. Motel 6, Mountain View Inn,
directions and further information. songbirds expected. Franklin Canyon is Bishop Elms are some of many hotels
Reserve your own room in located between Sherman Oaks and in Bishop.Submitted Later:
Buttonwillow for Saturday night. Motel Beverly Hills. Meet in the parking lot at
6 is one option here. FRS radios & 8:00 AM, and bird for a few hours. April 30-May 6 – Bird Kern
‘scopes helpful. Limit: 14. From the 101 Fwy, take Coldwater Cyn. County Kern River Valley Spring
Ave. S into the hills. Immediately after Nature Festival. Come visit "America's
Sunday, February 17 – Private Mulholland Dr. merges from the W with Birdiest Inland County" 04-07, including
Duck Club. Leader: Irwin Woldman. Coldwater Cyn. Ave., make a 90-degree Sequoia National Forest and South Fork
The duck club in Ventura has a long right turn onto Franklin Cyn. Dr. and Kern River Valley Globally Important Bird
history of producing the kinds of birds continue west to the Sooky Goldberg Areas. 242 species during 07 festival! Thirty-
that most rich, well-birded and Nature Center. The lot is through a five+ birding trips with twenty+ excellent
disappearing habitats can lay claim to, gated drive on the left. leaders set for 08 including Central
including Sora and Virginia rails, Valley/Kern National Wildlife Refuge,
American Bittern, Eurasian Wigeon, Saturday and Sunday, March 15 Mojave Desert/Butterbredt Spring, Kern
dark morph Red-tailed Hawk, Golden and 16 – Anza Borrego Birds, River Valley/Kern River Preserve, and Sierra
Eagle, and one Lesser Sand Plover. Get Butterflies and Beyond. Leader: Nevada/Giant Sequoia National Monument.
to the preserve by taking the 101 Fwy Fred Heath. High points over the Go birding during a "Best in West" spring
W to Rice Avenue S, following the Rice years: blooming desert evening- migration. Owling, art/photo contests,
Ave. prompts to the T-intersection, then primrose and indigo bush, chuckwalla, butterflies, dinner speakers, exhibitors, and
take Hueneme Rd. W. Take the first left collared lizard, desert bighorn (annual), more. NEW in 2008: Owens Valley birding .
at Casper Rd., continue past the turn, Swainson’s Hawks, LeConte’s Trip size restricted. FREE trip planning
and leave your car across the street from Thrasher, Long-eared Owl (hopeful). services. Area's spring birding featured in
the barn. Meet by the road at 7:30 AM. Suggested accommodations: Tamarisk ABA's "A Birder's Guide to Southern
Free. No sign-up required. We will walk Grove Campground (reserve through California" 2007 edition.
the property, so good hiking/mud shoes www.reserveamerica .com), or Contact: Bob Barnes, Field Trips Chair,
with energetic legs inside a plus. Stanlund Motel in Borrego Springs Email:,
Scopes & FRS radios helpful. (760) 767-5501. Anticipate a busy Phone: 760-382-1260.
weekend, and reserve camping and
motels very early. Meet at 7AM at

January/February 2008 15
Echo Park Lake Birdwalk Debs Park Audubon Center Topanga State Park Bird Walk
Leader: Judith Raskin Birdwalk Leaders: Ken Wheeland and
First Sunday Leader: Jenny Jones Chris Tosdevin
Sunday, January 6 Saturday, January 5 First Sunday every month
Sunday, February 3 Saturday, February 2 Sunday, January 6
Sunday, March 2 Saturday, March 1 Sunday, February 3
Meet at 9:00 AM at the Boathouse, Join Jenny for a leisurely morning walk Sunday, March 2
Echo Park Ave. near Laguna Ave. through the diverse natural areas that Ken & Chris will lead participants
Plenty of street parking. Take a leisurely surround the Audubon Center at Debs through this beautiful and diverse
walk around Echo Park Lake, one of the Park. A wide variety of birds of riparian, coastal mountain area. An ideal trip for
oldest in Los Angeles. More than 60 walnut woodland, and chapparal a beginning birder or someone new in
species call Echo Park their home for all habitats can be found, including raptors. the area. From Ventura Blvd., take
or part of the year. They include Meet at 9:00 AM. The Center is located Topanga Canyon Blvd. 7 miles S, turn E
Mallards, Great-tailed Grackles, on Griffin Avenue on the west side of uphill on Entrada Rd. Follow the signs
American Coots, Great Blue Herons, the park. From the south, take the and turn left into Trippet Ranch parking
Great Egrets, hawks and various gulls Pasadena Fwy north to the Avenue 43 lot. From PCH, take Topanga Cyn.
and doves. This is an excellent walk for exit. Bear right on Ave. 43 up the hill to Blvd. 5 miles to Entrada Rd. Parking
beginners. Parents are encouraged to Griffin Ave. Turn left on Griffin Ave., $2. Meet at 8:00 AM.
take their children. Binoculars and go about a quarter mile to the Contacts: Ken: (310) 455-1401,
recommended, and a bird guide, if you Center’s driveway, which goes steeply
have one. Directions: From N/B 101 uphill on the right. From the north, exit Chris: (310) 455-1270
Fwy, exit Echo Park Ave. and continue the Pasadena Freeway southbound at
north about ½ mile. From S/B 101 Fwy, Avenue 52. Turn left on Ave. 52, and Kenneth Hahn State Recreation
exit Glendale Blvd./Union Ave., go left follow it across the freeway to where it Area Birdwalk
on Temple St., left on Glendale Blvd., becomes Griffin Ave. The driveway is a Saturday, January 19 –
right on Bellevue Ave., then left on quarter mile on the left. Leader: Eleanor Osgood
Echo Park Ave. to the boathouse. Contact Info:
Saturday, February 16 –
For more information call or write: Jenny: w(323) 633-1920,
Judy Raskin – (323) 663-6767
Leader: TBA or Saturday, March 15 – Leader:Ann and Eric Brooks
This trip covers landscaped parkland
and natural coastal scrub habitats, and
is paced for beginning birders and
members of the Baldwin Hills
community. The park entrance is off of
La Cienega Blvd. Between Rodeo Rd.
and Stocker St. After passing the
entrance kiosk ($4 parking fee), turn left
(leading to the “Olympic Forest”) and
park in the first available spaces. Meet
Black Phoebe, Arnold Small Photo at 8:00 AM.
Mallard (male), Arnold Small Photo Collection,
Collection, Natural History Museum of
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Los Angeles County

Birdwalks are geared for the beginner/intermediate looking for an introduction or less strenuous
excursion. Birdwalks do not require sign-up or reservation, just show up.

16 Western Tanager
Ballona Wetlands Birdwalk Great Backyard Bird Count RESERVATION & FEE EVENTS
Policy and Procedure
Third Sundays (Aug – May) (In conjunction with the City of
(For Limited Participation
Leader: Bob Shanman Beverly Hills) Field Trips & Pelagic Trips)
Sunday, January 20 Coldwater Canyon
Sunday, February 17 Park/Greystone Mansion in Reservations will be accepted ONLY if
ALL the following information is supplied:
Sunday, March 16 Beverly Hills
Bob leads this trip to our nearest February 17, 2008 1) Trip desired. 2) Names of people in
wetland and adjacent rocky jetty. Leader: Pat Heirs your party. 3) Phone numbers: (a) usual
and (b) evening before event, (in case
Migrating shorebirds and terns should Meet at Coldwater Canyon Park at 8:00, of cancellation) (c) email address (if
be coming through. Meet at the Del Rey then carpool over to Greystone Mansion used). 4) Separate check (no cash
Lagoon parking lot. Take the Marina at 10:00. please) to LAAS for exact amount for
each trip. 5) Self-addressed stamped
Fwy (90 W) to Culver Blvd. and turn Come join us and Beverly Hills Parks and envelope (SASE) for confirmation and
left for a mile, turn right on Pacific Ave. Recreation in this yearly national citizen associated trip information.
The lot is on the right. Lot or street science bird survey sponsored by Cornell Our Mailing Address:
parking is usually not a problem. Three- University’s Ornithology Laboratory. All
Los Angeles Audubon - Reservations
hour walk. ’Scopes helpful. Meet at bird sightings will be entered into a P.O. Box 931057
8:00 AM. national data base which helps track the Los Angeles, CA 90093-1057
Contacts: Bob: (310) 326-2473 health of bird populations and their winter
distribution. If there is insufficient response, the trip will be cancelled two Wednesdays
prior to the scheduled date (four weeks
Directions: Coldwater Canyon Park: for pelagics). You will be so notified
Whittier Narrows Birdwalk
From Sunset Blvd , go north on and your fee returned. Your
Fourth Saturday every month Coldwater Canyon Drive. The park is cancellation after that time will bring a
Leader: park ranger Ray Jillson on the west side of Coldwater about a refund only if there is a paid
replacement. Millie Newton is
Saturday, January 26 mile up from Sunset Blvd. Meet near available at Audubon House on
Saturday, February 23 the children’s playground. Wednesdays from noon to 4:00 PM to
Saturday, March 22 answer questions about Pelagic trips.
Directions: Greystone Mansion: Our office staff is also available
View colorful resident and wintering Monday through Thursday for most
birds, possibly including the introduced From Sunset go north on Foothill (just reservation services.
Northern Cardinal. Take Peck Dr. off east of Coldwater Canyon). Make a left
the 60 Fwy in South El Monte (just west on Loma Vista and another left into the
parking lot driveway. Continue to drive
of the 605 Fwy). Take the off ramp onto PELAGIC TRIPS
to the upper lot. Meet at the upper
Durfee Ave. heading W (right) and turn If a participant cancels 31 days or more
parking lot. prior to departure, a $4 service charge will
left into the Nature Center, 1000 Durfee be deducted from the refund. There is no
Ave. Meet at 8:15 AM. participant refund if requested fewer than
Leader: Larry Allen 30 days before departure, unless there is a
Contacts: Ray: (213) 257-9274, paid replacement available. Call LAAS
Earvin “Magic” Johnson for a possible replacement. Please do not (friend’s e-mail; offer the trip to a friend as it would be
checks every couple days) Recreation Area unfair to those on the waiting list.
February 23, 9:00 A.M.
All pelagic trips
This bird walk will be an introduction to must be filled 35 days prior to sailing.
the basics of bird watching. We will be Please reserve early.
learning about ducks and common birds
NOTE: Destinations may be changed in
of urban parks. This well-used park has a order to maximize bird sightings, or
large lake, and lots of mature trees. Meet minimize rough seas. In order to meet
at the Earvin "Magic" Johnson Recreation unexpected increases in fuel costs, there can
be a $5 to $10 energy surcharge per person.
Area, 120th St. parking lot. From either
direction of the 105 Freeway, exit on
Central Ave. Proceed south on Central to
120th St. (first signal), then right (west)
on 120th St. to parking lot on left.

January/February 2008 17
2008 pelagic schedule

Saturday, May 3 Saturday, June 7 Saturday, September 6

A deep water trip toward the Land on Santa Cruz Island for the A deep water trip to Cherry, Tanner
San Juan Seamount. Island Scrub Jay, and then out to sea. and Cortez Banks.
This trip departs from the Santa This 8 hour trip departs from the This trip departs from the Santa
Barbara Harbor on the fast Island Packer dock in the Oxnard Barbara Harbor at 7:00 a.m. on the fast
catamaran Condor Express at 7:00 Harbor at 8:00 a.m. on the m/v
catamaran Condor Express and returns
a.m., and will return approximately Vanguard. We will land at Prisoner’s
approximately at 8:00 p.m. We are far
by 8:00 p.m. We will cruise along Cove where the endemic Island
Scrub-Jay is easily seen. Then we offshore in 3 counties Santa Barbara,
the deep water shelf by the San Juan
will cruise out to sea for pelagic Ventura and Los Angeles. Birds
Seamount. Birds previously seen:
birding, returning by Anacapa expected: Northern Fulmar; One Cook’s
Laysan and Black-footed albatross;
Island. Birds seen on prior trips: Petrel was seen in 2005; Ashy and
Northern Fulmar; Sooty and Pink-
Northern Fulmar; Sooty and Pink- Leach’s storm-petrels; South Polar Skua;
footed shearwaters: Parasitic,
footed shearwaters; South Polar Parasitic, Pomarine and Long-tailed
Pomarine and Long-tailed jaegers; Skua; Parasitic and Pomarine
Ashy, Leach’s and Fork-tailed jaegers; Sabine’s Gull; Arctic Tern. Red-
jaegers; Sabine’s Gull; rocky
storm-petrels; Pigeon Guillemot; shorebirds (up to 5); Pigeon billed Tropicbirds are usually seen on
Xantus Murrelet; Cassin’s and Guillemot; Xantus Murrelet. this trip. Rarities seen: Black-footed
Rhinoceros auklets; Tufted Puffin. Rarities seen: Flesh-footed Albatross; Buller’s Shearwater; Least
Rare possibilities are Murphy’s Shearwater and American Storm-Petrel and Craveri’s Murrelet.
Petrel and Red-billed Tropicbird. Oystercatcher. A Tufted Puffin Blue, Fin and Minke whales as well as
Leaders: Todd McGrath, Jon seen in 2002. several species of dolphins can be seen.
Feenstra, Kimball Garrett, Dave Leaders: Todd McGrath, Jon Leaders: Todd McGrath, Jon
Compton and David Pereksta. Feenstra and David Pereksta Feenstra, Dave Compton, and David
$198. There is a complete galley that $95. A box lunch and breakfast can Pereksta
serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. be ordered from the adjoining dock- $198. The trip will be cancelled if there
side deli. Galley onboard. is insufficient response 35 days prior to
departure. There is a complete galley that
Save $5.00 with an early sign-up 60 days prior to the trip departure. serves breakfast lunch and dinner.

NOTE: Destinations may be changed to

maximize bird sightings, or minimize Look for more exciting
Please see page 17 for
rough seas. new trips to be added reservation information
With increased fuel costs there can be a to this Schedule!
$5 to $10 energy surcharge per person.

18 Western Tanager
i nt e r n atio na l b i rdi ng tours

THE BEST OF COSTA RICA February 5-17, 2008

Costa Rica, with its well deserved reputation as a country sincerely
Photo by Herb Clarke

interested in conserving its natural resources, is one that is

invariably on all birder's lists to visit. Its tropical forests harbor
howler monkeys, Resplendent Quetzals, poison-dart frogs, giant
morpho butterflies, over 830 species of birds, and the beauty of
thousands of plant species. We will visit six of the major locations
that are distinctive, each
offering a marvelous profusion
Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth of tropical birds. For information and itinerary,
Habitats encountered will range from semiarid ranch land, to misty cloud
forest, the transition zone between the dry and moist forests of the Pacific Olga Clarke
Los Angeles Audubon - Travel Director
lowlands, the treeless paramo, and what may well be the highlight of our trip, 2027 El Arbolita Dr.
a visit to La Selva, a lowland rainforest where nearly 400 birds have been Glendale, CA 91208-1805
recorded. As part of a small group, enjoy some of the best tropical birding in
Costa Rica., where you will be accompanied by outstanding leaders Ph/Fax: 818-249-9511
throughout. Fully Booked e-mail:


April 19 - May 5, 2008
Post-Extension Tangier to Fes —May 5-10, 2008

The thought of Morocco brings visions of casbahs, deserts, minarets, camels, and Arabian nights. These sights,
coupled with shopping excursions in Marrakech and Fes, will frame your experience, but the primary purpose
of this trip is Morocco's birds. With its coasts, islands, wadis, plains, forests, mountains and deserts, Morocco is
a birding wonderland-quite distinct from European habitats to the north.

From the moment you arrive in Casablanca, you'll be on your way to

look for the over 460 bird species that have been recorded in this
country. We will visit numerous habitats to search for species such as
Crested Lark, Fan-tailed and Sardinian Warblers, and migrants such as
Olivaceous Warbler, Barbary Partridge, the rare Bald Ibis and the
Photo by Herb Clarke

difficult-to-find Double-spurred Francolin, to name only a few. From a

birder's point of view, we will be in Morocco at probably the most
interesting time of year. After the winter and early spring rains,
hundreds of dayas (temporary ponds) form, and an abundance of
flowers and lush green forests resound with birdsong. Beyond birds
many natural wonders will be encountered: minerals from the Middle
and High Atlas Mountains, fossils, orchids, mammals, herps and
insects. Accommodations are outstanding, and the cuisine excellent.
We will be accompanied by expert birding guides. Space is limited.
White Stork nesting on top of miniret.

January/February 2008 19
programs & evening meetings
Meet at 7:30 at the Community Center in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd (at Martel between La Brea & Fairfax)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Garry George presents a new DVD of rare and elusive birds from his
trips to Venezuela and Southeast Brazil as well as Ecuador. The DVD
highlights representative species from unique families found only in
South and Central America like Tinamous, Guans, Ovenbirds, Antbirds,
Antpittas, Gnateaters and Cotingas but also colorful families we share
such as Hummingbirds, Tanagers and Finches. This presentation is pure
avian entertainment for those who like to watch the behavior and hear the
sounds of some of the glamorous birds of the continent to the South. Also
included is a short DVD on a conservation program by UCLA’s Center
for Tropical Research in the Choco habitat of Ecuador featuring historic
footage of mega-rarities Banded Ground Cuckoo, Brown Wood-Rail and Bi-colored Antpitts Photo by Garry George
Long-wattled Umbrellabird

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Todd Battey Presents Images of Raptors and Other Wildlife of the
Antelope Valley
Many birders travel to the Antelope Valley to enjoy the birds that inhabit
this part of the Mojave Desert, and winter is the time to find many of the
area’s specialty species. Large numbers of raptors occur during the colder
months, including Ferruginous Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Prairie Falcon,
Merlin, Long-eared Owl, and many other species. Todd Battey has been
digiscoping the local birds for several years and has accumulated a
collection of raptor images that documents the variability of many of the
common species. Additional photographs by others will be included to
provide a more complete presentation of the raptors that can be found in the
Antelope Valley. Here’s a chance to bone up on the identification of the
various color morphs of AV’s raptors while there is still time to get out and
Ferruginous Hawk Photo by Todd Battey see them. Todd will also present additional images of other birds (non-
raptors) and wildlife of the area, including the many reptiles that emerge
about the time the raptors thin out.

Los Angeles Audubon Society

Los Angeles, CA 90093-1057 Please Expedite