Redwood Region Audubon Society advocates for protection of birds and wildlife by supporting local conservation efforts to protect wildlife and their habitat.

 
In May we will be offering a variety of guided bird walks, including some new ones! Please check our calendar for dates. Covid protocols will be in place, including limited group size and social distancing. Details are available here!
 
We will also be holding our 4th Saturday work day at Wigi Wetlands, focusing on restoration that will not impact nesting birds.
 

Friday, May 14, 7:00 p.m. Zoom presentation:

“What Do You Know About Saw-whet Owls?”

These little birds are all around us, year-round, fighting out their fierce lives in our forests and woodlands. Come learn more about these neighbors from Ken Sobon, Director of the Northern Saw-whet Owl Research and Education Project in Northern California.

Ken is an avid birder, field trip leader, Vice President of Altacal Audubon Society, and is now the Northern California representative on Audubon California Board of Directors. For the past five seasons he has been the Director of the Northern Saw-whet Owl fall migration monitoring project. In addition, since 1995, as a middle school teacher in Oroville, he has shared his love of science and birding with students both in the classroom and in the field.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The County of Humboldt has submitted a Mitigated Negative Declaration on Nordic Aquafarms' proposed project. Audubon's main concern is that the salt water intake could be as much as 10,000,000 gallons a day, and fish larvae cannot be screened out. This could lead to a decrease in fish populations in the bay, and consequently food for birds. The public has until Monday, May 24, to submit comments.
More information here:
 
Did you miss the virtual Godwit Days Festival April 16 -18? Find it on YouTube to view the presentations.
 
Godwit Days is still seeking items for its online silent auction, to be held May 28-June 6. For details, check out the link on our homepage banner (www.godwitdays.org). We would appreciate receiving any items by May 1.
 
The Local Wildlands Conservancy Preserves: Behold the Beauty
This program was recorded. Watch it herePasscode: $TWak2V5
 

The Wildlands Conservancy expanded their network of preserves to include the North Coast of Humboldt County. First, in 2008, they acquired the Eel River Estuary Preserve, a 1200-acre property on the south spit of the Eel River. This preserve includes coastal marsh, pasture lands, eight miles of trails, and three miles of dunes for visitors to explore, as well as excellent birding prospects for grassland, waterfowl, raptors, and a myriad of seabirds.

 
Wildlands expanded their local holdings again in 2018, with the addition of the Seawood Cape Preserve, two miles north of Trinidad. Here, visitors can hike the coastal bluffs on a trail down to Scotty's Point to enjoy vast views of the coast, bird and marine mammal watching, tide-pooling, or fishing.

Alex Blessing grew up in the mountains above Santa Cruz California, where he fostered a love for everything outdoors. His youth was spent exploring and learning everything he could about the natural world in his backyard. After attending Humboldt State University, where he completed his undergraduate studies in Natural Resource Planning and Interpretation, he volunteered for the Americorps’ Watershed Stewards Project. There he found a love for freshwater fisheries, especially salmon, while surveying creeks on the Eel River and in Coastal Mendocino. This led to work with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife as a Fisheries Technician, monitoring salmonids and assisting with restoration projects, such as the Salt River Restoration project where he learned about Wildlands. Joining the Wildlands team in 2014 as a ranger on the Eel River Estuary Preserve, he continues to restore habitat and share the wonder of the place with all who come visit. 

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89017947650?pwd=cS9sWmIyZ3hjSml0K3NSQ0JoUmowUT09

 
 
 
Friday, March 12, at 7:00 p.m.
“How to ID those Raptorial Masters of the Sky - Eagles, Hawks and Falcons in Flight” with Russ Namitz.
This informative program was recorded. You may want to watch it more than once!
Watch it here! Passcode: a90$39Al
 

With practice and experience, one can quickly separate different groups of raptors based on flight style, gestalt and plumage characteristics. Learn some tips and tricks about raptor identification on the wing, raptors at a distance and some local raptor viewing spots to practice your skills.

 

Russ Namitz was born and raised in Lincoln CityOregon. At age 9, he was captivated by the furtive Pacific Northwest denizen of dank woods, the Varied Thrush. With a few stepping stones along the way, Russ really began actively birding the summer after graduating from Pacific University in Forest GroveOR. His first, of many seasonal biology field jobs to follow, was searching for nesting Northern Goshawks in the Okanogan NF in Washington.

 
In 2002, Russ finally took an Ornithology class, coincidentally from Humboldt State University. He enjoyed a year of birding in the area, meeting local celebrities and rubbing elbows with the talented birders and riff raff (sometimes the same people) in the area. Russ is a pelagic bird guide for Oregon Pelagic Tours and currently holds the Oregon Big Year record of 381 species.
 
 
 
 
Watch the recording of our Friday, February 12, presentation:

“Of Puffins and Petrels: Conserving Seabirds of the Outer Coast of Washington” with Dr. Peter Hodum.

Here is the linkPasscode: %5wUa^Ey

    Although Washington is blessed with a rich community of breeding and wintering seabirds, relatively little is known about the ecology and conservation status of many of the species, particularly the burrow-nesters.  This relative lack of knowledge extends to iconic species such as the Tufted Puffin, a species recently listed as Endangered by Washington State.  Moving between islands, seascapes, and species of the Outer Coast, Peter Hodum will share stories about a collaborative research program focused on improving our understanding of the ecology and conservation status of species such as the Tufted Puffin, Rhinoceros Auklet, Cassin’s Auklet and Leach’s and Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels.

    Dr. Peter Hodum is an associate professor in the Biology Department and the Environmental Policy and Decision Making Program at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA, and the Chile Program Director for Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge, a conservation non-profit organization. His research focuses primarily on the conservation and ecology of threatened seabirds and island ecosystems in Chile and Washington State.  His work also has a strong focus on community-based conservation, including how communities can be more effectively and authentically involved in conservation. 
 
For dial-in information for this presentation, please go here.
 
 
Friday, January 8, at 7:00 p.m.
Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge: Old and New
Humboldt Bay NWR was established in 1971, to conserve precious habitat for a diversity of wildlife. Learn more as retired Refuge Manager, Eric Nelson and current Refuge Manager, Cashell Villa, discuss the history of the National Wildlife Refuge System, key points where Audubon fits in, the history HBNWR, and where HBNWR and the Refuge System might be headed into the future.

Eric is from Sonoma County. He received his BS and MS in Wildlife Management from HSU and worked at refuges in AK, WA, OR, WY, and CA.  The last 17 years of his career were spent as Refuge Manager at Humboldt Bay NWR Complex.  In retirement he’s enjoying family, birding, traveling, hiking, camping, biking, and politics (just kidding).

Cashell is from San Luis Obispo, California and received her BS in Wildlife Biology from University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She has worked as a biologist in refuges across Alaska including Arctic, Tetlin, Selawik and Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuges.  She served as the Deputy Refuge Manager at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge on the Big Island of Hawaii until late 2019 when she accepted the Refuge Manager position at Humboldt Bay NWR Complex. Cashell and her family enjoy hiking, biking, camping, traveling and exploring their new Humboldt Bay home.
 
 
Friday, December 11,  7:00 p.m.: “Christmas Bird Count Prep Talk and Photo Sharing” with Ken Burton 
 
This program was recorded. Watch it here.  Passcode: V7u1q=cy

Due to the pandemic, this year's Christmas Bird Count (CBC) will be unlike any other in the count's 120-year history - but it will happen!  Veteran CBCer, Ken Burton, will lead an interactive discussion via ZOOM of various aspects of the CBC including its history, methodology, and scientific value; this year's modified protocols; tips for counters, especially effort tracking and estimating bird numbers; local counting opportunities; and bird identification as requested. 
 
The content and direction of the program will be driven largely by participant input.  We can discuss anything relevant to the count; what would make you a better counter?  The program will conclude with an opportunity to share a few of your local bird photos from the past year, so pick out your favorites!

Ken Burton has been deeply involved with RRAS since moving here in 2005.  He is the author of Common Birds of Northwest California and A Birding Guide to Humboldt County, both published by RRAS.  He coordinates the chapter's Saturday morning Arcata Marsh walk program.  He has participated in the CBC almost every year since the mid 1970s, including counts in Arizona, California, Indiana, Mexico, and New York.
 
Join us via ZOOM. For dial-in info, click here.
 
 
Birdathon Teams Raised Over $10,000 This Year!
 
 

Every year, for the past six years, the Northcoast Environmental Center (NEC) and Redwood Region Audubon Society (RRAS) have held a fundraiser in honor of Tim McKay.
 
Tim was a great friend to the environment and Executive Director of the NEC for thirty years. While at the helm of that organization, Tim began holding annual Birdathons and splitting the funds raised with RRAS. The money is donated by team sponsors who pledge to contribute a set amount for every species observed.
 
Tim had the charisma to cajole many folks from the local birding community to participate, which involves forming teams of birders whose goal is to see, hear, and identify as many bird species as possible within a 24-hour period.  After his untimely death at the age of 59, the Birdathon lapsed for a while, but some of his old friends rejuvenated it as a way of remembering him. The Birdathon funds are vital to these two largely volunteer organizations.  The money is used to educate our community about the many challenges facing our local ecosystems, and to lobby for the wild animals and plants that have no voice.  

 

 
 
Our Friday, November 13  7:00 p.m. ZOOM program:
Status of Spotted Owls in Northwestern California and the Impact of Barred Owls with Peter Carlson was recorded. Enjoy listening here. Passcode: FGLVo$61

Barred Owl populations have been increasing in the
Pacific Northwest for several decades and are now impacting Northern Spotted Owls throughout their range. To address this problem, several Barred Owl removal studies have been initiated which included areas of local long-term demographic studies on Green Diamond property, the Hoopa Reservation, and the Six Rivers and Shasta-Trinity National Forests.
 
Peter Carlson, currently working for Colorado State University as a long-time member of the research team for the studies on national forest lands, will discuss some of the impacts of Barred Owls, the recent trends of the owls, and status of the removal studies. While the impacts of Barred Owls are of real concern, that is only one of several ongoing threats to the Spotted Owl. Peter will also discuss the Barred Owl issue in the context of multiple stressors.

Peter began studying Spotted Owls in the
San Bernardino mountains in 1992, and has worked on the NW California demography study since 1994. He has some fond memories of working briefly with Barred Owls and other raptors, in native habitat, in Illinois in 1986, prior to beginning his MS work in Wildlife Ecology at the University of Florida. He previously worked for Humboldt State University as the field coordinator for the demography study, and since 2005, has worked through Colorado State University as a Research Associate for the study. He lives in Arcata and has been involved with five Northern Spotted Owl meta-analyses. 
 

Friday, October 9, at 7:00 p.m ZOOM Presentation:

“From Field to Folio: Drawing Birds from Inspiration to Completion” with local artist/illustrator, Gary Bloomfield. 
 
(This program was recorded. Click here to watch it, using the passcode dp79r#m%)
 

Have you been wondering how to either start or improve on sketching birds? In this presentation, Gary will give a crash course on bird anatomy and explore how to apply this knowledge to sketching birds in the field or from your own photo and video references. Have a sketchbook handy!

He will present examples of his field sketches and finished paintings and demonstrate how to use your smartphone to “digiscope” photos to get useful references. (Digiscoping is taking digital photos through the eyepiece of a telescope).
 

Gary is a wildlife artist and illustrator, working primarily in ink and/or transparent watercolor and specializing in birds.

His published work appears in educational coloring books, various brochures, pamphlets, posters, maps, interpretive signs and displays, and books.  His work can also be found on numerous T-shirts.

 

Interested in birds for almost as long as he can remember, Gary  started actively birding when he was nine, and since then he has been an avid birder and occasional field ornithologist. He holds a bachelor's degree in scientific illustration from Humboldt State University.

He has lived in Arcata, CA since 1980.

 
Friday, September 11, 7:00 - 8:00 pm
Heather Kenny presented a ZOOM program (pass code for recorded program: 0FA=WpxY) on her research evidence that
 
Female bluebirds with high aggression are better at coping with noise pollution.
 
She found that female aggression levels influenced whether bluebirds settled in noisy or quiet breeding sites, and partly determined the effect of traffic noise on parental care of nestlings. More details here.
 
 
August 14, 2020  7:00 pm
This program was recorded. You can watch it here. The password: R&&45%YA.
 
Planning Future Restoration for Long-Term Survival of Greater Sage-Grouse with Beth Fitzpatrick.
 

Populations of Greater Sage-Grouse, the largest grouse in North America, have been declining across the West; its distribution reduced by about 50% since European settlement. In the spring, sage-grouse males dance and display at sites called leks in an attempt to attract females. If sage-grouse are to survive, their lek sites, nesting sites, wintering sites, and the landscape connections between them need to remain intact. More details here.

 
The Ecological Role of Raptors and the Impacts of Rat Poison, presented by Jaime Carlino.
 
This ZOOM meeting was recorded. If you missed it, or want to watch it again, here's your link.

Rodenticide use is pervasive world-wide and the costs to rodent-consuming wildlife species such as raptors, as well as pets and children, are high.

Raptors Are The Solution (RATS) is a non-profit organization working with a coalition of NGOs, agencies, scientists, municipalities, and individuals to eliminate toxic rodenticides from the food web. RATS and its regional chapters encourage people to be proactive in managing rodent issues without the use of poisons.More details here.
 
Jaime will give a brief overview of rodenticides, their effects on a variety of non-target species, describe what RATS and HUM-RATS are doing to address this issue, and provide information on how to manage rodent issues without using poisons.



 

In this year of the coronavirus pandemic, 160 home-from-school kids pulled out paints, pencils, pastels, or paste to enter the Student Bird Art Contest.

 

 
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, entries for the Student Nature Writing Contest were down this year, but 23 students submitted works of prose
and poetry.

 
 
The ko' ko', a flightless bird native to Guam was exinct in the wild, and is now returned and thriving! Photo from the San Diego Zoo.
 
 



 
 The May 2021 Sandpiper is available. Read about the vagrant Lesser Nighthawk that visited Humboldt County recently, new birding opportunities, a prize-winning study by a Jacoby Creek School student on the best location for a bird feeder, native plant sanctuaries, and more!
 
New Birding Opportunities!
Birding tour around Trinidad Head on Sunday, May 23, 8:00 a.m to 11:00 a.m.
Sign up by contacting Andrew
 
Starting June 6, we will be offering monthly Women and Girls Walks on the first Sunday of the month!  June 6th join Janelle on a trip to the Blue Lake Cottonwoods. Registration is required, so contact Janelle to reserve your spot.
 
The beautiful, inspiring results of the Student Bird Art Contest, sponsored by RRAS and FOAM (Friends of Arcata Marsh), are available for you to see here!
 
And the winning entries in the Student Nature Writing Contest are available for you to enjoy here.
 
 
Would you like to know about recent bird sightings in Humboldt County? Here are two easy ways to make that happen!
 
 
Get the great new birding guide by Ken Burton and Leslie Scopes Anderson!  It links well-known and obscure birding sites, some of them only recently opened to the public, into 25 routes spanning the entire county.
 
 
The 3rd edition of RRAS’ Common Birds of Northwest California by local birder Kenneth Burton and photographer Leslie Anderson is now available!
Details available here.
 

Keep Up to Date Via RRAS Listserve

Be reminded about field trips and programs and learn about upcoming meetings, public hearings, and symposia of interest to RRAS members and other concerned nature lovers.

Create an account at https://groups.io/ if you don't already have one, then search for rras and join us!
 
And follow us on Facebook!
 
 
Try a Bird Sit, a Powerful Mindfulness Practice, presented by Audubon!
 
Looking for inspiration while practicing social distancing? Try Audubon's Joy of Birds for ideas and wonderful photos!
 
 
 
California Condors will be flying here again - hopefully next year!
 


 
 


 
 
 
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