Peregrine Audubon Society's chapter meetings and programs are generally held on the third Tuesday of each month, September through May, at 7PM in the City Council Chambers of the Ukiah Civic Center at 300 Seminary Avenue, Ukiah. Exceptions this year are the November and December meetings, which are held on the second Tuesday, and the April meeting, which is held on the fourth Tuesday. Refreshments available after the meetings. The public is always welcome.

Board Programs Field Trips
September 6 September 18 Walt Koenig on Acorn Woodpeckers and Oak Trees September 29 Little Lake Valley
October 4 October 16 Randal MacDonald on Climate Change October 20 Clear Lake State Park
November 1 November 13
2nd Tuesday!
Daniel Poleschook, Jr.and Ginger Poleschook on Common Loons of the Pacific Northwest November 17 Round Valley
December 6 December 11
2nd Tuesday!
Bob Keiffer says Get to Know Your Local Birds! CBC Review December 15 Ukiah CBC
January 3 January 15 Harry Lyons on Ecosystem Restoration on Clear Lake January 19 Mendocino South Coast
February 7 February 19 Marisela de Santa Anna and Kate Marianchild on Birds, Buds, and Bugs February 23 Beginners' Bird Walk and Family Day at UWTP
March 7 April 2
Lauren Esposito on Scorpions and Spiders March 23 Lake Mendocino
April 4 April 23
4th Tuesday!
Rebecca Rosen and her Falcons April 27 Magruder Ranch
May 2 May 21 Matthew Matthiessen on the Birds of the Galapagos Islands May 11 Potter Valley and the Eel River

Board meetings generally take place on the first Thursday of each month, September through June, at 7 PM. Contact a board member for details. Board meetings are open to the membership. You are always welcome and encouraged to participate.

The CBC potluck is held Saturday December 15 at 5PM in the Grace Hudson Meeting Room at 431 South Main Street.

Directions to City Council Chambers in the Ukiah Civic Center from Hwy 101:
Take Perkins St. west to North State St. Turn left and head south. Take the third right (Seminary Ave) and go to the end.

Directions to Grace Hudson Museum from Hwy 101:
Take Perkins Street west to the stop sign at Main Street. Turn left and proceed south for three blocks. After you cross Clay Street, look for a driveway on the left. Drive to the back and park. The Meeting Room is on the west side of the museum.

Directions to Alex Thomas Plaza from Hwy 101:
Take Perkins St. west to North State St. Turn left and head south. The plaza is two blocks down at the corner of Clay and State Streets.

Chapter Meetings and Programs

Walt Koenig on Acorn Woodpeckers and Oaks

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 at 7PM in the Ukiah City Council Chambers

Park Steiner's Acorn Woodpecker Ron LeValley's Acorn Woodpecker

Acorn Woodpecker photos © 2018 Park Steiner and Ron LeValley

This evening Walt Koenig will be discussing Social Behavior of the Acorn Woodpecker: Group Living, Mate Sharing, and More. Acorn Woodpeckers are one of California’s most iconic, as well as most common, native birds. Not only do they exhibit the unique behavior of storing acorns by the thousands in specially drilled “granaries” but they also engage in some of the most complex social behavior of any known bird species, not only living in family groups but also sharing mates via a rare social system known as polygynandry. In this talk, Walt Koenig, who has studied a marked population of Acorn Woodpeckers at Hastings Reservation in Monterey County for over 40 years, will explain how and why Acorn Woodpeckers have come up with these unique, bizarre behaviors. Walt is a retired professor at Berkeley and Cornell, an authority on Acorn Woodpeckers, and a humorous and engaging speaker. See you there!

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Randal MacDonald on Climate Change

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at 7PM in the Ukiah City Council Chambers

Geoff Heinecken's photo of the River Fire July 28, 2018

Photo of smoke from the River Fire © 2018 Geoff Heinecken

This evening we welcome Randal MacDonald who will be discussing “Climate Change and What We Can Do About It”. Randal, of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby and the Sierra Club, will discuss the latest scientific findings about climate change with a focus on its impacts upon avian wildlife. His multimedia presentation will also offer ways we that can reduce our own carbon footprint, as well as take action at the local, state and national level to work for climate change solutions. For the past 17 years, Randal has been a volunteer firefighter, and currently serving as his department’s Safety Officer. He spent a decade working in government and politics before going into private business. Over his career Randal has participated in dozens of public and private sector organizations. He currently serves on the executive committee of the Sierra Club’s Redwood Chapter, and on the steering committee of the Santa Rosa Chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

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Daniel Poleschook, Jr. and Ginger Poleschook on
Common Loons of the Pacific Northwest

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at 7PM in the Ukiah City Council Chambers

Poleschook's Common Loon with Chick Poleschook's Common Loon in Flight

Common Loon photos © 2018 Daniel Poleschook, Jr. and Ginger Poleschook

This evening’s presentation will discuss the Status and Conservation of Common Loons in Washington with Washington birders Daniel and Ginger Poleschook. The Poleschooks have studied Common Loons for more than 20 years. Like so many other birds, their reproductive success is challenged by many factors, some being natural, while many others are from anthropogenic sources. In the past 50 years Common Loons have had their breeding range retracted from northern California to northern Washington. The location of a small remnant population of nesting Common Loons in northeast Washington is the area where they have studied the reproductive stressors for the species at the present southwestern edge of their breeding range in North America. Their presentation will focus on the status of Common Loons in northeastern Washington, the conservation efforts that were applied there for the species, and the results—all of which were successful—of that work. Migration of Common Loons to and from our study area is a special interest of the species, as the optimum modeling of conservation efforts for the species needs to consider the inclusion of breeding, wintering and migration regions. Knowledge of migrations of Common Loons that breed in northeast Washington has recently been enhanced by observations made of a juvenile Common Loon that was banded at Swan Lake, WA on July 19, 2016. This bird was later seen and photographed on June 30, 2017 on the Mendocino County coast near Fort Bragg by Becky Bowen

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Get to Know Your Local Birds! Christmas Bird Count Review

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at 7PM in the Ukiah City Council Chambers

Peregrine Falcon by Roger Foote

Peregrine Falcon photo © 2018 Roger Foote.

Winter is here, the holidays are with us, and our local birds are helping themselves at our feeders again. Every year I am determined to identify those little critters, each and every one! Sure I make some progress, but what of those tough ones that look so similar, those little brown jobs hopping around under the feeder? Yes, I know most are sparrows and surely those feeding above are finches, but which species is each? I definitely need an expert!

Peregrine Audubon's Christmas Bird Count (CBC) has those experts who can help bring us a step closer to our goal. Join us on Tuesday, December 11 at 7:00 p.m. in the Ukiah City Council Chambers when Bob Keiffer will point out distinguishing field marks of our Ukiah area birds. He will discuss and illustrate the sparrows and finches, jays and blackbirds, ducks and waders, as well as the raptors, the hawks and owls, all in living color.

Bring your tough questions for the experts. What birds can I expect in my back yard this winter? How do sparrows and finches differ? Is it really possible to see eagles in the Ukiah Valley? What are the ducks and gulls at Lake Mendocino? Anyone interested in birdcalls? Our speaker can help with that too.

Peregrine Audubon also offers help in the field. Beginners and experienced birders can come to the December 11 meeting at 7PM and sign up for the Count, which takes place on Saturday, December 15. We will explain how the Christmas Bird Count works, introduce team leaders, and match you with a group that can best help take you that next step toward better bird biology. Bob will also give a presentation that he and Matthew Matthiessen have put together over the last few years.

The really avid begin before daybreak and in all kinds of weather. The rest of us can participate for parts of the day or even count at home if we live within the 15-mile diameter count circle (which includes Ukiah). There will be a beginners' count starting at 10AM and meeting at the gate to Mendocino College on Hensley Creek Road. By all means, contact Ryan Keiffer (707-671-5834) or Bob Keiffer (707-744-1160) for details.

We meet after the CBC for a potluck dinner in the Grace Hudson Museum Public Room on South Main Street. Bring a dish, something to drink, and your eating utensils and join us at 6:00 p.m.

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Harry Lyons on Ecosystem Restoration on Clear Lake

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at 7PM in the Ukiah City Council Chambers

Clear Lake State Park

Clear Lake State Park

Join us this evening as Harry Lyons and his musical partner Rick McCann will talk (and sing) about Clear Lake and the restoration of Middle Creek, one of the lake’s major tributaries. Harry is a founding member of the Middle Creek Restoration Coalition. This group has sold the benefits of this Flood Damage Reduction/Ecosystem Restoration in a number of ways: as a required engineering effort to prevent damage to infrastructure and related liability; as an expansion of recreational opportunity; as a step in preserving an endangered species; as a sediment trap to reduce nutrient enrichment of Clear Lake; and as an expansion of critical habitat. Harry will describe the science of the working marsh as well as the politics of the effort to make it a reality. Harry has lived in Lake County for forty years. He is an Emeritus Professor of Biology/Ecology at Yuba College, and has a PhD in Ocean-ography from the Scripps Institution of the University of California. He is an engaging and entertaining speaker with a unique presentation style. This will be an evening you will not want to miss!

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Marisela de Santa Anna and Kate Marianchild on Birds, Buds, and Bugs

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at 7PM in the Ukiah City Council Chambers

Selasphorus Hummingbirds

Selasphorus hummingbirds. Photo: Patty Reid/Audubon Photography Awards

a joint meeting with the California Native Plant Society. When local author Kate Marianchild was in Los Angeles for the California Native Plant Society Conservation Conference last February, she heard a talk by entomologist and wildlife ecologist Doug Tallamy that blew her socks off. Arriving home, she was not surprised that news of this amazing talk had already reached biologist Marisela de Santa Anna. Marisela and Kate have put their heads together to bring you Birds, Buds, and Bugs, a program sponsored by both Peregrine Audubon and CNPS. In preparation for this program, Kate and Marisela ask you to think about the follow¬ing questions:

Come to Birds, Buds, and Bugs to watch an excel¬lent video of Doug Tallamy’s groundbreaking talk. Following the video a group of panelists will discuss the factors decimating insect popula¬tions and how we can make a difference. CNPS members will provide handouts on locally native plants that support caterpillars, native bees, honey¬bees, and other insects that support the entire animal food chain.

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Lauren Esposito on Scorpions and Spiders

NEW DATE! Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 7PM in the Ukiah City Council Chambers

Jack Booth's Banded Garden Spider

Banded Garden Spider © 2019 Jack Booth

Join us this evening as Dr. Lauren Esposito of the California Academy of Sciences talks about The Secret World of Arachnids. Arachnids (scorpions, spiders, and their kin) are an enigmatic group of animals: though recognized and feared by all, there are many aspects of their basic biology that remain a mystery. These unique creatures are found worldwide from the highest massifs to deserts to deep cenote caves 600 meters below sea level. Arachnids exhibit complex courtship rituals, and their bizarre reproductive strategies include traumatic insemination and autotomy (self-amputation) of reproduc¬tive organs. They produce materials stronger than steel, and some species may even hold the key to curing some forms of cancer. Nonetheless, there are still dozens of new species dis-covered each year and the natural history of these secretive animals is still in many ways unknown to us. We will enter the fascinating world of arachnids, the discoveries that have been made, and some of the mysteries that remain to be explored. There will even be specimens to examine; lots of weird and creepy stuff! Bring the kids and we will see you there.

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Rebecca Rosen, Falconer and Founder of Authentic Abatement Falconry, and her Falcons

Ron LeValley's Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon © 2019 Ron LeValley

Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at 7PM in the Ukiah City Council Chambers

Falconry is an ancient form of hunting that uses hawks, falcons, eagles, or owls to catch prey. Join Rebecca Rosen, a professional falconer, to hear how she uses falcons and other raptors to help vintners protect their crops from flocks of invasive birds. She will discuss raptor biology, describe her exciting job, and even provide tips on how YOU can help these iconic birds of prey. Rebecca will bring one or more of her falcons and provide a live demonstration in front of the Civic Center. School age children are welcome. The program will begin promptly at 7:00, so please arrive on time!

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Matthew Matthiessen on the Birds of the Galapagos Islands

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at 7PM in the Ukiah City Council Chambers

Join us this evening as we visit the Galapagos Islands with our tour guide, the incomparable Matthew Matthiessen. The Galapagos archi¬pelago is surrounded by thousands of miles of open ocean, which provide seabirds with a prominent place in the fauna of the islands. Visitors often see most of the 19 species (5 are endemic) that are Galapagos residents. Biolo¬gists estimate that up to 750,000 seabirds spend time in Galapagos, including 30 percent of the planet’s blue-footed boobies and the world’s largest colony of red-footed boobies. Few species of land birds inhabit the Galapagos, and twenty-two of the twenty-nine resident species are endemic to the islands. Their presence in Galapagos, however, is difficult to explain. They may have arrived by strong winds, although luck must have played a big part. Matthew will educate us on the island’s unique environment, including the evolution of the island’s “Darwin” finches. He is an engaging and entertaining speaker, as well as a World-class photographer. This will be an evening you do not want to miss. See you there!

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Field Trips

Field Trip Guidelines: Everyone is welcome! These guidelines apply to all Peregrine Field Trips. Please take a moment to read them if you are new, or use them to refresh your memory if you have birded with us before. The times listed are the departure times - not the assembly times. Please arrive early! Many of the trips are out of the area and require an hour or more of driving, so promptness is necessary. We encourage carpooling and also alternating of the driving from one trip to another. If at all possible, come prepared to drive with your vehicle already fueled up, but also be prepared to ride with someone else with your lunch and gear compactly together. If you do not drive, please remember that you are expected to help pay for gas. Most trips are all day affairs, but at times various people need to get back sooner. By arriving 15-20 minutes early such necessary travel arrangements can be made. You will probably want to take a pack with lunch, water, hat and appropriate clothing - coats, rain gear, etc. - , binoculars*, camera, and perhaps notepad and field guides.

*Binoculars are important, but loaner pairs may be available for newcomers. If you have some to loan, please bring them along.

Little Lake Valley

Saturday, September 29, 2018

We will have the opportunity to bird some of the CalTrans mitigation property in the middle of Little Lake Valley with Marisella de Santa Anna. As this is a first for us, we are not certain what we will see. There should be a number of raptors in the grasslands, and hopefully some surprise migrants mixed in with the resident species. We may also get to see the Elk out there. The terrain is flat, but long pants and light hiking boots are advisable. We will car pool from the CVS parking lot at 830, or meet at the Willits library parking lot at 9am. Bring a lunch and something to drink if you want to picnic.

See Field Trip Guidelines.

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Clear Lake State Park

Saturday October 20, 2018

Join us for a morning of birding at Clear Lake State Park. This beautiful park has a variety of habitats that support a great diversity of birds, and it is a great time of year to be out in the oaks enjoying the fall colors. Expect to see some birds we seldom see in Ukiah- American White Pelicans, Bonaparte’s Gulls, and an abundance of water birds. We depart from the CVS parking lot at 8 am, and should arrive at the Visitor Center by 9 if you prefer to meet us there. Be sure to bring a lunch and something to drink for a picnic in the park. For those wishing to continue birding in the afternoon, we will probably be visiting the Lakeside County Park and Rodman Slough areas on our way back to Ukiah.

See Field Trip Guidelines.

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Covelo and Round Valley

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Join us for a fall visit to the Round Valley area, one of our favorite destinations. This beautiful valley with its open grasslands and large Valley Oaks is home to a number of winter visitors not commonly seen in the Ukiah area. In past years birds of note here have included Bald Eagles, Ferruginous and Rough-legged Hawks, Peregrine and Prairie Falcons, Lewis’s Woodpeckers, and Canyon Wrens. Time and weather permitting we will continue east to the Black Butte/Eel River campground for a picnic and more birding. Meet before our 7:30 am departure from the CVS parking lot, or at 8 at the parking lot in front of Willits High School. We should reach Covelo and Keith’s Market around 10:30.

See Field Trip Guidelines.

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Ukiah Christmas Bird Count and Compilation Potluck Dinner

Saturday, December 15, 2018

If you wish to participate in the CBC, please attend the December 11 meeting for details. Our traditional Compilation Potluck dinner will be held at the Grace Hudson Museum Community Room at 6:00PM. Bring your own place settings and beverages as well as a main course, salad, or dessert to share. Assistance in setting up at 5:00 to 5:30PM and cleaning up after dinner would be appreciated.

See Field Trip Guidelines.

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Mendocino South Coast

Saturday, January 19, 2019

We will be making a birding trip to the south coast of Mendocino County, focusing on the Point Arena and Manchester areas. This is an excellent area for raptors including Ferruginous and Rough-legged Hawks. The Garcia River area is also the winter home for Tundra Swans and other waterfowl. We will be car-pooling from the CVS parking lot along Orchard Avenue. It is a long drive, and we will be leaving at 7:30. Dress in layers and pack a lunch. This is pretty much a full-day trip so if you need to leave early please plan to drive your own vehicle.

See Field Trip Guidelines.

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Beginners' Bird Walk and Family Day at UWTP

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Beginner’s Bird Walk at the Ukiah Wastewater Treatment Plant. At the Ukiah Wastewater Treatment Plant, or UWTP, you can probably see more species of birds in less time than anywhere else in the Ukiah valley. Its habitat range is outstanding: riparian areas adjacent to the Russian River, settling ponds, beautiful stands of mature valley oaks, blackberry thickets, and adjacent open grasslands. Meet at the UWTP office area at 8:30. The walk around the oxidation ponds is about one mile, all on level ground.

See Field Trip Guidelines.

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Lake Mendocino

Saturday, March 23, 2019

We will be birding the north end of Lake Mendocino this morning. We will be focusing on the stretch between the boat launch adjacent to the inlet, and the Pomo A day-use area. There are great views of the lake from this location, so we will be searching through the water birds for wintering ducks and grebes. Loons are a possibility here as well. Other target birds will include wintering song birds and raptors along the lake shore. Bald Eagle is a good possibility. We will be leaving the CVS parking lot at 8 and expect to arrive at the parking area above the north boat launch at 8:30.

See Field Trip Guidelines.

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Magruder Ranch

Saturday, April 27

We will be visiting the Magruder Ranch in Potter Valley with our leader, Helen Magruder Menasian. The Magruder family has owned this property for 100 years. The 2,400 acres of fertile bottom land, rolling oak savannah hills and rugged chaparral rangeland provide an array of habitats for wildlife, and habitat conservation is an important component of the Magruder Ranch management. We will leave from the CVS parking lot in Ukiah at 8 am, or you can meet us at the old Potter Valley bridge site along the Russian River (1/4 mile north of Hwy 20 on Potter Valley Road) at 8:30. Bring your lunch, water, binoculars, and favorite field guides.

See Field Trip Guidelines.

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Potter Valley and the Eel River

Saturday, May 11, 2019

This trip will be led by George Chaniot. The primary birding is done along the scenic main stem of the Eel River with stops at the Pioneer Bridge, Trout Creek, and possibly Burris Lane. Both MacGillivray's and Hermit Warblers are usually seen on this trip, and they can be difficult to find elsewhere in the county. Other possible birds include Bald Eagle and American Dipper. We will leave from the Ukiah CVS parking lot at 8:00 am, or you can meet us at the old Potter Valley bridge site along the Russian River (1/4 mile north of Hwy 20 on Potter Valley Road) at 8:30. Bring your lunch, water, binoculars, and favorite field guides.

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Last revised April 07, 2019.