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 December, March, and May meetings. Refreshments available after the meetings. The public is always welcome.
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 17 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
Patricia Hickey and Mary Mayeda on
The Willits Offsite Mitigation Project
Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at 7PM in the Ukiah City Council Chambers
This evening Patricia Hickey and Mary Mayeda of the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District will discuss their conservation project managing a grazed 1,050-acre wet meadow for biodiversity and native plant populations. The Willits Bypass Offsite Mitigation Project is one of the largest public wetland mitigation projects in California. In 2015, the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District assumed long-term management of the Willits Bypass offsite mitigation grazing lands. The organization's first challenge was to establish a "conservation" grazing regime for the seven local grazing lessees and to manage and monitor grazing impacts on listed species, ecosystem function and overall biodiversity, including avian species populations. Their presentation will highlight management and monitoring protocols and goals along with results from two years of bird surveys and stream habitat assessments. This is an excellent opportunity to learn first-hand about conservation efforts in our own backyard!
Dr. Nat Seavy on Migratory Connectivity of California Songbirds
Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 7PM in the Ukiah City Council Chambers
Dr. Nat Seavy from Point Blue Conservation Science, will be discussing Migratory Connectivity of California Songbirds: What We are Learning and Why it Matters. Once the holy grail of ornithology, tracking small migratory birds between their breeding and wintering grounds is now possible with recent advances in technology. Since 2010, ecologists at Point Blue Conservation Science have used light-level and geographical positioning system geolocators to track the migration of species that breed or winter in the Bay Area; including the Golden-crowned Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Hermit Thrush, and Swainson's Thrush. The results of these studies are providing unprecedented information about where our migratory birds go, how long it takes them to get there, and what routes they take. This information is allowing us to better understand how and where migratory birds are most vulnerable to climate change and how we can manage ecosystems in a rapidly changing climate. Nat Seavy will present the latest tracking results from Point Blue's Palomarin Field Station and discuss how these results contribute to the conservation of migratory birds and the ecosystems in which they live. This will be a fascinating presentation and we will see you there!
David Rice on Why We Bird
Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 7PM in the Ukiah City Council Chambers
Tonight’s speaker, birder and author David Rice, will discuss his book Why We Bird. What makes birders get up early to walk through the woods or tromp through wet fields? Why do we drive a hundred miles to catch a glimpse of a rare species? Why do we keep the feeder full? David did not start actively birding until his mid-twenties. When backpacking in the Sierra, he saw a male Western Tanager across a stream and wanted to see it better. One thing led to another: a tiny pair of binoculars, birding in the San Francisco Bay Area by himself, joining Golden Gate Audubon, taking birding classes, a better pair of binoculars, Christmas counts, birding up-and-down California... Forty years later, he still thanks that tanager. He will read passages from Why We Bird and read from what other authors have said about why they birded. After his reading, he hopes we might have a conversation about why we bird. Please join us for a very interesting evening!
Get to Know Your Local Birds! Christmas Bird Count Review
Monday, December 12, 2016 at 7PM in the Ukiah City Council Chambers
Peregrine Falcon photo © 2016 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 Monday, December 12 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 13 meeting at 7PM and sign up for the Count, which takes place on Saturday, December 17. 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 Cheryl Watson (707-462-4289) 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.
Ron LeValley on Whales of Mendocino County
Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at 7PM in the Ukiah City Council Chambers
Ron LeValley, well-known local biologist and photographer will give a presentation this evening on the Whales of Mendocino County. The Mendocino coast is becoming a great place for viewing whales. Gray Whales are regular from December through April and we are now seeing Humpback and Blue Whales in decent numbers, sometimes from shore, from May through October. There are also new species showing up as a result of climate change, including Bottlenosed Dolphin and the Long-beaked Common Dolphin. Ron will be showing photos of all the regular species and discuss their distribution and biology
Ron has been studying and photographing nature for over 45 years. He is a founding member of the Mendocino Coast Photography Guild and Gallery in Fort Bragg where his work can be seen. Ron is an outstanding speaker and shares his knowledge and enthusiasm with the audience. This will be an evening you won't want to miss!
Gordon Beebe on Birds of Colombia
Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 7PM in the Ukiah City Council Chambers
Gordon Beebe, past president of Madrone Audubon Society, will present "Exploring the Colombian Southwest Andes and Intermountain Valleys". Torrent Ducks, Cock-of-the-Rock and more are shown in photos, video, and sudio recordings, all seamlessly integrated into the presentation. Experience the visual beauty and unique songs and calls of the birds of the varied habitats of southwest Colombia, from the valleys, cloud forest, freshwater lagoons and rivers, to the paramo, high in the Andes. Watch the antics of a Black-billed Mountain Toucan as it feeds in the cloud forest, see five species of Antpittas up close at Rio Blanco Preserve, hear the unusual song of the Jet Antbird at Sonso Lagoon, and delight in the Buffy Helmetcrest, a hummingbird of the paramo. Come visit Colombia with us this evening with Gordon as our guide!
Paul Bannick on a Year in the Lives of North American Owls
Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 7PM in the Ukiah City Council Chambers
Award winning photographer Paul Bannick will be presenting a program featuring video, sound, stories from the field and several dozen new images from his brand-new book: Owl: A Year in the Lives of North American Owls. Paul uses intimate yet dramatic images to follow owls through the course of one year and in their distinct habitats. We will witness the four seasons on territory, as each stage in an owl’s life is chronicled through rare images: courtship, mating, and nesting in spring; fledging and feeding of young in summer; dispersal and gaining independence in fall; and, finally, winter’s migrations and competitions for food. His program shows how owls use the unique resources available to them in each habitat to face those challenges. All 19 species found in Canada and the United States are featured with a special focus on the Northern Pygmy-Owl, Great Gray Owl, Burrowing Owl, and Snowy Owl. This will be a fascinating evening and we hope to see you there.
Paul Aigner on A Puzzler's Guide to Restoring California Inland Prairies
Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 7PM in the Ukiah City Council Chambers
This will be a joint meeting with the Sanhedrin Native Plant Society. Pristine California inland grasslands are found mainly in the imagination of native plant enthusiasts. No other vegetation type in California was so completely transformed following the arrival of European settlers before it could by studied by botanists. The very name-grassland- reflects this transformation. Inland grasslands are currently dominated by annual grasses from the Mediterranean region; prehistorically they were most likely not grasslands at all, but instead prairies that were dominated by forbs instead of grasses. Restoring native prairies is like disassembling and reassembling a puzzle of coexisting plant species by replacing exotics with natives. Dr. Paul Aigner will discuss over a decade of native prairie restoration at the McLaughlin Reserve, where strategies and outcomes have depended strongly on soil conditions and past land use. Progress has been rapid and dramatic in serpentine soils, but slow and laborious in more productive soils.
Matthew Matthiessen on Birds of Ecuador
Monday May 22, 2017 at 7PM in the Ukiah City Council Chambers
The incomparable Matthew Matthiessen will be this evening's speaker, and he will be taking us to Ecuador in a presentation he calls "Ants and Umbrellas: The Amazing Birds of Ecuador". Matthew traveled to Ecuador, which he describes as "one of the 'birdiest' places on the planet," for about two weeks in December and January of 2015. Incredibly biodiverse, Ecuador - including the Galapagos - harbors more than 1600 species of birds, about 15 percent of the world's known species. Matthew's presentation will focus mostly on the birds of the cloud forest in the western highlands, including the Rainbow Starfrontlet, Ocellated Tapaculo, Whooping Motmot, and Long-wattled Umbrellabird. Typical of the Neotropics, many species are eye-catching, even stunningly gaudy, while others are less showy, so well camouflaged in their luxuriantly vegetated habitats that they frequently escape observers' notice. Matthew's world-class photography and engaging speaking style will provide a most-entertaining evening. His reputation is well deserved!
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.
Beginners' Walk at the Ukiah Wastewater Treatment Plant
Saturday, September 24, 2016
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.
Clear Lake State Park
Sunday, October 23, 2016
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.
Covelo and Round Valley
Saturday, November 19, 2016
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.
Christmas Bird Count and Compilation Potluck Dinner
Saturday, December 17, 2016
If you wish to participate in the CBC, please attend the December 12 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.
Mendocino South Coast
Saturday, January 21, 2017
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.
Bushay Area of Lake Mendocino
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Our destination this morning will be the Bu-Shay Campground at Lake Mendocino. Located on the mesa at the northeast ocorner of the lake, this area is closed to camping in the winter and offers excellent birding. There are great views of the lake from this location, so we will be searching through the waterfowl. Loons are a possibiity here as well. Other target birds will include woodpeckers (both Yellow-bellied and Red-naped Sapsuckers have been found here) and raptors. Bald Eagle is a good possiblity. We will be leaving the CVS parking lot at 8AM and expect to arrive at the parking area in front of the entrance kiosk at 8:30.
Trail Improvement Day with UVTG: Valley View Trail
Saturday, March 4, 2017
Valley View Trail workday with the Ukiah Valley Trail Group. Come join us as we help the UVTG in their trail maintenance work around the Ukiah Valley. This effort will be focused on the Valley View Trail above the Mill Creek reservoir on Cow Mountain. We can combine trail work with birding- Mountain Quail, California Thrasher and Bell’s Sparrows are all possible along this stretch of trail. Meet by 9 am at the parking lot at the upper end of the upper Mill Creek dam. Bring water, gloves and a good attitude. The UVTG provides tools and a hearty lunch. For details, call UVTG at 467-3217. Mud or rain will cancel. We will meet at 9AM.
Beginners' Birdwalk at Riverside Park
Saturday March 25, 2017
The park is located along the Russian River at the east end of Gobbi Street. This is the only publicly accessible stretch of the main-stem Russian River in all of Mendocino County. The City of Ukiah has been developing trails in the park, as well as managing the vegetation to widen the riparian corridor and introduce more native plant species. It is an excellent birding location. We will meet at 8:30 am. Parking will be available at the park. Be advised: there are no toilet facilities in Riverside Park.
Hopland Research and Extension Center (HREC)
Saturday, April 29, 2017
We will be making our annual spring visit to the HREC. This is a beautiful time of year as wild flowers should be in full bloom and spring bird migration at its peak. What a great place and time for a picnic! We will be leaving the CVS parking lot at 8:00, or meet us at the HREC office area at 8:30.
Potter Valley and the Eel River
Saturday, May 13, 2017
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.
Last revised February 27, 2017.