Contact MCAS

Click to contact MCAS Board Members and Chairs. Photo: Dave Tyra

Birds of SLO County.

Follow this link to read or download SLO County checklists. Photo: Teddy Llovet

MCAS Birding Guides

Follow this link to discover our trove of SLO County birding guides. Photo: Maggie Smith

Field Trips!

Click to read about MCAS field trips. Photo: Paul Andreano

MCAS Community Programs

Click to read about monthly MCAS community programs. Photo: Al Schmirer

Thursday, November 3, 2016



December 17th

The past few Christmas Bird Counts resulted in the most participants and highest bird counts in recent memory.  Thank you to all who participated.  The Count needs your participation in December 2016 to match or exceed those results.

We're hoping all of you who participated last year will return and that the many new birders in our area will sign up too. The count is a fun and very worthy endeavor and coverage of all the sectors is crucial. 

The 2016 Annual Count and Potluck Dinner will be conducted by MCAS on December 17, 2016.

Please circle and save the date!

The more sighters/counters enrolled, the better the chances to achieve a good count and maintain our high nationally-accredited standing.  The count is part of a continent-wide, citizen-science effort, with the published results used to assess the distribution and population of wintering birds; assessing the health of bird populations and helping guide conservation action.

You do not need to be an Audubon member and there is no signup fee this year, but you do need to register. 

For those who live within the circle and have bird feeders, we encourage you to register and do a feeder watch. 

We conclude the day with a festive potluck meal beginning at 6PM and with the exciting count down of all species seen. 

Please sign up early if you can, or at least by Nov 26 so that our area leaders can assign participants to the sectors when they meet on 11/27. Area leaders will contact everyone with more info soon after this meeting so birders can scout their sections before the count.

Go here for information on registration, maps, history and much more:  

After visiting the website, if you still have questions contact:

Count Coordinator (how it works questions):
Maggie Smith

Count Registrars (registration questions):
Bert and Elaine Townsend

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

MCAS Community Program: PROTECTING RAPTORS from Unlawful Raptor Take

PROTECTING RAPTORS from Unlawful Raptor Take  

Presented by Mark Jeter, Assistant Chief with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement Division

Monday, November 21st 7 pm at SLO Botanical Garden Oak Glen Pavilion in El Chorro Park

Assistant Chief Mark Jeter will share his unique expertise and experience of the illegal commercialization of wildlife in California, a black market projected at over $100 million in the 1990s and growing exponentially since that time. Learn about the laws that specifically protect eagles, ospreys, hawks, falcons, kites, owls, vultures, and all other birds of prey, and the prohibition against the taking or possession of their parts such as feathers or talons.

Mark has been with the Department for 25 years: 15 as a Field Warden, 6 years under cover with a Special Operation Unit, and 4 years in management. He is a member of the Department’s Golden Eagle recovery team, has field experience working with Gyrfalcons in Alaska, and is the Law Enforcement Lead for all raptor issues including falconry. He is also a long time Audubon member.

All MCAS programs are free and open to the public and, as always, all ages are welcome. Refreshments will be provided. Please bring your own mug/cup.


Montana de Oro Field Trip: Saturday, November 12th, 8AM-noon

Montana de Oro Field Trip: Saturday, November 12th, 8AM-noon

Join leaders Jay Carroll and Steve Griffith birding the campground, cove, and bluffs at Montana de Oro State Park.  Meet at 8AM in front of the Visitor’s Center / ranch house across from Spooner’s Cove. 

Expect rocky-shore shorebirds, water birds, raptors, and passerines in various habitats.  Includes 1-2 miles of slow walking.  Restrooms available near the ranch house and within the campground. 

Bring snacks, water, binoculars and a scope if you have one.  No RSVP necessary.  

For more information, contact Jan Surbey, MCAS field trip chair:

Directions: (MAP) (Detail Map) From the main business district of Los Osos go west on Los Osos Valley Road. Los Osos Valley Road becomes Pecho Valley Road and curves left (south). Continue on Pecho Valley Road to the park entrance. From the park entrance, drive about 2.4 miles, turn left (east) toward the Spooner’s Cove campground, and then park in front of the Visitor’s Center.

Nancy Vaughan Scholarship ($500) for Cuesta Students - Dec 2nd Application Deadline

The MCAS Nancy Vaughan Scholarship Award is available to Cuesta College students that meet the criteria listed below. Please pass this on to anyone you know who might be interested, as the application deadline is approaching.

Download Scholarship Application (PDF)

The scholarship application deadline is December 2, 2016

Scholarship Application Criteria:
  1. A minimum 2.50 cumulative grade point average.
  2. Student must currently be enrolled in a minimum of 6 units at Cuesta College.
  3. Applicant must be interested in and pursuing a career involving some aspect of caring for our natural environment, such as biology, wildlife conservation, ecology, animal care, water and air quality, or any other related field.
  4. One letter of recommendation is required. Letters from instructors, counselors, employers, and community members are preferred.
  5. Candidate must be awarded the scholarship money at the Morro Coast Audubon Christmas Bird Count dinner on December 17, 2016 (held at the Botanical Gardens in San Luis Obispo).
Scholarship Guidelines:
  1. Selection of Recipients
    Selections will be based on student’s overall academic progress, financial need, extracurricular activities, leadership skills, and participation in community activities.
  2. Notice of Awards
    Students will be notified by e-mail or phone of any scholarship award or denial.
  3. Renewal of Scholarship
    Scholarship may be renewed, contingent upon satisfactory academic progress and availability of funds. Students must re-apply for a continuation of the scholarship. Please attach a separate sheet describing how the scholarship benefited you and why it should be renewed.

Mail your application to:

Morro Coast Audubon Society
% Stephanie Little
PO Box 1507
Morro Bay, CA 93443

If you have any questions, you can email Stephanie Little at

Applicants will be notified of scholarship award or denial by December 9, 2016.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Shorebirds 101: Field Trip Thursday, November 3rd, Morro Strand

Join leaders Norma Wightman and Jan Surbey for this popular trip along Morro Strand on Thursday, November 3rd, from 8:00-9:30am.

Targeted for beginners, but all ages and experience levels are welcome. Expect to walk about a mile or two along the beach.

Meet at the Morro Strand Campground’s entrance to the beach at the north end of the campground. (Turn towards the ocean at Yerba Buena off Highway 1 in Morro Bay, then turn left when road bends to the campground). Restrooms are available in the campground.

Dressing in “layers” is recommended. Bring binoculars if you have them. If not, the leaders will have some binoculars you may borrow during the trip. No RSVP needed. Rain cancels. 

For additional information contact Jan Surbey, MCAS field trip chair, at