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

Friday, August 26, 2016

Shorebirds 101: a Field Trip

What:  Shorebirds 101: Field trip
Date: Tuesday, September 20th
Time:  8:30-10:00am

Join leaders Norma Wightman and Jan Surbey for this trip along Morro Strand.

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

Meet at the Morro Strand campground 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” recommended. Bring binoculars if you have them; if not, the leaders will have some binoculars you may borrow for the trip.

No RSVP needed. Rain cancels.

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

Monday, August 22, 2016

MCAS Community Program: CONDORS!

Who:    Presented by Mike Stake, Ventana Wildlife Society Biologist
What:   Condors Spreading their Wings in Central California:
              an Update on the Progress of Recovery Efforts
Where: SLO Botanical Garden Oak Glen Pavilion in El Chorro Park
When:  Monday, September 19th, 7 pm

Photo courtesy of Richard Lewis, Cambria

Once on the verge of extinction, the California Condor is on the comeback, thanks to reintroduction and management efforts in the last 20 years. The central California population, centered around Big Sur and Pinnacles National Park is spreading south into San Luis Obispo County.

Join Ventana Wildlife Society biologist Mike Stake as he provides an update on the population, describes current efforts to manage the threat of lead poisoning, and shares why the increase in condor observations along the San Simeon coast is a good thing for condor recovery.

Originally from the Bay Area, Mike received a Master's Degree in Fisheries and Wildlife from the University of Missouri in 2003. He spent several years with The Nature Conservancy working with endangered Black-capped Vireos and Golden-cheeked Warblers in central Texas, and coordinated avian research projects for Hawks Aloft, Inc., a non-profit in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He joined Ventana Wildlife Society in 2009, where he now assists with California Condor recovery and manages various research and consulting projects.  

Friday, August 19, 2016

Birding Field Trip - Sept. 10th

What:   Birding Field Trip
Where: El Chorro Regional Park
Date:    Saturday, September 10th
Time:   7:30-11:30 AM

Join leader Steve Griffith for a morning of birding around the grounds of El Chorro Regional Park. Meet Steve at 7:30am in the first parking lot after the park entrance. There are no daily fees for park use this time of year.

Plan on 1-2 miles of easy walking. All ages and abilities are welcome. Bring binoculars, water, snacks. Restrooms are available at several locations along the walk.

El Chorro Regional Park is located between San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay on Highway 1 directly across from Cuesta Community College. No RSVP necessary.

For additional information, contact Jan Surbey, MCAS Field Trip Chair:

Friday, August 5, 2016

Field Trip at Oso Flaco Lake - Sat. Aug. 27th

What:   Field Trip w/Jessica Griffiths
Where: Oso Flaco Lake
Date:    Saturday, August 27th
Time:   8:30-11:30 AM

Join leader Jessica Griffiths for a summer trip looking for any and all birds we can find.

We will start at the Oso Flaco parking lot and bird our way through the riparian woodland, across the lake boardwalk, and into the coastal sage scrub. Bring binoculars and water, and snacks as needed.

Directions: Park at the Oso Flaco parking lot at the west end of Oso Flaco Lake Road, off of Highway 1, north of Guadalupe. Parking in the lot is $5 per vehicle. No RSVP necessary.

For additional information, contact Jan Surbey, MCAS field trips chair:

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

California Condors: Back from the Brink

California Condors: Back from the Brink
with Marcelle Bakula of Morro Coast Audubon Society
Saturday, August 13 from 1 PM to 2 PM,
followed at 2 PM with a free docent-led tour.

Poaching, lead poisoning and habitat destruction resulted in the extinction of California condors in the wild in 1987. Due to tremendous efforts, the largest birds in North America were reintroduced into the wild in 1991 and now hundreds of these charismatic birds can be found in the western United States, but their struggle isn’t over yet!

Discover the latest update on the endangered California Condor and how a remote, historic fire-lookout was transformed into a field research site where education, tracking, and research provides vital information for the protection and recovery of the California Condor.

Presentation is $5 for members/$10 non-members.
Followed at 2 PM by a free docent-led tour of the Garden.
No preregistration required. For more information email

Marcelle Bakula has lived in SLO County since 1970 and started volunteering at the Hi Mountain Condor Lookout in the Los Padres National Forest in 2004, where she helps educate the public, train interns, and provides condor tracking information. Marcelle is also active with Hi Mountain’s outreach and fund-raising. As a life-long environmentalist, Marcelle has volunteered and worked with numerous environmental organizations.

April through September, County Parks charges a $3 day-use fee on weekends and holidays. Carpool and Save!