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

Sunday, December 20, 2015

2015 Morro Bay Christmas Bird Count Highlights

The Morro Bay CBC was held yesterday. Rainy weather finally gave way to mostly clear skies in the early afternoon, though mostly cloudy skies were back by late afternoon.

Thanks to approximately 112 dedicated counters, we were able to overcome the poor conditions and tally 190 species.

Count highlights were: Common Merganser, Hooded Merganser, Bald Eagle, Elegant Tern, Spotted Owl, Long-eared Owl, Red-naped Sapsucker, Short-eared Owl, Yellow Warbler, Chipping Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Summer Tanager, Hooded Oriole, and Bullock’s Oriole.

Big thanks to Maggie Smith, Bert and Elaine Townsend, Kaaren Perry, Bill Bouton, Eric Wier, and Mike Stiles for helping organize the count. And, thanks to Paul Andreano for making it so easy to use the web site to sign-up and download count information.

Tom Edell
Count Compiler
Cayucos, CA

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

2015 MCAS Annual Shorebird Survey Results

Thank you, volunteer counters for your Shorebird Survey counts.  The total number counted was over 16,000!

The most birds counted were on the sand spit (area 13), the marina areas (6/7) and Morro Strand Beach,
(areas 14/15), probably due to tide conditions.

Notable birds seen were a single White-faced Ibis on the inner sand spit near the harbor entrance, and 5 American Pipits on Morro Strand Beach.

You can learn more about the MCAS  Shorebird Monitoring Program here.

You can download the 2015 Shorebird Survey data spreadsheet (.xlsx) here.


Dave Tyra
MCAS President

Friday, December 11, 2015

CBC 2015 - Materials to Download

Forms and Checklists

Sector descriptions (download .pdf) or (download .docx)
Descriptions of each MCAS CBC sector and what species to look for once you're there.

2015 Christmas Bird Count Checklist (download .pdf) or (download .docx)
Suggestion: print page one of checklist, turn the paper over and print page two to make a tri-fold checklist.

Rare Bird Report Form (download .pdf) or (download .docx)
This form is needed for any bird not on the checklist, and birds marked on the checklist with an asterisk.

2015 Target Birds Species to watch for on count day* (download .pdf) or (download .docx)
* Updated December 17, 2015.


Google Earth MCAS CBC circle map with sector descriptions (download .kml)

Garmin MCAS CBC circle map with sector descriptions for your GPS unit (download .gpx)

Smartphone Apps (these are not necessarily endorsed by MCAS)

Count Circle for iPhone ($2.99) (download from iTunes) CBC mapping app

Count Circle for Android ($2.99) (download from Google Play) CBC mapping app

Audubon Birds for iPhone ($14.99) (download from iTunes) has eBird integration and field guides

Audubon Birds for Android ($3.99) (download from Google Play) has eBird integration and field guides

Audubon Birds - California for Android ($2.99) (download from Google Play) has eBird integration and California field guides

Friday, October 23, 2015

Nancy Vaughan Scholarship ($500) for Cuesta Students - Dec 4th 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. Click this link to download a pdf of the scholarship application form.
The scholarship application deadline is December 4, 2015

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 available to receive the scholarship money at the Morro Coast Audubon Christmas Bird Count dinner on December 19, 2015.

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:

MCAS Nancy Vaughn Scholarship 2015
c/o Morro Coast Audubon Society
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 11, 2015

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Community Program - Dave Keeling Presents Birds of SLO County 2014, Part 2

Birds of SLO County 2014, Part 2 (July through December) by Dave Keeling.

Monday October 19th. Reception beginning at 6:30pm, slideshow starts at 7pm.

Dave Keeling will again coordinate this annual event, one of MCAS's most well attended annual programs! The presentation will consist of beautiful images of birds photographed in our county in 2014 by many of our finest local nature photographers.

A reception to meet the photographers will precede the program at 6:30pm. Guitarists Jack Collins and Bob Clark will once again accompany the presentation. Refreshments will be provided, please bring your own mug.

MCAS Community Programs are presented on the third Monday of each month, at the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden Oak Glen Pavilion, in El Chorro Regional Park, on Highway 1 across from Cuesta College. All MCAS Community Programs are free and open to the public. As always, all ages are welcome.