Thursday, May 10, 2018

1950 California Condor Sighting

#16 "Orville"   Hatched: 06/04/2013 in Boise, ID    Released: 10/28/2015 in Big Sur, CA
Both photos, taken by Kaaren Perry on 4/15/2018, are of #16
circling Hollister Peak near Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo County, CA.
1950 California Condor Sighting
by Calvin French (a member of Audubon for over 50 years)

I saw my first condor about 1950 on the western slope of the Santa Lucias, just south of The Grade. My friend and I were riding our horses. He called, "Look at that buzzard on the ground down there." We approached, and instead of taking off, the "buzzard" ran down the hillside about 50 feet before it could get airborne. Both we young teenagers somehow knew about condors, and we yelled exuberantly about seeing one.

It would be about 50 years before I saw another one, actually more than one, on my walk across California, some on the Tejon Ranch and others on Wind Wolves.


#16 at Hollister Peak, Morro Bay, CA

(California condors (Gymnogyps californianus) were listed as endangered under the Federal Endangered Species Act on March 11, 1967. As of Oct 31, 2012, the total condor population was 409 birds [that number has increased since 2012] and 232 of those were in the wild [extracted from].

In 1987, the last wild California Condor was taken into captivity to join the 26 remaining condors in an attempt to bolster the population through a captive breeding program. At that time, it was uncertain whether or not North America's largest flying land bird (by wingspan, 9.5 feet) would ever again soar in the wild [extracted from].

So, in 1950, Cal was viewing one of the last Surviving California Condors in the wild.)

Monday, May 7, 2018

FIELD TRIP: Birding by Ear - El Choro Regional Park


Saturday, June 2nd

This will be the third, and final, Birding by Ear trip this season. 

We are again limiting the number of participants to 17. Participants must contact Jan Surbey, MCAS field trips chair, to request and receive a confirmed reservation for the trip.

Jessica Griffiths will again lead this Birding by Ear trip, which will take place on Saturday, June 2nd, at El Chorro Regional Park. Exact meeting time and location will be given to those with confirmed reservations.

Bring water, snacks, binoculars and field guides (if you have them) and dress in layers to accommodate changing weather. Sturdy shoes are recommended as there will be 1-2 miles of slow walking.  

Appropriate for ages 12 and up and all levels of birding expertise.  Although the field trip itself is being offered FREE of charge, there is a $5 per vehicle fee to enter the park on weekends this time of year.

To reserve the LAST SPOT on this trip and receive exact meeting time and location, please contact

Thursday, May 3, 2018

FIELD TRIP: Cerro Alto Campground

Field trip to Cerro Alto, Saturday May 12th

Join leader Will Knowlton for this morning walk along the road into Cerro Alto Campground. Expected birds would be: Western Tanager, Black-headed Grosbeak, Cassin's Vireo, Western Wood-Pewee, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Brown Creeper, Purple Finch, and Olive-sided Flycatcher.

All ages and experience levels are welcome, but the trip is limited to 12 participants. Those interested must reserve a spot by emailing Jan Surbey, MCAS field trip chair ( Jan will send start time and directions to those with reservations.

There is a $10 day-use fee. Due to an agreement with the concessionaire, neither National Forest Adventure passes nor National Park public lands passes are accepted in lieu of paying the day-use fees

Wednesday, April 25, 2018


MBNEP Volunteer, Marc Couacaud, helps harvest eelgrass near Coleman Beach for transplanting in February 2018. Photo Credit: Vince Cicero

MBNEP staff and volunteers transplant
eelgrass in Morro Bay in February 2018. 
Photo Credit: Carolyn Geraghty
 MCAS Community Program: 

Building Partnerships to Inform Eelgrass Recovery in Morro Bay

Presented by Carolyn Geraghty, Restoration Projects Manager, Morro Bay National Estuary Program

When:  Monday, May 21st7:00 pm
Where:SLO Botanical Garden, Oak Glen Pavilion, El Chorro Regional Park

Carolyn Geraghty of the Morro Bay National Estuary Program will discuss how the Estuary Program and partners have used an adaptive management approach to monitoring, restoration, and applied science to better understand eelgrass recovery in the estuary. The Morro Bay estuary was once abundant with eelgrass (Zostera marina) but has experienced a dramatic decline. Carolyn will present results from experimental plantings and seeding efforts, which have refined their understanding of the most suitable methods, locations, and season for planting. Presentation results will also draw from Cal Poly research and observations by John Roser on water quality and biological impacts (e.g., brant geese) to eelgrass.

California Conservation Corps member, 
Tim Scully, helps the MBNEP 
transplant eelgrass in March 2018. 
Photo Credit: Carolyn Geraghty
All MCAS programs are free, open to the public, and all ages are welcome. Refreshments and snacks will be provided.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2018


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