2020 Annual CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT Gears Up!

Our annual Christmas Bird Count will be on Saturday, December 19, 2020, dawn to dusk, rain or shine! Please circle and save the date. Participation is free! Online registration opens on Sunday, November 1, 2020.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions (Audubon, state & local), there are a few new rules that need to be followed in order comply with those restrictions and to protect our fellow counters and family members:
  • No sharing of vehicles with out-of-family/living groups (everyone in their own vehicle);
  • Counters must maintain 6’ physical distance from anyone not in their family/living group;
  • Everyone should have a mask with them for circumstances where 6’ distance cannot be maintained;
  • The 2020 compilation potluck will be VIRTUAL and use the Zoom app (Zoom info to follow).
Our count is part of a continent-wide citizen-science effort sponsored by National Audubon. The published results are used to assess long-term changes in the distribution and populations of wintering birds.

If you've participated in the CBC before... Welcome Back!

If you have not yet participated in a CBC... why not make 2020 your "First Annual CBC."
It's easy to register, free, and we need birders of all experience levels.

Non-members are welcome to participate too, but all counters must be registered.

Before November 1st, you can go out to the CBC web page to familiarize yourself with the information being provided and also to start thinking about what sectors you want to count in.

YOUR REGISTRATION IS REQUESTED BY DECEMBER 5th so that the Area Leaders can properly organize areas for thorough coverage of all sectors. Early registration makes the job go smoothly, and makes it possible for you to scout your sector and become familiar with it. Your Area Leader will contact you via email in early December with your assigned sector number, names of any other participants for your sector, as well as other details regarding count day.

2020 Libbie Agran Scholarship - Accepting Applications

To VIEWPRINT, or DOWNLOAD the Scholarship Application click READ MORE. Then move cursor over the application displayed below and click the "Pop-out" icon in the top-right corner.

From the now newly opened window, you can read the application. OR use the icons in the top-right corner to PRINT or DOWNLOAD the application.

NEW to MCAS website: SLO CO Listers and 400 Club

©Maggie Smith 

Morro Coast Audubon Society is now hosting the SLO CO Listers and 400 Club, Created, and now maintained, by Mike Stiles, this information was previously on Cal Poly's website. They can be found on the MCAS website by clicking on BIRDS in the main menu, then on SLO CO Listers. Or simply go directly to the SLO CO Listers web page.:  


If you are already on that list, please take a look and send Mike Stiles any needed updates. If you would like to be added to the list, send Mike the information as you see it on the web page. Some may have added the recent first record of Emperor Goose (or others) to their list and now need to update the total count.


PACIFIC FLYWAY Newsletter - October 2020

To VIEW, PRINT, or DOWNLOAD the Pacific Flyway newsletter click READ MORE. Then move cursor over the newsletter displayed below and click the "Pop-out" icon in the top-right corner.

Then, in the now newly opened window, you can read the Flyway OR use the icons in the top-right corner to PRINT or DOWNLOAD the Flyway.


AUGUST 2020 

To VIEW,  PRINT, or DOWNLOAD Eureka! click READ MORE. Then move cursor over the Eureka! displayed below and click the "Pop-out" icon in the top-right corner.

From the now newly opened window, you can read Eureka! OR use the icons in the top-right corner to PRINT or DOWNLOAD Eureka!. 

Video: SEP 21st Community Program: Why Birds Flock


Why Birds Flock

Now on MCAS YouTube Channel 

Bonus video: Starling murmuration 2020 [full version of what's in Jessica's presentation]

Presenter: Jessica Griffith

You may have heard the old saying that birds of a feather flock together. But have you ever stopped to wonder why? Join Jessica Griffiths for a fascinating look at bird flocks and flocking behavior. Why do some species of birds form flocks, while others do not? Can different kinds of birds join together in a flock? Why do geese and ducks fly in a “V” formation? Learn the answers to these questions and more in this presentation, which touches on bird biology and behavior, and highlights some remarkable scientific discoveries. 

Jessica Griffiths has been working as a wildlife biologist for nearly 20 years. She currently works as a biologist for Althouse and Meade, Inc. in Paso Robles. Prior to moving to the SLO area, Jessica worked in Big Sur for the Ventana Wildlife Society, overseeing all of their songbird research projects and running the Big Sur Ornithology Lab for several years. She is actively involved with Morro Coast Audubon and leads year-round bird walks for birders of all ages.

MCAS Bird Finding Guides Updated

Interactive GIS maps have been added to the MCAS Bird Finding Guides, with pins that connect 1) to locations in the Bird Finding Guides and 2) to eBird Hotspots. This is combining the best of both worlds: BFG offers local information about SLO County locations and eBird offers a wealth of information about specie sightings in SLO County and beyond. Both offer features that appeal to first-time birders and visitors to SLO County, and to the most avid and experienced birders.

Access the guides (via computer, smart phone, or tablet) from the MCAS website menu: BIRDS-->MCAS Bird Finding Guides.

HISTORY: These guides were initiated in 2007 by Al Schmierer, who first focused on The Carrizo Plain, and then were expanded to the rest of the county with help from Tom Edell, Maggie Smith and Mike Stiles, and with website assistance from Paul Andreano and Joanne Aasen. The guides were added to the current MCAS website in 2013.

In 2020, Cuesta College instructor Feride Schroeder and intern Kasia Crowley, in consultation with Joanne Aasen and Bart Beckman of MCAS, created Interactive GIS Maps linking the local information contained in the guides to corresponding eBird Hotspots. Funding for the Cuesta internship was provided by National Science Foundation ATE Grant #1800779 GIS Technology: Mapping, Data Management and Work-Based Learning Across Industry Sectors. eBird is "...the world's largest biodiversity-related citizen science project... ."

Others who have assisted in this newest edition are: Tom Edell, Jay Carroll, Norman Pillsbury, Kathanne Lynch, Wendy McKeown, and Tom Slater. Map photos were contributed by Tanner Chapman and Bart Beckman.

VIRTUAL Community Program: Birds of SLO County, Part 1 2019, OCT 19th

Program Coordinated and Presented by David Keeling

With music by RD Clark and Jack Collins

Monday, October 19th at 7 pm

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 864 5753 6621
Passcode: 594224

Birds of SLO Part I, 2019 is a slide show featuring outstanding images of hundreds of species of birds taken last year by seventeen of the finest nature photographers in San Luis Obispo county. The photos are amazing and their impact is heightened by the synergistic effect of live guitar accompaniment by RD Clark and Jack Collins.

If you enjoy birds and birding, you’ll enjoy this program. It will be great entertainment and motivation to get out and bird more often in our county. You’d be hard pressed to come up with an example of anything quite like it.