VIRTUAL Community Program - APR 19th - No Birdbrains Here!

April Annual Membership Meeting and Presentation

April 19, 2021

The April community program will begin with the required MCAS annual membership meeting, followed by the presentation No Birdbrains Here: The Latest on Bird Learning, Instinct, and Intelligence.


This year members will be voting 1) on the proaposed slate of Board candidates to begin their terms on May 1st, and 2) on the proposed revisions to the MCAS By-laws. 

1) The Board positions voted on in “odd” years and the slate of nominees is as follows:

  •       President:   Judy Neuhauser 
  •       Vice President:   Dave Tyra 
  •       Treasurer:   Bart Beckman 
  •       Membership:   Rosalie Valvo 
  •       Education & Outreach:   Kaaren Perry 
  •       Communications:   Joanne Aase
  •       Fund Development:   Nancy Foley 
  •       Hi Mountain:   Steve Schubert 

2) The proposed by-law revisions now follow the “California Attorney General’s Guidelines for Charities,” necessitating some additions and modifications to the existing MCAS by-laws. Other revisions include changing the title “Past President” to “Vice President” (and that new position need not be filled by a past president), eliminating the position of “President Elect,” and eliminating, with Board approval, term limits of Board members (previously a 2-year limit). The standing chair committee duties were removed from the by-laws and placed in a separate “stand alone” document, making them easier to amend if necessary.

The full revisions and the standing committee duties can be found on the MCAS website: (or select OUR CHAPTER-->About MCAS from website menu).


No Birdbrains Here: The Latest on Bird Learning, Instinct, and Intelligence

Presenter:     Dr. Susan Schneider

When:             Monday, April 19, 2021, 7:00 pm (after the annual membership meeting)

(Zoom info at bottom.)

Birds can learn from consequences, as we and many other species can:  Baby chicks learn to peck accurately, wild mockingbirds learn to recognize individual people, and pigeons learned to categorize art and music.  Even instinctive behaviors like imprinting can be more flexible than scientists used to think, and songbird song appears particularly malleable.  This talk will explore bird learning and intelligence, from everyday foraging, to learning through observing, to tool use.  Such adaptability may be critical as wild birds attempt to adjust to the many threats they face.  Scientists also take advantage of this powerful learning ability to help save endangered species.

A behavioral and biopsychologist, Dr. Schneider is an expert on learning principles and nature-nurture relations. She’s also an avid birder, field trip leader, and environmental activist. A Past President of San Joaquin Audubon (CA), she is currently focused on applying learning principles to the climate crisis.  Her award-winning book for the public, The Science of Consequences: How They Affect Genes, Change the Brain, and Impact our World, was a selection of the Scientific American Book Club.  Schneider is a Visiting Scholar at University of the Pacific (Stockton) and a consultant for the Bay-area sustainability nonprofit Root Solutions.


For more program info, email or leave voice msg at 805-772-1991.


Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 850 1320 5771
Passcode: MorroCoast





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APRIL 2021

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.

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VIDEO from March 15th Community Program is now available


Photo by Dave Lawrence [featured in this Community Program]

VIDEO from Monday's Community Program, Birds of SLO County-2020-Part 1, is now available for viewing at

Beautiful photographs of hundreds of species!! Presented by Dave Keeling with piano accompaniment by Oliver Glynn.

MCAS YouTube channel, with all our zoom Community Program recordings is at

Seabird Survey Volunteers Needed!

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

Black Oystercatcher Monitoring and MCAS Involvement


Perhaps you didn’t know that Morro Coast Audubon invests in research and monitoring of birds in our area. In addition to the Breeding Bird Survey at Sweet Springs, the Shorebird Survey, and Brown Pelican Survey, MCAS has funded the collection and collation of data and the final write-up of monitoring the breeding success of the Black Oystercatcher in San Luis Obispo County.

The Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus bachmani) is a large, long-lived shorebird that inhabits rocky intertidal zones along the West coast of North America. Black Oystercatchers forage primarily on intertidal macroinvertebrates such as mussels and limpets. Pairs in California nest primarily on rocky outcrops, but may also select mainland sites against or near the faces of bluffs and cliffs. They are considered an indicator species, reflecting the health of rocky intertidal ecosystems that comprise portions of the continent’s Western coast.

Starting in 2012, Audubon California orchestrated a collaborative effort to assess the reproductive success of Black Oystercatchers by coordinating with local Audubon chapters, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM)-California Coastal National Monument, California State Parks, and other interested groups to conduct nest monitoring surveys from May through September. An initial 5-year program blossomed to a 10-year data collection effort.

Monitoring efforts for the 2020 and 2021 breeding seasons in San Luis Obispo County have been and will be conducted by community scientists and State Park employees. Efforts were coordinated by Jodi Isaacs, an Environmental Scientist for California State Parks. For the last two years of monitoring, Morro Coast Audubon Society provided funds for a Seasonal State Park Employee to augment volunteer monitoring efforts, collate all the data, and write up the annual report.

Data collected include the nest stage, behavior of the adults, number and stage of eggs, number and age of chicks, the presence of predators, and disturbances to nesting oystercatchers. After a nest location was established, nests were monitored at least once a week for a minimum of 30 minutes. If a nest failed early in the season, a monitor would continue to survey the site in subsequent weeks to confirm nest failure and check for re-nesting attempts. In instances where a nest was not discovered until after hatching, the chicks were monitored weekly until they either fledged or failed to fledge. Fledging of chicks is confirmed by observing flying or if the chicks reached 36 days after their hatch date.

2020 Annual Report

Virtual COMMUNITY PROGRAM - MAR 15th - Birds of SLO, 2020, Part I

Dave Lawrence - BRPE

MCAS March Zoom Community Program

Title: Birds of SLO, 2020, Part 1

Awe Inspiring Bird Photography taken throughout San Luis Obispo County in 2020 from Jan-May

Program Coordinated and Presented by David Keeling

With musical accompaniment provided by pianist Oliver Glynn

Monday, March 15th, 7:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting  Meeting ID: 850 1320 5771 Passcode: MorroCoast

2020 was a remarkable year for birding in SLO, with a number of rare vagrants. It could be called the year of the grebe; with a breeding plumage Horned Grebe and a Red-necked Grebe, and the breeding Clark’s and Western Grebes at Santa Margarita Lake.

Tom Slater - WTSP

Birds of SLO – 2020 Part 1, the Zoom Edition, is a two-part slide show featuring outstanding images of over 200 species of birds taken during the first half of last year by seventeen of the finest nature photographers in San Luis Obispo County, with a special section highlighting the grebes. The photos are amazing and their impact is heightened by the live piano accompaniment  provided by Oliver Glynn. If you enjoy birds and birding, you’ll enjoy the evening. It will be great entertainment and motivation to get out and bird more often in our county.

Alice Cahill - SEOW

All MCAS Zoom Community Programs are free and open to the public. As always, all ages are welcome.

For more info, email or leave voicemail msg at 805-772-1991.


MARCH 2021

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.

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