SWEET SPRINGS Breeding Bird Survey

(Photo by Kaaren Perry)

Seventh annual Sweet Springs Breeding Bird Survey has been completed and the annual report is now available. Take a look at what happened this year. LOTS of photos of breeding birds and closeups of nests (no locations identified).




Virtual COMMUMITY PROGRAM: Tracking Long-billed Curlews, AUG 17th, 7pm

[Zoom info at bottom]

The Long-billed Curlew:
Tracking a Species of Greatest Conservation Need
Presenter: Heather Hayes

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Curlew biology
  • population declines in Idaho
  • satellite transmitter research
  • the migration journey
  • outreach efforts

Long-billed Curlew populations of southwestern Idaho are declining at an alarming rate placing them on Idaho’s “Species of Greatest Conservation Need” list. With the use of satellite transmitter technology, the Intermountain Bird Observatory (IBO) is gaining valuable data as to why.

Come listen to first-hand field accounts from Heather Hayes, a research biologist and the Community Science Coordinator for the IBO and learn about the biology of these charismatic birds including information about their habitats, nesting requirements and migratory journey. We will also discuss how satellite technology is not only uncovering some of their mysteries but is also connecting communities across state lines and international borders.

Heather Hayes is a research biologist and the Community Science Coordinator for the Intermountain Bird Observatory (IBO) in Boise, Idaho. She works on many research projects that include the Long-billed Curlew Satellite Tracking program, the 8-state WAfLS community science program (Western Asio flammeus Landscape Study) for Short-eared Owls, and the IBO’s Hummingbird Monitoring Program.

Heather is also extremely passionate about her role as Community Outreach Coordinator, developing K-12 STEM curriculum and conducting “Curlews in the Classroom” programming. She loves the ability to integrate her fieldwork with education, bringing a unique perspective into not only the classroom but into Hunter’s Education classes as well. Her outreach efforts also extend to IBO’s banding research stations, where she serves as the visitor coordinator for the public.


ZOOM INFO:

Topic: MCAS August Community Program

Time: Aug 17, 2020 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88550168592?pwd=UThmRm9zdDNlOWc5c1lpZWJ6SDh0UT09

Meeting ID: 885 5016 8592

Password: 502604



VIDEO: JUNE 15th Community Program - Wolf Ecology and Reintro to Yellowstone NP


Wolf Ecology and Reintroduction to Yellowstone National Park
Presented by Dave Clendenen

[link at bottom]

After intro by MCAS president, Judy Neuhauser, Dave gives a presentation about wolf ecology and their reintroduction to Yellowstone National Park and the northern Rocky Mountains. The presentation also focuses on the wolf’s polarizing nature, and conflicts with human society arising from this species’ presence in the wild. It will also examine the critically important role that wolves play in maintaining the health and balance of the ecosystems in which they exist.

Dave Clendenen is a biologist and naturalist, living with his wife Sherryl in San Luis Obispo. He graduated from Cal Poly in 1981, earning a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources Management, with a concentration in wildlife biology. He worked for 15 years on the California Condor Recovery Project, and was the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s lead biologist for condor recovery in southern California when he departed the project in 1997. During those years he also participated in the reintroduction of bald eagles on Catalina Island, and worked on a bald eagle study in central Arizona. He was also a hack site attendant, releasing a group of peregrine falcons near Mono Lake in 1984. In 1997, he took a position with The Wildlands Conservancy as preserve manager of Wind Wolves Preserve in Kern County. In 2014 he came full circle, returning to Cal Poly, where he is a technician in the Biology Department. Dave is also currently the Land Manager for Morro Coast Audubon Society (MCAS), managing stewardship of Sweet Springs Nature Preserve and other MCAS properties. Since 2003, Dave and Sherryl have volunteered with Rick McIntyre and the National Park Service for two to three weeks each summer, assisting with observation of reintroduced wolves in Yellowstone.

EUREKA! THE BIRDS OF SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY -- May 2020


MAY 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: The Wonderful Life of a Dying Tree, May Community Program


The Wonderful Life of a Dying Tree
Presented on Monday, May 18th, by Gillian Martin

Now available on the MCAS YouTube Channel.

From article by Gillian Martin publishers in Pacific Flyway newsletter (pg 3).

Our eyes dismiss a dying tree. Our fears tell us to cut it down and haul it away quickly. How often do we ask, “Does the tree need to be removed completely?”

A dying tree has a commendable destiny. Whether it still stands, is reduced to a hollowed stump, or becomes downed wood, most of its life occurs in a complex, intriguing, unseen world. Imagine a time-share that is used by different species, for different purposes, in every stage of its demise. Few natural resources are as overlooked and unappreciated.

One of the most critical relationships between dead trees and wildlife involves the woodpecker. This family of birds needs rotting wood in standing trees in which to excavate nest and roost sites. As if to ‘give back’ to its neighborhood, the woodpecker leaves its abandoned cavities to dozens of secondary cavity-nesting species. Could the bluebird, nuthatch or chickadee conceive of a better neighbor? But that’s not all, the woodpecker’s foraging methods sometimes expose insect nests for other insectivores. Secondarily, by working in decaying wood and brushing against fungal fruiting bodies the woodpecker becomes a vector of fungal spores and mycelial fragments. Does the term ‘forest succession’ come to mind? Yes, nature intended a tree to die in place and ultimately return its nutrients to the soil to support the next generation of trees and other vegetation.

EUREKA! THE BIRDS OF SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY -- April 2020


APRIL 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!.




COMMUNITY PROGRAM via Zoom - 6/15 - The Wolves of Yellowstone


Wolf Ecology and Reintroduction to Yellowstone National Park
Presented by Dave Clendenen

[Zoom info at bottom.]

Dave will talk about wolf ecology and their reintroduction to Yellowstone National Park and the northern Rocky Mountains. The presentation will also focus on the wolf’s polarizing nature, and conflicts with human society arising from this species’ presence in the wild. It will also examine the critically important role that wolves play in maintaining the health and balance of the ecosystems in which they exist.

Dave Clendenen is a biologist and naturalist, living with his wife Sherryl in San Luis Obispo. He graduated from Cal Poly in 1981, earning a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources Management, with a concentration in wildlife biology. He worked for 15 years on the California Condor Recovery Project, and was the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s lead biologist for condor recovery in southern California when he departed the project in 1997. During those years he also participated in the reintroduction of bald eagles on Catalina Island, and worked on a bald eagle study in central Arizona.  He was also a hack site attendant, releasing a group of peregrine falcons near Mono Lake in 1984. In 1997, he took a position with The Wildlands Conservancy as preserve manager of Wind Wolves Preserve in Kern County. In 2014 he came full circle, returning to Cal Poly, where he is a technician in the Biology Department. Dave is also currently the Land Manager for Morro Coast Audubon Society (MCAS), managing stewardship of Sweet Springs Nature Preserve and other MCAS properties. Since 2003, Dave and Sherryl have volunteered with Rick McIntyre and the National Park Service for two to three weeks each summer, assisting with observation of reintroduced wolves in Yellowstone.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89124393556?pwd=QVhOMmRRSGJURGtOeFpmOVdDRW1uQT09
Meeting ID: 891 2439 3556
Password: 224505

Dial by your location
+1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)


Sweet Springs Circle of Friends Plaques Installed

Thank you to our Sweet Springs Circle of Friends contributors (those who donate $500+)! Although the annual Circle of Friends celebration is being postponed until it is deemed safe to again gather together, we went ahead and installed the fiscal year 2019 plaques at the entrance to Central Sweet Springs on May 16th. Besides individual donations, 3 special plaques were added to honor our Sweet Springs Ambassadors, and Work Party and Breeding Bird Survey Volunteers.

MCAS thanks each and every one of you for your generous donations! The MCAS fiscal year 2020 began May 1st, the date we usually send out our annual fund drive appeal letters. This year, however, since many are struggling economically, we are postponing sending the letters until late summer. Should you have the means to replenish our coffers at this time, we welcome any and all donations. Options are checks to MCAS, PO Box 1507, Morro Bay, CA 93443, or donate on-line.

Both Sweet Springs and the Audubon 4th Street Audubon Overlook remain open to the public for passive recreations and fresh air (and birding, or course). We do recommend not sharing binoculars and abiding by the social distancing guidelines