Sandhill Crane Festival

September 14, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

For many years Sandhill Cranes have migrated to the delta wetlands where Lodi is now located. Every year thousands of birders visit Lodi’s wildlife refuges and farms to view this natural wonder, and the annual Sandhill Crane Festival is a wonderful time to do this. The festival schedule is made up of tours, workshops and the Sandhill Crane Festival Art show. Featured speakers for the event will be Dr. Richard Beilfuss (International Crane Foundation) and Hank Lentfer (author of “Faith of Cranes: Finding Hope and Family in Alaska”). This festival is a wonderful celebration of these elegant birds and a great opportunity to expand your birding horizons.

Date: 4 to 6 November 2011
Venue: Hutchins Street Square
City: Lodi
State: California
Country: United States of America

15th Annual Central Valley Birding Symposium

September 14, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

The 15th Annual Central Valley Birding Symposium will feature a full program of talks, discussions, field trips and workshops. Among the speakers will be Ed Harper, John Stirling, Jeffery A. Gordon, Jim Burcio, Scott B. Terrill and others. Worshops will look at bird sketching, swallow identification and warbler identification. There will also be a Birding Nature Fair and Art Show at Stockton Hilton Hotel, where there will be books, software, optics, art and collectibles available. Find out about registration costs and further details on the Central Valley Bird Symposium website.

Date: 17 to 20 November 2011
Time: Registration starts at 15h00
Venue: Stockton Hilton Hotel
State: California
Country: United States of America

Saving the California Condor

May 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Features

Back in 1987, the California condor was considered to be extinct in the wild, with only twenty-seven birds remaining in captivity. Now, thanks to conservation and breeding projects, America’s largest flying bird is making a comeback, and today there are a recorded number of 394 California condors in the US, with 181 of those being out in the wild.

Michael Mace of San Diego Zoo and Safari Park has noted that, all being well, a count of 400 should be reached by the end of the breeding season, a number that has not been recorded since the 1930s. It is also hoped that the wild population of California condor will reach 200 by the end of the year – with some human intervention to counteract a man-made problem. Condor’s feed on marine animal carcasses, but due to the run-off of DDT into the oceans, where it breaks down into a chemical known as DDE (Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene) and is absorbed by marine life, the birds land up eating the harmful chemical, resulting in weakened egg shells. To overcome this, conservationists replace the thin-shelled eggs with eggs that have been laid by captive birds, and these eggs are hatched naturally by the wild birds. The weakened eggs are then placed in incubators to hatch under the watchful eye of researchers. Although DDT has been banned in the US, it is still used in neighboring countries, entering rivers that run off into the ocean, creating a problem beyond the control of US authorities.

The natural habitat of the California condor is wooded mountains and scrublands. The birds have been reintroduced into the wilderness areas of California and Arizona. As scavengers that feed on dead carcasses, these huge birds are not fussy about what they eat and will tuck into rodents, rabbits, deer, cattle, sheep or fish. However, when the birds feed on animals that have been killed with buckshot, it results in lead poisoning.

Despite the obstacles, conservationists are confident that their efforts are worthwhile. There are currently four breeding centers involved in the hatching of California condor eggs – the San Diego Zoo, the Safari Park, the World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, and the Oregon Zoo in Portland – with a satisfying degree of success.

Kern River Valley Hummingbird Celebration

March 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

The 13th Annual Kern River Valley Hummingbird Celebration is a delightful day for bird enthusiasts. The day will involve learning about hummingbird feeder maintenance, a bird walk and nature walk, hummingbird identification workshop, how to garden for hummingbirds and much more. The Hummingbird Celebration is hosted at the ideal time of year for those taking part to see about six species of hummingbird, including Black-chinned, Anna’s, Costa’s, Rufous, Allen’s and Calliope. Don’t forget to pack a picnic lunch!

Date: 6 August 2011
Time: 8am to 2pm
Location: 18747 Highway 178
City: Weldon
State: California
Country: United States of America

2011 Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua

March 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

The 10th Annual Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua will be an amazing combinations of birds, field trips science, art and music. The mission of this event is to increase understanding and appreication for the bird life of Mono Basin, educating the public with regards the the importance of the area for people and birds. A large number of presenters and leaders have already been confirmed for the event, as well as special guests Dayan Kai and Keith Greeninger.

Date: 17 to 19 June 2011
Location: Lee Vining
State: California
Country: United States of America

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