The Nature Center remains closed for remodeling. The trails are open to the public, but there will be no access to restrooms inside the nature center. The project should be complete by Nov. 1
The actual date for the reopening will be subject to the usual end-of-project
finishing details. At this time, BVAS is expecting
to regain access to the Nature Center in early November,
although it will still be several weeks before it will
be ready for the public. Interior painting, new carpeting,
and signage will need to be completed. Many of the
familiar exhibits are being moved into new locations,
and several new display areas will need to be filled. The
relocated library and gift shop will require restocking,
and files and supplies will need to be brought back out
of storage. Then, of course, there will be the need to test
out the various features of the new venues to insure that
everything works as planned.
Join the BVAS Ridgeway's Rail Society!
Buena Vista Audubon
$1 Million to
Key Properties !!
CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS and a donation form to use for contributions to the Ridgeway's Rail Society Fund
(Formerly Clapper Rail Society)
Your donation will be matched 2-to-1 and will help buy and preserve two precious parcels in North County. ________________________
2014 Oceanside Christmas Bird Count
We know we’re pretty lucky to be living in San Diego. One
measure of our good fortune is the high number of species
we’re able to tally on our annual Christmas Bird Counts.
The BVAS-sponsored Oceanside Christmas Bird Count generally
ranks as one of the top 12 CBCs in the country in
number of species. This year’s count is scheduled for Sat.,
Dec. 27. If you didn’t participate in last
year’s count but would like information
on getting involved, please send an e-mail
to the coordinator, Andy Mauro, at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Join us. You’ll likely
end up with bragging rights over all
your birder friends up north and back east.
Joey’s and Johnny’s Clubhouse
BVAS Nature Center
December 21—1-4 p.m.
Joey and Johnny DiMento have been entertaining their
young friends at the Nature Center on the third Sunday of
each month. Seven-year-old Joey and her younger brother
Johnny (age 4) have always enjoyed hanging out at the
Nature Center, investigating the exhibits, reading the children’s
books, doing nature-oriented crafts, and exploring
the trail. Their parents, Danny and C.J., are long-time
members and highly involved volunteers at BVAS.
The monthly gathering of kids began when the DiMento
family signed up to host the Nature Center from 1-4 p.m.
on the third Sunday of each month. Joey quickly took on
the role of “kid’s greeter,” welcoming each youngster who
entered the Nature Center with special walks around the
exhibits and suggestions of fun activities. She then began
inviting her friends from school to drop by to join her and
Johnny for fun and games at the Nature Center. It’s now
become a much-anticipated nature play day for a growing
number of young children, as well as their accompanying
parents. As attendance has
grown, so has the fun and
excitement. The adults provide
a few ideas and help
oversee things in general,
but the kids themselves invent
many of the games and
choose their activities.
Visitors to the Nature Center
can always tell when
Joey’s and Johnny’s Clubhouse
has had another
“meeting”. For several days following each session, the
sidewalk at the entrance to the Nature Center is adorned
with colorful chalk art featuring birds, flowers, and other
designs, usually accompanied with the hand-written sentiment
“We Love the Nature Center!”.
Do you have a bored youngster looking for a little fun this
summer? Drop by the Nature Center from 1-4 p.m. on the
third Sunday of each month and join the kids (and parents)
at Joey’s and Johnny’s Clubhouse.
Just before the summer break, the BVAS Board received word that Joni Ciarletta had generously included BVAS in her estate plan. Joni established a future bequest in her will to help ensure the chapter would have the funds needed in the years ahead to continue to maintain the Nature Center and support its nature education programs. Joni is an active birder and naturalist and a regular contributor to BVAS. She has previously volunteered her expertise to help BVAS prepare grant requests for various projects.
The Board gives Joni its heartfelt thanks for joining the BVAS Legacy Circle, and for helping us call attention to this special program. The Legacy Circle is comprised of friends and members who have provided for BVAS in their estate plans, whether by provisions included in their wills or trusts, or by several other means now available. Joni follows the grand tradition set by a number of our early “charter” members who chose to remember BVAS in their estate plans.
How important is this to BVAS? As a result of bequests that BVAS has received over the last ten years, the Nature Center Endowment Fund has now grown to approximately $500,000. A portion of the annual investment earnings from this fund now help augment the chapter’s annual operating budget, allowing BVAS to maintain and upgrade its facilities and offer a wider variety of exciting new programs.
BVAS has prepared a guide to planned giving that provides basic information regarding establishing an estate gift to BVAS. The guide can be read and downloaded by following this link.
Dancing With Owls
Shanti Mayberry has an interesting story to tell. It’s about a special encounter she had over several months with a great horned owl that still lives in Crest Canyon, adjacent to her home in Del Mar. This is a story about an interspecies relationship that was born in innocent communion but quickly grew in intensity and passion. Something finally had to give, and the natural order of things has now been restored. But, the poignant and somewhat bittersweet memories persist . Read Shanti's story HERE.
Donate that Old Clunker to BVAS
BVAS is now participating in the Cars 4 Causes donation program. Tax-deductible donations of any car, running or not, can be made through the Cars 4 Causes organization, for the benefit of BVAS. Avoid the hassle of trading in or selling that old car and help support the Nature Center. Just call 1-800-766-2273 and say you’d like to donate your vehicle to benefit BVAS. Cars 4 Causes will pick up your vehicle at your home, fill out the necessary paperwork, and provide the receipt for your tax deduction. Or click the below link to sign-up online.
NestWatch is a nest-monitoring project developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center aimed to provide a unified nest-monitoring scheme to track reproductive success for all North American breeding birds. NestWatch invites people who are interested in the natural world to help monitor the success of nesting birds and better understand the threats they face. These data will provide a wealth of information about breeding birds and the factors that influence their success across different landscapes. For more info, go to www.nestwatch.org.
New BVAS Birding Guide Now Available
Birding Hotspots of
In response to repeated requests, BVAS has produced a full-color brochure highlighting some of the best birding spots in North County. The brochure profiles 14 different coastal and inland birding sites that promise a varied bird list in a range of habitats. A detailed site map and directions are included, along with notes about visitor services at each site. Award-winning photographer Chris Mayne contributed the dramatic bird photos that illustrate the brochure.
The brochure was partially funded by a San Diego County grant. A committee headed by Judi Wilson oversaw the project, with graphic design services provided by Daniel Sanchez. The brochure is being distributed free of charge at the BVAS Nature Center and at several other North County sites. Stop by to pick up your copy today, and go birding!
Looking for Birding Optics?
For unbiased advice, reviews and ratings of binoculars & spottingscopes, check out this new website:
Support our Ruddy Duck Club members Click on the above picture for a list of all current members
Ruddy Duck Club
This special group of local businesses
and organizations support the
nature education and recreation programs offered at the
Buena Vista Audubon Nature Center with an annual donation
of $100 or more. To request your “no obligation”
Ruddy Duck Club packet of membership information and
benefits, please call Kelly Deveney at 760-721-2441.
The environmental scoping process for the Buena Vista Lagoon Enhancement Project is complete. Read about it HERE. A fact sheet for the project can be found HERE.
Check out the Conservation Page for more BVAS conservation news, including the possible BVAS purchase of land for conservation.
Buena Vista Lagoon Featured
In YouTube Video
A great video by Michael Sosebee featuring the Buena Vista lagoon is available on YouTube, narrated by our own Tom Troy and Joan Bockman. See it here:
Earlier this year, just about the time the
BVAS Board was launching its fundraising
campaign to purchase two wetlands
parcels in Oceanside, ornithologists
were putting the finishing touches
on a name change for one of Buena
Vista Lagoon’s signature bird species.
In June, BVAS announced a new group, the Clapper Rail
Society, designed to recognize donors to the new BVAS
land acquisition fund. A pair of endangered clapper rails
were known to breed in the cattails along the edge of the
lagoon parcel being sought. Several years ago, “Clara the
Clapper Rail” was the emblem of the community’s campaign
to prevent a hotel and restaurant from being developed
on that site. The Clapper Rail Society seemed like
the perfect name for the new group.
But it turns out that the American Ornithologists’ Union
had been puzzling for a number of years over the classification
of clapper rails. New genetic analysis confirmed
that western clapper rails didn’t quite match up with either
the clapper rails or the king rails found in the eastern U.S.
In fact, it was concluded that the rails in California were a
totally unique species, all on their own. In July, it all became
official. What formerly had been known as clapper
rails in California are now identified as a new bird species
called Ridgway’s rails, named for Dr. Robert Ridgway, an
ornithologist who focused on proper species identification
and classification at the turn of the century. Just to be precise,
it should be noted that Ridgway’s rails are further
divided into three subspecies in California, and our “Clara”
is most properly called a light-footed Ridgway’s rail.
So what do you think? Should we now recognize donors
to the land acquisition fund with lifetime charter membership
in the “BVAS Light-footed Ridgway’s Rail Society”?
We’re sure you have an opinion on the issue. Just send in
your donation along with your preference, and we’ll be
sure to tailor-make your certificate accordingly.
A New San Diego Birding Listserv
A new bird-sighting listserv operated by the San Diego
Field Ornithologists has taken over the role formerly held
by SDBirds. For a number of years, SDBirds served as the
popular go-to site for posting and obtaining information
about interesting bird sightings in San Diego County, and
was widely recognized for providing an extremely valuable
service to San Diego birders. In November, however,
SDBirds was officially disbanded, and it no longer operates
as a listserv.
The circumstances surrounding the demise of SDBirds underlined
the concerns of some in the birding community
who had long felt a San Diego birding listserv would be
more properly administered by an association of birders,
rather than by an individual person. Operation of the new
listserv will be fully accountable, with the rules of operation
and their implementation subject to the democratic
review and approval of the group’s broad and diverse
membership. SDFO, as an established organization, will
be able to provide for the on-going and uninterrupted succession
of management and operation of the new listserv.
The new San Diego birding listserv is called
Its aim is to provide the most timely and
accurate birding information possible to subscribers. The
new listserv welcomes current reports of rare and otherwise
unusual birds from the field, links to photographs of
unusual birds seen locally, migration news, information on
population trends, historical records, local pelagic trip reports
and schedules, and other information of interest to
field birders dealing with the status and distribution of San
Diego County birds. The management of the new listserv
will be by the annually elected officers and Board of the
SDFO, with daily oversight provided by a group made up
by some of the Board members and/or their assignees.
An additional benefit of SDFO ownership will be the presence
of SanDiegoRegionBirding reports on regional and
continent-wide compilation listservs. This will ensure the
sharing of birding information from San Diego County
with those living elsewhere in California and across the
BVAS supports this new community-based birding
listserv, and encourages its members to participate.
BVAS conducts regular monthly bird surveys of Buena Vista Lagoon and Whelan Lake Bird Sanctuary. We also offer one or more other bird walks at various locations within the county each month. We welcome birders of all levels to join us on these excursions. See Field Trips for details.
Becoming a Nature Guide
Have you considered becoming a BVAS Nature Guide?
We lead school classes and other groups on nature walks
and tours of the Nature Center. Our nature programs are
prepared to make it easy for us to learn and to teach, but
give us plenty of opportunity to share our own stories and
nature knowledge as we talk to our young visitors. We
need more guides for this fall. For more information,
please email Fran MacNeel at email@example.com
More info on this and other volunteer opportunities can be found HERE.
SD County Checklist
More than 500 bird species have been identified in San Diego County. Get busy, birders! Here's a checklist to start recording your sightings.
Alger Hiss and the
A first-person connection between the infamous Alger Hiss, our very own Dennis Huckabay, and birding in New York’s Central Park is explored in a story by Dennis.
Buena Vista Audubon
PO Box 480
Oceanside, CA 92049-0480
Carlsbad Lagoons and Wetlands
The three Carlsbad lagoon foundations - Buena Vista, Agua Hedionda and Batiquitos - together with Buena Vista Audubon have started coordinating their activities and working more closely together with the City of Carlsbad under a new umbrella group, Carlsbad Lagoons and Wetlands (CLAW).Click on logos below to check out activities and common interests of all of our lagoon foundations.