2202 S. Coast Highway Oceanside, CA 92054

Birding

California Gnatcatcher: Hero of the Coastal Sage Scrub Habitat

Heading down the trail from the San Elijo Lagoon parking lot, he played a wheezy, kitten-mewing type of call on his phone.  “That’s what we’re listening for.”  This good friend and avid birder from Colorado was on a mission—to find a California Gnatcatcher.  Searing that call into our brains, we followed our ears to find…

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Songs in the Air

I’m walking with the dog shortly before sunrise one spring morning, heading down the riparian path.  It’s a peaceful time for us humans and canines.  But once I shift my awareness, I can hear the air crackling with communications.  “Chup-ZEEEEE (Spotted Towhee). TEEKTEEKTEEK eek-eek-eek-eek-eek-eek  (California Towhee). WITCHity-WITCHity-WITCHity  (Common Yellowthroat)  oo-AH-ooooo-oo-oo  (Mourning Dove). Sis-SEE sit-SEEW sis-SEE…

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Nest Boxes & Cavity Nesting Birds

Birdhouses come in all shapes, sizes, and styles.  They can be eye-catching pieces of art that delight humans.  Or they can be very plain boxes that focus solely on what a bird might want, with little concern for what a human might think.  And they can fall anywhere between those two extremes.  But a very…

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BVAS Costa Rica Bird Trip January 2017

This January, 14 people joined the first BVAS Costa Rica Bird Tour. Armed with note pads, Bird lists, binoculars, scope, sun screen and a great guide, we spent 10 days visiting critical birding “hot spots” in Costa Rica.  Overall, we managed to spot over 280 bird species, including resident, migratory and endemic species. That’s almost…

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Who’s Awake? The story of the Great Horned Owl

Who’s awake?  Me too!  Who’s awake?  Me too! This series of five rhythmic, muffled, slightly eerie hoots—all on one pitch—wafts through the darkness this time of year.  The sentinel taking attendance is the Great Horned Owl.  Measuring nearly two feet from head to tail, the Great Horned is the largest and most widespread owl in…

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2016 Christmas Bird Count Results

The 117th Oceanside-Vista-Carlsbad Christmas Bird Count Results The 117th Oceanside Christmas Bird Count (CBC) was held on December 30th, 2016.  We had a very successful Christmas Bird Count, despite the cool, rainy weather. There were approximately 183 species seen, and more than 30,970 birds counted. We estimate there were more than 120 participants in 39…

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Bringing Back the Ridgway’s Rail-and its Habitat

Call someone “thin as a rail” and what are you really saying? Thin as a bed rail?  As a train rail?  A chair rail? None of the above, actually.  The phrase refers to a family of birds called “rails” that tend to frequent marshes. One rail local to San Diego County has gained modest renown…

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