2202 S. Coast Highway Oceanside, CA 92054

Birding

119 Years… and Counting

  December 23, 2017.  I jolt awake at 3 a.m.  Was that a Great Horned Owl calling?  I strain to listen without getting out of bed, without opening a window.  I can’t be sure.  Better not count it.  In vain, I try to go back to sleep.  At 4:30, I finally get up even though…

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A Bird For All Seasons – The Western Meadowlark

While scouting the Great Falls Portage along the Missouri River in 1805, Merriweather Lewis heard an unexpected vocal fanfare from an otherwise familiar bird from the East—a bird then called the “oldfield lark” and now known as the Eastern Meadowlark.  Studying it closely, though, Lewis noted a differently shaped tail; a longer, more curved beak;…

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The Song Sparrow – San Diego’s Reliable Crooner

Outdoors on late summer mornings, I strain to catch any hint of bird song.  For those who relish the avian breeding season symphony, the end of summer represents a bit of an auditory desert.  As breeding season wraps up, with no need to attract mates or defend territories, the birds quit singing. Some even head…

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A Win for the Home Team!

In the birding world, the look-alike Empidonax flycatchers—affectionately or dejectedly referred to as “empids”—create two non-overlapping groups: those who eagerly rise to the ID challenge (not me) and those who despairingly mutter “empid” and move on (me).  But one empid occupies a rarefied spot in San Diego County:  the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher.   The Willow…

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A Little Respect

San Diego County’s majestic natives aren’t feeling the love. Golden eagles require large territories and more than a little privacy to thrive. When not nesting on a preferred cliff, they are usually resting high on treetops or hunting in chaparral, grassland, and safe scrub communities — land increasingly taken over by development. Unfortunately, this native…

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Hooded Orioles – Coming Home to Roost

Commotion at a hummingbird feeder drew my eye.  A Bullock’s Oriole—all 9” of him—was trying to maneuver around the various ports to get a drink.  No luck.  The fellow reminded me of a 6th grader trying to ride a tricycle—nothing fit and nothing worked.  Later that day, a Hooded Oriole (a bit smaller at 8”)…

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PAS FOURTH ANNUAL BIRD CLASS

Palomar Audubon Society is again offering bird classes on consecutive Tuesday evenings beginning Tuesday April 24th. The first three classes will be for beginners and the last three (starting Tuesday May 15th) will be for intermediate birders. The classes will be integrated for beginners taking both classes. There will be three Saturday field trips, May…

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Hawk Watch: Spring Brings More Than Flowers to Anza-Borrego

My first (and, so far, only) hawkwatch—a play in one act   [curtain rises: a ridge in Morrison, Colorado]   Hawk Enumerator 1:  I’ve got a bird—over the microwave tower, moving north. Me:  *searches for the microwave tower, wonders which way is north* HE2:  Got ‘im!  Looks like an American Kestrel, male. Me:  *might have…

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Overdue Credit to a Frequent Flyer

North American folklore has touted the American Robin as the harbinger of spring.  Me—not so much.  For me, that honor goes to the Mourning Dove and its soft song drifting through the air beginning early in the new year. A Mourning Dove is a medium-sized, streamlined bird with an almost ridiculously small head; a long,…

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Oceanside Christmas Bird Count 2017

Summary  – Oceanside (CAOV) Christmas Bird Count – 2017 by Kirsten Winter The 72nd Oceanside Christmas Bird Count was held on December 23, 2017.  A very dedicated and talented group of 115 birders logged 191 hours, and recorded approximately 35,000 individual birds – detecting birds at a rate of 183 birds per hour.    A very…

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