2202 S. Coast Highway Oceanside, CA 92054

Education

Avian Architects Setting Up Shop

They typically nest in large colonies, occasionally numbering in the thousands.  Within these noisy, chattering colonies, they push “neighborliness” to the limit, laying eggs in or even moving their eggs into their neighbors’ nests.  They recognize the voices of their offspring even among thousands of other kids squawking to be fed.  They spy on their…

Read More

Familiar Friend The Lesser Goldfinch

Naming a species a “least” this-or-that or a “lesser” such-and-such smacks a bit of disparagement.  The bird exists only in relationship to a larger/greater/“better” bird.  The Lesser Goldfinch’s comparator is its Spinus congener, the American Goldfinch.  In this context, the Lesser Goldfinch comes up short in several ways.  It measures ½” (10%) shorter and weighs…

Read More

Tripping the Light Fantastic

When I set out to write about a species, I start with “What is interesting about this species?”  With hummingbirds, though, what isn’t interesting about them?  The smallest of all birds, most of the hummingbirds seen in California weigh between 0.1 and 0.3 ounces (~2.5 – 4 grams) or less than 5 original M&Ms.  Probably…

Read More

Attention Scouts!

Here at our beautiful Nature Center in Oceanside we offer programs for all levels of scouts on a variety of subjects.  Furthermore we can assist in acquisition of badges regarding animals, birds, watershed, and environmental concerns. Please contact us at the Buena Vista Audubon Nature Center or Sondra Renwanz (srenwanz@aol.com) for more information.  

Read More

Yes on Y/SOAR (Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources)

Measure Y (SOAR), a proposition on the November City of Oceanside ballot, simply requires that before agricultural, open space, or parkland can be rezoned to other uses such as dense housing or commercial, the people of Oceanside have a right to vote on the change.  We all pay the costs of sprawl development – traffic…

Read More

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;…

Read More

Learning from the Past, Fighting for the Future

In the early 1800s, the Passenger Pigeon held the distinction of the most abundant land bird in North America—perhaps in the world—with an estimated population of 3-5 billion individuals. (That’s billion. With a “b.”)  Compare this figure to the present-day North American abundance champion, the Mourning Dove, with estimates ranging from 100-450 million. (With an…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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”)…

Read More