2202 S. Coast Highway Oceanside, CA 92054

Education

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.  

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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…

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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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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…

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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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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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