The Cuckoo in the Coal Mine

Yellow-billed Cuckoos (Coccyzus americanus) are fairly common in the eastern U.S. But in the last half-century, they have become rare in the West. Over the past 10 years in San Diego County, eBird shows unique sightings only 15 times—almost always a single bird in June or July, at Lake Henshaw, Lake Hodges, the Anza Borrego…

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

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

Vote YES on Proposition 68, which will fund numerous local and statewide conservation priorities

Vote YES on Proposition 68 in June! This is a $4 billion bond measure that will fund a number of important priorities for Californians, including local, regional and state parks, clean drinking water projects, flood protection, and habitat projects that are vital to the state’s diverse wildlife. https://yes68ca.com/   Buena Vista Audubon is joining Audubon…

Read More

Migratory Bird Treaty Act Threatened

This year, our nation celebrates the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), one of our nation’s oldest and most important wildlife conservation laws. Audubon led the charge to help pass the law in 1918, and it has since saved millions of birds as well as prevented the extinction of…

Read More

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…

Read More

The Tricolored Blackbird: Next on the Endangered List?

One evening last fall, on a restaurant deck overlooking Oceanside Harbor, I watched House Sparrows skitter around the floor, searching out crumbs.  A larger bird caught my eye and I thought, “Red-winged Blackbird.”  Then he uttered a noise rather like a snarling cat.  Or maybe an irritated chicken.  Okay—that’s no Red-winged Blackbird.  A closer look…

Read More

Threatened: California’s Woodpeckers and Their Habitats, with Steve Shunk

Join us Wednesday, September 21 for our monthly program. 6:30: Social and 7:00 Program begins. Woodpeckers have always captured our attention.  Their unique anatomy and behavior sets them apart.  But like so many species, the path ahead is uncertain. The official California bird list includes 17 woodpecker species, 15 of which breed in the state—more…

Read More