Birds in Art 2017, By Annabelle Rice

“The source of limitless creative inspiration, birds connect us to the rhythms of life. Their migrations mark the shifting seasons, their music heralds each dawn, and their shoreline searches highlight the ebb and flow of the tide.
Avian art resonates and inspires in endlessly novel ways, too. Talented artists from throughout the world push standards ever higher, continually striving to be among those selected for the internationally renowned Birds in Art exhibition.” – Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum.

Following the close of the annual Birds in Art exhibition at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum each fall, 60 of the 100 plus artworks embark on a national tour. I am excited to tell you that, for the third year in a row, the Fullerton Arboretum Nikkei Heritage Museum will host the Birds in Art exhibit from the Woodson. Dates are Dec. 8th, to Jan. 25th. Open: Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays 12pm to 4pm. Having been to the Woodson twice and having seen three of the traveling art exhibits in California, I can say if you love birds, you will love Birds in Art.

Fullerton Arboretum:, (657) 278-3407.

For more info also see venues list and touring exhibitions.

Owl Art Exhibit

There is a bird related exhibit at the Fullerton Arboretum Neikki Museum called “ONLY OWLS.”  This is from the Woodson Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin.

Every year the Woodson does an entire exhibit of bird art, and the following year, they send some pieces to local museums.  This exhibit opened November 19th, and ends January 8th.

Their hours are 12 to 4 on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays only.

Thanks to Anne Belle Rice for the information.

Christmas Bird Count (CBC) on 12/17

How many birds do you see?

We could really use your help on 12/17.  See the events calendar for details.

Note: Counting situations won’t be as intense as the picture, so don’t worry.

An Interesting Find

On our second Sunday bird walk at the El Dorado Nature Center last month, we spied a first year red-tailed hawk.  Nothing usual until we noticed a band with the number 619 on its right leg.  Erin Kellogg (thank you!) looked into it and forwarded the following information:

The USGS Bird Banding Lab reported back that this hawk (CA 619) was banded by the US Department of Agriculture as part of a project that bands raptors relocated from airports.  The lead researcher has not gotten back to me yet, however…

…our friends at South Bay Wildlife rehabilitation are partners in this project!!  In order to avoid bird strikes, the USDA has permits to trap and relocate raptors that patrol airport fields for the many tasty rodents and rabbits that live there as well.  The birds are transported to SBWR where they are examined and cared for until transport can be arranged to somewhere far, far away, with the hopes that the bird will not return.

I contacted South Bay and sure enough, they knew this bird and gave me specific info on it!  The juvenile, male, Red-tailed Hawk was captured from the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos on September 21st.  South Bay received the bird that day.  it was in good health, but a little bit on the thin side which is not atypical for first-year birds.  he stayed in care, eating well, for 10 days and was then released in Angelus Oaks on October 1st.  Angelus Oaks is in the San Bernardino National Forest, south of Big Bear-over 80 miles away!

Here is the amazing part.  by October 9th, when the bird was spotted at EDNC, it had come back to within 3 miles away from its home territory!  Also, just because it was spotted on the 9th, doesn’t mean it wasn’t in the area even earlier.  Remember, this bird is not even a year old.  This will be important information for the study, so great job guys!  Birds are so cool!!  I will let you know if we hear anything else.

Our next walk is scheduled for this Sunday (11/13) at 8 a.m.

Photo credits to Cindy Crawford.


The 619 is kind of hard to read, but there!


Be on the lookout for scenes like this.  Toyon is a native shrub with clusters of bright red berries that ripen in the fall and winter.  It is becoming increasingly common as a landscape plant in SoCal.  Overwintering Cedar Waxwings, Robins, and Hermit Thrushes rely on them as a food source.  This photo, of a Cedar Waxwing, was taken by Merryl Edelstein at Rancho Los Cerritos.

Vagrant Watch 2016

By Jeff Moore

I thought it would be interesting to “keep score” of vagrant sightings during the fall migration.  I’m focusing on 4 local parks.  Please keep in mind, this list is not comprehensive and some of these sightings may be of the same bird on different days.  I’ll update through mid-November.  Any input with additional information would be appreciated.  The photo shows a Blackpoll Warbler at DeForest Park.  It was found and photographed by Kim Moore and Merryl Edelstein.

  1. DeForest Park: Palm Warbler, Summer Tanager, Virginia’s Warbler (10/1); Blackpoll Warbler (10/4); Black-and-White Warbler (10/6); Tennessee Warbler (10/8).
  2. Huntington Central Park: Northern Waterthrush (9/4); Black-and-White Warbler (9/30); Painted Redstart (10/1); Bobolink (10/2); Palm Warbler (10/4); Female Summer Tanager (10/5); Dusky Warbler (10/8); Male Summer Tanager (10/9).
  3. El Dorado Park: Palm Warbler (10/4); Tropical Kingbird (10/8); Gray Catbird (10/11).
  4. West San Gabriel Parkway Nature Trail: Canada Warbler (9/17); Northern Waterthrush (9/24); Bobolink (10/2); Magnolia Warbler (10/22); Palm Warbler (10/22); Dickcissel (10/23); Gray Catbird (11/2).

The Season of Vagrancy

September and October are premier months for vagrants.  These are birds that have strayed from their expected migration paths.  Birders tend to get excited about unusual sightings, especially ones from the wood-warbler family.  Keep your eyes open for the following types of warblers; Canada, Prothonotary, Black-and-white, Blackburnian, and Chestnut-sided.  Also look for American Redstarts and maybe even a Painted Bunting or two.  Many others are possible.

They tend to drop down and pile up along the coast as they try to figure out their strategy for tackling the “big water” (Pacific Ocean).

Local parks to investigate include; El Dorado, Gum Grove, Huntington Central, DeForest, Monte Verde, Mile Square, and Mason Regional.  Check our events calendar.

Photo of a Black-and-white Warbler by Kim Moore.

Shorebird Migration

Things start to get a little confusing this time of year!  Western and least sandpipers are difficult enough (black vs. yellow legs) add a semipalmated sandpiper or two into the mix and you’ve got the recipe for some lively discussions.  Long-billed vs. short-billed dowitcher is tricky, as is greater vs. lesser yellowlegs- unless you see them next to each other.  Try not to get fooled by sanderlings, red knots, dunlins, or Baird’s sandpipers.  I was just starting to get the terns figured out and now this!

Big thanks to Kim Moore for the dazzling photo!

The Goldfinch Experience

Can you find the 6 future birders quietly hiding behind this sunflower patch? Good!!  Neither can the lesser and American goldfinches who feast on the seeds daily.

I’ve been training some of the kids who stop by the garden before school or during recess to practice standing still and let the “show” come to them.  An antidote for excess video games?? Besides goldfinches, we’ve also been rewarded with close looks at Anna’s and Allen’s hummingbirds.  Just outside our classroom a pair of black phoebes built a nest and successfully raised a brood.  Say’s phoebes nested on an air conditioning unit and a pair of western bluebirds used the downspout of a rain gutter to start their family.  Contact with nature is possible, even in a deeply urban area like Bellflower.

We’re looking to grow the education facet of our Audubon chapter.  If you have any interest in this sort of thing, please send us an email.


Here are the same six students out in the open.



Desert Riparian

During your travels this summer, if you find yourself looking out the car window at a scene like this, do the following: pull over, grab your binoculars, a bottle of water, a sturdy walking stick to beat back the snakes, put on some sunscreen, and get as close as you can to the action!  This lush cottonwood, willow, and mesquite seam yielded western & summer tanagers, Bullock’s orioles, yellow-breasted chats, Bell’s vireos, Nashville and yellow warblers, black-headed and blue grosbeak, western kingbirds, ash-throated and brown-crested flycatchers, and phainopepla.  The arid hillside leading down to it sang with black-throated sparrows, Scott’s orioles, Costa’s hummingbirds, black-tailed gnatcatchers, Gambel’s quail, white-winged doves, and verdin.  All this and I probably missed a dozen species due to inexperience!

Our trip to the Kern River Preserve in a couple of weeks is a similar setting, with similar action.   Add to the list, yellow-billed cuckoos and indigo buntings.  They have a visitor center with feeders and nature trails.  Check our events calendar if you might be interested.