Great Backyard Bird Count!

By Donna Bray

Co-sponsored by the National Audubon Society and Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is scheduled for February 16th through the 19th. Yes, that is the long President’s Day holiday weekend. But you can participate, staying home in your own backyard, traveling, or just birding wherever you want to go!

Over the years, when I worked on the Friday, I took folks I worked with out to bird in the surrounding neighborhood or to a local park. In fact, we used binoculars that our Chapter members had donated (thanks again!). Other Chapter volunteers have introduced school children and a local Ecology Club group to birding via the GBBC, too. The lists were all entered into the national count at www.birdcount.org or via eBird (www.ebird.org ). It feels good to be a part of the citizen science effort helping researchers build their data.

This year I’d like to emphasize the value of birding locally, going to a location that is under-birded. At the time of this writing I have accepted the eBird challenge to submit a checklist a day in January. And, I have decided that I’ll bird some of those under-birded parks in my own neighborhood. No, they probably don’t have rarities, though they might, but no one is checking! And in so doing, I am learning increasingly more about eBird and realized that an eBird hotspot doesn’t mean that there are fancy rarities there. It’s a place accessible to anyone, and that helped me decide to ask to have little old, freeway-adjacent Norwalk Park included on the Hotspot list. It caused me to take a pair of compact binoculars with me to Olvera Street, and wow, actually see birds other than pigeons at La Placita! When I submitted the list, I requested it be listed as a Hotspot too. You can see where I am going with this. Any birding you do is valuable. So really make the effort to get out once or all four days of the GBBC and submit your lists. For more information on how, go the birdcount.org website.

Photo below by Cindy Crawford, a Black-throated Gray Warbler recently spotted in her backyard, S/E Long Beach area.

 

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: fullertonarboretum.org, (657) 278-3407.

For more info also see venues list and touring exhibitions.