All Audubon members are welcome to celebrate Earth Day at the garden party hosted by Catherine and Bob Waters on Sunday April 24 from 1:00 – 5:00 PM in Downey. Decades long members and supporters of the Audubon Society, they are native plant gardeners who created a small bird sanctuary and native plant garden on a vacant lot adjacent to their house. Over 130 species of birds have visited the sanctuary since its inception and we’re sure to be delighted with a variety of birds on April 24. In past years the garden has been shown on the Theodore Payne Foundation annual native plant garden tour and featured in WildBird, Hobby Farm and Backyard Birding magazines. To RSVP and get directions email or call Cat Waters at 562-869-6718.

Recap, Starr Ranch Sanctuary Field Trip


by Elaine Layne

Feb. 17th, 2018, EDA members were welcomed by Director of Research and Education, Sandy De Simone. The Ranch lies in unincorporated South Orange County, bordered by the Cleveland National Forest. Starr Ranch is used for various types of ecological research. Participants witnessed a special bird banding demonstration given by Ornithologist Kim Geissler. The Hutton Vireo and Lesser Goldfinch were caught, weighed, assessed for fat, age, disease and released. A guided bird walk followed. Thank you Starr Ranch staff for a beautiful day with the birds!

Pictured below, a few of the birds seen on the trip:  Hutton’s Vireo, Lesser Goldfinch, Acorn Woodpecker and a Red-tailed Hawk.  Header photo, Prickly Pear Cactus in bloom.  Photos by Jerry Millett.



Year of the Bird

Celebrating the Year of the Bird
By Mary Parsell

2018 is the Year of the Bird. The National Audubon Society, National Geographic, BirdLife International and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology are joining together in a yearlong celebration of birds in commemoration of the 100year anniversary of the signing of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) . This Act regulates the taking, possession, transportation, sale, purchase, barter, exportation and importation of migratory birds, their parts, nests and eggs. The US Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for enforcing the MBTA. The 1026 bird species native to the US and its territories are pro-tected.

The MBTA was one of Audubons first major victories. See for complete information.

February Walk at Rancho Los Cerritos Recap

By Carolyn Vance
Another great walk at the Rancho! We started the day with a pair of Ravens flying over the parking lot, calling to each other.  Our next bird was a nice Hermit thrush, followed by a small flock of Cedar waxwings flying over.  A pair of California Scrub jays flashed their blue wings at us as did the Western bluebirds.  A Northern mockingbird stood silent watch over us, unusual for this bird.  Luckily, the Black phoebes and Allen’s hummingbirds weren’t silent as they zipped back and forth across the Rancho.

Our other fly-over birds included three Great Blue herons and 43 California gulls. A Red-shouldered hawk, heard several times, finally landed in the large oak tree for us to see, then took off again, calling.  The best part of the day, for me, was the small group (21) of Bushtits in a low, open bush, feeding.  It looked as though the bush was alive, swarming with birds in constant motion, going branch to branch.   Then leaving it, one-by-one, as Bushtits do, going to their next feeding spot.  The last bird of the day was the California towhee that we had been hearing, but couldn’t find, until he popped up on an open branch of the Toyon tree at the top of the drive.

The most asked question of the day was: Why is that rust-and-green colored hummingbird an Allen’s and not a Rufous?  Simple – Rufous hummers are only seen in this area in migration – spring and fall, so in winter-time you’re seeing Allen’s.  Also, Allen’s have green on their back and Rufous’ don’t.  Okay, okay – about 5% of Rufous’ show a little green on their back, but once again, our walk was in the middle of winter, when Rufous’ are in their wintering grounds.  Check their range map in your favorite field guide for where they are now.

Many, many thanks to Kim Moore, our bug expert; Merryl Edelstein, Rancho Garden Docent; Jerry Millett, member of El Dorado Audubon’s monthly survey here and Rancho Horticulturist Marie Barnidge-McIntyre for all their help! At the end of the walk, we had seen 19 species of bird.  Our next walk will be on Thursday, April 12th, from 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.  Come join us!

(Photo credits: Allen’s Hummingbird & California Towhee by Kim Moore.  Bushtit, Hermit Thrush & Northern Mockingbird by Jerry Millett)

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 or via eBird ( ). 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 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:, (657) 278-3407.

For more info also see venues list and touring exhibitions.

Walk at Rancho Los Cerritos Recap

By Carolyn Vance

 Our very first bird walk at Rancho Los Cerritos in September was a huge success! Fall migration was on, even though it was a beautiful end-of-summer day.  Not only did we see Canada geese and Western gulls flying over, we had two Olive-sided Flycatchers and a Western Wood-peewee.  Of course, we also saw the ever-present Allen’s Hummingbirds, Black Phoebes, Mourning Doves, Bushtits, and Western Bluebirds.   Robins, House Finches and California Towhees were also around, and we heard a Red-shouldered Hawk calling from outside the Rancho.

Many, many thanks to Kim Moore, our big expert; Merryl Edelstein, Rancho Garden Docent; Jerry Millett, member of El Dorado Audubon’s monthly survey here and Rancho Horticulturist Marie Barnidge-McIntyre for their help with such a large group and answering everyone’s questions!  At the end of the walk, we had seen 21 species of bird, smelled wonderful plants and had big grins on our faces from the marvelous walk.

Join us on February 8, 2018 for our second walk, which will give us our winter birds.

Pictured below birds seen on this walk, female House Finch (left), female Western Bluebird (right), photo credit Kim Moore, including the group photo — Thanks Kim!

Western Bluebird Nest Box Monitoring

Western Bluebird Eggs

Western Bluebird Eggs

As our Western Bluebird nest box monitoring season comes to a close, we’d like to shout out a big thank you to all the monitoring volunteers! Next year we’ll have plenty of extra nest boxes and we are looking for help. If you would like to become a Bluebird Nest Box Monitor, please send an email to attention Jerry Millett, or use the contact form on our website. Program orientation happens around Feb 2018, nest boxes are hung in the trees in local parks around Feb/Mar 2018. El Dorado Audubon’s nest box monitoring program data is submitted to the California Bluebird Recovery Program. To learn more about this bird conservation effort see and

California Toad on Los Cerritos Wetlands

California Toad that just transformed, photo credit Cindy Crawford, identified by Gary Nefis of, Thanks, Gary!

It’s spring, the birds are showing off their spring plumage.  Species seen include:  Mallard, Great Blue Heron, Snowy & Great Egret, Killdeer, Least Sandpiper, Willet,  Allen’s Hummingbird,  American Kestral,  Cassin’s Kingbird, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Cassin’s Kingbird,  Common Yellowthroat, White-crowned Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow (Belding’s), Red-winged Blackbird, Hooded Oriole, and House Finch.  Highlights included Hooded Oriole on the wire and fence and singing Cassin’s Kingbird.  Beautiful display of native and non-native wildflowers. See you on the birding trail — next Los Cerritos Wetlands Walk is Saturday, May 13, next El Dorado Nature Center walk is Sunday, May 14.



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.

Now is the time to do this  — SEASP* plan is expected to go to the City of Long Beach Planning Commission in November and to City Council in December.

*City of Long Beach Southeast Area Specific Plan

Los Cerritos Wetlands, SEASP

Los Cerritos Wetlands, SEASP