Crows may be smarter than a first grader

July 29th, 2014 · by Garrison Frost


Fascinating new research shows that crows may be as smart as seven- to 10-year-olds in certain areas. (photo by Walter White)


Categories: Audubon California · Birding

Widespread availability of nonlead ammo means there’s no reason to delay AB711

July 28th, 2014 · by Garrison Frost

A new study from one of the world’s leading experts in use of nontoxic ammunition shows that nonlead ammunition is widely available throughout California. The study surveyed retail stores in California and online sources, concluding there is widespread market and retail availability of all popular shotgun and rifle ammunition types for the take of wildlife in California.

Last year, the California Legislature passed Assembly Bill 711, requiring the state’s Fish and Game Commission to implement regulations requiring the use of nontoxic, nonlead ammunition for all hunting in California by 2019. In his signing message approving the bill, Gov. Jerry Brown urged the Commission to phase in this implementation in the “least disruptive” manner possible. The study addresses Gov. Brown’s request and addresses any concerns regarding the uncertainty about the market and retail availability of nonlead ammunition in California.

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Categories: Audubon California · Bird conservation · Lead ammunition

Just your typical nerve-wracking video of ducks crossing a freeway

July 25th, 2014 · by Garrison Frost

Don’t worry, the ducks make it. There’s probably a lesson here somewhere about habitat fragmentation — or at least about how awesome ducks are.


Categories: Audubon California · Bird videos · Birding

Kudos for Pacific Flyway Marine IBA map!

July 25th, 2014 · by Beth Peluso


Congrats to the team that produced the interactive Pacific Flyway Marine IBAs map: it won 3rd place in the national Storytelling with Maps contest sponsored by mapping software giant Esri! Take a little Friday break and play with the award-winning map.


Categories: Uncategorized

Ashy storm-petrel nesting on Catalina Island

July 23rd, 2014 · by Garrison Frost


Cool story this week about researchers finding Ashy storm-petrel nests on Catalina Island off southern California. This is a bird that is struggling to survive, so any foothold it gains is huge. (photo by Glen Tepke)


Categories: Audubon California · Bird Habitat · seabirds

Speak up for eagles in Sacramento, July 22

July 21st, 2014 · by Garrison Frost


America’s Golden Eagles and Bald Eagles need your voice. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will meet with the public on July 22 in Sacramento to discuss its proposal to issue a permit that would allow wind companies to kill Golden Eagles under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act – and we hope you can attend. Just last year, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service approved a new rule allowing wind power operators to get permits to kill eagles for up to 30 years. Audubon vehemently opposes this 30-year permit for reasons detailed below. But wind power isn’t the only threat to the birds, and this is your opportunity to speak up for two of North America’s most inspiring species.

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Categories: Alternative energy · Audubon California · Bird conservation · Wind power

Bald Eagles expanding their range on So. Cal. islands

July 20th, 2014 · by Garrison Frost

Great news out of Southern California that a pair of nesting Bald Eagles have been spotted on San Clemente Island, indicating that the great birds are expanding their range among the Channel Islands. It wasn’t long ago that the Bald Eagles struggled to survive on these islands, as poisoning from DDT brought breeding to a halt.


Categories: Audubon California · Bird conservation · Bird Habitat

Help birds avoid window collisions

July 18th, 2014 · by Garrison Frost


Categories: Audubon at Home · National Audubon Society

Yellow-headed Blackbird cinemagraph

July 18th, 2014 · by Garrison Frost


Original video clip courtesy the USFWS.


Categories: Audubon California · Bird videos · Video

Maybe Aldrin dropped a french fry

July 17th, 2014 · by Garrison Frost

In honor of the upcoming 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon, we’re sharing this previously unseen photo from the mission.



Categories: Audubon California · stupid bird humor

Condor chick hatches in Utah

July 17th, 2014 · by Garrison Frost


Great news today out of Utah that a California Condor chick has hatched in Utah for the first time since the endangered birds were reintroduced in the state in 1996. Researchers had suspected the chick had hatched but didn’t have verification until now. (photo of female parent courtesy the National Park Service)


Categories: Audubon California · Bird conservation · Bird Habitat · California Condor · Endangered Species Act

McCormack: Bond needs to include water for birds and habitat

July 16th, 2014 · by Garrison Frost


Audubon California Executive Director Brigid McCormack argues in today’s Capitol Weekly that any water bond approved by the legislature for the November ballot must include resources for birds and habitat:

Every serious bond proposal to emerge from negotiations in the legislature accepts California’s responsibility to provide water to these refuges, as well as the need to fund watershed protection and habitat restoration throughout the state. This represents only a small fraction of the cost of the bond, but will produce long-lasting ecological benefits and will safeguard prior public investments.

Any long-term plan for water use – that is to say, any water bond – that fails to address the future needs of birds and habitat should be considered a failure. This will not only be because of the ecological destruction that will ensue, but also because of the failed opportunity to create a comprehensive plan to provide for California’s future water use.

(photo of ducks at the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge courtesy USFWS)


Categories: Audubon California · Bird Habitat · Brigid McCormack · Pacific Flyway · Water issues

Another loss for the lead lobby

July 13th, 2014 · by Garrison Frost

The New York Times editorial board takes note of yet another loss for those who will argue that lead from ammunition in our environment is just fine:

So much for another hard workweek in the Senate. The one accomplishment was the unintended protection of the E.P.A.’s authority over lead. Now the agency should protect the nation’s wildlife by finally banning lead ammunition and sinkers from the land.

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Categories: Audubon California · Bird conservation · Lead ammunition · Pollution

Do birds rely on experience when building nests?

July 10th, 2014 · by Daniela Ogden


A paper published by researchers at The University of Edinburgh shows that birds rely on experience when building nests. It had long been thought that proper nest-building was passed down genetically, but this new research shows that birds have physical cognition of materials. The group tested zebra finches by giving them two types of string to build nests with. From the paper, “after building a complete nest with either [stiff or flexible] string type, however, all birds increased their preference for stiff string.”

Source: Bailey, ID, Morgan, KV, Bertin, M, Meddle, SL & Healy, SD 2014. ‘Physical cognition: birds learn the structural efficacy of nest material’ Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, vol 281, no. 1784, pp. 20133225., 10.1098/rspb.2013.3225.

Photo of Marsh Wren feeding chicks by Alan Vernon.

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Categories: Science

Aramburu Island Restoration film by FWS Pacific South West

July 9th, 2014 · by Daniela Ogden

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Categories: Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary