The dying sea

May 9th, 2015 · by Garrison Frost

In case you missed it, the New Yorker recently offered a stunning primer on the environmental issues surrounding the Salton Sea. Heavy stuff.

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Categories: Audubon California · Bird conservation · Bird Habitat · Salton Sea

How can we enjoy birds and nature if it’s unhealthy to breathe the air outside?

May 7th, 2015 · by Garrison Frost


The release last week of new data from the American Lung Association about the dangers of air pollution in California puts more urgency into current legislative efforts to reduce carbon pollution. The reality is that while air pollution in the form of greenhouse gas emissions is the leading cause of global warming, air pollution is also a major threat to public health, as well as the health of our birds and environment. We need to be able to breathe clean air if we are to truly enjoy the natural wonders of California.

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Categories: Alternative energy · Audubon California · Bird Habitat · Climate Change · Pollution

Volunteer to survey birds in California

May 7th, 2015 · by Ariana Rickard


With nesting season underway for many species, now is the perfect time to join a volunteer survey happening in your area. Audubon supports many citizen science efforts looking at migration, breeding, disturbance and how climate change affects bird populations and habitat. Help scientists track bird populations by collecting data on the birds you see in your backyard, like hummingbirds through our Hummingbirds at Home program. Check out our volunteer page to find a survey that interests you.


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Categories: Uncategorized

Bird LA Day unites an entire city around birds

May 6th, 2015 · by Garrison Frost


As we pulled up to the red light at the corner of 7th Street and Alvarado in downtown Los Angeles, Andrea Jones shouted “There’s a Black-crowned Night Heron.” And sure enough, there it was, gliding out from behind the sign for the Cambio de Cheques/check cashing store against the colorful background of the farmacia on the opposite corner. We watched the bird soar above the crowded crosswalk and the thumping of the car stereos until it disappeared behind the Langer’s Delicatessen.

That was our first indication that Bird LA Day on May 2 was going to be something remarkable.

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Categories: Audubon California · Bird L.A. · Birding

Assembly Bill 498 will help California preserve its most important habitat areas

May 5th, 2015 · by Garrison Frost

Because global warming will present new challenges for many of California’s most prized landscapes. Audubon California is co-sponsoring Assembly Bill 498, which seeks to protect wildlife corridors. The bill, authored by Assembly Member Marc Levine, will make it state policy to protect these vital linkages between valuable habitat areas, which is essential for the health of birds and other wildlife. The bill will help California identify and preserve key habitat areas that give birds a better chance to survive the challenges of climate change.

The bill recently was approved by the Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee.

“As we learn more about the habitats that will serve as strongholds for birds and other wildlife in California, it is vital that we also identify ways to connect them,” said Mike Lynes, Audubon California’s director of public policy. “Not only will Assembly Bill 498 help California protect its most vital landscapes, but it will also ensure that we make the best conservation investments as well.”

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Categories: Audubon California · Bird Habitat · Climate Change · Global Warming

Social media highlights from Bird LA Day

May 3rd, 2015 · by Garrison Frost

Wow, Bird LA Day yesterday was amazing. While we’re still sorting through our photos and video from the various events, we thought we’d pull together the social media highlights to give an overview of the amazing breadth of activity across the larger Los Angeles area. Enjoy.

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Categories: Audubon California · Audubon Chapters · Bird L.A. · Birding · Nature education and activities

Andrea Jones talks about her first Los Angeles bird

May 1st, 2015 · by Garrison Frost

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Categories: Audubon California · Bird L.A. · Birding

Brown’s executive order on carbon pollution is not only good for people, but also birds and nature

April 29th, 2015 · by Garrison Frost

Today’s executive order from Gov. Jerry Brown will not help secure the quality of life for current and future Californians, but also safeguard birds and other natural treasures, said representatives of Audubon California. Brown seeks to reduce carbon pollution to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, putting California at the lead of any North American government on this issue.

“Carbon pollution isn’t just the leading cause of global warming, it’s also a major threat to the health of Californians, and to the health of birds and other natural treasures,” said Brigid McCormack, executive director of Audubon California. “The Governor is also showing great foresight by incorporating into his order actions that will better prepare California to address the impacts of global warming. These include natural infrastructure solutions like wetland restoration which will make our coastlines more resilient to sea-level rise and sequester carbon and keep it out of the atmosphere.”

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Categories: Alternative energy · Audubon California · Global Warming

The Grebe Conservation Project, five years and still going strong

April 27th, 2015 · by Desiree Loggins


Clear Lake is one of the largest lakes in California, a globally significant Important Bird Area (IBA), and a gem of Lake County. It’s an area famous for pears, and increasingly wineries. Audubon California and its partners Redbud, Plumas, and Altacal Audubon Society, hope to add to these layers of fame and recognition by helping Clear Lake support the successful breeding of sensitive Western and Clark’s grebe colonies.

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Categories: Audubon California · Audubon Chapters · Bird conservation

Some good news for the Tricolored Blackbird

April 24th, 2015 · by Daniela Ogden


Guest post by Samantha Arthur, Tricolored Blackbird Conservation Program Manager

I’m writing you from Merced County with great news.

Generous people like you made it possible for a dairy farmer to sign an agreement a few days ago to delay the harvest of a field that has attracted Tricolored Blackbirds. This agreement lessens the economic impact to his livelihood while allowing these birds to spend the spring free to do what birds do best: courting, breeding, nesting, and fledging.

While I am happy to see this colony develop, I am less optimistic about potential colonies in Kern and Tulare Counties. The number of colonies in the southern part of the Central Valley is down from last year and experts predict drought conditions will continue into next year. [Read more →]


Categories: Tricolored Blackbird · Working lands conservation

Stupid bird humor

April 24th, 2015 · by Daniela Ogden


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Categories: stupid bird humor

Sandy DeSimone talks about coastal sage scrub

April 24th, 2015 · by Daniela Ogden

Audubon Starr Ranch Sanctuary Director of Research and Education, Sandy DeSimone, spends a lot of her time studying the best ways to manage land to help coastal sage scrub and the wildlife that relies on it, flourish. Here she talks about how she became interested in the plant community.

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Categories: Bird Habitat · Climate Change · Conservation research · Starr Ranch Sanctuary

State Senate climate bills will help birds and people

April 24th, 2015 · by Garrison Frost


With the national discussion on climate change stalled (to say the least), California is now leading the way in addressing this important issue. Gov. Jerry Brown stunned many political observers January when he called for the Golden State to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels by as much as 50 percent in the next 15 years. Now, several bills are moving through the legislature that would increase California’s already impressive efforts.

Among these bills, perhaps the most important are Senate Bill 32, authored by Fran Pavley, and Senate Bill 350, authored by Senate President pro tem Kevin de Leòn. SB 32 sets an overarching climate pollution reduction target of 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. SB 350 percent reduction in petroleum use in cars and trucks, a 50 percent increase in energy efficiency in buildings, and a goal of 50 percent of state utilities’ power coming from renewable energy, all by 2030. These might sound ambitious, but it’s important to understand that California is already well on its way toward meeting these goals, and many experts say that these targets are well within reach.

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Categories: Alternative energy · Audubon California · Bird conservation · Global Warming · Pollution

New tool for monitoring wildlife: Rover chicks

April 24th, 2015 · by Ariana Rickard

Le Maho et al, Nature Methods

Le Maho et al, Nature Methods

Why is this adorable rover chick hanging out with wild penguins?

This rover is a remarkable new innovation created by scientists to solve a common problem – collecting information on animals without disturbing them. Disturbance can result in animals changing their behavior, like fleeing foraging and breeding areas, or increasing heart rate or stress hormones. A group of researchers used a remote-controlled rover in penguin colonies and tested stress responses. [Read more →]

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Categories: Science

Plant’s consultants say Ivanpah solar facility likely killed 3,500 birds in its first year

April 23rd, 2015 · by Garrison Frost


A new study by consultants hired by the Ivanpah Solar Facility in the Mojave Desert estimate that the plant killed somewhere between 2,500 and 6,700 birds in its first year. Their best guess is the actual number is around 3,500. The facility got a lot of attention from bird conservationists when observers reported seeing birds actually catch on fire in middair near the intense heat generated by the facility.

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Categories: Alternative energy · Audubon California · Bird Habitat