Napa Solano Audubon Speaker Series Video Archive

September 9, 2021 7:00 p.m. Nathan Pieplow Shares his Exciting Adventures Tracking The Mystery Owl of Mexico

In 2015, Nathan Pieplow and Andrew Spencer obtained the first-ever photographs, videos, and audio recordings of the Cinereous Owl, a little-known bird of the mountains of Mexico. This talk tells the exciting story of their hunt for the owl across three years and thousands of miles, and their surprising discoveries about its biology and taxonomy.

Nathan Pieplow is an Instructor in the Program for Writing and Rhetoric at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He teaches classes in writing and rhetoric for engineers and science majors and a course in the rhetoric of humor. He is an avid bird watcher and has written a Field Guide to Bird Songs, as well as Peterson Guides to Bird Sounds of Eastern and Western North America. He has been a frequent speaker at birding symposiums and for the Western Field Ornithologists. You may find a link to their presentation at:

May 13, 2021 7:00 p.m. NSAS with Mark & Lucas Stephenson Presents: West Coast Pelagic Trip Adventures.

Mark & Lucas have been taking Pacific Coast Pelagic Trips over the last 6 years and have many photos and adventures to share about their exciting times observing West Coast sea birds. Mark Stephenson is a retired educator and our NSAS President. Lucas is his 15 year old son and avid birder, and together they have observed birds extensively throughout California and beyond including more than 20 Pelagic Trips out of Bodega, Sausalito, Half Moon Bay, Monterey, and Ventura with such notable Pelagic Ornithologists as Alvaro Jaramillo, Steve Howell, Lisa Hug, Debbie Shearwater, and David Pereksta. Click this link to view this presentation on YouTube:

April 29, 2021 10:00 a.m. Nancy Piotrowski and Mark Stephenson from Napa-Solano Audubon will present to the UC Master Gardeners of Napa Valley on: Backyard Designs incorporating Native Plants to Attract Birds and getting acquainted with Your Common Backyard Birds.

Gillian Martin from the Cavity Conservation Initiative and Tree Care for Birds will co-present shedding light on bird protection regulations and best practices during tree and landscape care. You may find a link to their presentation at: .

April 8, 2021 7:00 p.m. NSAS with Dr. Floyd Hayes Presents: The Breeding Ecology of Clear Lake's Western & Clark's Grebes

Dr. Floyd Hayes has been studying the Breeding Ecology and impact of Climate Change on the Clear Lake Populations of Western and Clark's Grebes for some time. Join us for this informative presentation.

Bio: Dr. Floyd Hayes is a zoologist specializing in the ecology, behavior and biogeography of birds, but has studied a diversity of other organisms including anemones, crustaceans, sea urchins, fishes, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. While an undergraduate student, Dr. Hayes took off a year to teach in an elementary school on the island of Kosrae in Micronesia (1981-1982). He worked for three years as a vertebrate biologist for the US Peace Corps, based in the National Museum of Natural History of Paraguay (1987-1989). He also taught biology for nine years at the University of the Southern Caribbean and the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago (1993-2002), and spent a year working as a wildlife biologist for the Division of Fish and Wildlife in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands (2002-2003). Since 2003 Dr. Hayes has worked as a Professor of Biology at Pacific Union College and he has traveled with students for research or classes to 9 different countries. He was a Fulbright Scholar to Paraguay in 2012. Dr. Hayes has published the results of field research in 15 countries in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and he was the editor in chief of Journal of Caribbean Ornithology from 2005-2013. In his spare time he enjoys birding, rock climbing, mountaineering, snorkeling, scuba diving, and documenting his adventures with photos and videos. Click this link to view this presentation on YouTube:

March 11, 2021 7:00 p.m. NSAS with Mark Rauzon & Meredith Elliott Presents: The Population Dynamics of Double Crested Cormorants

Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) are seabirds known to use urban structures as nesting habitat. The old east span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and the eastern portion of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge have hosted the two largest colonies of this species in the region. Come learn what our research for the past three decades tell us about the population dynamics of this resilient species and learn about our efforts to study the Bay Area population of this adaptable, yet maligned, bird.

Mark Rauzon was with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, where he studied sea birds and endangered marine mammals in Hawai’i, Alaska, and California.  He is also an expert in the effects of invasive animals and plants on tropical islands. His latest book Isles of Amnesia details his experiences. Mr. Rauzon is also a research associate with Point Blue and a Geography professor at Laney College in Oakland. 

Meredith Elliott is a Senior Scientist at Point Blue Conservation Science and has worked on a variety of seabird monitoring and diet projects. She supervises the Point Blue marine laboratory where data on marine food webs are collected. She is a program coordinator with the ACCESS Program (, an at-sea monitoring program founded by Point Blue, Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Click this link to view this presentation:

February 11, 2021 7:00 p.m. NSAS with Dr. Wendy Schackwitz Presents: Do Blackbirds Sing in the Dead of Night?

Join us and Dr. Wendy Schackwitz will share her research on what she has learned from recording Tricolored Blackbird Colonies over the last 4 years. Analysis of Tricolored Blackbird vocalizations reveal intimate details about life in a colony. The Tricolored Blackbird is a California specialty that is currently experiencing a dramatic population decline and has been listed as Threatened under California’s Endangered Species Act. Determining why some colonies are successful, while others fail will be key to recovering this species from the brink of extinction. For the past four years former NSAS President, Dr. Wendy Schackwitz has used audio recordings of Tricolored Blackbird colonies to gain insight into their reproductive timing as well as why some colonies are successful, and others fail. In her talk she will discuss how her analysis of thousands of hours of audio recordings revealed a fascinating and detailed picture of the intimate lives of a Tricolored Blackbird colony. Click this link to view this presentation on YouTube:

February 6, 2001 NSAS with Mark and Lucas Stephenson Present: Birding the Bay Area Wetlands with an Avid Young Birder

We have a wide variety of wetland birds that inhabit the marshes, soughs, and bays of the Bay Area. Over the past 6 years we have observed the great diversity of birds in Bay Area Wetlands from Huichica Creek and American Canyon Wetlands in the North to Hayward Regional and Don Edwards National Wildlife Area in the South and from Point Reyes National Seashore and Bodega Bay in the West to Colusa, Yolo Bypass, and Consumnes River Preserve in the East. This presentation by Mark Stephenson, our Napa-Solano Audubon President, about Bay Area Wetland Birds with his son Lucas was created for the SF Bay Flyway Festival. Feel free to enjoy at your leisure! Click this link to view this presentation: .

January 14, 2021 7:00 p.m. NSAS with Alvaro Jaramillo Presents: Birding the Mediterranean Regions of the World

Join us and Alvaro Jaramillo for a fun talk about how climate affects the environment, as well as the birding! The climate type is the Mediterranean zone with dry summers and wet winters – sound familiar? We live in a Mediterranean-type climate, and this happens to be the type of region where people produce the finest wines. But similar climates don’t always have similar birds, although some of the parallels are striking. In some cases, there are clear-cut differences, while in other situations we have very different birds that fit a similar niche in separate Mediterranean parts of the world. Mediterranean climates are unique enough that they have created a set of special habitats associated with the regions where they are found, like our chaparral, and in these areas there are also a variety of endemic birds. We will take a quick visit to birding areas in Spain, Chile, California, and South Africa! Come see a view of what makes Mediterranean regions tick, why they are also seabird hotspots, the great birding to be enjoyed, and maybe we will even talk a bit about the wine! Click this link to view his presentation:

November 12, 2020 7:00 p.m. NSAS with Matt Allshouse Presents: Conservation Ranching

Matt Allshouse from Audubon California will speak on Conservation Ranching; an effort to restore America’s grasslands to benefit birds, people and the planet. Healthy grasslands once stretched across broad expanses of California and the U.S., supporting a range of wildlife and defining a way of life for generations of Americans. But about 80 percent of our native grasslands have fallen to development and other threats —and the birds that depend on them are disappearing, too. The future of grassland- dependent birds like Grasshopper Sparrow and Mountain Plover are now in question. Audubon knows that the commercial use of grasslands is critical for local economies and national prosperity. But business success doesn’t have to come at the expense of nature. So we’re connecting bird-friendly ranches with eco-conscious consumers, giving ranchers new ways to stay competitive in the marketplace. At the same time, ACR’s science-based ranch management methods improve soil health and water quality, mitigate flooding and erosion, and capture ozone-damaging carbon. Come learn more about Conservation Ranching with Matt Allshouse and join Napa Solano Audubon members on Thursday, November 12 at 7:00 p.m. Click this link to view his presentation:

October 8, 2020 7:00 p.m. NSAS with Dr. Bruce Lyon Presents: Sparrows in the Mist - the Complex Social Behavior of Golden Crowned Sparrows

Ornithologists often study breeding birds, and as a result, the winter ecology and behavior of migratory birds is relatively understudied. For the past 17 years, Dr. Bruce Lyon and his students have been studying a population of Golden-crowned Sparrows that winter in the University of California, Santa Cruz Arboretum. Individual sparrows return winter after winter to the arboretum and flock together with the same individuals as in previous years. Bruce's research has revealed remarkable social complexity in these birds that is similar in some ways to the societies of mammals, including primates. Learn about how the winter lives of these modest little brown birds—from the use of their black and gold crown patches as signals, to the winter songs of males and females—are surprisingly more complex than previously thought. Click this link to view this presentation: .

September 12, 2020 7:00 p.m. NSAS with Dr. Matt Johnson Presents: Barn Owls in our Vineyards

Dr. Matt Johnson, professor in the Wildlife Department at Humboldt State University, will be speaking with us on Barn Owls. His expertise is wildlife habitat ecology, and he’s especially interested in studying how agricultural production and wildlife conservation can coexist. He and his graduate students have been studying barn owls in wine-grape vineyards since 2015. His talk will focus on what he and his students have learned about barn owls nesting in boxes in vineyards. Click this link to view his presentation: . Unfortunately this video was cut short by a power outage, so a complete audio recording is not available. However, here is a link to a summary of Dr. Johnson's presentation on barn owls in our vineyards.

Golden-crowned Sparrow © 2014 Dave McMullen Acorn Woodpecker © 2014 Dave McMullen Common Yellowthroat © 2013 Dave McMullen Phainopepla © 2014 Dave McMullen Wilson's Warbler © 2012 Dave McMullen

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