Napa Solano Audubon Speaker Series Video Archive

September 14, 2023 NSAS Presents: An African Safari with David & Denise Hamilton

In September of 2017, David & Denise visited South Africa with Rockjumper Birding Tours, a SA-based eco-tour company. This was a two-and-a-half week tour covering the world-famous Kruger National Park, Sani Pass, Cape Town, and places in between. It was an adventure just getting to Africa, but once there the real adventure began! We birded from the ocean shores (Atlantic and Indian) up to 9,436 ft at the top of Sani Pass, and spent part of one day in the independent mountain-kingdom of Lesotho (Hamilton Lesotho life-list = 14 species). Both Denise and David sighted their 2,000 world birds during the trip on consecutive days (ladies first.) The trip ended with a visit to the Tankwa Karoo, a unique semi-desert natural region east of Cape Town, and a trip list of 439 birds and more than 60 other animal species. At the September meeting, the Hamiltons will share some of their stories and pictures from this amazing adventure!

Meet the Presenters: David and Denise Hamilton are members of Napa-Solano Audubon and have been birders for the past 42 years. Both grew up in southern California; Denise enjoyed birds from the start, but David didn’t catch the bug until they got married in 1980 and moved to Minnesota. David finished school there, and Denise finally got to see her first Northern Cardinal. Then they saw an Indigo Bunting followed by a Baltimore Oriole, and were hooked! They spent the next five years on the northern prairies of Montana, living with birds that many still have on their “want-to-see list”; this really helped spark their passion. Since then, they’ve travelled around the USA, Costa Rica, Trinidad & Tobago, Panama, Romania, Australia (twice), South Africa, and Ecuador. Their Napa backyard bird list for the past 22 years is at 142 species, including 6 species of hummingbirds, 10 species of warblers, Evening Grosbeaks, and some amazing sparrows such as Clay-colored and Black-throated (a new bird for Napa County in 2021.)

You will find a link to: An African Safari with David & Denise Hamilton at:

May 11, 2023 NSAS Presents: Spring Birding in Texas with Mark & Lucas Stephenson

Last year, Lucas and I decided to take on the challenge of birding in Southern Texas for his Spring vacation, in a state he had never visited before. We were delighted to learn that, Connor, one of Lucas’ best Young Birder friends, could join us with his grandfather for most of our expedition. Lucas and Connor spent hours researching many of the best southern Texas birding locations. We were off, flying into Houston and traveling to incredible birding meccas from the Southeast Coast along the Louisiana border, to Corpus Christi on the Gulf Coast, to the Southern Rio Grande, and inland as far North as San Antonio in search of birds that we had never seen before and the colorful spring migrants passing through the Texas Spring landscape. We will share some of the favorite birding hot spots that we visited including Sabine Woods, Anahuac NWR, High Island, Bolivar Flats NWR, Corus Christi’s Rose Hill Cemetery, South Padre Island, Bentsen-Rio Grande State Park, Salineno Wildlife Preserve, Lost Maples State Natural Preserve, and W.G. Jones State Forest. We will take you on our journey and show some of our best photos of many of the 285 species we observed on our 10 day trip (including nearly 50 life birds).

About the Presenters: Mark is our President of Napa-Solano Audubon and has been birding since his youth when he grew up in Ithaca, NY and was mentored by Dr. Arthur Allen, founder of Cornell's Laboratory of Ornithology. Lucas his 17 year old son, has been birding since he was 8 years old and has perfected and superseded most of his dad's skills and become a talented birder!

You will find a link to: Spring Birding in Texas with Mark & Lucas Stephenson at:

April 13, 2023 NSAS Presents: An Expedition to Antarctica with Robin Leong.

In 2008-2009 Robin Leong, our NSAS Past President and Board Member since 1981, took a 20 day trip to Antarctica on a Quark's Explorer Tour. His presentation will give you an idea of what a trip to those environs is like in case visiting Antarctica might be on your bucket list. He will share photos of birds taken by trip members and a video that helps you to share in his experiences of this trip. The video, made by Quark, contains some of the best photos shared by the trip’s 85 participants. If you attend in person, Robin will share bird lists and other fun details about the trip. Don’t miss out on this exciting presentation from Robin’s Antarctica trip.

About the Presenter: Robin was born and raised in Hawaii. After graduating from the University of Hawaii and completing graduate work at UC Berkeley’s Department of Environmental Engineering he served as a Mechanical Engineer at Hunter’s Point and Mare Island Naval Shipyards. He has been birding since 1978 and has a life list exceeding 6,600 birds. Robin has served on the Boards of the ABA (American Bird Association) and Point Reyes Bird Observatory (now known as Point Blue Conservation Science), and as a Commissioner for Solano County Parks and Recreation. He is the co-author of many publications including, Breeding Birds of Napa County, Breeding Birds of Solano County, and numerous other publications.

You will find a link to: An Expedition to Antarctica at:

March 9, 2023 NSAS Presents: The Identification of Tricky Female Ducks with Lisa Hug

Ducks are amazing birds. We can usually identify the male ducks (or drakes) pretty easily with a bit of experience. However, the female ducks (hens) all seem to look alike. Many of us just ignore the females, but learning to tell them apart is a fun challenge. Lisa Hug will present a ZOOM tutorial on how to identify the females (Don’t worry, photos of the males will also be there). Please join the Napa-Solano Audubon Society for this exciting presentation.

About the Presenter: Lisa Hug is a birder and naturalist living in Sonoma County, California. She is very familiar with the birdlife (and other wildlife) of California. Her specialty area is the North Bay Area, which includes Marin and Sonoma Counties, highlighting Point Reyes National Seashore and Bodega Bay. Lisa is a freelance naturalist and contract biologist. She has been an Interpretive Ranger for Point Reyes National Seashore, a research assistant with Point Reyes Bird Observatory, and a naturalist on NOAA Research Vessels and for the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Lisa served as President of Redwood Regional Ornithological Society for several years and enjoys teaching birding classes in both Sonoma and Marin Counties.

You will find a link to: The Identification of Tricky Female Ducks with Lisa Hug at:

February 16th, 2023 NSAS Co-Presents with Golden Gate Audubon and other Bay Area Audubon Chapters: A World on the Wing with Scott Weidensaul.

Scientists continue to make astounding discoveries about the navigational and physiological feats that enable migratory birds to cross immense oceans or fly above the highest mountains, go weeks without sleep or remain in unbroken flight for months at a stretch. Scott Weidensaul, author of A World on the Wing(2021), takes us around the globe — with researchers in the lab probing the limits of what migrating birds can do, to the shores of the Yellow Sea in China, the remote mountains of northeastern India where tribal villages saved the greatest gathering of falcons on the planet, and the Mediterranean, where activists and police are battling bird poachers — to learn how people are fighting to understand and save the world’s great bird migrations.

About the Presenter: Scott Weidensaul’s field research focuses on bird migration. He is a co-director of Project Owlnet, a collaborative effort among over 100 banding and research stations across North America studying owl migration. Weidensaul co-founded Project SNOWstorm, which uses cutting-edge tracking technology to study Snowy Owls, and is a founder of the Critical Connections project, which is tracking the migration of birds that breed on National Park lands in Alaska. He is also part of a continental effort to understand the rapid evolution, by several species of western hummingbirds, of a new migratory route and wintering range in the East. He co-founded the Northeast Motus Collaboration, which is creating a network of nearly 150 automated telemetry receivers across the mid-Atlantic region and New England to track the movements of bats, insects and small birds.

The Link to: A World on the Wing with Scott Weidensaul is only available for the next 3 weeks at:

February 9, 2023 NSAS Presents: A Birdie Big Year - Elevating Women Birders with Tiffany Kersten

Tiffany Kersten didn't set out to do a big year, but after a series of unanticipated and serendipitous events, she suddenly found herself amidst one. As a sexual assault survivor, she spent 2021 traveling to all corners of the Lower 48 States, tallying birds and gifting personal safety alarms to women she met along the way. Her goal was to see 700 species, and to raise awareness of women's safety in the outdoors. Tiffany ended up surpassing her goal and setting a new Lower 48 Big Year record of 726. In her presentation, Tiffany will lead us through the fear,  empowerment, struggles and healing that all played vital roles in the personal growth she experienced on this wild adventure. 

About the Presenter: Tiffany Kersten is a Wisconsin native, turned Texan by way of New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Hawaii. She holds a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology from Northland College, and has spent over a decade as an environmental educator, teaching about raptor identification and migration with the Cape May Bird Observatory, monitoring shorebirds on Cape Cod, banding Honeycreepers in Hawaii, and finally landing in South Texas where she worked at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, then Quinta Mazatlan World Birding Center, and managed the McAllen Nature Center, before founding her own company, Nature Ninja Birding Tours.

You may find a link to: A Birdie Big Year - Elevating Women Birders at:

January 12, 2023 NSAS Presents Birds of Morocco with John Sterling

John will share highlights from his tours’ adventures in Morocco. With its high mountains, high desert, low Sahara desert, agricultural plains, coastal lagoons, cork oak woodland, and coniferous forest, Morocco has much to offer to birds and birders. Home to several endemic bird species as well as North Africa species not readily seen elsewhere, it is also along the major migratory pathway for European migrants including shorebirds, raptors, songbirds and others. Join us for virtual tour of the country’s birds, landscapes and culture.

About the Presenter: John has been a hard core birder in California since he was shown a Pileated Woodpecker in 5th grade camp in 1971.  He is a professional ornithologist and has worked for the Smithsonian Institution, US Forest Service research stations, HT Harvey & Associates, Arizona and Oregon state universities among other organizations since 1981.  John has traveled extensively throughout California learning about local bird distribution and is an authority on that state’s avifauna. In 2015 he set the California's new big year record with 501 species and has many big day records as well. He has traveled internationally as a guide and ornithologist for many institutions including projects as a Smithsonian ornithologist to Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, The Philippines, Sumatra, Canada and Russia. 

John currently has his own company, Sterling Wildlife Biology (, specializing in tours, birding classes, research and environmental consulting for The Nature Conservancy, the Kern Water Bank, the California Rice Commission, the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, National Audubon’s International Alliance Program, CA Dept. of Water Resources among other organizations.

You may find a link to Birds of Morocco at:

January 11, 2023 NSAS Presents: Nature's Best Hope with Doug Tallamy !!!

Recent headlines about global insect declines and three billion fewer birds in North America are a bleak reality check about how ineffective our current landscape designs have been at sustaining the plants and animals that sustain us. To create landscapes that enhance local ecosystems rather than degrade them, we must 1 remove the invasives on our property and 2) add the native plant communities that sustain food webs, sequester carbon, maintain diverse native bee communities, and manage our watersheds. If we do this in half of the area now in lawn, we can create Homegrown National Park, a 20 million acre network of viable habitats that will provide vital corridors connecting the few natural areas that remain. This approach to conservation empowers everyone to play a significant role in the future of the natural world.

About our Presenter: Doug Tallamy is the T. A. Baker Professor of Agriculture in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 106 research publications and has taught insect related courses for 41 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. His books include Bringing Nature Home, The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, Nature’s Best Hope, a New York Times Best Seller, The Nature of Oaks, winner of the American Horticultural Society’s 2022 book award. In 2021 he co-founded Homegrown National Park with Michelle Alfandari. His awards include recognition from The Garden Writers Association, Audubon, The National Wildlife Federation, Allegheny College, The Garden Club of America and The American Horticultural Association.

You will find a link to Nature's Best Hope with Doug Tallamy at:

November 10, 2022 7:00 p.m. NSAS Presents: Birds of Panama with Luis Paz

Luis Paz has been an avid birder and bird guide in Panama for many years. Luis will talk about spectacular birding hot spots in Panama and target species for each location.

About the presenter: Luis Eduardo Paz Villanueva was born in Panama City and has been interested in birds and nature since his early childhood. He recently earned a Master of Science in Biology from the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. As a result of his high school education in an American school in Panama City, Luis speaks fluent Spanish, Romanian and English. With over 21 years of experience in Birding tourism working with Partnership for International Birding (PIB), Tropical Birding, Ancón Expeditions, Advantage Tours, Elder Hostel birding trips, Explore ( UK) and Freecare Birding. His most recent passion is wildlife photography. Not only has he birded extensively in Panama but also has spent a great del of time photographing birds in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.

You may find a link to Birding in Panama at:

October 13, 2022 7:00 p.m. NSAS Presents: Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change with Nita Winter & Rob Badger

Nita Winter & Rob Badger are authors of the 12-time, award winning, photographic essay book entitled Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change, co-published by the California Native Plant Society. Their book celebrates California Native Wildflowers for what they are; works of art! It will encourage love for wild flowers, the diverse living species that have an interconnected relationship with them, and a desire to fight to protect our earth from devastating Climate Change. Rob and Nita are excited to take you behind the scenes on their 27-year journey photographing wildflowers throughout California and the West and the making of Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change. Beauty and the Beast is an educational traveling exhibit and a companion award winning coffee table book. They introduce you to how they use their art and the voices of a diverse group of scientists, environmental leaders, and nature writers to inspire hope and action regarding climate change, land conservation and species extinction.

About the Presenters: In 1977, Nita Winter became the 1st female firefighter at the California Division of Forestry in Leggett, CA. The Leggett station is located along Highway 101 in a beautiful setting, nestled in the redwoods, with a short walk down to the South Fork of the National Wild and Scenic Eel River. On many of her days off she enjoyed camping on the banks of this peaceful river, a great place to relax and view the amazing wildflowers. Rob Badger grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts and moved west and has been taking nature and conservation photos ever since. Rob is an international award-winning conservation photographer who is passionate about photographing and protecting wildflowers on America’s public lands. He and his life and photography partner Nita Winter use art to inspire hope and action with regard to climate change, land conservation, and species extinction. The couple was honored with the Sierra Club’s 2020 Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography. From Siberia to Antarctica, for more than 30 years he has been privileged to work professionally as a Conservation, Nature and Environmental Issues Photographer, and award winning Photojournalist. He has extensive experience in conservation and photographing environmental issues: water, mining, energy, forestry, land use, agriculture, ecosystem preservation and restoration, environmental disasters, and environmental education.

You may find a link to Nita & Rob's Presentation at:

September 8th, 2022 7:00 p.m. NSAS Presents: Birding in Ecuador with David & Denise Hamilton

In June of 2019, David & Denise visited Ecuador for the San Jorge Eco-Lodges and Botanical Preserves’ “Seniors” Birding Tour. This meant birding before breakfast, and then more birding between breakfast and lunch, with a return to the lodge for an afternoon rest or birding on your own. This was a tour meant for up to 8 people, but when they arrived in Ecuador, they discovered that they were the only 2 on the tour and, in fact, were the only ones staying at all 3 lodges! They ended up with our own personal bird guide, and often ended up with a very late lunch! The tour took them from 1,650 feet in the lowland subtropical forest, to 12,120 feet in the Paramo/high barren plains. On the 16-day tour, they observed a total of 291 species, including 37 species of hummingbirds, 44 species of tanagers, the Andean Condor, and more! At September’s meeting, they will share some of their photos and stories from this amazing experience!

Meet the Presenters: David and Denise Hamilton are members of Napa-Solano Audubon and have been birders for the past 42 years. Both grew up in southern California; Denise enjoyed birds from the start, but David didn’t catch the bug until they got married in 1980 and moved to Minnesota. David finished school there, and Denise finally got to see her first Northern Cardinal. Then they saw an Indigo Bunting and then a Baltimore Oriole, and were hooked! They spent the next five years on the northern prairies of Montana, living with birds that many still have on their “want-to-see list”; this really helped spark their passion. Since then, they’ve travelled around the USA, Costa Rica, Trinidad & Tobago, Panama, Romania, Australia (twice), South Africa, and Ecuador. Their Napa backyard bird list for the past 22 years is at 142 species, including 6 species of hummingbirds, 10 species of warblers, Evening Grosbeaks, and some amazing sparrows such as Clay-colored and Black-throated (a new bird for Napa County in 2021.)

You may find a link to David & Denise Hamilton's presentation at:

May 12th, 2022 7:00 p.m. NSAS Presents: Arizona Spring Birding with Mark & Lucas Stephenson

Many years ago Mark led a birding expedition to Organ Pipe National Monument and later backpacked down the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to the Colorado River and back. From the amazing Geology and unique desert reptiles, to the spectacular birding, these were some of my most memorable trips he has ever experienced and he vowed to return someday. When Lucas was old enough, they took their first Birding Trek outside of California to Arizona in the Spring of 2015. They enjoyed it so much that they returned the following year during Lucas’ Spring Break. Aching to return they reserved Lucas' Spring Break of 2021 for another Arizona sojourn. Lucas was still not satiated and topped this trip off by attending the American Birding Association’s Camp Chiricahua for 2 weeks in July. Together, they have explored canyons from the Grand Canyon in the North to Sabina, Madera, Carr, Ramsey, and Cave Creek Canyons in the South and West. We have transecting mountains from the Kaibab Plateau to Santa Catalina’s spectacular Mount Lemon, to the slopes of Santa Rita’s Mt Wrightson, to the Huachuca’s Miller Peak, to the Chiricahua’s Rustler Peak. They have visited numerous birding hotspots from Saguaro National Park to Mt Lemon, to Madera Canyon, from Tubac’s Hawk Watch, to Patagonia Lakes, … from Lake Havasu to Cave Creek Canyon. They will share their many adventures, photos, and Arizona’s spectacular birding with you.

About the Presenters: Mark began birding in the 4th grade and expanded his experiences when his family moved to Ithaca, NY and he birded regularly with experts from Cornell’s Laboratory of Ornithology. After High School he worked summers at Sapsucker Wood’s and for Massachusetts Audubon before heading west and directing Foresta Institute’s Environmental Education, Summer Camps, and Expedition Programs. After a career of more than 30 years in public education teaching and administrating in Benicia and Napa he is enjoying retirement and birding in Northern California. Lucas is a sophomore in High School and has been birding since he was 8, when he got the “Birding Bug” as a Great Horned Owl called outside his tent and when he spotted a colorful Varied Thrush. Now, with his young eyes and ears he helps his Dad locate those challenging and “hard to find” birds.

You may find a link to Mark & Lucas Stephenson's presentation at:

April 14th, 2022 7:00 p.m. NSAS Presents: The Coldest, Driest, Windiest: Studying Adélie Penguins on the harshest continent with Dr. Annie Schmidt

This months presentation will feature: An Introduction to the Adélie penguin, to the Ross Sea and its global importance, an overview of Point Blue’s current research program, and a highlight of recent results. Annie Schmidt currently manages Point Blue’s Adélie Penguin Ecology Research which is addressing questions such as: How penguin nesting habitat influences breeding success, how climate change may affect penguin nesting habitat, and how individuals vary in their response to these changes. Annie is lucky enough to spend a few months of the year at the Point Blue Field Site on Ross Island, Cape Crozier, one of the largest Adélie Penguin colonies in the world. 
 About the Presenter: Annie Schmidt is the Antarctica Program Director for Point Blue Conservation Science. She started at Point Blue in 2004 as an intern investigating Leach’s Storm-Petrel demography on the Oregon Coast. The first time she held one of these tiny, incredibly tough, birds she was hooked and subsequently went on to study seabirds on the Farallon Islands. There is nothing like the bustling activity of a seabird metropolis to stimulate curiosity, wonder, and a desire to contribute towards a sustainable future. In 2013, she completed a PhD in Ecology at UC Davis where she studied the changing influence of ocean conditions on seabird populations on the Farallones. 
Annie loves photography, hiking, mountain biking and just about anything that involves being outside. When I’m not in the field in Antarctica (Oct- Jan), I can be found at our Petaluma headquarters. 

You may find a link to Dr. Annie Schmidt's's presentation at: (Coming Soon)

March 10, 2022 7:00 p.m. NSAS Presents: Birding from Bodega to Oregon and Beyond with Harry Fuller

Harry Fuller will take us on a virtual birding tour from the Sonoma Coast north to Oregon, with a final stop at a hot-spot in the Great Basin. Our trip will include wintering White Pelicans and nesting ones. Willets on the beach, and nesting in the sagebrush. For listers we’ll talk of good places to see Great Gray Owls in May, White-headed Woodpeckers and dancing Western Grebes.

About our speaker; Harry Fuller has lived in Oregon since 2007. Before retirement he managed TV and Internet newsrooms in San Francisco and London. Harry has written three natural history books, including the Great Gray Owl of California, Oregon and Washington (; San Francisco’s Natural History: Sand Dunes to Streetcars (; and Freeway Birding ( Harry has been leading bird trips and teaching birding classes since the 1990s. Currently he leads trips for the Malheur Field Station and the Klamath Bird Observatory and provides private guiding service. Harry’s birding journal is online at: and his website is located at: . His most revered birding mentor was Rich Stallcup. You may find a link to Harry Fuller's presentation at: .

February 10, 2022 7:00 p.m. NSAS Presents: Tick Talk with Lia Gaertner

Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the USA and tick season is year-round in California. This Tick Talk workshop will provide attendees with the latest research on tick-borne diseases, prevention strategies for birders, testing, and treatments. We will also learn a bit about the fascinating ecology and history of ticks and tick-borne diseases in the USA.

Lia Gaertner is the Director of Education and Outreach at the Bay Area Lyme Foundation. She is a scientist who is passionate about cultivating better research and recognition for tick-borne illnesses. She has experienced, first hand, the obstacles to effective diagnosis and treatment of tick-borne illness. She was first bitten by a Lyme-carrying tick in 1998, but was misdiagnosed until 2008. Lia has over 30 years of international experience in scientific and field research, technical writing, teaching, and project management. She has also worked for several science and medical companies as a consultant, project manager, content producer, and affiliate relations director. Ms. Gaertner earned her BS in Environmental Science with minors in Ethnobotany and Agroecology from UC Berkeley and her MS in Ethnobotany from Cornell University. She lives in the Bay Area with her Lyme-literate physician husband, Sunjya Schweig, MD, and their two children. You may find a link to Lia's presentation at:

January 13, 2022 7:00 p.m. NSAS Presents: Birding for Conservation in Columbia with Alvaro Jaramillo

Many birders have heard that Colombia is the country that has the largest list of birds, the most bird-rich nation on earth! So why is it not full of birders? Well, it is on an incredible upswing, but it is still coming out of a decades long conflict, political as well as involving the drug trade. Well those days are becoming history, the country has done a very sharp turnaround and it is now as safe as traveling in adjacent Panama or Ecuador. The birding is astounding, and there are some wonderfully unique spots to visit. Among these is the Santa Marta mountain range, a mountain separate from the Andes that has an incredible level of endemism – species that cannot be found anywhere else on earth. Santa Marta as well as nearby dry forests, coastal desert and the Perijá Mountains to the east make northern Colombia an amazing way to begin to dip your toes in the unbelievable birding found in Colombia. Then there are the Andes, three different ranges, and endemic rich valleys of this incredible country. Alvaro has been involved in a large project with National Audubon in recent years that aims to promote conservation through economic development. How? Well, by creating the infrastructure and guide training to increase birding tourism in the area. When people earn a living from birding, they will preserve the birds and habitat. Come see about this innovative program (recently featured in Audubon Magazine) while learning about the birds and birding in Colombia. You may find a link to Alvaro's presentation at:

November 11, 2021 7:00 p.m. NSAS Presents : Birds of the Sierra Nevada with Author and Artist Keith Hansen

After illustrating Discovering Sierra Birds with Ted Beedy and Steve Granholm in 1982, and then illustrating Birds of the Sierra Nevada: Their Natural History, Status and Distribution with Ted Beedy and Ed Pandolfino in 2013, Keith knew he had to author a more comprehensive and complete field guide for the identification of Sierra birds. In this presentation, Keith will share his experiences, adventures, and amazing artwork while writing his newest book with Edward Beedy and Adam Donkin that details more than 325 Sierra birds fully illustrated in: Hansen’s Field Guide to Birds of the Sierra Nevada published this year by HeyDay Books.

A barefoot kid exploring the woods of Maryland, Keith Hansen was happiest when outdoors. Captivated by birds, he began drawing them as a teenager. Life was a generous mix of art and travel as he illustrated numerous books, ornithological publications, and countless private commissions. In addition, he and several family members illustrated a 128-foot-long mural of the San Joaquin River. Keith counts himself fortunate to have birded the Galapagos Islands and worked aboard an NOAA vessel in the tropical Pacific. Gathering fundamental experience regarding bird anatomy, he studied and banded many hundreds over the years on California’s Farallon Islands through the Point Reyes Bird Observatory. He has taken great pleasure exploring the Amazon, Scotland, the Andes, and the French Pyrenees. The New World tropics hold a special place in his heart; he has led tours to Guyana, Trinidad, Tobago, and Panama’s Darien Gap. In addition, he and his wife, Patricia, have led tours to Costa Rica, Oaxaca, her native Yucatan, and extensively throughout Guatemala. They reside in Bolinas, California, where Keith has a gallery and studio. You may find a link to Keith's presentation at:

October 14, 2021 7:00 p.m. NSAS Presents: Monique Liguori shares her Experiences with the Incredible Lives of Hummingbirds.

Monique’s presentation will share beautiful visuals and incredible facts of our New World Hummingbirds! Monique has traveled for many years throughout the US and to Brazil, Equator, and Costa Rica to photograph hummingbirds. She will share her exciting adventures and discoveries of what she has learned during her searches throughout the Western Hemisphere for these amazing birds. Her presentation will feature the unique adaptations and stunning beauty of the lives of hummingbirds that exist at the edge of what is possible! In her work at the Suisun Wildlife Center, Monique has had the opportunity to raise a number of young hummingbirds orphaned from their parents. Her work in animal rescue and the mission of the Wildlife Center will also be highlighted in her talk.

Monique Liguori is the Executive Director and Education Director for the Suisun Marsh Natural History Association, a non-profit organization that operates the Suisun Wildlife Center for the rescue and return to the wild of native California wildlife in Solano County. The Wildlife Center has served Solano County since 1977 and released over 17,000 birds and animals back to the wild. Its Environmental Education programs have worked with over 300,000 students, adults, seniors, and pre-schoolers. You may find a link to their presentation at: .

September 9, 2021 7:00 p.m. NSAS Presents: Nathan Pieplow and 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 Presents: Mark & Lucas Stephenson's West Coast Pelagic Birding 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.

Lazuli Bunting © 2012 Dave McMullen Mallards © 2013 Dave McMullen Rufous-crowned Sparrow © 2014 Dave McMullen Brown Creeper © 2013 Dave McMullen Orange-crowned Warbler © 2013 Dave McMullen

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