Napa Solano Audubon Speaker Series Video Archive

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: https://youtu.be/Ts43rN3jSg0

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 (EcowiseWordpress.com); San Francisco’s Natural History: Sand Dunes to Streetcars (EcowiseWordpress.com); and Freeway Birding (FreewayBirding.com). 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: atowhee.blog and his website is located at: http://www.towhee.net . His most revered birding mentor was Rich Stallcup. You may find a link to Harry Fuller's presentation at: https://youtu.be/QL0yyetHkdo .

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: https://youtu.be/sXr-fxA8Ngc

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: https://youtu.be/ynk8OVZQgj0

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: https://youtu.be/bUXXMbU4JwE

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: https://youtu.be/YhAgMJjFfa8 .

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: https://youtu.be/h-d-D3XqOO8

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: https://youtu.be/8lf5rTOU9So

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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tHiKbnR-FA .

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: https://youtu.be/xC842LXd_GU

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. http://www.amazon.com/dp/0824846796/ref=pe_825000_114660910_TE_item. 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 (www.accessoceans.org), 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: https://youtu.be/fVALJ9HR_vw

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: https://youtu.be/fcFyeCDLu-g

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: https://youtu.be/6ombiK8bgNw .

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: https://youtu.be/5b2a7lyVtn4

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: https://youtu.be/yUrwFN28wyo

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: https://youtu.be/EzdK9o3gyi8 .

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: https://youtu.be/AZuLWKtd4pM . 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. https://www.facebook.com/barnowlHSU/videos/704773470077867/

Great Blue Heron © 2013 Dave McMullen Ruby-crowned Kinglet © 2013 Dave McMullen Red-breasted Sapsucker © 2013 Dave McMullen Chipping Sparrow © 2013 Dave McMullen Barn Swallows © 2013 Dave McMullen

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