News and notes about birds and conservation in California

California Condor. Photo: Scott Frier/USFWS

Plumas Audubon transforms elementary school curriculum with birds, binoculars and shovels

Johanna Stoermer, 12, and Emily Bryant, environmental education assistant for Plumas Audubon Society, spot a bird in a tree during a bird walk at Quincy Elementary School. Photo: Maggie Starbard

Plumas Audubon has worked in partnership with the local school district to develop a fully integrated bird, native plants, and climate change program. At one school, each of the 55 fifth-grade students became an expert in a bird of their choice, participated in a Christmas Bird Count, and had at least one class outside almost every week (except in the dead of winter) to go birding. Read more about their unique program, which also included a day of planting native plants for birds.

Audubon Statement on Draft Legislation to Amend Endangered Species Act

This week, Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) released a draft bill to overhaul the Endangered Species Act. Barrasso chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and has worked with the Western Governors Association to draft the proposal. The “Endangered Species Act Amendments of 2018” is a discussion draft. In response to the proposal, Sarah Greenberger, Senior Vice President, Conservation Policy at National Audubon Society, issued the following statement:

 “If you’ve ever seen a Bald Eagle or a Brown Pelican, you can thank the Endangered Species Act. The Endangered Species Act protects iconic American wildlife from extinction at a 99 percent success rate. But in the face of increasing threats from development, contaminants and a changing climate, we must do more to protect birds and other wildlife and the places they need to survive and thrive. First and foremost, conserving threatened and endangered species requires more resources, but it also requires a creative, science-based, bipartisan conversation on how we can improve conservation outcomes on the ground. We appreciate that the Western Governors Association has convened a thoughtful effort to tackle these issues, that Senator Barrasso wants to continue that conversation and has invited organizations like Audubon to offer our thoughts. We will review the discussion draft with that goal in mind – improving science-based conservation for birds now and into the future.”

More about Audubon’s work and the Endangered Species Act can be found here.

Effective July 1, 2018: Higher CGA Rates Can Benefit Your Family and Birds

Effective July 1, 2018: Higher CGA Rates Can Benefit Your Family and Birds

Higher rates for Charitable Gift Annuities have taken effect, sparking a win-win for donors and charities

Happy Birthday MBTA!

Happy Birthday MBTA!

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) was passed 100 years ago today on July 3, 1918. Learn what we are doing to ensure it continues to protect birds into the future.

Be a bird-friendly beachgoer this summer
Bird-Friendly Communities

Be a bird-friendly beachgoer this summer

Celebrations on the beach are fun for us, but to nesting shorebirds and their chicks, hazards are everywhere

U.S. Senate passes 2018 Farm Bill with commitment to conservation

In a statement yesterday, The National Audubon Society praised the commitment to conservation in the 2018 Senate Farm Bill. The bill now moves to conference commitee where it will be reconciled with the House Farm Bill passed last week.  Audubon urges robust conservation in the final bill. 

“The Senate Farm Bill provides important tools to collaborate with producers on working landscapes to address bird habitat, water, and soil health needs,” said David O’Neill, Chief Conservation Officer for National Audubon Society. The National Audubon Society partners with private land managers on bird-friendly conservation strategies as part of the Working Lands Program.

The bill provides funding for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) to bring together farm and conservation groups for mutually benedical collaborations, such as Audubon California's work to protect the Tricolored Blackbird which is now listed as a Threatened under the California Endangered Species Act.

Read Audubon's full statement here and learn more about why the Senate's 2018 Farm Bill is good for birds.

For more on the RCPP and Tricolored Blackbirds in California check out this story from earlier this year. 

"Giving is receiving"

"Giving is receiving"

Andee Burrell has a longstanding passion for local conservation at Audubon’s Starr Ranch Sanctuary; even as she also keeps the bigger picture in view, as illustrated in her story.

Talking shorebirds and action at the Salton Sea

Birds at the Salton Sea. Photo by Andrea Jones

Great article from the The Western Hemispher Reserve Shorebird Network about the need for action at the Salton Sea with some input from Audubon California's, Andrea Jones. Check out the story here.  

Seen any Pacific-slope Flycatchers lately?

Seen any Pacific-slope flycatchers lately?

On the June 15 MAPS banding day at Starr Ranch, Kim Geissler saw 7 Pacific-slope Flycatchers, just one of 31 species seen or captured at the banding station that day.

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