Wild Parrots in San Diego Challenges and Hopes
for the local flock
with Amanda Plante
Wednesday, March 18 At the BVAS Nature Center
6:30 p.m. Social—7 p.m. Program
Have you seen or heard them in your neighborhood? Parrots
are not native to San Diego, but thousands of wild parrots
are flying free around the county. According to SoCal Parrot,
an organization that rescues and rehabilitates parrots, as
many as 13 different parrot species can be seen throughout
Southern California. Normally, these birds would be at home
in Mexico, Central America, and South America, but they’ve
been forced to adapt to life in San Diego. At least two parrot
species flying wild in San Diego are known to be endangered
in their native homeland. How did these parrots get here,
and why are they flying free? San Diego’s naturalized wild
parrots face a number of threats in our urban environment,
including some posed by ill-spirited humans. Some people
may discount parrots as just another non-native species
that is causing harm to our natural ecosystem. Should we be
concerned about their well-being?
Amanda Plante is the education and development director
of SoCal Parrot. SoCal Parrot is a non-profit organization
based in Jamul that was
founded to bridge the
gap of care and consideration
for wild, naturalized
parrots. It serves as a
resource for wild parrot
and protection. Among
its activities, the organization
takes in parrots
that have been injured in
the wild by whatever causes, with a goal of providing needed
medical attention in preparation for re-release back into the
wild. Amanda will discuss the status of parrots in San Diego,
the role of SoCal Parrot in helping rescue and rehabilitate
wild parrots, and what we can all do to help. Amanda plans
to bring several live parrot “ambassadors” with her for the
March program. For more info on SoCal Parrot, visit its website:
BVAS Birdhouse Auction
Get Set For a Real Tweet!
It’s nearing time for one of our most fun and exciting events at the Nature Center.
The annual Birdhouse Auction will be held on Saturday, March 21. As usual, we’ll
have a large assortment of wonderfully creative, handmade birdhouses, bird
feeders, and bird-related items, as well as a nice assortment of beverages to keep
our (bird) whistles wet. The Nature Center is a beautiful new venue now, following
its renovation in 2014. To go along with the new look, the Auction committee has
planned some new twists on a few of the Auction’s regular features. These include
an excitingly different food menu, plus Oceanside legend, Larry Hatter, the former
play-by-play announcer for Oceanside High football games, as guest auctioneer.
Martha Barnett will still be having “A Way With Birds,” of course, wearing her new
hat as auctioneer emeritus. More plans will be forthcoming in next month’s newsletter,
but you’ll need to attend the Auction in March for the final reveal!
Buena Vista Audubon
$1 Million to
Key Properties !!
CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS and a donation form to use for contributions to the Ridgeway's Rail Society Fund
(Formerly Clapper Rail Society)
Your donation will be matched 2-to-1 and will help buy and preserve two precious parcels in North County. ________________________
Joey’s and Johnny’s Clubhouse
BVAS Nature Center
March 15—1-4 p.m.
Joey and Johnny DiMento have been entertaining their
young friends at the Nature Center on the third Sunday of
each month. Seven-year-old Joey and her younger brother
Johnny (age 4) have always enjoyed hanging out at the
Nature Center, investigating the exhibits, reading the children’s
books, doing nature-oriented crafts, and exploring
the trail. Their parents, Danny and C.J., are long-time
members and highly involved volunteers at BVAS.
The monthly gathering of kids began when the DiMento
family signed up to host the Nature Center from 1-4 p.m.
on the third Sunday of each month. Joey quickly took on
the role of “kid’s greeter,” welcoming each youngster who
entered the Nature Center with special walks around the
exhibits and suggestions of fun activities. She then began
inviting her friends from school to drop by to join her and
Johnny for fun and games at the Nature Center. It’s now
become a much-anticipated nature play day for a growing
number of young children, as well as their accompanying
parents. As attendance has
grown, so has the fun and
excitement. The adults provide
a few ideas and help
oversee things in general,
but the kids themselves invent
many of the games and
choose their activities.
Visitors to the Nature Center
can always tell when
Joey’s and Johnny’s Clubhouse
has had another
“meeting”. For several days following each session, the
sidewalk at the entrance to the Nature Center is adorned
with colorful chalk art featuring birds, flowers, and other
designs, usually accompanied with the hand-written sentiment
“We Love the Nature Center!”.
Do you have a bored youngster looking for a little fun this
summer? Drop by the Nature Center from 1-4 p.m. on the
third Sunday of each month and join the kids (and parents)
at Joey’s and Johnny’s Clubhouse.
Estate Planning and BVAS
Just before the summer break, the BVAS Board received word that Joni Ciarletta had generously included BVAS in her estate plan. Joni established a future bequest in her will to help ensure the chapter would have the funds needed in the years ahead to continue to maintain the Nature Center and support its nature education programs. Joni is an active birder and naturalist and a regular contributor to BVAS. She has previously volunteered her expertise to help BVAS prepare grant requests for various projects.
The Board gives Joni its heartfelt thanks for joining the BVAS Legacy Circle, and for helping us call attention to this special program. The Legacy Circle is comprised of friends and members who have provided for BVAS in their estate plans, whether by provisions included in their wills or trusts, or by several other means now available. Joni follows the grand tradition set by a number of our early “charter” members who chose to remember BVAS in their estate plans.
How important is this to BVAS? As a result of bequests that BVAS has received over the last ten years, the Nature Center Endowment Fund has now grown to approximately $500,000. A portion of the annual investment earnings from this fund now help augment the chapter’s annual operating budget, allowing BVAS to maintain and upgrade its facilities and offer a wider variety of exciting new programs.
BVAS has prepared a guide to planned giving that provides basic information regarding establishing an estate gift to BVAS. The guide can be read and downloaded by following this link.
Donate that Old Clunker to BVAS
BVAS is now participating in the Cars 4 Causes donation program. Tax-deductible donations of any car, running or not, can be made through the Cars 4 Causes organization, for the benefit of BVAS. Avoid the hassle of trading in or selling that old car and help support the Nature Center. Just call 1-800-766-2273 and say you’d like to donate your vehicle to benefit BVAS. Cars 4 Causes will pick up your vehicle at your home, fill out the necessary paperwork, and provide the receipt for your tax deduction. Or click the below link to sign-up online.
NestWatch is a nest-monitoring project developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center aimed to provide a unified nest-monitoring scheme to track reproductive success for all North American breeding birds. NestWatch invites people who are interested in the natural world to help monitor the success of nesting birds and better understand the threats they face. These data will provide a wealth of information about breeding birds and the factors that influence their success across different landscapes. For more info, go to www.nestwatch.org.
New BVAS Birding Guide Now Available
Birding Hotspots of
In response to repeated requests, BVAS has produced a full-color brochure highlighting some of the best birding spots in North County. The brochure profiles 14 different coastal and inland birding sites that promise a varied bird list in a range of habitats. A detailed site map and directions are included, along with notes about visitor services at each site. Award-winning photographer Chris Mayne contributed the dramatic bird photos that illustrate the brochure.
The brochure was partially funded by a San Diego County grant. A committee headed by Judi Wilson oversaw the project, with graphic design services provided by Daniel Sanchez. The brochure is being distributed free of charge at the BVAS Nature Center and at several other North County sites. Stop by to pick up your copy today, and go birding!
Looking for Birding Optics?
For unbiased advice, reviews and ratings of binoculars & spottingscopes, check out this new website:
Support our Ruddy Duck Club members Click on the above picture for a list of all current members
Ruddy Duck Club
This special group of local businesses
and organizations support the
nature education and recreation programs offered at the
Buena Vista Audubon Nature Center with an annual donation
of $100 or more. To request your “no obligation”
Ruddy Duck Club packet of membership information and
benefits, please call Kelly Deveney at 760-721-2441.
The environmental scoping process for the Buena Vista Lagoon Enhancement Project is complete. Read about it HERE. A fact sheet for the project can be found HERE.
Check out the Conservation Page for more BVAS conservation news, including the possible BVAS purchase of land for conservation.
Camp Pendleton Family
Strikes Birding Gold
Amy Saye learned to appreciate
birds when Madeline, her teenage
daughter, became fascinated
by them herself a few years
ago. For the last two years, the
Sayes have been rewarded for
their interest by a bird that has
chosen to build its nest and
raise its young inside the Saye’s garage. What bird? It
was her namesake—a Say’s phoebe, of course! Pretty
neat, and highly unusual. But that’s not all. In October
this year, after the phoebes had fledged, a beautiful golden
bird showed up in the front yard. Amy and Madeline
finally puzzled out its identity—a rare prothonotary warbler!
Amy shared her discovery with BVAS, and invited
others to come to her yard to see this special bird.
The remarkable story of the garage-nesting Say’s phoebes
and the first-ever recorded sighting of a prothonotary warbler
on Camp Pendleton can be read HERE!
Buena Vista Lagoon Featured
In YouTube Video
A great video by Michael Sosebee featuring the Buena Vista lagoon is available on YouTube, narrated by our own Tom Troy and Joan Bockman. See it here:
A new bird-sighting listserv operated by the San Diego
Field Ornithologists has taken over the role formerly held
by SDBirds. For a number of years, SDBirds served as the
popular go-to site for posting and obtaining information
about interesting bird sightings in San Diego County, and
was widely recognized for providing an extremely valuable
service to San Diego birders. In November, however,
SDBirds was officially disbanded, and it no longer operates
as a listserv.
The circumstances surrounding the demise of SDBirds underlined
the concerns of some in the birding community
who had long felt a San Diego birding listserv would be
more properly administered by an association of birders,
rather than by an individual person. Operation of the new
listserv will be fully accountable, with the rules of operation
and their implementation subject to the democratic
review and approval of the group’s broad and diverse
membership. SDFO, as an established organization, will
be able to provide for the on-going and uninterrupted succession
of management and operation of the new listserv.
The new San Diego birding listserv is called
Its aim is to provide the most timely and
accurate birding information possible to subscribers. The
new listserv welcomes current reports of rare and otherwise
unusual birds from the field, links to photographs of
unusual birds seen locally, migration news, information on
population trends, historical records, local pelagic trip reports
and schedules, and other information of interest to
field birders dealing with the status and distribution of San
Diego County birds. The management of the new listserv
will be by the annually elected officers and Board of the
SDFO, with daily oversight provided by a group made up
by some of the Board members and/or their assignees.
An additional benefit of SDFO ownership will be the presence
of SanDiegoRegionBirding reports on regional and
continent-wide compilation listservs. This will ensure the
sharing of birding information from San Diego County
with those living elsewhere in California and across the
BVAS supports this new community-based birding
listserv, and encourages its members to participate.
BVAS conducts regular monthly bird surveys of Buena Vista Lagoon and Whelan Lake Bird Sanctuary. We also offer one or more other bird walks at various locations within the county each month. We welcome birders of all levels to join us on these excursions. See Field Trips for details.
Becoming a Nature Guide
Have you considered becoming a BVAS Nature Guide?
We lead school classes and other groups on nature walks
and tours of the Nature Center. Our nature programs are
prepared to make it easy for us to learn and to teach, but
give us plenty of opportunity to share our own stories and
nature knowledge as we talk to our young visitors. We
need more guides for this fall. For more information,
please email Fran MacNeel at firstname.lastname@example.org
More info on this and other volunteer opportunities can be found HERE.
SD County Checklist
More than 500 bird species have been identified in San Diego County. Get busy, birders! Here's a checklist to start recording your sightings.
Dancing With Owls
Shanti Mayberry has an interesting story to tell. It’s about a special encounter she had over several months with a great horned owl that still lives in Crest Canyon, adjacent to her home in Del Mar. This is a story about an interspecies relationship that was born in innocent communion but quickly grew in intensity and passion. Something finally had to give, and the natural order of things has now been restored. But, the poignant and somewhat bittersweet memories persist . Read Shanti's story HERE.
Alger Hiss and the
A first-person connection between the infamous Alger Hiss, our very own Dennis Huckabay, and birding in New York’s Central Park is explored in a story by Dennis.
Buena Vista Audubon
PO Box 480
Oceanside, CA 92049-0480
Carlsbad Lagoons and Wetlands
The three Carlsbad lagoon foundations - Buena Vista, Agua Hedionda and Batiquitos - together with Buena Vista Audubon have started coordinating their activities and working more closely together with the City of Carlsbad under a new umbrella group, Carlsbad Lagoons and Wetlands (CLAW).Click on logos below to check out activities and common interests of all of our lagoon foundations.