If you love birds, meeting new people, and learning while exploring in Nevada, this is the workshop for you. We are recruiting birders of all levels to join us as field trip guides. This workshop will provide you with all the details you need to lead or assist an LAS birding field trip. Experienced and novice guides are invited to join as we share ideas on how to lead birding walks. We are finalizing the date(s) and details of this training and will update when we have more details. If you are interested in learning more, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our volunteer interest form.
To celebrate the Holiday Season, we are re-featuring another "monthly" bird you might not have seen in person, but you probably heard of: the Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis).
The Northern Cardinal lives primarily east of the Rockies, with a small population in Arizona (hint-hint: The Arizona Cardinals football team’s namesake). From their easily recognizable colors, they have become a famous bird. They are the State bird of seven US states; more than any other American species. BirdNote devoted the episode below all about our favorite red bird:
A male Northern Cardinal against a snowy landscape(like the photo above) is commonly seen gracing many a holiday greeting card. But did you know Northern Cardinals were originally only found in the warmer Southern States, like Florida and Louisana? They settled in Northern States and Canadian Provinces in the past century. This BirdNote episode covers this full story of why the Northern Cardinal moved north.
Besides the cards you have sent or received this holiday, have you ever seen a Northern Cardinal back east? Let us know in the comments. From all of us at Lahontan Audubon Society: Happy Holidays!
Richard Podolsky is marine scientist with expertise in the behavioral ecology of seabirds, especially puffins, albatross, shearwaters and petrels. He worked for 11 summers on National Audubon’s Project Puffin that successfully restored Atlantic Puffins to several Maine islands. For his doctoral degree from the University of Michigan, Podolsky restored the Laysan Albatross to the Hawaiian Island, Kauai. Following this study, Dr. Podolsky completed his postdoctoral training at the Charles Darwin Station in the Galápagos Islands where he restored the critically endangered Galápagos Petrel. Podolsky lives in Camden, Maine.
Join us for this virtual presentation on Tuesday, January 25th at 7:00 pm.
All photos were taken on the field trip and courtesy of Judy Duffy. Check out her website here: www.judyduffyphotography.com
Our friends at Bristlecone Audubon recently shared this video. It is an inspirational story all about the restoration of Dixie Creek in Central Nevada, and all the different people and organizations who worked together to save this river. Watch it on YouTube below:
Our December bird of the month is the Pinyon Jay. Pinyon Jays are known for foraging in Pinyon pines, hence their namesake. Pinyon Jays are a larger jay, and sometimes mistaken for small crows.
Pinyon Jays are found throughout the American West and even parts of Baja California. They are often seen in the Great Basin region due to the Pinyon trees that can be found here. Flocks of Pinyon Jays can be seen in Alum Canyon and have been recently observed on Peavine here in Reno. The Pinyon Jay is a Watch List species due to habitat loss.
Lahontan Audubon Society is partnering with the Great Basin Bird Observatory on an exciting community science project to advance our knowledge of this unique species. Join us for our upcoming free monthly meeting where you will learn all about the natural history of Pinyon Jays and how you can support conservation efforts. To register for the member meeting click below.
For more information about Pinyon Jays and to hear recordings of their call, please visit the Audubon Field Guide entry below:
" 'Tis the season" for the 2021 Christmas Bird Count. Our chapter does not run the Christmas Bird Counts ourselves, they are run independently by Bird Count Compilers. However, we happily promote the upcoming counts happening in the Northern Nevada and Tahoe region. Counts are listed below, and also listed on our website calendar. If you would like to participate in a count, please contact the count leader first. Check back in to this list regularly, as we will be adding more information about CBC counts as we hear from more leaders.
Contact Dave McNinch (775) 747-7545; Email David
Snake Valley (Baker, NV)
Contact Gretchen Baker (435)406-1041; Email Gretchen
South Lake Tahoe
Contact Will Richardson, (775)298-0065; Email Will.
Click here to register for the count
Contact Lois Ports, through Bristlecone Audubon; Email Lois
Truckee Meadows (Reno/Sparks)
Contact Dave McNinch (775) 747-7545; Email David
Contact Roy Morris (775) 623-1562; Email Roy
January 1st, 2022
Contact Dennis Serdehely (775)771-1575; Email Dennis
This count has been closed to the public due to pandemic safety concerns.
This CBC was cancelled for the 2021 year.
As always, click below to see our calendar with a complete day-by-day list of all our events.
To see a Audubon's complete map of Christmas Bird Counts happening around the country, click below:
The Christmas Bird Count has been a long-standing tradition, starting up circa when the Audubon Society was founded. But did you know it began with a tradition of taking hunting trips at Christmas? Check out this Audubon article below, to read about the origins of the Christmas Bird Count, how data from the Christmas Bird Count is used in contemporary research, and much more.
To see the summary from last year's Bird Count, click below:
The Pinyon Jay is a charismatic corvid that can be seen locally, including in Alum Canyon and recently on Peavine. Unfortunately, their population has declined nearly 80% since the 1970s and the Pinyon Jay is a Watch List species due to habitat loss. Join us on Tuesday, December 14th at 7:00 for this virtual presentation by the Great Basin Bird Observatory. This webinar will feature background on the species, research, and ways that you can help with ongoing monitoring and conservation efforts.
As the weather becomes chilly, many of our feathered friends make their way south for the winter, but where do they go? Mario Cordoba returns to share with us the Costa Rican habitats of our local bird species. Find out which species are enjoying annual tropical sojourns and how Costa Rica and Nevada are connected by our birds.
Join Mario Cordoba, a Costa Rican native, for a Zoom webinar on the Western North American Birds in Costa Rica. Mario has been birding since childhood and guiding for over 25 years. He has guided numerous trips for birding groups and international natural history organizations such as the National Audubon Society, Bird Watcher’s Digest, National Geographic Society, Road Scholar, and the Sierra Club in Costa Rica, Panama, and Ecuador. Mario will be leading two Costa Rica birding trips for the Lahontan Audubon Society in February 2022.
On Friday, November 19th, Kath Giel led a birding field trip starting at Idlewild Park and walking upstream along the Truckee River for about a mile. There were 12 enthusiastic birders on the trip, newcomers to Reno as well as long term residents, many who had never been to this delightful birding area. Valerie Andersen compiled an eBird checklist. Below is the summary and highlights of the event:
Idlewild Park is a lovely park along the Truckee River near downtown Reno. It has two small ponds, and in addition to the perennial MALLARDS and CANADA GEESE on these ponds, we saw HOODED MERGANSERS, COMMON MERGANSERS, and a pair of WOOD DUCK. There was a HAIRY WOODPECKER in a tree near one pond. As we strolled upstream along the Truckee River, we were delighted with a number of DOWNY WOODPECKERS in the trees We also noted a few FLICKERS, AMERICAN GOLDFINCH, MOUNTAIN CHICKADEES, SONG SPARROWS and ROBINS. A few people spotted a MERLIN on the other side of the river. We also saw a JUVENILE SNOW GOOSE in the river with some CANADA GEESE and then on the way back to our cars we were thrilled with a JUVENILE RED-TAILED HAWK that was fearless and perched just above the ground on a tree stump along the river path (photo above by Emma Wynn). We enjoyed the two hours of birding on a beautiful day, enjoying our birding and making new friends.
On Thursday, November 18th, our Community Engagement Coordinator Parker Flickinger and field trip volunteer Kath Giel, undertook the monthly eBird birding challenge. Their goal was to go birding at 3 different parks, all on the same day!
To help promote the Birding By Bus program, Kath and Parker chose to explore three different parks featured on the Birding By Bus map; Rancho San Rafael, Virginia Lake and Wingfield Park. This was an interesting time to go birding as many of the migrating species had already traveled through Nevada, and mainly resident species remain. Nevertheless, Kath and Parker did indeed manage to capture 29 different species across the parks.
Kath and Parker also had their cameras along with them, and were able to capture footage of their adventure, and the birds they observed. Their footage was compiled into a video, now featured on the Lahontan Audubon Society YouTube Channel. Watch it below.
If you would like to go on your own birding adventure, feel free to check out the Birding By Bus Map and see some of the many public birding parks in the Reno/Sparks metro area. Also feel free to check out a PDF of the complete list of birds Kath and Parker observed on their challenge.
We still have spaces available on both our Costa Rica Field trips in 2022! The first field trip happens from February 8th to 18th, and the second from February 19th to March 5th. Ornithologist, Mario Cordoba will be your guide through the Costa Rican forests. To meet Mario and learn about the environment and wildlife of Costa Rica, please check out his previous monthly member meeting below. Also check out the Costa Rica Field Trip Flyer below or contact our field trip coordinator, Kath Giel, for more details.