Thursday, October 04, 2007

Contact Information for Fall 2007 Events

Attracting Birds to Your Desert Backyard Habitat The Living Desert University, 47900 Portola Ave., Palm Desert (760) 346-5694

Big Morongo Canyon Preserve has bird & nature walks on Wednesdays and Saturdays except the first Sat. of the Month 11055 East Drive, Morongo Valley for info call Dee Zeller at (760) 363-7190

The Central Valley Birding Symposium Nov. 15-18 in Stockton

Coachella Valley Wild Bird Center has a bird walk on the first Saturday of each month from 8-10:00 a.m. www.coachellavalleywildbirdcenter.org46500 Van Buren St., Indio (760) 347-2647
College of the Desert birding and desert naturalist classes. Contact Kurt Leuschner at (760) 776-7285

The Desert Cities Bird Club 70065 Sonora Road #267, Mountain Center, CA 92561 (760) 349-3515

The Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park (760) 367-5535

Joshua Tree National Park usually has bird walks at Cottonwood Springs from Nov-May. For information call JTNP (760) 367-5500

The Living Desert members only bird walks on the second Thursday of each month. October- May. Meet at the admissions gate at 7:30 a.m. for early admission. 47900 Portola Ave., Palm Desert call (760) 346-5694 ext. 82506

San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society (SBVAS)(909) 875-5358.

SBVAS Salton Sea Goose & Crane Trip January 12, 2008 - 7:00 am Chet McGaugh (951) 781-3699 & John Green (951) 686-2956

Salton Sea International Bird Festival President's Day Weekend (760) 344-5359

DCBC Library

Thanks to a hot tip from Dee, the DCBC now has a complete set of Bent’s Life Histories of North American Birds. Anyone needing to access our bird library please contact Kurt Leuschner at COD. 760-776-7285

Renew your membership

Do you ever wonder where your Desert Cities Bird Club dues are going? Part of the money goes to our membership in The Bird Conservation Alliance and for other birding causes. We recently donated bird seed and supplies to the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve and to the C V Wild Bird Center. Also, donated optics are often forwarded to help conservation efforts. So help support the club by purchasing a patch or pin for $5.00 each or a bumper sticker for $1.50. Send your money with your membership or purchase at the CVWBC or BMCP.

Membership Form


City, State, Zip_________________________________________

Email Address (optional) __________________________________

____Sign me up! Enclosed is my $5.00 donation.

____I want to renew my membership, enclosed is $5.00.
____I am enclosing an additional $5.00 for a club pin
____I am enclosing an additional $5.00 for a patch
____I am enclosing $1.50 for a bumper sticker

Newsletter Format _____Print ____Electronic

Mail to:
Desert Cities Bird Club70065 Sonora Road #267Mountain Center, CA 92561

Birds of the Mojave Desert: Natural History and Conservation.

Oases in the Mojave Desert are used by a wide number and variety of bird species every fall as stopping points during southward migration. A class, taught by Kurt Leuschner is a great opportunity to spend a weekend observing both migrant and resident birds in their natural habitats. Over 175 bird species have been recorded at the Desert Studies Center. Course fee ($210.00) includes two night’s lodging and five meals beginning with a snack on Friday and breakfast on Saturday. As a bonus, an additional fee allows students to earn a couple of units at CSUSB. ZZYZX-Desert Studies Center October 19-21. Contact Cal State at 909-880-5975 for information and to register.

Birds of Anza Borrego.

Join the fun. Car-caravan to various sites in and around Anza-Borrego Desert State Park – the largest state park in California. The park offers a wide variety of habitats where both Fall migrants and year-round resident species can be observed. Learn about the ecology, conservation, and taxonomy of the many different species encountered. The class will begin promptly at 7:00 P.M. Friday evening, October 12 and run through the weekend. There is a course fee which includes 1.5 quarter units from U.C. Riverside Extension. To sign up call U.C.R. Extension @ (909) 787-4105 or (800) 442-4990. For more information: and to register email: Instructor is Kurt Leuschner (760) 776-7285.

Not so trivial trivia

Did you know? 54% of Important Bird Areas (IBAs) are National Wildlife Refuges. One way to support these important areas is to purchase a $15.00 Duck Stamp at your local post office.

Attracting Birds to Your Desert Backyard Habitat

The Living Desert University offers “Attracting Birds to Your Desert Backyard Habitat,” on Sat. Dec. 8th. Kurt is teaching the class. Also of special interest to birders are Salton Sea Birding trips in January (see calendar). For more call: 760-346-5694 ext. 2501 or email: Fee$$

The San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society

The San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society usually meets at 7:30 P.M. on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at the San Bernardino County Museum in Redlands. In November they are meeting on the 14th (a change) Visit their web site for news and announcements including a wide variety of activities such as classes, trips and bird walks. Their mailing address is: P.O. Box 10973, San Bernardino, CA 92423-0973 (909) 875-5358. Some upcoming Audubon activities include: Christmas bird counts planned for nine areas including Morongo Valley, Idyllwild and the Salton Sea. December 16 – Jan 2, $5 fee; and a Salton Sea Goose & Crane Trip, Saturday, January 12, 2007 - 7:00 am See our calendar for contact information.

Books for Birders

LA Audubon Bookstore is a great resource. They are especially helpful when planning a foreign excursion. They always know just the book, checklist, bird finding guide or binoculars you need. Call 888-522-7428.

Vote for Linda

Linda York of The Coachella Valley Wild Bird Center in Indio is up for the Animal Planets "Hero of the Year Award". Please vote at
Do you have time to spare? Phone for information about volunteering or visiting. They are open every day. (760) 347-2647.

Thanksgiving Bird Count

The annual Thanksgiving Bird Count is almost upon us! To participate, write to Dr. John G. Hewston at the Natural Resources Building, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA 95521. The count takes only one hour. Drop him a line, he’ll be happy to send you a form and a copy of his wonderful newsletter.

Locate Birding Hotspots Before Traveling

Traveling? Before you hit the road check the web. Try for information on birding hotspots and birding clubs. Also, the American Birding Association will provide you with just about everything you need for a memorable birding vacation.

Rare Bird Alert

The Inland Counties Rare Bird Alert, moderated by Kirk and Linda Stitt, is a great way to find out about rare birds in our area. Email Also,
Inland Counties Birds is a great resource.


Special thanks to these special people:Anne and Bernard Schmitt, Carin Berglars, Robert O’Neill, Bill and Gail Beardsley, Phyllis Schwartz and Marguerite Shwe

Web Links offers a variety of bird related leaning products Audubon Adventures classroom resource kits for teachers and nature educators.

Avian Knowledge Network aggregates bird data from a number of sources

Birders United is a political site dedicated to building a new American political force dedicated to preserving birds and their habitats.
Ebird is a great place to report bird sightings

Shade Grown Coffee

Shade coffee plantations provide important habitats for migratory song birds. Many of these plantations are threatened by declining coffee prices. To buy Cerulean Warbler Conservation Coffee and help promote the continued existence of shade plantations call 800-648-6491. For more info about saving the cerulean warbler see


Now that the weather is cooling down, you might be feeling the urge to do a little work around the house. Remember that not all 2x4’s are alike! Your next lumber purchase can:
-Protect old growth forests
-Save important wildlife habitat
-Keep our air and water clean
-Provide important jobs to logging communities
So buy lumber that has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Find it at

Help Save the Birds of Mount San Jacinto

The Palm Springs Aerial Tram has a serious problem with bird strikes on the huge windows that surround the main building. Over the years countless birds have died at the base of these windows or in a nearby bush after attempting to fly through the glass. Many are scavenged by ravens before they can be noticed or counted by researchers studying this issue. We need your help to give us a better understanding of the problem. When you ride the tram, take a moment to walk around the building (especially the outdoor eating area and stairwell) and look for evidence of dead birds. Please report any findings directly to Kurt with as many details as you gather: Anything you can contribute will be helpful. Thanks for your time and efforts! Report findings to: Kurt Leuschner 760-776-7285

In the interest of science

If you find any dead birds in good condition, Kurt Leuschner at College of the Desert would like to have them. No, he hasn’t suddenly gone Dracula on us; he is producing a collection of museum quality skins for the College of the Desert. When you find birds, note the date and location and freeze in a Ziploc bag. Call 776-7285 to arrange pickup.

The College of the Desert Classes

The College of the Desert has a variety of natural science courses beginning in January. Learn about birds, native plants or insects for fun and earn your desert naturalist certificate. Look for the schedule in late December or call Kurt Leuschner at (760) 776-7285

If you want to find birds, it helps to know about their food. College of the Desert offers a class in Entomology in Spring Semester 2008. For more info. contact Kurt at 760-776-7285 or kleuschner@collegeofthe

Living Desert Salton Sea Trips - January 2008

The Living Desert is sponsoring four Salton Sea trips in January. Dates are
Sunday, January 6,
Friday, January 11,
Friday January 18th and
Saturday January 26.

For more information call the education department at 346-5694.

The Living Desert - 47900 Portola Ave., Palm Desert call (760) 346-5694 ext. 82506

Oriole Feeders

Looking for the ideal oriole feeder? Kurt recommends the Fliteline Jr. #230. It includes 3 feeding stations, bee guards, and can be pole mounted or hung. To get one, call Wild Birds Unlimited in Torrance at (310) 326-2473 and ask for Bob Shanman. Tell him Kurt sent you.

Adopt a Banding Station

Would you like to adopt a banding station? The Institute for Bird Populations offers an “Adopt a MoSI Station” program. Those who sponsor a station with at least $300.00 receive photographs and updates from that station. Contact Peter Pyle at You can check out the program’s website at

Protect Wildlife from Barbed Wire

Barbed wire fences can be virtually invisible to birds, wildlife and even people. The Sutton Avian Research Center has a web site that tells how to make these fences more visible.

Bird Songs:250 North American Birds in Song by Les Beletsky

This is a combination of a beautifully illustrated book and an electronic device that plays birds songs. It is a great coffee table book and conversation piece. The size makes it easy and inviting to flip through and the addition of the bird songs makes it very entertaining as well as educational. The book covers 250 species which are divided into habitats such as water and shore birds or forest birds rather than arranged by taxonomy.
The pictures are outstanding and often include both a male and female of the species. The sound quality of the bird songs is so clear that we had to forbid playing hawk and owl sounds when we saw our poor bunny cowering in fear.
If you are thinking of taking 250 bird songs into the field, you had better hit the gym, because it is big and heavy. It is really not made to be a field guide but rather an interesting and enjoyable book to read and play.
I first saw this book at Borders last fall and spent a long time playing with it. I delighted to receive it as a gift last Christmas. The novelty of the bird songs hasn’t worn off. My daughter and I play the songs and try to quiz each other on them. It is really a lot of fun.

Feathers For Lunch by Lois Ehlert

This brightly illustrated book for children has more than just pretty pages to look at – it is actually a unique learning experience for future birders! Composed in clever rhyme, this book is the tale of a pet cat who escapes the confines of its house only to encounter several birds in the backyard. His attempt to catch any of the birds featured is unsuccessful due to the bell attached to the collar he is wearing. Each “jingle-jingle” gives him away and he is only able to grab a few feathers, hence the title. Each bird featured is identified by both the type of bird and the sound it makes. In addition, all plants in the illustrations are labeled with their common names. The last pages of the book are titled: “The lunch that got away” and all statistics describing the birds featured are listed. In addition, the very back cover flap is a bird check list for little ones to use. A fun must read for children (and grown-ups!) of all ages!

Optic Recycling

Reusing is the best form of recycling! Thanks to Buford Crites who donated (on behalf of the club) tripods, binoculars and scopes which were forwarded to the Birder’s Exchange. Do you have similar items to donate? We can help if you wish. Call (760) 349-3515.
Many organizations can make use of used binoculars or scopes in good condition. The American Birding Association operates The Birder’s Exchange see or call 800-850-2473 ext 237.
Optics for the Tropics supports bird conservation in the Caribbean and Latin America. American migratory birds often spend a significant part of the year in the tropics. To truly protect these species we need to partner with our counterparts south of the border. Besides donating optics, you may want to consider donating money to support a bird monitoring station. For information see
Another place to donate is the Asa Wright Nature Centre in Trinidad. Their website has a wish list that includes optics, computers and scientific equipment