Thursday, July 29, 2010

Birding Website

Hey Birders
Check out these great websites:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ongoing Bird Events

Big Morongo Canyon Preserve has bird & nature walks on Wednesdays and Saturdays except the first Sat. of the month  at 8:00 (earlier in summer)
Coachella Valley Wild Bird Center has a bird walk the first Sat. each month at 8-10:00 a.m
The Living Desert members only bird walks on the second Thursday of each month. October- May.
Joshua Tree National Park  usually has bird walks at Cottonwood Springs from Nov-May For information call JTNP  (760) 367-5500

Scenic Loop Bus Tour

Explore nature’s majesty and escape the heat on a scenic loop bus tour of the Palms to Pines Birding and Nature trail.  This “Naturalist’s Excursion by Luxury Coach” is led by Naturalist and Ornithologist Kurt Leuschner and benefits the Friends of the Desert Mountains. Sunday, March 28th, 2010 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For info or reservation call 760-862-9984 $$FEE

The Birds of Joshua Tree Park.

The deceptively barren Mojave Desert landscape is home and resting grounds for numerous endemic migratory bird species. Joshua trees do not make a typical forest, the landscape is open, the climate dry and vegetation relatively sparse. Despite this, over 240 species of birds have been recorded in Joshua Tree National Park! Kurt Leuschner, Associate Professor of College of the Desert, Palm Desert, will guide a three-day field class through the Mojave and Colorado Deserts to identify common and rare birds. Contact the Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park - 74485 National Park Dr., 29 Palms, CA 92277 (760) 367-5535 $$FEE

Contact Information for Desert Birding

The Anza Borrego Foundation

Big Morongo Canyon Preserve
11055 East Drive, Morongo Valley
for info call Dee Zeller at (760) 363-7190

Coachella Valley Preserve
call Mark Leggett at 760 699-5717

Coachella Valley Wild Bird Center
46500 Van Buren St., Indio (760) 347-2647

College of the Desert birding & nature classes.
Call 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

Earth Day Birding Challenge
call Tammy (760) 568-9918

Joshua Tree National Park (760) 367-5500

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

The Living Desert University,
47900 Portola Ave., Palm Desert (760) 346-5694

Salton Sea Int’l Birding Festival (760) 344-5359

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

San Diego Bird Festival (619) 682-7200

Bird Course set for Zzyzx

Head out for Zzyzx on the weekend of April 9-11 for Birdlife of the Eastern Mojave—Spring Migration a weekend course taught by Kurt and offered by UCR extension. For information call Kurt at 760-776-7285, to sign up phone 800-442-4990 or email or via the web at $$FEE

Coachella Valley Preserve Bird Walks

Enjoy birding on the 20,000 acre Coachella Valley Preserve home to the second largest
California Fan Palm oasis. Bird walks will occur every Tuesday in February and March an on the 1st and 3rd Tues at 8am in April and May.  Meet at the visitor's center at 8am. More information about the Preserve may be found on
Please contact Mark Leggett 760-699-5717 for additional information. Come join

Desert Cities Bird Club to Host Major Birding Conference

Attention, amateur ornithologists! The Desert Cities Bird Club (yes, that means you, too!) will be hosting the 2010 meeting of the Western Field
Ornithologists October 13-17th in Palm Desert.
Field trips include:
The rock stars of birding will be sure to attend, so bring your field guides for autographs.  Call 760-349-3515 to ask how you can help with this amazing event.

Save the Date
October 13-17, 2010

Be sure to join the Western Field Ornithologists before our club hosts their annual event this fall. Here’s a hot tip—sign up for WFO for only $35 a year and receive their award winning journal “Western Birds” four times a year. Details at

Raptor Survey at Joshua Tree National Park

Volunteers are needed at JTNP for a raptor survey March 1st - April 15th. Call Charlie (760) 367-5575. Volunteers will be searching for evidence of nesting and breeding behavior of raptors along climbing routes.

Borrego Valley Hawk Watch

The hawk migration is beginning in the Borrego Valley. The hawkwatch officially starts February 15, however the hawks don't watch the calendar.

During the past year several folks have shown interest in volunteering to help count the hawks. Now is the time to set up a day or days of the week to join the watch. You do not have to be an experienced hawkwatcher to help. As a volunteer, you would get on the job training with the daily leader. So please let Hal at Anza Borrego know of your interest in helping. They have leaders present at the watch 7 days a week 8A-11a.m. and also monitor incoming hawks every evening beginning one hour before sunset. Of course you do not have to volunteer to watch the migration. Join anytime of the season, February 15-April 15. The peak migration occurs during the last 2 weeks of March.

The day site is located 2.8 miles north of Palm Canyon Drive on DiGiorgio Rd. The evening site is located 1.5 miles north of Palm Canyon Drive on Borrego Valley Rd.

If you have interest in volunteering to help count the hawks, contact Hal at

The Palms to Pines Birding and Nature Trail

Pick up a guide to the Palms to Pines Birding and Nature Trail available at various places around the valley including the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains Visitors center for $1.00. You may also visit the Palms to Pines Nature Trail Website On the web site you can get all the information from the guide.  It’s a great way to get prepped for the BIRDATHON!

Audubon magazine now has the Palms to Pines birding trail up on their website. The Audubon website is:

Golf Course Wildlife - Southern California Desert Region

Whether you golf or just live near a golf course, you should definitely have a copy of the new pocket guide Golf Course Wildlife –Southern California Desert Region. It’s a great introduction to birds, reptiles, plants, mammals and insects likely to be found in our area. It is nice gift to give to guests or to share with kids.

Project Feederwatch

Project FeederWatch collects data from thousands of sites across the country. Participants use a very specific protocol to collect data throughout the winter season. To join visit

Great Backyard Bird Count

Your feeder sightings can make a difference! The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon are asking everyone to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count February 12-15. Feeder watch data is being used to study the influence of climate change on birds. Anyone can participate. Information at

Get your handy checklist of California Birds

Western Field Ornithologists publishes a handy Field List of California Birds. The cost is $2.50. You can have your own by contacting Kurt or by sending $2.75 to Western Field Ornithologists, 1359 Solano Drive, Pacifica, CA 94044

The San Diego Bird Festival March 4-7

The San Diego Bird Festival features desert, mountain, seashore and pelagic adventures. Info: 619-682-7200 or


Thanks to our loyal members who helped the DCBC to promote birding and to support birding causes. Your membership fees allowed us to donate a feeder to the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto National Monument Visitor’s Center, donate a much needed hose and nozzle to the Coachella Valley Wild Bird Center and continue our support of the American Bird Conservancy. Please remember to keep your dues up to date.

Tax Day Birdathon Up in the Air - Check before you head out on 4/15

The word is at press time that the CV Wild Bird Center may or may not have a Tax Day Birdathon this year. So before you head to the Wild Bird Center you should call and check to see if it is happening.

Review - Dr. Bird

Dr. Bird to the Rescue
A Tale From the Desert
Dr. Bird to the Rescue is an entertaining story that contains valuable information for children regarding the delicate ecosystem of our deserts. This delightful book was written by D.J. Smith, Illustrated by Kevin Kibsey and published in 2005 by Arizona Highways.
The story begins with a Saguaro Cactus named Sammy who begins to feel sick. Because he is rooted firmly in place, Sammy is unable to get the help he needs. He asks many of the desert creatures around him for assistance but they either can’t or won’t help him because he is “different”. One of these creatures is a wise Elf Owl who recognizes Sammy’s problem and calls for Dr. Bird to do a “house call”.
This story is charming but the real treasure is at the end of the book. A glossary at the back contains photographs and short biographies of the many desert characters featured. A “must read” to insure our little ones to love and respect the desert and its many inhabitants.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Youth Participation Encouraged at Earth Day Birdathon

Children are our future and we at the Desert Cities Bird Club really want to get kids involved in the Earth Day Birding Challenge on Saturday, April 24th.
Youth 12 and under may participate for free, and each will receive a gift bag just for participating from Wild Birds Unlimited.

Parents, you can help by getting the word out and by encouraging your kid’s teachers to contact Kurt Leuschner at

Earth Day Birding Challenge - Recent Updates

The excitement builds as we get ready for Saturday April 24, when our club will host a friendly 24-hour birding competition and fundraiser. The Earth Day Birding Challenge registration form is now available and can be requested by emailing A $20 contribution to the Friends of the Desert Mts. signs you up!!

Teams will compete to identify as many bird species as they can in a 24-hour period by sight or by sound in the four counties included in the Palms to Pines Birding and Nature Trail: Riverside, San Bernardino, Imperial, and San Diego. ABA “Big Day” rules apply.

All competing teams report to the finish line at the Monument Visitor Center in Palm Desert between 6pm and midnight. Different competitive and non-competitive categories will be available such as: “sand to sea” (multiple counties – trophy category), “single county,” “single site,” “big sit” (one spot), “on foot”, “golf courses only”, and youth. Fun for all ages!

All participants (will pay a nominal entry fee and may choose to accept pledges to raise monies for conservation causes. The first $30 of pledges goes to the Friends of the Desert Mountains but any additional pledges can go to the conservation organization of your choice. Youth are free.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Desert Mountains ( or call Tammy (760) 568-9918) and the Desert Cities Bird Club

February 2010 Calendar

February 2 ~ Tuesday
8:00 a.m. Coachella Valley Preserve Bird Walk

February 3, 10, 17, 24 ~ Wednesday
8:00 a.m. Big Morongo Canyon Preserve Bird Walks

February 6 ~ Saturday
8:00 a.m. Coachella Valley Wild Bird Center Walk

February 11 ~ Thursday
7:30 a.m. Living Desert Members Only Bird Walk

February 12-15 ~ Friday-Monday
All day Great Backyard Bird Count

February 13, 20 & 27 ~ Saturday
8:00 Big Morongo Canyon Preserve Bird Walks