California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica), photo by Aaron…

Posted September 20th, 2017 by John Callender

California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica), photo by Aaron Maizlish

Schedule of upcoming bird talks and bird walks in Carpinteria

Tonight (Wednesday, September 18, 2017) I’m giving a free bird talk at the Carpinteria Veteran’s Hall (details at the link above). Part one is on corvids: Crows, jays, and magpies, with a focus on the seven corvid species regularly seen in Santa Barbara County.

Part two of the talk will cover birdwatching at Carpinteria Creek, one of the best examples of coastal riparian habitat in Southern California. This Saturday I’ll be leading a bird walk there (again, see the link above for details).

Below are a few no-frills videos I’ve made as visuals for tonight’s talk. First is a Google Earth flyby showing Carpinteria’s three major creeks from the air. See if you can spot the difference between the two channelized ones (Santa Monica and Franklin Creeks) and the unchannelized one (Carpinteria Creek). (Hint: It’s the trees.)

Here’s a walk-through of the part of Carpinteria Creek where I’ll be leading the bird walk on Saturday:

Reposted from http://ift.tt/2xwDlE1.

Northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos), photo by Wikipedia…

Posted September 6th, 2017 by John Callender

Northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos), photo by Wikipedia user Captain-tucker

I’m helping to organize our local Christmas Bird Count this year, and as part of that I’ve created a page listing upcoming classes and bird walks. If you live in or around Carpinteria, California and want to participate either in the pre-count fun or the count itself (which will take place Saturday, December 16, 2017), check it out!

Reposted from http://ift.tt/2vNFIm2.

The fourth and final video in my series on sea level rise in…

Posted August 13th, 2017 by John Callender

The fourth and final video in my series on sea level rise in Carpinteria.

If you want to watch all four videos from the beginning, start here.

Reposted from http://ift.tt/2w3p6G3.

lies: One of the neat things about being a birdwatcher (also,…

Posted July 5th, 2017 by John Callender

lies:

One of the neat things about being a birdwatcher (also, granted, Pokémon Go player) is that it gets you out in the world, visiting interesting places. Yesterday I was walking through the marsh when another marsh enthusiast (Kim; I’m sorry I don’t know her last name) told me about a big bird that was flopping around in the bushes next to the Franklin Creek channel. I checked it out from across the creek, and could see that it was an adult osprey. It appeared to be attached by the legs to a length of fishing line that in turn was tangled in the bushes. The bird would try to fly, making loud alarm calls, then fall down into the bushes and lie there looking upset.

Kim was calling everyone she knew trying to find someone who could help; I started calling everyone I knew. Because it was a Sunday it was hard to get someone, but eventually Kim got through to someone who got through to Niels Lameijer, a Carpinterian who works with the Ojai Raptor Center as part of their rescue and rehabilitation program, and shortly thereafter he was on the scene. Here’s some video I shot of Niels rescuing the bird.

Warning: Includes a closeup toward the end showing the bird’s bleeding leg, impaled by the hooks of a fishing lure. So if you’re squeamish about that sort of thing maybe best not to watch.

In thinking about it, I think the likeliest scenario is that the bird dove onto the lure while someone was fishing with it, mistaking it for an injured fish (which, after all, is a lure’s goal). Presumably the human at the other end of the line then either cut the line or it broke, allowing the osprey to fly away.

I don’t want to think badly of the fisherperson(s) involved without knowing more about what happened. It’s possible they were fishing legally and just didn’t realize the osprey was interested in their lure. It’s also possible, though, that it was someone fishing inside the marsh, which is illegal, though I’ve sometimes seen people (usually kids) doing it along the nearby Santa Monica Creek channel. I’ve tended to turn a blind eye to that in the past, but if I see it in the future I’m going to be more vocal.

Niels sent an email today saying that the bird is doing well, and should soon be released back into the wild. I hope to see it flying over the marsh again soon.

Reblogging myself with the followup video of the bird being released in the marsh the next day (Monday). Nothing icky-looking about this one; just a beautiful raptor going back where it belongs.

Reposted from http://ift.tt/2thmIts.

One of the neat things about being a birdwatcher (also, granted,…

Posted July 3rd, 2017 by John Callender

One of the neat things about being a birdwatcher (also, granted, Pokémon Go player) is that it gets you out in the world, visiting interesting places. Yesterday I was walking through the marsh when another marsh enthusiast (Kim; I’m sorry I don’t know her last name) told me about a big bird that was flopping around in the bushes next to the Franklin Creek channel. I checked it out from across the creek, and could see that it was an adult osprey. It appeared to be attached by the legs to a length of fishing line that in turn was tangled in the bushes. The bird would try to fly, making loud alarm calls, then fall down into the bushes and lie there looking upset.

Kim was calling everyone she knew trying to find someone who could help; I started calling everyone I knew. Because it was a Sunday it was hard to get someone, but eventually Kim got through to someone who got through to Niels Lameijer, a Carpinterian who works with the Ojai Raptor Center as part of their rescue and rehabilitation program, and shortly thereafter he was on the scene. Here’s some video I shot of Niels rescuing the bird.

Warning: Includes a closeup toward the end showing the bird’s bleeding leg, impaled by the hooks of a fishing lure. So if you’re squeamish about that sort of thing maybe best not to watch.

In thinking about it, I think the likeliest scenario is that the bird dove onto the lure while someone was fishing with it, mistaking it for an injured fish (which, after all, is a lure’s goal). Presumably the human at the other end of the line then either cut the line or it broke, allowing the osprey to fly away.

I don’t want to think badly of the fisherperson(s) involved without knowing more about what happened. It’s possible they were fishing legally and just didn’t realize the osprey was interested in their lure. It’s also possible, though, that it was someone fishing inside the marsh, which is illegal, though I’ve sometimes seen people (usually kids) doing it along the nearby Santa Monica Creek channel. I’ve tended to turn a blind eye to that in the past, but if I see it in the future I’m going to be more vocal.

Niels sent an email today saying that the bird is doing well, and should soon be released back into the wild. I hope to see it flying over the marsh again soon.

Reposted from http://ift.tt/2tJKsYq.