*NEW* Time: Refreshments at 7:00PM; program at 7:30PM
Speaker: Norman Kikuchi, M.D.
Topic: Birds of the American West
Photos (left to right): Norman Kikuchi, Greater Sage-Grouse, Brown Pelican
Description: This program features a glimpse into the lives of iconic birds of the Western United States drawn from a personal selection of photographs from birding hotspots in New Mexico, Oregon and California. Starting in world famous Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico, we witness the unforgettable spectacle of immense flocks of snow geese and sandhill cranes. Northwards to lesser known Cabin Lake, Oregon, the Cascade boreal forest interfaces with the Great Basin sagebrush. The dearth of freestanding water for many surrounding miles makes this the premier place to see and photograph Red Crossbills. Southwards to Lassen County, California, the Greater Sage-Grouse perform their age old ritual dances on a traditional lek. We then travel on to the breeding birds of the High Sierras at Yuba Pass and adjacent Sierra Valley lowlands. Next on the largest freshwater lake in California at Clear Lake in Lake County both Western and Clarks Grebes exhibit heir unique breeding behaviors. Closer to home we view the amazing hummingbirds at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum. The penultimate stop is the winter roost of Black Skimmers at East Beach Santa Barbara. Finally on the cliffs of La Jolla we see the Califonia race of Brown Pelican.
Norman Kikuchi's childhood interest in birds began while stalking Ring Necked Pheasants in the foothills of Mt Diablo but his real bird epiphany occurred during his college days when he witnessed the impalement of a Western Fence Lizard by a Loggerhead Shrike on a Joshua tree spine - he was transfixed by the moment! Norman graduated from the University of California, Davis with a degree in Zoology and a minor in Herpetology. He completed medical school and family practice residency at University California Irvine. A 2-year stint working in Emergency Medicine in Saudi Arabia near the Red Sea led to two decades of traveling the world's oceans in pursuit of underwater images. Highlights from this period include being knocked around in cages by Great White sharks in South Africa and being bubble netted by a mother humpback whale defending her calf in the waters off the Dominican Republic. Norman acquired the super telephoto Canon lenses in 1997 and switched to his present obsession of avian photography and his ultimate goal of photographing all the breeding birds of the United States and Canada. He currently practices Urgent Care and Occupational Medicine in Redding, California and is a lifetime member of the Santa Cruz Bird Club and field trip leader for Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society.