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Calendar: Speaker Series

| November | December | January | February |

These free monthly programs feature scientists, photographers, authors, international travelers and others speaking on a wide range of topics related to birds and their environment.

Both members and non-members are invited to attend, but we encourage you to become a supporting member so we can continue this popular Speaker Series.

Time and Place: The programs are usually held on the third Wednesday of the month, except for December, July, and August. Unless otherwise noted, all meetings are held at

Cubberley Community Center, Room H1
4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto
(see street view map or map PDF)

Refreshments at 7:30 PM, program at 8 PM

November 2014

The Echoes of their Wings: The Life and Legacy of the Passenger Pigeon
Joel Greenberg
Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Book: A Feathered River Across the Sky Joel Greenberg
A Feathered River Across the Sky and Joel Greenberg

Joel Greenberg will explore the story of the Passenger Pigeon and highlight the important lessons that it presents to those of us in the 21st century. The Passenger Pigeon probably numbered in the billions, making it the most abundant bird in North America if not the world. But this huge population was neither evenly distributed across the landscape nor was it cryptic: the species often formed aggregations so vast they are difficult for us to imagine. John James Audubon described a flight that darkened the sky for three days, and a nesting in 1871 spread across 850 square miles of central Wisconsin. A single flight around 1860 probably exceeded a billion birds and maybe as many as three billion. Exploitation for food and recreation destroyed the species in the wild by the first few years of the 20th century. On September 1, 1914, Martha, the last of the species, died in the Cincinnati Zoo.

Joel has over 25-years experience working on natural resource related issues in the Midwest and currently works at the Chicago Academy of Sciences. He has authored four books including Of Prairie, Woods, and Waters: Two Centuries of Chicago Nature Writing (2008, University of Chicago Press.), A Natural History of the Chicago Region (2002, University of Chicago Press) and the forth just published in January 2014, A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction. For the past four years he has been a leader in Project Passenger Pigeon which aims to mark the anniversary of the species' extinction. He co-produced with director David Mrazek the documentary, From Billions to None: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction that will be aired on a variety of PBS affiliates this fall.

This special program is co-sponsored by Sequoia Audubon.

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December 2014

There is no program in December. Please stop by our Nature Shop and Headquarters (get directions) to do your holiday shopping in our wonderful Nature Shop. Come to our holiday open house in December featuring crafts made by local artisans, photography, refreshments, and more!

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January 2015

Saving the Burrowing Owl
Joshua McCluskey
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Burrowing Owl by Tom Grey Burrowing Owl by Tom Grey Joshua McCluskey of Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society
Burrowing Owls (photos by Tom Grey) and Joshua McCluskey

One of Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society's most important projects is to monitor and restore Western Burrowing Owl populations in the South Bay. This past summer, we had tremendous breeding success at a 180-acre site that we are managing for Burrowing Owls in San Jose. Come; learn about this pint-sized owl in peril! Joshua will discuss the many methods used by SCAVS, San Jose State University Environmental Studies Department, and the City of San Jose to prevent local extirpation of this wonderful species. He will also discuss future constraints and challenges that face these owls. You will be entertained by engaging video footage of owl chicks and a short informational video.

Joshua McCluskey is SCVAS's Burrowing Owl Conservation Project Manager. He has a B.Sc. in Environmental Studies with a focus on restoration and resource management with a minor in Urban Studies from San Jose State University, in addition to Associates degrees in Environmental Stewardship and Biodiversity Specialist from De Anza College. He works tirelessly to protect Coyote Valley and to contribute to wildlife connectivity research in the South Bay Area.

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February 2015

A Photo Tour of Bird Behavior
Steve Zamek
Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Steve Zamek Motmots Grebes
Steve Zamek, Motmots and Grebes

Can a snake strangle a heron? Why would a nuthatch feed bluebird chicks? Do hawks play with their prey? What do flycatchers feed their young? How are verdins like hummingbirds? Answers to these questions, and more, can be found in the photos presented this evening by local bird photographer Steve Zamek.

Steve has spent much of the past several years lugging around camera gear in an effort to capture the beauty and behavior of birds in their natural habitat. The images shared will include a wide variety of bird behavior, including courtship, mating, tending young, hunting, territorial defense, and nest building.

Come enjoy the fascinating world of bird behavior, from the mundane to exciting, endearing to violent, commonplace to unexpected.

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