Calendar: Speaker Series
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
Birds, Birding and Birders of the Southern Cone
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Alvaro Jaramillo, Thorn-tailed Rayadito, Flightless Steamer Duck, Torres del Paine National Park - all in Chile
The Southern Cone? Is that an Ice Cream place in Georgia? Nope, it is the triangle-shaped southern section of South America. The cone includes Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and the southern bits of Bolivia and Brazil. What makes it special is that there are so many habitats and neat areas here, the Pampas, Patagonia, the Matorral, the Humboldt Current, Iguazu Falls, the Yungas, the Chaco - so many spots that are truly and uniquely South American. It is the land of Rheas, penguins, horneros, seriemas, as well as Southern Right Whales, Marine Otters, Viscachas and Vicunas. A part of the world blessed with some enigmatic, unusual, beautiful and often rather unique creatures. But what absolutely is the icing on the cake is that the southern cone includes some of the most memorable and scenic parts of the Americas. This includes snow-capped volcanoes, huge granitic spikes, the big sky country of the Pampas and Patagonia and coastlines that are perhaps only rivaled by California for their beauty. Come enjoy an evening exploring a gorgeous part of the world and its equally fantastic bird and wildlife through the eyes of a birder-biologist who has an unbridled passion for this part of the world.
Alvaro Jaramillo was trained in ecology and evolution and has a particular interest in bird behavior. Research forays and backpacking trips introduced Alvaro to the riches of the Neotropics, where he traveled extensively. He is the author of two books, including the Birds of Chile, an authoritative yet portable field guide to Chile's birds. Alvaro writes the Identify Yourself column in Bird Watcher's Digest. He recently finished part of the sparrow chapter for the Handbook of Birds of the World, and is writing a photo guide to the birds and wildlife of Patagonia, as well as a field guide to the warblers. He runs a birding and nature tour company Alvaro's Adventures, where the focus is to have fun, learn a thing or two and just enjoy birds and nature.
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Annual Meeting with potluck picnic and volunteer recognition
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
McClellan Ranch, Cupertino (get directions)
Join your fellow SCVAS members for the Annual Meeting on the lovely grounds of McClellan Ranch Preserve, where our headquarters is located. We will enjoy a dinner-potluck with old and new friends so please bring a main dish, casserole, salad, or hors d'ouevres to share. Beverages and desserts will be supplied by SCVAS. Bring your own plates and utensils so we can do our part to reduce waste. Meet the SCVAS Staff, Board Members and Officers, and vote in the annual Board Officer elections. Browse our fantastic Nature Shop! We will also present awards to our many deserving volunteers during the short program. Come, join us!
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July and August 2014
There are no programs in July and August. But our Nature Shop and Headquarters (get directions) are open! Join one of our other events going on this summer. Our Speaker Series resumes in September.
Helping the Western Snowy Plover
Catherine Burns and Karine Tokatlian
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Catherine Burns, Karine Tokatlian, and Western Snowy Plover ©Michael Kern
Did you know there are only about 200 Western Snowy Plovers that still commonly breed in the Bay Area? Come hear about the status of this sensitive species, including research and habitat enhancement work that the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory (SFBBO) is doing to increase plover numbers in the Bay Area.
The Western Snowy Plover is a charismatic bird that is federally listed as a threatened species. For more than 10 years, SFBBO has conducted plover surveys across the region to study how plover populations are changing. SFBBO scientists and volunteers have also experimented with strategies (such as oyster shell distribution) to enhance plover nesting success. Most recently, SFBBO has begun collaborating with the Institute for Wildlife Studies to improve range-wide monitoring protocols and increase understanding of plover reproductive success and the recovery status of the species along its Pacific coast range.
Catherine Burns, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of SFBBO. Throughout her career, Cat's interests focused on applying science to achieve wildlife conservation in a rapidly changing world. This has included conservation work focused primarily on birds and mammals in several areas of the United States, South Africa, Belize and Australia.
Karine Tokatlian, is Plover Program Director at SFBBO overseeing plover-related research and monitoring activities. She spent several years monitoring protected breeding bird populations along the California coast, including the Western Snowy Plover and California Least Tern, and oversees other SFBBO programs including the Colonial Waterbird citizen science program.
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