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
How Can Golden Eagles Survive in the Altamont Pass?
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Golden Eagle by Peter LaTourrette, Golden Eagle by Tom Grey, Doug Bell with an immature Golden Eagle
Wind power is an important part of the strategy to combat global warming but collisions with turbine blades kills many birds, especially Golden Eagles. The Altamont Pass is of particular concern, according to Doug Bell, since it is in one of the densest nesting areas for Golden Eagles in the world. During this program Doug will describe how they measured and mapped raptor behaviors to provide evidence that the old-style wind turbines should be replaced by fewer and larger more carefully situated wind turbines. "Only as we do the careful repowering can we hope to reduce the overall kill rates of Golden Eagles," says Doug. "Not only should energy production be sustainable in terms of carbon off-sets; it should also be sustainable in terms of the wildlife and the local impacts."
Doug Bell is the Wildlife Program Manager of the East Bay Regional Park District and has studied raptors for many years.
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eBird: Innovating citizen-science, big data research, and bird conservation
Brian L. Sullivan
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Brian Sullivan and Red-shouldered Hawk, all by Brian Sullivan
In our fast-paced world, birds serve as an unrivaled window for studying and assessing environmental change: literal canaries in coal mines. eBird is a network of human observers spread across the planet collecting millions of data points each month, combined with the power of remote sensors that collect real-time environmental data, spun together through innovative computer science and modeling efforts that ultimately achieve real-world conservation outcomes for birds. Today eBird is arguably the fastest-growing biodiversity network in existence. Find out how we've taken a novel approach to crowdsourcing, and turned the birding community's global passion for birds into a vast data resource for science and conservation.
Brian Sullivan has conducted fieldwork on birds throughout North America for the past 25 years. Birding travels, photography, and field projects have taken him to Central and South America, Australia, Antarctica, the Arctic, and across North America. He has written and consulted on various books including popular and scientific literature on North American birds. He is a co-author of several books including: Better Birding—Tips, Tools, and Concepts for the Field; Offshore Sea Life ID Guide: West Coast; Offshore Sea Life ID Guide: East Coast; The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors; and the forthcoming Princeton Guide to North American Birds. He is currently project leader for eBird and photographic editor for the Birds of North America Online at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. He also served as photographic editor for the American Birding Association's journal North American Birds from 2005-2013.
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Important Bird Areas: Owens Lake in Owens Valley
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
"Filling the Tub" by M. Prather and Shorebirds at Owens Lake by Andrea Jones
Andrea Jones, Director of Bird Conservation for Audubon CA will present a program on Owens River and Owens Lake in the Owens Valley, eastern Sierra. Audubon has fought for a conservation agreement at Owens Lake for the past six years. This is one of the important sources of water for Los Angeles and Andrea Jones will tell the story of the birds that migrate through Owens Valley and her work to protect them.
Andrea also leads shorebird conservation efforts in California and works with the network of Audubon chapters across the state to implement conservation projects at high priority Important Bird Areas (IBAs). Andrea has worked for Audubon on both sides of the USA, first for Massachusetts Audubon and for the past ten years for Audubon California.
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