Sequoia Audubon Society
                              San Mateo County, California

Upcoming Meeting

Birds of Nome, Alaska
Speaker: Rich Cimino, Yellowbilled Tours
November 12, 2015

Program Details Here

Meetings are at the
San Mateo Garden Center

Spectacled Eider
Spectacled Eider

Drones and Birds

Radio Road birds

Photo by Donna Pomeroy

On August 13, one of Sequoia Audubon's members posted a message on penbird describing an unfortunate incident involving a person flying a drone low over the Radio Road ponds (Redwood Shores) at high speed completely flushing all the birds. When asked to stop, the person became rude and verbally abusive.

As a result of this report, Sequoia heard from several other members with similar experiences, all expressing concern for the birds. One member spoke with the Redwood City Police who encouraged anyone observing this type of activity to call the "non-emergency" number 650-780-7100 as well as reporting the activity to Fish and Wildlife.

Sequoia contacted California Fish and Wildlife and Silicon Valley Clean Water (SVCW), who manage the ponds.

Lt. James Ober of the Law Enforcement Division of California Department of Fish and Wildlife responded with the following.

"What you describe seems to be a violation of California Code of Regulations Title 14 section 251.1:

Except as otherwise authorized in these regulations or in the Fish and Game Code, no person shall harass, herd or drive any game or nongame bird or mammal or furbearing mammal. For the purposes of this section, harass is defined as an intentional act which disrupts an animal's normal behavior patterns, which includes, but is not limited to, breeding, feeding or sheltering. This section does not apply to a landowner or tenant who drives or herds birds or mammals for the purpose of preventing damage to private or public property, including aquaculture and agriculture crops.

To successfully prosecute a case such as this either requires a peace officer observe the offense, or there is video of the offense the person or party who either shot the video or is in charge of the video equipment must be willing to testify in court.

The portion of the law that may or not apply in situations where a drone is flying close to birds is intent.  Generally, for a violation to be prosecuted the peace office who files the case must be able to show that the drone was flown with the intent to disrupt the animal's normal behavior patterns."

Normally intent in these cases can be shown if the individual was previously advised of the law, advised that their previous actions did disrupt the animal's normal behavior patterns, and the individual either returned or continued with those same actions.

All California peace officers (e.g. Sheriff deputies, City police) can enforce the above regulation.

If you observe a wildlife crime in progress the best way to notify our department is through the CalTIP program:

The information will be routed to the closest CA Fish and Wildlife Officer, and they will respond if they are able."

Further, SVCW has responded by posting signs prohibiting the use of radio controled devices at the Radio Road Ponds.

Just a note of caution. Birders observing anyone using a drone to disturb birds are asked to film the behavior and get the license plate of the offender. HOWEVER, you should not put yourself in danger while doing this.


The Big Sit and The Big Sit Ride

October 11, 2015


Annual Christmas Bird Count

Dates have been set for this year's CBC:
Crystal Springs CBC - December 19
Año Nuevo CBC - January 2

Click for more information

How to Properly Clean Your Bird Feeders

If you have dead or sick birds in your yard:

• Immediately REMOVE bird feeders and birdbaths.
• Disinfect with bleach solution (9 parts water to 1 part bleach.)
• Scrub well to remove all debris and allow to soak 10 - 20 minutes.
• Rinse very well and allow to dry.
• Do not rehang feeders or bird baths for at least one month after the last sick or dead bird is seen in your yard.
• Resterilize and allow to dry before rehanging.
• Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling feeders or baths.

If you have not yet seen sick or dead birds:

Please use the following guidelines as preventative measures to protect your local birds from a outbreaks of Salmonella and other avian diseases. These measures should also be practiced as regularly scheduled maintenance to ensure healthy birds:

• Bird feeders should be disinfected every two weeks regardless of disease outbreaks.
• Bird baths should be emptied and cleaned daily regardless of disease outbreaks.
• For feeders: Do not use wooden feeders (see link below). Immerse feeders in bleach solution (9 parts water to 1 part bleach.) Soak 10 minutes, scrub, rinse thoroughly and allow to dry fully, ideally in the sun, before refilling (a dry feeder will deter mold growth on seeds).
• For baths: You can make a 9:1 bleach solution in a jug to bring outside. Scrub with a hard brush, cover with board while soaking to prevent birds bathing in bleach, rinse very thoroughly, allow to dry before refilling.
• For hummingbird feeders: NO BLEACH! Change food often. Clean and fill with only enough to last 1-2 days (sooner if gets cloudy/moldy). Use vinegar and water in a 9:1 solution (9 parts water to 1 part vinegar) and special bottle brushes to get into small holes. Rinse thoroughly!
• Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling feeders or baths.

Click here for additional information on Wild Care Bay Area.

Baby Birds in Distress

To report a baby bird in distress please contact the Peninsula Humane Society Wildlife Rescue,
650-340-7022, or take it to their center at 12 Airport Blvd, San Mateo

If at all possible please leave the baby where it is because the adults will usually continue to feed and care for it.


Sequoia Audubon joined environmental groups to protest construction of the Foster City Marina Center.

After a majority of speakers at the February 23rd Foster City Council meeting spoke against the project, the Council tabled consideration of the Foster City Marina Center because of citizen concerns over the environment, overdevelopment, schools and traffic.

More information is on our Coservation Page

Have you tried our Birding Guide?


Please consider supporting Sequoia Audubon Society with a tax-deductable donation.

Donate to SAS Today
Your support is greatly appreciated.

Amazon Smile logo

Sequoia Audubon has registered in the Amazon Smile Program.

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support Sequoia Audubon every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at, you'll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization.

Tens of millions of products on AmazonSmile are eligible for donations. You will see eligible products marked "Eligible for AmazonSmile donation" on their product detail pages.

You use the same account on and AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are also the same.

Learn Bird Sounds and Benefit
Sequoia Audubon Society!

Ever wish you knew how to identify birds by ear? It's one of the most essential birding skills, but one of the hardest to learn. Some folks from Seattle's Audubon chapter set out to make learning bird sounds truly accessible to everyone.

The result is Larkwire: a game-based learning system that uses cognitive techniques to make it easier to learn and remember bird sounds. Combining quiz games, an extensive sound library, and tips from renowned birdsong expert Michael O'Brien, Larkwire makes the learning process not only much easier but fun. Customizable levels from beginner to advanced invite both the backyard birder and the serious student to play and learn.

The company behind Larkwire is a social venture whose mission is not only to teach birdsong; a minimum of ten percent of all proceeds go to support conservation.

Sequoia Audubon Society has joined their affiliate program; enter our code when you purchase and we'll receive 20% of the purchase price! Our code: SEQAUD

Larkwire is now available as a native app
in the Apple App Store.

Learn bird sounds with Larkwire.
It's a great tool and your purchase supports Sequoia Audubon Society!

San Mateo County eBird Records

The immense power of the eBird database lends itself to instant availability of data. An independent group has devised this latest invention - BirdTrax - which we have adapted to show all the species seen in San Mateo county over the past week. BirdTrax constantly updates, with the most recent lists first. Checking on any species will show you all the lists that include that species over the past week; clicking on a location will show you all checklists from that location in the same time period.

For more information, or to report problems, visit the BirdTrax website.

Sequoia Audubon Society protects native birds and other wildlife and their ecosystems in San Mateo County by engaging people of all ages in conservation, education, advocacy and enjoyment.

Become a Member of Sequoia Audubon

Join the Audubon Action Center
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The Sequoia Audubon Society is committed to equal opportunity and abides by all relevant laws and regulations.  All Sequoia Audubon programs and volunteer opportunities are administered without regard to race, gender, creed, national origin, age, political affiliation, marital status, sexual orientation, physical, mental or sensory handicap, or any other basis prohibited by law.  However, Sequoia Audubon reserves the right to exclude volunteers who do not support its goals.

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