San Mateo County, California
Meeting Programs 2015
There are no meetings in July and August. Have a great summer!
Speaker: Alvaro Jaramillo
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Cuba is one of the closest neighbors to the United States, but due to politics it might as well be on the other side of the world. Few Americans have traveled there, and birders have been restricted to a few legal survey trips a year, or going there illegally through Canada in order to enjoy its birds. But things are finally starting to open up and we expect that more and more birders will be able to enjoy the amazing diversity, and incredible level of endemism (species found nowhere else on earth). Cuba is a fantastic birding destination. It is safe, birdy, has much protected habitat and forest cover, and there is still a lot to learn there. In fact it may be the place where the Ivory-billed Woodpecker actually still lives! Alvaro has been lucky to have birded in Cuba on more than 6 occasions over the years, and he is excited to be able to show you some of the gorgeous bird life, teach a bit about the interesting biology of Cuban wildlife, and give you a sense for the culture, people and how Cuba remains a charming, friendly and very jovial place even though the people there have had to endure so much!
Alvaro Jaramillo was born in Chile but began birding in Toronto, Canada, where he lived as a youth. He was trained in ecology and evolution with a particular interest in bird behavior. He is the author of two books, including the Birds of Chile, and has recently finished the ABA Field Guides to the birds of California. Alvaro writes the Identify Yourself column in Bird Watcher's Digest. 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. Alvaro lives with his family in Half Moon Bay, California.
Photos by Albaro Jaramillo
The Bay Area Puma Project
Speaker: Zara McDonald
October 8, 2015
San Francisco-based and globally-working wild cat conservationist and naturalist Zara McDonald, Executive Director of Felidae Conservation Fund, gives an engaging and inspiring presentation about mountain lions and the work currently underway to study and protect them.
These keystone predators (also called pumas and cougars) play a critical role in maintaining the health and biodiversity of our ecosystems. However, expansion of human populations is causing increasing encounters and conflicts between humans and pumas, and growing tensions in our local communities. Zara discusses mountain lion ecology and history, the challenges of sharing the habitat with mountain lions, and offers essential tips for living and recreating without fear in puma habitat.
Zara McDonald is the Founder and President of Felidae Conservation Fund. She founded Felidae in 2006 and started the Bay Area Puma Project in 2007.
Felidae Conservation Fund is a non-profit that aims to advance the conservation of wild cats and their habitats planetwide through a combination of groundbreaking research, compelling education and cutting-edge technology. Felidae works in both North and South America on different mountain lion research and conservation projects. The flagship project is the Bay Area Puma Project –www.bapp.org.
Credit: Trish Carney for Felidae Conservation Fund
Birds of Nome, Alaska
Speaker: Rich Cimino, Yellowbilled Tours
November 12, 2015
Rich Cimino has been leading field trips into Nome and Barrow, Alaska for15 years. Rich's life list for Nome, Alaska is 148 species and eBird ranks him third all time for species observation.
The presentation will discuss the Asian rarities and resident birds found just as the Arctic breeding season is beginning. With the use of maps, Rich will have you travel along the roads of Nome that support a vast variety of breeding birds.
Rich Cimino, owner and operator of Yellowbilled Tours, has over 4 decades of experience in birding and conservation advocacy. With his years of professional industry management experience in business organization, plus years as a volunteer organizing Audubon birding tours throughout California, he decided to create a bird touring company, Yellowbilled Tours.
Birding Northern California for 47 years, he is inspired by birding and having fun along the way. He appreciates nature for the value it brings to our lives. He also has a strong interest in citizen science, habitat conservation, photography, sustainable-organic gardening and eco-tourism.
Subspecies for Birders
Speaker: Joe Morlan
December 10, 2015
When we see a bird that looks different, or doesn't quite match the picture in the book, is it a different species or perhaps just a different subspecies or other type of variation? Modern field guides now illustrate some distinctive subspecies, but what exactly is a subspecies? How do subspecies differ from other kinds of variation within or between species?
How are these variations properly classified and why are these distinctions important? Joe Morlan will outline some of the more identifiable subspecies while providing a perspective on the subspecies concept itself in what promises to be an entertaining and informative presentation.
The programs for additional meetings will be posted when available. (Topics subject to change.)