Carbon Intensive Bird Event Sponsored by Audubon

UPDATED ON 12/01/16. This update reflects the individual impacts on melting Arctic sea ice based on a new recent report.

I have changed the name of this blog to represent the true nature of Christmas Bird Counts. I can't think of any other birding event that comes close to matching the carbon used to complete this yearly bird survey.

This post was written last year(2013) and a few things, but not many, have changed during that time. As many of you know, the National Audubon Society released it's big Audubon Climate Report this year. It's a very good report. I wrote about it in a post called, Dear Brigid. Brigid McCormack did not respond (she did respond eventually). The mad CBC counter, which you will read about below, is still featured on the Audubon Christmas Bird Count website (this may no longer be the case but you can find it here as a PDF download). More and more CBC's are added each year which adds more climate changing carbon to the air. Audubon still makes no effort to reduce their carbon footprint for their citizen science projects. I have added some new and controversial comments at the end. I have not checked that all the links still work.

 

I've been participating in Audubon's Christmas Bird Counts (CBC) for many years. I've done the Palos Verdes Peninsula CBC in Southern California, the Oroville CBC and the Chico CBC in inland Northern California, and I've done the Ukiah CBC, Manchester CBC and the Fort Bragg CBC in Mendocino County. What are CBC's? I will let Audubon explain.

History of the Christmas Bird Count

Prior to the turn of the century, people engaged in a holiday tradition known as the Christmas “Side Hunt”: They would choose sides and go afield with their guns; whoever brought in the biggest pile of feathered (and furred) quarry won.

Conservation was in its beginning stages around the turn of the 20th century, and many observers and scientists were becoming concerned about declining bird populations. Beginning on Christmas Day 1900, ornithologist Frank Chapman, an early officer in the then budding Audubon Society, proposed a new holiday tradition-a “Christmas Bird Census”-that would count birds in the holidays rather than hunt them.

So began the Christmas Bird Count. Thanks to the inspiration of Frank M. Chapman and the enthusiasm of twenty-seven dedicated birders, twenty-five Christmas Bird Counts were held that day. The locations ranged from Toronto, Ontario to Pacific Grove, California with most counts in or near the population centers of northeastern North America. Those original 27 Christmas Bird Counters tallied around 90 species on all the counts combined.

Count volunteers follow specified routes through a designated 15-mile (24-km) diameter circle, counting every bird they see or hear all day. It's not just a species tally–all birds are counted all day, giving an indication of the total number of birds in the circle that day. If observers live within a CBC circle, they may arrange in advance to count the birds at their feeders and submit those data to their compiler. All individual CBC's are conducted in the period from December 14 to January 5 (inclusive dates) each season, and each count is conducted in one calendar day.

Audubon has an excellent 23 minute Vimeo video on their website that explains the history of the counts and how the data is used to provide a detailed status of our winter bird populations.

 

As the video explains:

The data collected by observers over the past century allow researchers, conservation biologists, and other interested individuals to study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America. When combined with other surveys such as the Breeding Bird Survey, it provides a picture of how the continent's bird populations have changed in time and space over the past hundred years…More recently, in 2009, the data were instrumental in Audubon's Birds & Climate Change analysis, which documented range shifts of bird species over time.

Besides the birding there is a tabulation dinner after the count where the volunteers tally up the birds seen in their individual areas and a total species count is announced. These dinners are a fun social meeting of most of the birders in the local area.

I am the leader of section 8 of the Fort Bragg CBC. As I wrote in the last post it includes the community of Mendocino with it's Mendocino Headland's State Park, Big River (I've written about Big River before), and the Woodlands State Park. It's a great and diverse area and I have a good team in each of these areas with a total of ten people in the field. As the team leader I feel that it's my job to get a sample of the bird life in all the various habitats in my area as best I can. Since the beginning of the Fort Bragg CBC (it's a relatively new count with only four actual counts with the first being a trial run) I have been biking the Big River Haul Road in the morning with my birding partner, Sarah Grimes. This year(2013) we had Penny, visiting her relatives for the holidays, join us. After the bike ride we walk out to the mouth of the river to bird and then carpool to the several known local bird feeders in the area. We don't have a large carbon footprint counting birds in the Big River area. We then head to the Caspar Community Center for the dinner tally. This year people seemed a little more jovial then usual. That may have been because Tim Bray our compiler supplied us with some of his home brew (Note:He plans to do it again). The compiler makes sure the areas are covered and puts all the data together for Audubon. Tim told me that he and his wife had followed my lead and had done some of his area on bike. So a good time was had by everyone and our count will now become part of the 114th Audubon Christmas Bird Count.

In the last post I said that I would address the “pros” and “cons” of Christmas Bird Counts. How could there be any “cons” in this endeavor you ask? The “pros” are numerous. 113 years of bird data showing the ups and downs of winter bird populations with all kinds of reports used by various organizations showing all sorts of things. Christmas Bird counts are a great social event that brings seasoned birders together with new and most important, younger birders. The CBC's are great for Audubon because of the possibities of bringing new people into the organization.

The main basis for this blog has been birds and climate change. Audubon has used Christmas Bird Count data to document the impacts of climate change on birds in their 2009 report called, “Birds and Climate Change–Ecological Disruption in Motion”. Check out the report. It's very convincing.

The problem is that the data gathering method used in the CBC's is very carbon intensive. Audubon makes no effort that I can find to reduce it's CBC's carbon footprint. Audubon is in conflict with it's own climate change policy which states in part:

All of us have a role to play in reducing the worst impacts of global warming. As individuals and engaged citizens, we can all take steps to reduce our energy use, switch to cleaner sources of power, conserve habitat and encourage our leaders to take immediate action….Use public transportation, ride your bicycle, walk, carpool, and drive a more energy-efficient vehicle. Keep tires properly inflated to increase fuel efficiency – it will lower your fuel costs…(Note: This paragraph was removed from their website when they published their new Audubon Climate Report.

Back in January of this year(2013) I became curious and asked the question, “How many car miles were used in the 112th Christmas Bird Count?” I got this reply from Kathy Dale, Director of Citizen Science, National Audubon Society:

I looked up the values for miles by car for the 112thCBC (including converting those recorded in kilometers) and I come up with 583,164 miles by car in circles in North America-that means from Panama through to Canada.

583,164 miles by car will get you to the moon and back and almost half way back to the moon. As a veteran of CBC's I know that this is just the tip of the iceberg. It is only car miles used while counting birds in the circle. Let me give you an example. Car miles for my section of the Fort Bragg CBC for that year was 14.5 miles. Most of that was birding the Woodlands State Park. All of the Mendocino Headlands was zero miles because he walked the whole area. I had a small amount of car miles checking bird feeders. The “actual” car miles used to get the area counted was over 114 miles because the person counting the Mendocino Headlands came over from Ukiah, a more than 100 mile round trip. I believe the total car miles for the whole count was in the neighborhood of 195 miles. We had at least 7 people (5 cars) that I know of that came from out of the area to count. That would more than triple the car miles reported. There are three counts in Mendocino County. The Manchester Count because of it's isolated location would probably have more “actual” car miles then the Fort Bragg Count. The Ukiah Count less.

UPDATE 12/01/16--A recent report quantified an individual's impacts on melting Arctic sea ice.

Using both observations and computer models, Notz and colleague Julienne Stroeve, of the U.S. National Snow & Ice Data Center and University College, London, found that when looking at averages over 30 years, every metric ton of carbon dioxide emitted results in the loss of 30 square feet of sea ice. That amount of CO2 is what is emitted per person on a round-trip flight from New York to London, or by a car driving 2,500 miles.

Using just the Christmas Bird Count's 583,164 car miles mentioned, the 112th CBC melted almost 7000 square feet of Arctic sea ice. People don't realize their impacts on climate change.

And how about the Christmas Bird Count groupies? People who do as many counts as they can during the count period. Here in California they travel up and down the state to do this. On Audubon's CBC Website there is this article called, “Return of the Mad Counter”. This individual bird counter did 23 counts during the 104th CBC, the maximum you can do during a count period. To quote him:

During the course of completing this full CBC marathon, my field parties identified a total of 132 species (115 last year) and recorded 241,223 individual birds (101,066). I traveled 7100.25 miles (6322) over 360 hours (322), this included travel time, as well as daily compilation time. Consequently, my total effort per count averaged 309 miles and 15.7 hours. By comparison, I spent 92.75 hours traveling to and from counts (85.5), 267.25 hours actually counting birds (236.5), and only 32 hours sleeping.

Note that I put the mileage in bold letters and also note the 32 hours of sleep in 23 days. A hazard to himself and anyone else on the road.

Based on the above I think that I can safely make the claim that Christmas Bird Counts have a very large carbon footprint and since count circles continue to be added each year it will continue to get worse. It's ironic to note that because carbon stays in the atmosphere for long periods of time there is still some climate warming carbon from Christmas Bird Counts since the first car mile. I'm sure that a graph of car miles over time would be similar to the Keeling Curve.

When I asked about the car miles for the 112th CBC I indicated that I had plans to write an article about car miles used in CBC's. Kathy Dale asked me to allow some input from Audubon in the article. While I don't know if the article will ever get written I guess this post may count as one so I will use this quote:

Audubon appreciates the hard work of all our volunteers and the bird trend data collected are more important than ever to document shifts in birds ranges across the Western Hemisphere, says Geoff LeBaron, Christmas Bird Count Director for National Audubon. At the same time we also recognize the need to reduce our carbon footprint in all aspects of our lives, including the CBC. We applaud the efforts to conduct green CBCs and encourage others to do so where possible. Ride a bike, walk, carpool or otherwise find ways to reduce your footprint.

While I feel this is a great quote I can't find any efforts on the part of Audubon to promote these sentiments over the whole of the count area. Perhaps it's time for Audubon to make an effort to at least adhere to their own climate change policies.

Audubon should at least make birders aware of the hidden carbon costs of the CBC's. Compilers should be asked to record the full actual car miles needed to get their CBC counted. CBC's that use less “actual” miles need to be recognized as an incentive for others to reduce their miles. Responsible birders who care about birds will find ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

Frank M. Chapman decided over one hundred years ago that it was time to start protecting birds instead of shooting them. It's time for Audubon to make some changes.

 

Here are some further comments.

Audubon's efforts to reduce their climate footprint for their citizen science projects are nonexistent. That's probably because it would be a painful experience for them and the people doing the research. The Audubon Climate Report should have been a starting point for this discussion but so far that hasn't happened. The report explains the climate change impacts to birds in great detail but birders, in general, are not willing to reduce their carbon output when birding and many are not willing to admit they are a carbon polluter.

What would it take to “green” Christmas Bird Counts. First Audubon would have to start making it a goal of the counts. Incentives would have to be offered for counts that reduce their car mileage. When birders are offered a challenge they will respond. The goal is to reduce not eliminate carbon. In urban and other appropriate areas the public transportation system should be encouraged. Think of the news reports and publicity for Audubon because of counters using local public transportation.

Audubon should stop the practice of starting new counts in areas and habitats that are already well covered. Counts should have to justify their existence. ALREADY ESTABLISHED COUNTS should have to justify their existence. If they can't they should be retired. I know–this would be a controversial proposal but Audubon's own scientists as well as others have an issue with this. In fact they have some issues with how the counts are done and the value of the data. Here is a link to a 2003/2004 report titled, Improving the Christmas Bird Counts: Report of a Review Panel.

While CBC data have been widely used in scientific publications, the survey was not designed for statistic analysis of population change (i.e., rigorous monitoring), and the data set presents serious challenges that analysts must address if appropriate inferences about populations are to be drawn. As noted by Bock and Root (1981:17): “The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is an enormous but weakly standardized avian count…CBC data are an inappropriate substitute for more controlled census work associated with local projects. Scientists would ignore CBC data altogether, were it not for their potential application to large scale studies.”

Why is it that scientists are wary of using CBC data? The two key issues areas follows.

1) Within circles, counts are not complete censuses, but rather are incomplete samples. Because count effort is not uniform or standardized, the proportion of the true population that is counted each year and in each location is highly variable…

2) Count circles are not randomly selected, but rather are purposefully chosen; often to be near urban areas or in protected and bird-rich locations such as parks or nature preserves. Density of count locations is correlated with human population density. Many data analysts of the past have taken minimal steps to avoid over-representation of geographic areas where count circles are most dense, and it is often an unspoken assumption (as yet untested) that habitat and bird populations within circles are representative of the landscape as a whole.

 

In reading the report, attempts are being made to make CBC bird data more usable but are many of the counts even needed to get the data? Pictured above are counts in the New Jersey, New York, and Chicago/South Bend areas. This happens more in densely populated areas all over the United States.

If Audubon can create a panel to make the data more valuable why can't they have a panel to make the data greener? They just have to make an effort. Do it for the birds.

 

Edited with BlogPad Pro

 

 

Birds in Trouble, What Can We Do?

Birds are in trouble for many reasons. Recently two reports have come out documenting just how much trouble. One of these reports is, The State of the Birds Report 2014.

From the press release.

“Washington, D.C.—One hundred years after the extinction of the passenger pigeon, the nation’s top bird science and conservation groups have come together to publish The State of the Birds 2014—the most comprehensive review of long-term trend data for U.S. birds ever conducted. The authors call the results unsettling. The report finds bird populations declining across several key habitats, and it includes a “watch list” of bird species in need of immediate conservation help. The report also reveals, however, that in areas where a strong conservation investment has been made, bird populations are recovering.”

“Because the ‘state of the birds’ mirrors the state of their habitats, our national wildlife refuges, national parks, national seashores, and other public lands are critical safe havens for many of these species—especially in the face of climate change—one of the biggest challenges to habitat conservation for all species in the 21st century,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.”

“In addition to assessing population trends in the seven key habitats, the North American Bird Conservation Initiative members created a State of the Birds Watch List. The 230 species on the list are currently endangered or at risk of becoming endangered without significant conservation. Forty-two of them are pelagic (open ocean) species…More than half of all U.S. shorebird species are on the Watch List, including the piping plover, long-billed curlew and red knot. Loss of habitat and uncontrolled harvesting in the South America and Caribbean are some of their biggest threats…One of the more dire groups on the Watch List is made up of the 33 Hawaiian forest species, 23 of which are listed as federally endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The report’s authors have deemed Hawaii the “bird extinction capital of the world”—no place has had more extinctions since human settlement…Another group on the Watch List will require international cooperation: neotropical migrants. These species that breed in North America but migrate south of the U.S. border in winter hold 30 spots on the Watch List…The strongest finding in The State of the Birds 2014 is simple: conservation works. Ducks fly once again in great numbers up the Mississippi River and across the Chesapeake Bay. California condors are rebounding from just 22 birds to more than 200 today. Bald eagles, brown pelicans, peregrine falcons—all species once headed the way of the passenger pigeon—are now abundant.”

In the report scientists from the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) identified the 33 U.S. common bird species in steep decline. Some of these birds might surprise you. Others not so much.

The numbers of birds killed by cats and windows is staggering!

The other report is the Audubon’s Birds and Climate Change Report. It documents 314 birds on the brink of extinction because of shrinking and shifting ranges caused by climate change. I had been reading about the pending release of this report for sometime and looked forward to reading it. I’ve read much of the report and Audubon did a great job in the research and presentation and is certainly convincing. Check out this video:

As you watch the video, note that the Audubon scientist states that there are two things that people can do and one is, “reduce carbon pollution”. I have been getting constant emails from Audubon to take action (and also send them money) by contacting local politicians to support programs to reduce carbon pollution. They NEVER address the huge gorilla in the birding room. They never ask birders to think about how they bird or how much carbon they put into the air while birding. I’m not particularly surprised.

The September/October issue of Audubon is a special issue that is entirely about climate change and birds. It’s a great read that covers the subject in every way but that huge gorilla. I searched the whole issue and found not one suggestion about greening the birding experience. The marvelous irony is that their July/August issue featured Neil Hayward who set a new record of 750 bird species across the United States and Canada in 2013. I wrote about him last year when I was doing my “green” year. Let us review his carbon birding totals.

28 states and 7 provinces visited.

193,758 miles flown.

51,758 miles driven.

147 hours at sea.

Neil Hayward wasn’t the only birder doing a “Big Year” in 2013. Audubon Magazine titled the article, King Bird. Do you think there are birders out there who want to take his crown away. You bet there are! In that issue, Audubon didn’t mention that they had a new report coming out that documented the devastating effects on birds from carbon pollution. As I’ve stated many times, birding is a carbon intensive hobby. Birders across the country are doing ” Big Years and Days”, traveling around the world for their lists and taking off at a moment’s notice to chase that new and rare bird.

In their report Audubon encourages birders to do citizen science but they make no effort to encourage us to “green” that citizen science. Their Christmas Bird Count area on their website still features the, Return of the Mad Counter. It’s the story of Kelly McKay who traveled over 7100 miles during the 104th CBC while doing a count a day. During the 112th CBC they used 583,164 vehicle miles to just count birds within the count circle. Just a small fraction of Kelly McKay’s 7100 miles was counting birds in the count circle.

So my statement to Audubon is:

IT ALL ADDS UP AND YOU SHOULD ADDRESS THE GORILLA!!!

My final thought on the two reports is–Even if “conservation” works it will be of no use if climate change isn’t addressed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birding News

I haven’t done any birding news for awhile. This started out as a “green” birding blog so I should tell you what’s been happening in the Mendocino birding world? 

The last birding post was about Laguna Marsh, part of the Big River Spring bird surveys. They are finished. The final leg was the East Haul Road. This section is the least diverse, bird wise, of all the three surveys. As you go further east you get down to just a few different birds. Wilson’s Warblers, Pacific-slope Flycatchers, Swainson’s Thrushes are the “big” three.

Pictured above are Nicolet Houtz, Trails & Big River Stewardship Coordinator, and Emily Merfeld, Paul Siegel Salmon Restoration Intern, looking east on the Haul Road. Both are with the Mendocino Land Trust, the sponsor of the surveys. I actually did five survey for them. Two West Haul Road, two Laguna Marsh and one East Haul Road surveys. Ever present were the mosquitos this year, the worst I’ve ever seen.

On June 8th, I posted this announcement on our local MendoBirds website:

8 June, 2014–Sunday–This morning and early afternoon there has been a female MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD at the Little River Airport. First found it on a power pole at the entrance road to the airport. Later viewed it near the windsock and hovering out in the center of the airport and when I left it was along the hangers on the taxiway going west.

Since it was a female I have spent some time with my bird books to make sure of the ID.

If you plan on chasing it, remember that it is a working FAA controlled airport.

Richard Hubacek
Little River

This was a new Mendocino County bird for me and they are quite rare in the county. Because it was the first female MOBL I’ve seen, it confused me for awhile. Until I saw the blue on it’s rump I wasn’t sure.

After talking to the airport manager the following week I posted this announcement on the Mendocino bird website:

Sat. 6/14/14–This morning I was doing my usual birding at the Little River Airport and happened to start a conversation with the airport’s manager. I started the conversation with the announcement of a rare Mountain Bluebird last Sunday. He said he knew all about it and proceeded to tell me several stories about birders chasing it. One birder after watching plane activity proceeded to walk out on the active runway. Another group of birders decided to form a car caravan and drove out on the taxiway, stopped on it and got out and set up their scopes. He related a plane on the taxiway having to stop because of people in it’s way. 

Because of this conversation I will no longer be posting rare birds at the airport on this website. I will probably delay reporting them on Ebird as well.

I realized, in thinking about this issue, that I failed to follow the ABA’s Code of Birding Ethics. 1(c) states, “Before advertising the presence of a rare bird, evaluate the potential for disturbance to the bird, its surroundings, and other people in the area, and proceed only if access can be controlled, disturbance minimized, and permission has been obtained from private land-owners.” 

 I would suggest that all birders read this “Code of Birding Ethics” frequently. It can be found on the American Birding Association’s Website.   http://www.aba.org/about/ethics.html

After birding the airport for many years I can’t afford to let inconsiderate birders close off my local patch.

Richard Hubacek

Little River

Birders can be such idiots at times but I received several good replies to my announcement.

I am still doing my SOS Shorebird Surveys at Virgin Creek Beach. Still taking the bus and my bike to do them. The official start of the new season started on July 1st. It been quiet, shorebird wise, for most of the year but I had the earliest (for me) returning Western Sandpipers on June 19th.

 

On June 27th, a Friday, I received a call from Karen Havlena. She said that Dorothy “Toby” Tobkin had found a Black Skimmer on Virgin Creek Beach. This was Mendocino County’s first Black Skimmer. It created a dilemma for me. There was no chance of catching the bus. There was no one, that I knew of, going into Fort Bragg to hitch a ride with. What to do? I got into my truck and chased it. I was successful.
This bird was banded and I’m sure we will find out it’s history. Some people have said that this could be a possible result of an impending El Niño with it’s warming waters. This leads me to my guilt about the extra carbon I put into the air. I personally put over 27 pounds of carbon and other climate warming gases into the air. See this EPA site to see how I calculated this. People from Lake County chased this bird. It’s was a carbon producing bird. 

Based on my last post, “Care to Join the Debate–Carbon Offsets” I have decided to give a small donation to a birding organization. Which one should I choose? The Cornell Lab of Ornithology might be a good choice but they never answered my letter and I’m no longer a member. They still sponsor extreme birding fundraisers. How about National Audubon? I was shocked to see that their latest issue of Audubon Magazine (July-August 2014) featured Neil Hayward and his 2013 Big Year. No mention of their climate change policies but they want us to green our pets.  And there’s still no mention of “greening” their Christmas Bird Counts. The American Birding Association (ABA) is gradually bringing the subject of climate change to their members but it is still the “listing” center of the birding world. So I’ve decided on the American Bird Conservancy (ABC). As far as I can find out they don’t sponsor extreme birding and walk the walk on their climate policies. They also do good things for birds. I will suggest that they establish a new bird chasing “guilt” fundraiser. It might catch on.

Birds and Climate Change

Every large bird and wildlife organization has some kind of statement concerning climate change and it’s affects on bird populations. We will explore some of these statements and policies in this post.

Why not start with the group that almost everyone associates with birds, the Audubon Society.

The Audubon Society has their “Climate Change Campaign“.

“Leading scientists around the world agree that man-made greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels are causing global warming. Effects are already being seen worldwide. Long-term consequences are devastating, and solutions are harder to attain each day we fail to act.”

“Global warming impacts birds and wildlife in many ways. Birds and other wildlife will face habitat loss due to sea level rise, more frequent and severe wildfires, flooding and droughts, invasive species, changes in vegetation and precipitation, and loss of snow and ice, among others. Birds, like most species, are highly adapted to particular vegetation and habitat types. To compensate for the warmer temperatures, the ranges of these habitats may move closer to the poles or higher elevations. Habitat types that cannot colonize new areas may rapidly decline or cease to exist. New pests, invasive species, and diseases will create additional risks. The timing of birds’ migration, reproduction, breeding, nesting, and hatching are all highly adapted to match specific local conditions, such as the availability of suitable habitat and adequate food sources.”

In their, “Be Part of the Solution” they offer ways to consume less fossil fuels. This is the first item in their list, “Consider driving less by taking public transportation, walking, bicycling, or carpooling.” You can see that I’m doing my part this year. They also want you to take part in their citizen science projects like the Christmas Bird Count and their Great Backyard Bird Count in order to provide bird data to track the effects of climate change on birds.

We will look at the Christmas Bird Counts in a later post.

The American Bird Conservancy has their, “Threats to Birds – Global Warming” report. “All birds stand to be affected by global warming, but most at risk are those that utilize sensitive coastal habitats such as marshes and beaches, and island-nesting species. Hawaiian birds are particularly at risk both from habitat loss and the spread of malaria and pox to higher elevations with rising temperatures.” Once again, part of their solution is, “Walk, or ride a bike when possible; choose public transportation or car-pooling over driving”.
 

The Birdwatcher’s Guide to Global Warming is a jointly produced report by the American Bird Conservancy and National Wildlife Federation. It gives an in-depth analysis of how global climate change may affect populations of some bird species.  In addition to the main report, there is a supplement for each of the lower 48 U.S. States.
 
 The NWF has their, “Shifting Skies: Migratory Birds in a Warming World“, report. “The very landscapes birds inhabit and upon which they rely are showing the effects of climate-driven changes. Forests are now encroaching on the formerly treeless Alaskan tundra, and deciduous forests are moving up mountains, crowding out alpine coniferous habitats. Millions of acres of pine forests in the West are being decimated by unprecedented epidemics of pine beetles, and catastrophic wildfires are reconfiguring habitats throughout the West. Coastal beaches and marshes are being drowned by rising seas.”
 
 “Across all habitats, species of conservation concern showed higher levels of vulnerability to climate change than species not threatened by other factors. Vulnerability to climate change may hasten declines or prevent recovery. At the same time, increased conservation concern may be warranted for groups of birds, such as waterfowl and aerial insect-eating birds that are abundant now but that will be increasingly stressed as climate change impacts intensify.”
 
While they acknowledge climate change affecting birds they have never replied to my letter concerning their “extreme” birding fund raisers.
 
I’ve written about the American Birding Association before. You can read what I’ve written here and here. While they don’t have a statement on climate change they do have the “Code of Birding Ethics”.
 
So you can see that there is lot’s of information out there on web concerning climate change and birds. I’ll explore several things I’ve found on the web that are affecting birds now, in my next post.

Audubon Society Precision Spotting Scope Drill Team

Had a good time on the 4th of July. Marched with the Mendocino Coast Audubon Society’s Precision Spotting Scope Drill Team in the annual Mendocino 4th of July Parade. This was my first time marching. Had about 30 minutes of rehearsal before the parade started and we were good to go.

The above picture is the drill team waiting in line before the start of the parade. We performed several maneuvers that included the Royal Tern, the Elegant Tern, the Snowy Plover, the Dipper, the Heron Walk, and shouted out the call (hic three beers) of the Olive-side Flycatcher in front of the two bars on the parade route.

This picture is by Becky Bowen and it shows us in perfect formation while doing the Royal Tern. More pictures can be seen on the Mendocino Coast Audubon’s Facebook Page

There are rumors that we will be marching in the Elk Parade coming up. I think the Rose Parade might be after that.

Another picture by Becky Bowen of your blogger.

In the evening my wife and I joined the other residents of the Wood’s Community (where I live) for our annual 4th of July Barbecue Dinner.  Won a $50 dollar gift card for Rossi’s Hardware in the raffle. Had a great day. Hope all of you did too.