BIRDS OF BORNEO
by Kate Marianchild
Exotic birds, orangutans, the largest flower on earth - what more could one ask for on a cold January evening? How about friendly people and refreshments? All these and more will be part of a slideshow program entitled "Birds of Borneo" by Matthew Matthiessen. As a birder extraordinaire, excellent photographer, and entertaining presenter Mr. Matthiessen is one of Mendocino's national treasures. Anyone who has been to his previous presentations will not want to miss this one! Peregrine Audubon Society is sponsoring the event, which will take place on Thursday, January 20, 7 p.m. at the Grace Hudson Museum, 431 S. Main St., Ukiah.
Mr. Matthiessen traveled in Borneo for two weeks in June of 2004. Borneo, the third largest island in the world, is located west of Sumatra and southeast of the Philippines. It is home to Mt. Kinabalu, the highest peak between the Himalayas and New Guinea. As happens on many islands, many birds and animals evolved in isolation on Borneo to the point of no longer being able to interbreed with their off-island relatives. That process results in what are called "endemic species" - species that can be found nowhere else in the world. Borneo has 35-40 endemic species of birds. Mr. Matthiessen saw about half of those birds, and was able to photograph a number of them.
Many hornbills and trogons live on Borneo. These birds are large and often colorful, sometimes to the point of being gaudy. In addition to gaudy and not-so-gaudy birds, the slideshow will also include an enormous flower and pictures of orangutans, including mothers with babies, As a final enticement, Mr. Matthiessen will show caves where people harvest bird nests for "bird nest soup." Yup, it's a delicacy. To find out exactly what those nests are made of, or just how big that huge flower is. well, you'll just have to come to the slideshow!
Anyone who would like to subscribe to Peregrine Audubon's newsletter, The Falcon Flyer, as a way of regularly receiving information about our programs and field trips, can do so by becoming a member. Please send $15 to Peregrine Audubon Society, P.O. Box 311, Ukiah, CA 95482. The Falcon Flyer also contains articles about local birds, environmental issues, and conservation activities, reports on slideshows and field trips, listings of birding festivals around the state, and more. It comes out 5 times a year between September and June. Your $15 membership fee also helps support our education and conservation activities.
by Kate Marianchild of Peregrine Audubon Society
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