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"Rapid assessment" spring bird survey of Pixley NWR

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  • Dan Cooper
    RAPID ASSESSMENT SURVEY OF AN IMPORTANT BIRD AREA - Pixley NWR Please join Audubon for a spring bird survey of Pixley National Wildlife Refuge and environs
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 4, 2002
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      RAPID ASSESSMENT SURVEY OF AN IMPORTANT BIRD AREA - Pixley NWR

      Please join Audubon for a spring bird survey of Pixley National Wildlife
      Refuge and environs (southern San Joaquin Valley) on Saturday, April 13th.
      We will be meeting at the new parking lot at Pixley (recently opened to the
      public) at a glorious 5:00 am, and depending on the number of participants,
      will split into groups covering several areas to count birds. We will meet
      up afterwards for brunch in Delano.

      Call or email Dan Cooper, Audubon California, at (323) 254-0252 if you're
      interested, or just show up on Saturday morning.


      Directions and logistics:
      Take Hwy. 99 to the "Earlimart" Exit (Ave. 56)
      Head west for about five miles to County Rd. 88 (look for lone tamarisk on
      left)
      Turn right, and go for about a mile to parking lot on left (just past small
      bridge over Deer Ck.)

      Pixley is about 2.5 hrs. north of L.A., and 4-5 hrs. from the Bay Area.

      We will quickly split into groups at 5:00 am, and survey until around 10:30
      when it starts getting warm.

      We will meet around 11:00 for brunch in Delano (restaurant to be
      determined).

      There are many motels along Hwy. 99 between Visalia and Bakersfield.

      FAQs:

      WHO CAN JOIN THE SURVEY? I DON'T KNOW A CROW FROM A CATBIRD!
      All are welcome. Audubon is committed to involving birders of all abilities
      in meaningful activities in nature. We already have several crack birders
      participating who can help others along. The more people that show up, the
      more areas we can cover.

      WHAT SHOULD I BRING?
      Usual Christmas Bird Count gear - binoculars, a field guide, hat, water,
      watch, pen, etc. Boots and long pants will be useful (lots of foxtails). It
      will probably be around 55F in the morning, and could get up into the 90s by
      the end of the count.

      WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?
      National Audubon is undertaking an effort to identify and map a network of
      "Important Bird Areas" around California to better direct conservation and
      management. Over the next few months, this program will result in a book
      describing the sites and an integrated conservation plan for working with
      chapters, other NGOs and agencies to draw attention to the most needy sites.
      One such activity would be occasional, one-day breeding bird surveys
      targeted at areas whose avifauna is poorly-known, to provide a "snapshot" of
      avian use at key times of year. Modeled after the summer bird count
      developed by Bob Barnes at the Kern River Preserve, these have the potential
      to greatly increase our knowledge of bird distribution and use of these
      sites.

      WHERE IS THE DATA GOING?
      Currently, data from several previous IBA bird surveys is being stored at
      National Audubon's Los Angeles office, among other places, and is available
      to the public. It has been used by Audubon and others to comment upon
      several projects, from clearing riparian vegetation in Los Angeles Flood
      Control Basins to managing sagebrush in the Mono Basin.

      WHY PIXLEY?
      Several months ago, I put a request out on Calbirds for some suggestions for
      potential survey sites. Pixley has lots of local support (from Tulare Co.
      Audubon and the Kern National Wildlife Refuge) and seemed particularly
      under-birded.

      WHAT IS PIXLEY LIKE? WILL I REALLY SEE BIRDS?
      Pixley protects a remnant of the eastern shore of the historic Tulare Lake,
      a massive complex of natural wetlands formerly fed by San Joaquin Valley
      streams out of the southern Sierra. Today, it has been nearly eliminated by
      agriculture, but a few significant reserves remain in the area, and these
      continue to be expanded and enhanced. It protects grassland, saltbush scrub,
      freshwater marsh and (narrow) riparian thickets. Target birds include
      Swainson's Hawk, Burrowing Owl, White-faced Ibis, Yellow-breasted Chat and
      maybe even Sage Sparrow? Short-eared Owl?

      ***Tell your non-listserving friends, and feel free to distribute this to
      other listserves besides Calbirds***

      Daniel S. Cooper
      Director of Bird Conservation
      Audubon California
      6042 Monte Vista St.
      Los Angeles, CA
      (323) 254-0252
      dcooper@...
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