Welcome To San Diego Audubon

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1 S P E C I A L I N T R O D U C T O R Y E D I T I O N Welcome To San Diego Audubon

2 A Strong Advocate For San Diego s Wildlife Welcome! Welcome to the San Diego Audubon Society. If you re a new member, thank you for joining our society. If you re just beginning to learn about our organization, we hope you will become a member. In either case, this introductory issue of Sketches will explain who we are, what we do, and how you can become an active participant in our effort to foster the appreciation and protection of San Diego s wildlife and habitats. You can learn more about our organization by contacting our office or visiting our website at We look forward to meeting you. Who We Are San Diego Audubon is a chapter of the National Audubon Society, an organization founded in 1905 to stop the slaughter of wild birds for their feathers. The early Audubon Society engineered a series of legal victories, culminating in the Migratory Bird Act of 1913 that halted the plume trade and rescued many of the most beautiful birds we see today from the brink of extinction. Since 1917, San Diego Audubon members have been dedicated to protecting and appreciating our local wildlife and their habitats. From the tidal flats of the Tijuana estuary to the fir stands on the crest of Palomar from the foggy sycamore and oak groves of the coastal canyons to the sun-parched Borrego badlands, we actively work to preserve San Diego s environment. Many of our chapter s 2,800 members are dedicated birders. Others just enjoy viewing the birds they see in their yards and at their feeders. We are conservationists, hikers, birders, and educators. And we share our experiences and values with others through a variety of nature-oriented programs. What We Do San Diego Audubon leads the way in fostering knowledge and appreciation of the natural world and seeks to become an even more significant resource for our communities through our education, environmental recreation, and numerous conservation programs. San Diego County has more animals and plants on the endangered species list than any other county in the U.S. This is one of the many indications of the threats faced by our region. And yet our focus is one of hope and enthusiasm we believe we can make a positive difference for the future of our wild places and the creatures that live there. Members of San Diego Audubon join in dozens of birding trips each year, participate in hands-on habitat restoration projects, work directly to protect endangered species such as the California Least Tern, and explore our two wildlife preserves. Monthly membership meetings feature exciting and informative presentations. Our office is open each weekday to answer questions and help you connect with the programs you are most interested in. Each year, hundreds of students receive natural history lessons in the classroom, and many volunteer at our habitat restoration work parties.

3 SKETCHES PAGE 3 The mission of San Diego Audubon is to foster the protection and appreciation of birds, other wildlife and their habitats, through study and education, and advocate for a cleaner, healthier environment. Our Shared Values San Diegans are fortunate to work and play in a natural wonderland. But our good fortune comes with a responsibility to protect this special region and leave its natural riches for future generations to explore and enjoy. We re committed to two central goals: providing opportunities for the public to learn about nature through field trips and guided tours of our wildlife sanctuaries, and protecting our natural heritage through education, advocacy, and direct stewardship of wildlife habitat. As you read through the rest of this special issue, please look for opportunities that speak to your own imagination and interests.

4 SKETCHES PAGE 4 San Diego Audubon s PROJECTS and Education Our Education Committee brings environmental instruction to classrooms throughout the county. Our programs reach more than 500 students every year and we re working to double the number of students we serve. One popular unit includes an owl pellet dissection to help children learn the fundamentals of ecology and conservation. We have produced colorful habitat posters and accompanying guides that identify many local species and help readers understand the unique role of each animal or plant in its habitat (available through our office and website). Our new Audubon At Home garden workshops teach how to use native plants to create healthy backyard habitats for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. All of our activities and programs are designed to increase each individual s awareness and appreciation of the natural world. 1 Conservation Conservation Committee members provide a voice for wildlife and for the preservation of open space at public venues, through communication with local government leaders, and through articulate comment letters addressing proposals that impact vulnerable habitat. The committee also organizes habitat maintenance and restoration activities and provides interpretive programs that educate the public on the value of protecting threatened and endangered species. The graphic of San Diego County and Mission Bay (to the right) shows some of our current conservation projects. Anyone with a passion for the natural world can make a difference by joining our Conservation Committee. Join us and we ll teach you how to effectively advocate for the protection of our local wildlife and habitats

5 SKETCHES PAGE 5 PROGRAMS Reach Throughout the Region We re A Volunteer Organization San Diego Audubon relies on the skills and energy of its members to achieve its goals. While we enjoy excellent staff support, the work of our organization is carried out and funded largely by the efforts of hundreds of individuals. We invite you to become one of them! There are many ways you can contribute, only some of which are listed below. Please call our office or send us an to inquire how your interests and abilities match our on-going needs. Ways You Can Help Volunteer in our office Volunteer at both our Silverwood Wildlife Sanctuary and Anstine-Audubon Nature Preserve Maintain Least Tern nesting sites Develop and maintain native habitats and trails Assist at our community outreach events Advocate for wildlife by joining our Conservation Committee Teach children about local wildlife and conservation in the classroom Lead birding trips Participate in annual bird counts Build financial support for our programs by joining our Fund Development Committee Help organize special events as a member of our Social Committee

6 SKETCHES PAGE 6 BIRDING FIELD TRIPS San Diego offers some of the best birding in the country! With seasonal migrations in the fall and spring, there are always new species to add to your personal life list. Here is an overview of the many birding experiences we offer throughout the year: - Birding Trips: We offer over 50 local birding trips every year. Visit for complete information on all birding trips. - Avian Adventures: Travel with experienced San Diego Audubon birders on multi-day trips to birding hotspots throughout the U.S. and even as far as Panama, Costa Rica, and more. All trips are advertised on our website. - San Diego Bird Festival: Join hundreds of birders from around the country each February on a variety of excursions, including overnight trips to Baja and pelagic trips. Workshops and other presentations provide a forum for sharing birding knowledge. - Christmas Bird Count: Take part in the largest citizen science effort in the world. - Birding Classes: SDAS offers beginning and intermediate birding courses to Friends of San Diego Audubon. Call our office or visit our website for current or upcoming classes. SILVERWOOD WILDLIFE SANCTUARY The 730-acre Silverwood Wildlife Sanctuary, located near Lakeside, is owned and maintained by San Diego Audubon. Its purpose is to preserve in as complete and natural a state as possible a prime area of coastal chaparral and riparian woodland. It is available for hiking, guided walks, bird watching, passive research, and education. Over 240 native plant species and 160 bird species can be found there, as well as numerous reptile and mammal species, including mule deer, bobcat, and raccoon. A nature education center and wooded, wildlife viewing area are close to the entrance. In 2003 the devastating Cedar fire swept through the sanctuary, burning the entire acreage. The recovery of the flora and gradual return of the fauna provide an excellent laboratory for studying the natural cycles of the ecosystem. This crown jewel of San Diego Audubon is well on the way to full recovery. Check our website or call our office for directions and other sanctuary information.

7 ANSTINE-AUDUBON NATURE PRESERVE SKETCHES PAGE 7 Nestled among the rapidly suburbanizing community of Vista, the 11-acre Anstine-Audubon Nature Preserve promises to be a unique retreat from the pressures of urban living. The property was bequeathed to San Diego Audubon in 1999 and is currently being restored. Although the preserve is not yet open to the public, regular work parties are scheduled to restore habitat, construct trails, and maintain the property. Three native plant communities are found at the site: Coastal Sage Scrub, Southern Willow Riparian Forest, and Coast Live Oak Woodland. Nearly 100 species of birds and plants, five species of reptiles, and five species of mammals have been recorded on the preserve. When restoration is complete, the preserve will serve both as an outdoor classroom for school children to learn about the natural world and as a sanctuary for birds and people! Become a part of the restoration effort by joining the Anstine Committee. Join the Friends of San Diego Audubon San Diego Audubon is a leading voice for conservation in San Diego County. Help ensure this voice is heard loud and clear by becoming a Friend of San Diego Audubon. Friends membership supports our conservation programs, environmental education programs for school children, and our new Audubon at Home program that teaches individuals how to create backyard habitat for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. Being a Friend also provides exclusive access to low-cost birding classes and Avian Adventures birding tours. Your $30 membership will help us deliver the programs and events described in this special issue. Please support our local education and conservation programs by becoming a Friend today. MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION Use this form to become a Friend of San Diego Audubon FRIENDS OF SDAS BENEFITS: All funds used locally Subscription to Sketches (10 issues) Bulletins about local conservation Monthly membership meetings Access to low-cost birding classes Access to Avian Adventures tours $20 Student $30 One-year Membership $50 Supporting Membership $ Additional gift to SDAS $ Total contribution Do not send Sketches newsletter by mail NAME ADDRESS CITY STATE/ZIP PHONE Mail with check made out to SDAS to: San Diego Audubon Society, 4891 Pacific Hwy, Ste. 112, San Diego, CA 92110

8 Our Website Visit our website (www.sandiegoaudubon.org) for the most recent news and activities of San Diego Audubon. From the home page, you can download the latest issue of Sketches (or up to 12 months of back issues), review our field trip schedule, and find out about upcoming volunteer activities. An interactive map identifies thirty birding locations in the county with site descriptions, driving directions, and maps. Elsewhere on the website you can find details of the next general meeting and work party events, a schedule of Avian Adventures birding tours, and complete San Diego Bird Festival information. The Conservation page provides current information on some of the major environmental issues facing San Diego County. The Contacts page lists our current board members with contact information. Visit the Support SDAS pages to find posters, t-shirts, and other items that can be purchased. Donations and membership applications can be easily made online. The Links page provides links to websites where birding, photographic, and conservation topics can be viewed. The website is continually being updated so watch for new features. Get Connected For more information on how you can get involved in our exciting programs, call our office at or contact us via Visit us online: Learn about San Diego Audubon events and activities by visiting our information-packed website at Receive information by Receive periodic announcements about volunteer opportunities, conservation updates, and more at org/ .htm Other contacts: Birds and birding locales Conservation issues and information... Education programs San Diego Audubon Office: 4891 Pacific Highway, Suite 112, San Diego, CA (From I-5, take Sea World Drive west, then left on Pacific Highway) San Diego Audubon is a chartered chapter of the National Audubon Society, which can be contacted at San Diego Audubon offers you a host of choices for exploring the natural world. Come and discover, participate and make a difference! San Diego Audubon Society 4891 Pacific Highway, Suite 112 San Diego, CA 92110

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