Why Birds Flock

You may have heard the old saying that birds of a feather flock together. But have you ever stopped to wonder why? Join Jessica Griffiths for a fascinating look at bird flocks and flocking behavior.

Birding while Disabled

Featuring Bonnie Lewkowicz, Judith Smith and Susan Glass

Thursday, March 16 —  7 pm via Zoom 

Birders and disability justice advocates; Bonnie Lewkowikz, Judith Smith, and Susan Glass, will lead an important discussion on Birding While Disabled. Drawing on their own lived experiences with disability, these three presenters will not only discuss accessibility as it relates to birding, but they will also offer their wonderful insights to the birding community by exploring and expanding the possibilities of what birding is and can be for those who wish to experience the wonder of birds in their lives.

Bonnie Lewkowicz and Judith Smith will share their experiences as wheelchair using birders. Susan Glass will discuss her experiences as a birder who is blind. Find out what they need from the birding community and birding locations for them to feel welcome, included, and able to access birding locations and activities.

About our Speakers:

Bonnie Lewkowicz (she/her) has been able to combine her love of the outdoors with her work where for more than 35 years she has been educating about and advocating for greater access to outdoor recreation for people with disabilities. She is the author of an accessible trail guidebook and 2 trail websites.

Judith Smith (she/her) is an environmentalist, avid hiker, birder and advocate for accessibility in the outdoors. Judith received her CA Naturalist Certification at Sonoma Ecology Center in 2021. She assists with a Birding for All program at Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program.

Blind since birth, Susan Glass began birding by ear at age 4. Now at age 66, she leads bird walks, teaches poetry writing workshops that focus on nature, and gives talks on identifying birds by sound, studying bird behavior, and cultivating bird habitats at home. She is a retired English professor turned free-lance writer.

Zoom Recording

Connecting Ecotourism and Conservation

Featuring Ivan Phillipsen
Thursday, March 17  — 7 p.m. via Zoom

Conservation of the world’s bird and wildlife diversity has become a topic of enormous importance in the 21st century. Ecotourism is among the many approaches for channeling resources into conservation efforts. Some of the benefits of ecotourism are direct, local, and based on economics. Others are more indirect and cultural. This presentation will explore some ways that we can help protect the natural world by experiencing it through travel.

About Our Speaker

Ivan is a dedicated naturalist with a background in scientific research. He holds a M.S. in Biology from Cal State San Bernardino and a Ph.D. in Zoology from Oregon State University. As Co-owner of Wild Latitudes, Ivan has been able to apply his knowledge in crafting and leading ecotours around the world.  Ivan takes a holistic approach when teaching about the natural world.

View via Zoomlink:


Passcode: 393857


The California spotted owl

Featuring H. Anu Kramer
Thursday, February 17  — 7 p.m. via Zoom

Wildfires swept through California again in the summer of 2021. While forest thinning and controlled burns may help reduce the risk of future fires, laws that protect old-forest species that are associated with dense canopies and big, old trees often slow the pace and scale of these treatments. However, these species are simultaneously threatened by high-severity fires as well, leading to a lose-lose scenario. The California spotted owl is one such old-forest species, yet like other Sierra Nevada natives, it evolved under a frequent lower-severity fire regime, begging the question: “How do different kinds of fire influence the California spotted owl?” We examined owl behavior in a high-severity mega-fire, as well as in fire-restored National Parks and found consistent preferences regarding fire severity and patch size that inform future forest and fire management throughout the region and influence the future of these owls as well as human communities and the Sierra Nevada ecosystem as a whole.

About Our Speaker

Anu Kramer received her PhD in 2016 from the University of California – Berkeley in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, where she specialized in fire ecology, GIS, and remote sensing. She has been a Researcher with the Peery Lab at the University of Wisconsin – Madison since 2018, where she works primarily with California spotted owls, applying her knowledge of fire, GIS, and remote sensing.

Zoom Recording Here 

Gardening For Birds

Featuring Noreen Weeden and Eddie Bartley
Thursday, January 20  — 7 p.m. via Zoom

You can have a beautiful native plant garden that attracts amazing birds, butterflies and other wildlife. Learn about the benefits of local, native plants and some of the wonderful birds that are drawn to this place and to these plants. Noreen Weeden and Eddie Bartley will discuss what migrating and resident birds need and how to provide what the birds are seeking.  Learn which native plants attract which bird species and why they are attracted to them. This presentation will cover what to think about in designing your backyard and when to plant.

About Our Speakers

Eddie Bartley and Noreen Weeden are both active volunteers with the Golden Gate Audubon Society, California Native Plant Society (CNPS), and the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory. Eddie is President of the Yerba Buena chapter of CNPS and the Farallon Islands Foundation. He is an avian researcher and instructor for the California Academy of Sciences and Golden Gate Audubon. Noreen Weeden was formerly Volunteer Director with Golden Gate Audubon and is currently project managing a habitat restoration project. She is on the board of Yerba Buena CNPS.

View recording of event at the link below: