Upcoming Presentations

I will be giving three presentations in the coming weeks, hope you can join me for one or two.

Houston Ornithological Group Learning Corner tonight September 10th

http://www.ornithologygroup.org/

You can read about the topic for tonight here:

Western Tanager Publication of Los Angeles Audubon

Galveston Audubon Society Meeting September 19th

Details of meeting here:

http://www.houstonaudubon.org/default.aspx/MenuItemID/1026/MenuGroup/Home.htm

Temperate Rainforest, Millions of Waterfowl, and Introduced Rarities: Birding the Northwest

By Stephan Lorenz

The northwest, including Oregon, Washington, and southern British Columbia do not only hold incredible landscapes, but also a wealth of birds. Dozens of species that can be difficult to find anywhere else in the lower forty-eight states can be observed with relative ease. Late winter to early spring is one of the most productive times of year to visit the region, with resident specials like Varied Thrush and Chestnut-backed Chickadee present, wintering birds lingering, and huge numbers of waterfowl moving north; all against a backdrop of lush temperate rainforest, snow-capped peaks, and rugged rocky coastlines.

The colder months provide an interesting mix of northern winter birds, residents, and annual rarities. From owls to woodpeckers, shorebirds to winter finches, and everything in between, this amazing corner of the continent will keep binoculars filled for several days. Washington and Oregon usually hosts Yellow-billed or Arctic Loons during the winter. Emperor Geese and Gyrfalcon are nearly annual and plenty of other oddities have made an appearance. A trip covering the Olympic Peninsula, across the Cascades to the Columbia Plateau with a detour to Vancouver Island will encompass the major hotspots.

Stephan Lorenz will share his experiences and photographs of his own trip to the region during March 2012. With not even half a dozen birds on his target list he didn’t expect much, but was amazed by the diversity of habitats and quality of birding. His presentation will feature the key birds of the area, highlight important stops, and reminisce how he remained soaked for five solid days. After starting to bird in earnest in 2004 Stephan Lorenz has travelled to every corner of the continent, from the western Aleutians to the Dry Tortugas, from Newfoundland to Baja California, and south to the Darien, Panama. In between, he enjoys writing about is experiences and sharing his photographs with anybody that will listen. He has published nearly fifty articles on natural history, bird distribution, and travel and is currently a Professor of Biology at San Jacinto College.

Golden Triangle Audubon Society Meeting September 20th

Details of meeting here:

http://www.goldentriangleaudubon.org/

Birding and Conservation in Jamaica

By Stephan Lorenz

Jamaica, famous for Marley, reggae and Rasta, beaches and patties, also offers some of the best birding in the West Indies. It is the southwestern most island among the Greater Antilles, which also include Cuba, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico. Due to its geographical location its unique birdlife reveals West Indian, North, and Central American influences, not found on any other island in the Greater Antilles. Add to that twenty-eight endemic species, plus numerous migrants, and Jamaica becomes a hotspot for birdwatchers from around the world. Unfortunately Jamaica faces serious environmental degradation and its wildlife could greatly benefit from visiting birders and increased ecotourism.

Smaller than the state of Connecticut, Jamaica packs a great variety of habitats into its limited square mileage. Sandy beaches and remnant mangroves fringe the shores with short stretches of rocky limestone cliffs along the eastern coast. Some dry tropical forest remains in the lowlands and grades into wet montane and cloud forest at higher elevations. Jamaica has one of the fastest deforestation rates in the world, making increased conservation efforts imperative. Fortunately much habitat has been saved by the rugged topography of the island’s interior. Nevertheless two endemics have likely become extinct, the Jamaican Petrel and Jamaican Poorwill.

I was lucky enough to spend two months working in Jamaica, assisting with research sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute, investigating the effects of forest fragmentation on resident and migrant bird species, specifically the Jamaican Tody and American Redstart. I was able to study the birdlife closely and travel throughout the island. For visiting birders, a week should be sufficient to find the majority of endemics and enjoy the island’s natural beauty….

 

 

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