Monthly chapter meetings are held the third Wednesday of the month at 7:00 pm. (Doors open at 6:45 for in person meetings). NOTE: Some meetings are in person, others are virtual via Zoom only.. Check each specific meeting for details.

Many past speaker presentations are available on Pasadena Audubon's YouTube channel. Check them out!


There will be no monthly meetings in July and August. Join us again in September!


Past Programs


The Birds That Audubon Missed with Kenn Kaufman

Wednesday, June 19th, 2024
Kenn Kaufman
Watch on YouTube.

In the early 1800s John James Audubon was only one of several naturalists racing to discover the birds of North America. It was an exciting and at times acrimonious scientific competition that surprisingly few bird fans know about. Renowned birder Kenn Kaufman joins us to tell us the story. It's the subject of his new book, The Birds That Audubon Missed.

Kenn Kaufman burst onto the national birding scene as a teenager in the 1970s, hitchhiking all over North America in pursuit of all the bird species he could find—an adventure chronicled in his cult-classic book Kingbird Highway. After several years as a professional tour leader, taking birding groups to all seven continents, he transitioned to a career as a writer, illustrator, and editor. He has authored or coauthored thirteen books about birds and nature, including his own series of Kaufman Field Guides. Since the 1980s, he has been an editor and consultant on birds for the National Audubon Society, and he’s been a Fellow of the American Ornithological Society since 2013. Kenn lives in Oak Harbor, Ohio, with his wife, Kimberly Kaufman, who is also a dedicated naturalist and the director of a local bird observatory.


The Parrots of Southern California, Our Favorite Chatty Neighbors

Wednesday, May 15th, 2024.
Brenda Ramirez
Watch on YouTube.

Non-native parrots have become a very present and boisterous element of the urban ecosystems throughout Southern California. Ranging from cities to more natural areas, parrots can be found in a variety of habitats where they coexist with people. Through the Free-Flying Los Angeles Parrot Project (FLAPP) on iNaturalist, we created a dataset focused on two of the more prominent species in Southern California, the Red-crowned and Lilac-crowned Parrots. After being introduced through the illegal pet trade, these sister-species have established their populations, and even created mixed-species flocks that would not be possible otherwise. Our research has focused on distinguishing the two species based on morphological features, comparing the environmental conditions between their respective native ranges and their introduced range, and we are now shifting to understanding how their genetic makeup has been affected. Join us to learn how you can help contribute to our research from your own neighborhoods!

Brenda Ramirez has experience working with large citizen science datasets and incorporating them into spatial models to understand species distributions over thousands of years. Having recently graduated with her master’s degree from Cal Poly Pomona, Brenda is now working on Moore Lab's Free-flying Los Angeles Parrot Project (FLAPP) to evaluate how the non-native Los Angeles parrot populations have changed genetically as they have adapted to their new urban habitats.


Creating the Gottlieb Native Garden

Wednesday, April 17th, 2024
Scott Logan
Watch on YouTube

The Gottlieb Native Garden is one of Los Angeles' most amazing biological miracles -- a stunning one acre native garden in the Hollywood Hills, just a couple of miles from the heart of Beverly Hills. The Garden contains more than 200 native plant species and is home to nearly 2,000 species of animals (including more than 100 species of birds). Photographer and naturalist Scott Logan will tell us the story of the garden, and show us some of the creatures that call it home.

Scott Logan has been exploring the wild areas of the LA region since childhood. In addition to being the onsite naturalist at the Gottlieb Native Garden he's an accomplished photographer, and was co-founder of the Wild Wings Nature Store.

Gottlieb Native Garden photo


Sounds Wild and Broken

Wednesday, March 20th, 2024
David George Haskell
Watch on YouTube

Birdsong offers delight to our ears and also reveals hidden aspects of birds’ lives. Join us on Zoom as David Haskell discusses how careful listening can help us understand why birdsong is so diverse, how birdsong is embedded in the other sounds of the world, and the role of sound in conservation.

David George Haskell is a writer and a biologist. His books about the natural world have won numerous awards, including twice being finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. His latest book, Sounds Wild and Broken, invites readers to listen more deeply to the stories of sound in nature. Haskell is William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of the South in Sewanee, TN, a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, and a Guggenheim Fellow.

Sounds Wild and Broken cover


A Chickadee Never Forgets: the spatial learning and memory of mountain chickadees in the Sierra Nevada mountains

Wednesday, February 21st, 2024 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Ben Sonnenberg, University of Nevada, Reno

Come chat chickadee and learn about the amazing spatial learning and memory abilities of these food-caching animals. Ben will discuss what he's learned about chickadee memory, reproduction, and how they deal with the Sierra Nevada's harsh winters.

Ben Sonnenberg is a PhD candidate in UNR's Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology program. He grew up in Bozeman, Montana and has worked on different avian research projects in Alaska, Connecticut, and Washington. He's an avid birder and photographer and a member of the Nevada Rare Bird Records Committee.

Mountain Chickadee
Mountain Chickadee (Poecile gambeli). Photo by Ben Sonnenberg.

Dying Trees as a Natural Resource

Wednesday, January 17th, 2024 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM via Zoom
Gillian Martin, Cavity Conservation Initiative

For many people, a dead tree is an eyesore. But for many birds a dead tree is home. Dead and dying trees are a vital natural resource for a huge variety of living creatures. Join us on Zoom as Gillian Martin, founder of the Cavity Conservation Initiative, shows us all the ways that dead and dying trees benefit wildlife.

Gillian Martin is founder and director of the Cavity Conservation Initiative, a program of the Southern California Bluebird Club. In addition to her public outreach she's worked with the tree care industry to promote arboriculture methods that preserve dead and dying trees.

Kestrel in cavity
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)


77th Annual PAS Christmas Bird Count Orientation and Dinner

Orientation: December 13th, 2023 (Watch on YouTube)
CBC Dinner: December 16th, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Jon Fisher

Not a program per se, but we're joined once again by ace birder and San Gabriel Valley Christmas Bird Count Compiler Jon Fisher, who will give us some background on this oldest of citizen science events and coordinate coverage of this year's count circle. He'll share information on the history of the count and how you can participate. New birders are always welcome and will be paired with experienced counters when possible.

Then, on Saturday, December 16th, head out on the Count! See how many birds you can find in your area, and be part of the biggest citizen science project in history! Finally, round out the day by joining your fellow counters for our traditional Bird Count Dinner, December 16th from 6 to 8 pm at Eaton Canyon. Come for the victuals, stay for the drama! In accordance with custom, following the Christmas Bird Count dinner we'll have the spellbinding official species tally that is guaranteed to keep you in...suspense! We don't know who's catering yet, but like the tally, the food is usually impressive.

Further updates about the CBC will be available on our Christmas Bird Count page.

Tickets for the Christmas Bird Count dinner on Dec. 16th now available!

Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)


The Future of the Salton Sea

Wednesday, November 15th, 2023, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Andrea Jones

The Salton Sea is a place like no other... this huge improbable lake at the southern end of California is important to more than 400 species of birds. But the future of the lake, and its effect on all that wildlife, is very much uncertain. Join us as Andrea Jones from Audubon California explains what's being done to preserve this unique resource.

NOTE: This presentation is live at the Eaton Canyon Nature Center, and due to technical limitations we will not be simulcasting this talk on Zoom. Come on out and join us in person!

Andrea Jones is Director of Bird Conservation for Audubon California. For the past 5 years, she has worked with staff and the network of Audubon chapters across the state to implement conservation projects at high priority Important Bird Areas. In particular, she has focused on leading Audubon's conservation efforts along the coast and in estuaries, focusing on restoration, advocacy and engagement. Her work has also included providing science expertise and negotiating conservation agreements at saline lakes, including Owens Lake and the Salton Sea. Prior to California, Andrea worked at Massachusetts Audubon where she served as the Director of the Coastal Waterbird and Grassland Bird Programs.

mystery bird
PHOTO CREDIT: Audubon California


Big Years with David and Tammy McQuade

Wednesday, October 18th, 2023, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Tammy and David McQuade
Watch on YouTube

For many birders, doing a Big Year is a once in a lifetime dream. For the husband and wife team of David and Tammy McQuade, it’s downright commonplace. They’re doing a Big Year right now. They also did one last year. And the year before that. And the year before THAT. Join the McQuades for a lively presentation of some of the wildest and most memorable moments from their years chasing birds.

David and Tammy McQuade were highschool sweethearts and have been married for 37 years. Tammy and David have always had a love of the outdoors. Their lives changed dramatically in 2012 when they saw the movie The Big Year. The idea of counting Birds and deliberately targeting species had a particular appeal. They started with a big weekend in 2013 and it hasn’t stopped since.

To date they are the only couple in eBird to have had 5 consecutive years over 700 birds in the US. Dave now holds the distinction being number 1 on eBird with having the most species photographed in the U.S. - 887 species.

They administrate the SW Florida Bird Alert Group on Facebook, give presentations at local birding groups, and are guides at the local Cape Coral Burrowing Owl Festival. Additionally they are graduates of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Macaulay Library Sound Recording Workshop. They love doing long range pelagics on their 30’ boat the McLagic in the Gulf of Mexico when time permits. David and Tammy are proud to have contributed to the science and data of the bird distribution in the eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico and feel this is their greatest birding accomplishment.

Photo of Tammy and David McQuade


Mickey and Jon's Bird ID Quiz

Wednesday, September 20th, 2023, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Mickey Long and Jon Fisher
Watch on YouTube

Continuing a fall tradition (about year 21!), Mickey Long and Jon Fisher will present the September Pasadena Audubon program on Bird Identification.

They will display photos of mystery birds and closely related, look-alike birds for challenging discussion. Using field marks, seasonal occurrence, geographical distribution, habitat preferences, behavior and other criteria, Jon and Mickey will pass along tips for bird identification. Their goal is to mix it up with identifications that inform beginning birders to seasoned field ornithologist.

mystery bird
What's this bird? Mickey and Jon know!


Preserving and Protecting Channel Islands National Park

June 21st, 2023, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Park Superintendent Ethan McKinley

While people from all over the country and around the world visit Channel Islands National Park, it’s of particular interest to Southern California birders. Not only is it our closest national park, but it’s also home to a bird found nowhere else on earth - the Island Scrub-Jay. Ethan McKinley, the Superintendent of Channel Islands National Park, joins us to explain what’s involved in protecting and nurturing this unique natural treasure.

Photo of Ethan McKinley
Photo by US National Park Service.


Saving the California Condor

May 17th, 2023 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Watch on YouTube

The California Condor came about as close to extinction as it’s possible to come. Down to fewer than 30 birds in the 1980s, none of them in the wild. Condors have made a huge comeback in the last thirty years, and there are now more than 300 California Condors in the wild, having been reintroduced in protected areas from Sierra de San Pedro National Park in Baja California up to Redwoods and east to Bryce Canyon in Utah.

Debbie Parisi of Friends of California Condors Wild and Free will share the inspiring story of saving this magnificent bird.


Photo of California Condor
California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus). Photo by US National Park Service.


My Life with Audubon (the Man and the Organization)

Wednesday April 19th, 2023 7:00 pm
This talk is available on YouTube

As you undoubtably know, Pasadena Audubon and other Audubon societies all around the country are named after 19th century artist John James Audubon, whose stunning portraits of North American birds have inspired millions to enjoy and help protect birds and bird habitat. But how much do you know about Audubon himself? Audubon’s life story is both fascinating and controversial. Join us as a leading Audubon scholar separates the legend of John James Audubon from the reality.

Gregory Nobles is Professor Emeritus of history at Georgia Tech University, and author of John James Audubon: The Nature of the American Woodsman. Dr. Nobles is an expert in Early American history and environmental history, and is the recipient of numerous academic honors, including (of particular interest to us in the Pasadena area) being named Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the Huntington Library.

Portrait of John James Audubon


The Power of Motus

Wednesday March 15th, 2023 7:00 pm
This talk is available on YouTube

The Motus wildlife tracking system has been an absolute game changer in the science of bird migration. Since its beginning just a few short years ago, tens of thousands of birds have been equipped with tiny Motus radio trackers, and hundreds of tracking stations have been set up throughout North America and beyond. The data we've collected has revolutionized our knoledge of migration. Join William Blake of the American Bird Conservency as he tells us about the history and future of Motus.

William Blake is Pacific Northwest Motus Coordinator for the American Bird Conservancy. He's installed Motus towers throughout the American West.

Piping Plover with a Motus transmitter
Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) wearing a Motus transmitter.


Flight Paths: How a Passionate and Quirky Group of Pioneering Scientists Solved the Mystery of Bird Migration

Wednesday February 15th, 2023 7:00 pm
This talk is available on YouTube

Did you know that one of the first ways to measure bird migration was counting the silhouettes of birds as they passed in front of the full moon? Or that British radar operators during World War II were mystified by “angels” appearing on their screens that turned out to be seabirds in flight? Or that scientists today can tell roughly where a bird spent the winter by analyzing the ratios of hydrogen, carbon, and sulfur isotopes in its feathers? Nature writer Rebecca Heisman tells the amazing true story of how scientists have been slowly unraveling the mysteries of bird migration.

Rebecca Heisman is a science writer based in Walla Walla, Washington. She has contributed to publications including Audubon and Living Bird (the Cornell Lab of Ornithology magazine), and from 2015 to 2020 she worked for the American Ornithological Society, North America's largest professional society for bird scientists. Her first book, Flight Paths, being published by HarperCollins in March 2023, delves into the history, science, and quirky personalities behind how we know what we know about bird migration.

Rebecca Heisman photo


How Historical redlining practices are associated with present-day urban bird communities

Wednesday January 18th, 2023 7:00 pm
This talk is available on YouTube

The social and economic decisions made in a city can shape the character of that city for decades, even centuries to come. Some of the most profound contrasts in any urban area -- the location of good vs. poor housing, healthy living conditions vs. localized pollution, great schools vs. terrible ones -- have their roots in racist policies and attitudes. Historical inequality can also shape the natural environment of a city, and the plants and animals that call the city home. Eric Wood studies how practices in Los Angeles like redlining shaped where birds and other wildlife are found today.

Dr. Eric Wood is an associate professor of avian and urban ecology in the Biological Sciences Department at Cal State LA, and a Research Associate in the Department of Ornithology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

American Kestrel. Image by Paul Sableman License:
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius). Photo by Paul Sableman. License: CC 2.0


Get ready for the Christmas Bird Count!

December 14th, 2022 7:00 pm
Zoom only

Pasadena Audubon will be holding their 76th annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) this year! Join us via Zoom on Wednesday the 14th to learn about the count from our longtime count leader, Jon Fisher. He'll share information on the history of the count and how you can participate. New birders are always welcome and will be paired with experienced counters when possible.

Then, on Saturday, December 17th, head out on the Count. See how many birds you can find in your area, and be part of the biggest citizen science project in history! Then, round out the day by joining your fellow counters for our traditional Bird Count Dinner, December 17th from 6 to 8 pm at Eaton Canyon. You'll hear about what was seen and what was not and enjoy the company of other Pasadena Audubon birders.

CBC image

Pigeon Watching: The Surprising Wonder of a Boring-seeming Bird

November 16th, 7:00 pm
Rosemary Mosco
Zoom only

Rock Pigeons are everywhere. For most of us, they're a dull sight; they poop on our cars or clutter our eBird lists. But these birds are worth a second look. They have a 5000+ year history as companions to people, and that surprising relationship makes them fascinating to observe. With humor, research, and plenty of odd facts, author and cartoonist Rosemary Mosco of A Pocket Guide to Pigeon Watching will take you into a pigeon's world and help turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Rosemary Mosco makes books and cartoons that connect people with the natural world. Her Bird and Moon nature comics won the National Cartoonists Society’s award for Best Online Short Form Comic, were the subject of an award-winning museum exhibit, and are collected in a 2019 American Literary Association Great Graphic Novel for Teens. She co-wrote The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid, a New York Times Best Seller, and wrote many other books for kids and adults. Her favorite glacial landform is the esker.

Rosemary Mosco

The Role of Zoos in Conservation

October 19th, 2022 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Susie Kasielke

Experts say we are now in the 6th mass extinction event, with the rate of species loss not seen since an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs (except the feathered ones) over 65 million years ago. Zoos and aquariums around the world are stepping up to help turn the tide of extinction through public education, research, funding for field programs, and direct action to support threatened and endangered species. In addition to well-known programs for the California Condor and Whooping Crane, zoos and aquariums in the US are working to recover numerous bird species from Great Lakes piping plovers to Guam rails.

Susie Kasielke started her career as an animal keeper at the Los Angeles Zoo. She worked with a variety of mammals and reptiles but specialized in birds, having earned a degree in Avian Sciences from UC Davis. As an assistant curator, she developed the propagation, egg incubation, and chick rearing protocols for California condors from the beginning of the program. She was curator of birds at the Zoo from 2001 2016. She also worked at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida and for the Toledo Zoo & Aquarium. She teaches workshops on avian egg incubation for zoo and avicultural groups around the world and is currently an instructor at Moorpark College, teaching Applied Wildlife Conservation this fall.

California Condor

Mickey & Jon's Bird ID Quiz

September 21st, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm

If it's September that can mean only two things... 1) fall migration's in full swing, and 2) it's time for Pasadena Audubon's annual mystery bird quiz! Join our experts for an evening of photographic mystery bird identification challenges, as well as expert tips and tricks for IDing the mystery species involved.

This event is live and in person at the Eaton Canyon Nature Center (map). If you can't make it in person, it'll also be on Zoom.

mystery bird


Special event! "Winged Migration" live screening

Wednesday August 17, 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm, Heritage Square Museum<

For our August meeting, join us as we host an under-the-stars screening of the legendary documentary "Winged Migration". Our venue is the grounds of the beautiful Heritage Square Museum, just off the 110 freeway in the Montecito Heights section of L.A. (MAP)

Relax on the lawn (feel free to bring your own blankets, lawn chairs, and picnic style food and drink) while you watch the Oscar nominated "Winged Migration", one of the most stunning films ever made about the wonder of birds. The in-flight cinematography completely redefined what a nature documenatry could be, and two decades after its initial release it's still one of the all-time great avian films. (See a trailer).

Winged Migration poster


Birdie Big Year: Elevating Women Birders

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Tiffany Kersten didn't set out to do a big year, but after a series of unanticipated and serendipitous events, she suddenly found herself amidst one. She spent 2021 traveling to all corners of the Lower 48 States, setting a new record of 726 species in the year. As a survivor of sexual assault, Kersten had a second goal for her big year -- raising awareness about the dangers women face in the outdoors. Join us as Kersten recounts tales of her epic adventure.

Tiffany Kersten is a professional birding guide, and founder of Nature Ninja Birding Tours.

Tiffany Kersten on the cover of Texas Monthly

The Magic of Bear Divide

Wednesday, May 18, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm

In the past few years the birding community has woken up to the fact that one of the best migration hotspots in all of the western US is right in our neighborhood -- Bear Divide in the Angeles National Forest. Each spring tens of thousands of songbirds fly through the gap at Bear Divide on their way north. Dr. Ryan Terrill, who heads up the research at Bear Divide, will update us on what we've been learning at this unique location.

Dr. Ryan S. Terrill is postdoc researcher at the Moore College of Zoology at Occidental College. For the past several years he's been leading the efforts to record the birds migrating past Bear Divide.

Birds flying past Bear Divide

Bird diversity through time, and the role of humans in shaping the diversity and distributions of living species

Jessica Oswald, PhD.
Wednesday March 16, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm.

Birds lived alongside dinosaurs, and the consensus is that they are in fact closely related to the velociraptors we all fell in love with because of Jurassic Park. This talk will focus on some of the first birds and then move through time toward the present to showcase how some birds became the top predators after the K-T extinction and how some species like hummingbirds and hoatzins had much larger distributions historically relative to today. In addition, Jessica will present some of her current research focused on how humans shaped modern bird diversity and the insights gained from placing extinct Caribbean birds in an evolutionary framework based on DNA recovered from fossils.

Jessica Oswald studies how climate change and human impacts shape avian diversity and species distributions across spatial and temporal scales through an integration of paleontological, genomic, and ecological data. Her research is rooted in natural history museums and fieldwork, and she is a strong proponent of the fundamental importance of museums for conserving and understanding biodiversity. Jessica received her PhD at the University of Florida in 2014. She was a postdoctoral researcher at Louisiana State University at the Museum of Natural Sciences until 2016 and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Florida working across divisions at the Florida Museum of Natural History from 2016-2018. Since 2018, she has been a postdoctoral researcher and then research assistant professor at University of Nevada, Reno. She resides in Los Angeles.

Drawing of Archaeopteryx


Saving the Tri-colored Blackbird

Xerónimo Castañeda
Wednesday April 20, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm

Tricolored Blackbirds are a true California speciality, with the overwhelming majority of the bird's population concentrated in California's Central Valley. But loss of habitat, agriculture practices, and water scarcity have caused Tricolored Blackbird numbers to plunge up to 90%.

But all is not lost, for the past several years a partnership between conservation groups and area farmers has helped preserve thousands of acres of breeding habitat, and Tricolored numbers are on the rise.

Xerónimo Castañeda is a Conservation Project Manager with Audubon California. His work with Audubon focuses on habitat restoration and enhancement, developing multi-benefit management practices for Central Valley wetlands, farms, and groundwater recharge projects, to benefit birds and people. In addition, Xerónimo is the lead for Audubon’s Tricolored Blackbird conservation program in the Central Valley.

A native of California, Xerónimo has lived and worked from Monterey to Arcata, with short adventures along the east coast. He eventually found his way to Sacramento to work with Audubon. Away from work, Xerónimo spends time working in his garden, riding bikes, cooking, and of course birding.

Tri-colored Blackbird. Photo by Teddy Llovet
Tri-colored Blackbird (Agelaius tricolor). Photo by Teddy Llovet. License: CC 2.0

Audubon's Priority Birds

Nicole Michel
Wednesday February 16, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm.

Birds across North America are in peril, but research from the National Audubon Society's Science Team shows that conservation actions are making an impact: along our coasts, 77 percent of priority species — birds of concern that benefit most from Audubon targeted conservation action — are more abundant in places Audubon works. The Audubon Priority Birds Report looks at how priority birds have fared over the past 50 years, and shares case studies of the actions we are taking across the network to slow or reverse population declines. Come learn more about the Audubon Priority Birds Report, and what it tells us about the difference we’re making for birds and people!

Nicole Michel is the Director of Quantitative Science with the National Audubon Society’s Science Team. She joined Audubon in 2015 and leads a team of scientists responsible for analyzing bird population trends from programs like the Christmas Bird Count, and developing metrics to track bird response to Audubon’s conservation actions. She holds a Ph.D. in Ecology from Tulane University, completed two postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Saskatchewan, and has studied birds for more than 25 years. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her family, which includes her wife, a teenager, a labradoodle, and two indoor cats.

Cover of the Audubon Priority Birds Report 2021


The Natural (and Un-natural) History of the L.A. River

Mireya Valencia
Wednesday January 19, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. via Zoom

When Angelenos think of the Los Angeles River - if they think of it at all they picture the endless dystopian concrete trench they see in movies and glimpse from the freeway. But the L.A. River was once home to a vibrant and complex ecosystem, and you can still see traces of it today. Join Mireya Valencia, Education and Programs Manager for Friends of the L.A. River, for a fascinating talk about the river's past, present, and possible future.

This meeting is online via Zoom. Register here.

Images of the Los Angeles river

Watch a recording of this presentation...


Christmas Bird Count

Meeting - Wednesday, December 15, 2020, 7PM via Zoom
Count - Saturday, December 18, 2020
Wrap-up Meeting - Saturday, December 18, 2020, 7PM via Zoom

Pasadena Audubon will be holding their 75th annual Christmas Bird Count this year! Join us via Zoom on Wednesday the 15th to learn about the count from our longtime count leader, Jon Fisher. He'll share information on the history of the count and how you can participate. Then join us for the count on December 19th!
Register for the Wednesday, December 15th meeting here.

Female Purple Finch
Purple Finch photo by Mickey Long


Christmas Bird Count Wrap-up

Saturday, December 18, 2020, 7PM via Zoom

In lieu of our traditional Christmas Bird Count dinner, join us online for a wrap-up meeting. You'll hear about what was seen and what was not, and enjoy the company of other CBC birders. Register here.


Birds vs. Oil

Dave Weeshoff
Wednesday November 17, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm.

In early October an undersea oil pipeline spewed crude oil into the waters off Orange County. The environmental impact has been substantial, and the ramifications of the spill will likely be felt for years. Dave Weeshoff has spent decades on the front lines in the battle to keep bird habitats free from oil spills, and to rehabilitate birds fouled by oil. He'll give an expert's view on what's involved in responding to major oil spills, and what we can do to prevent future spills.

David Weeshoff a long-time member of International Bird Rescue in San Pedro, holding pretty much every position there from volunteer to chair of IBR's board of directors. He’s also a member of the Board of Directors for Pasadena Audubon.

Photo of Dave Weeshoff

Watch a recording of this presentation...


Monthly meeting: Debunking Wildfire Myths

Chad Hanson
Wednesday October 20, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm

Natural fires are as essential as sun and rain in fire-adapted forests. But according to fire ecologist Chad Hanson, as humans encroach on wild spaces, fear, arrogance, and greed have shaped the way that people view these regenerative events and have given rise to a great deal of misinformation about wildfires. Hanson says the peril that these myths pose to forests is profound—affecting whole habitats and the wildlife that depend on them. The exploitation of these carbon dioxide-absorbing ecosystems also threatens humanity's chance of overcoming the climate crisis. Join Chad Hanson as he explains why much of what we believe about wildfires is wrong.

Dr. Chad Hanson is a research ecologist and the director of the John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute, located in Big Bear City, California, and has a Ph.D. in ecology with a research focus on fire ecology in conifer forest ecosystems. His latest book is Smokescreen: Debunking Wildfire Myths to Save Our Forests and Our Climate. Dr. Hanson has published dozens of peer-reviewed studies on forest and fire ecology, and is also the co-editor and co-author of the 2015 book, The Ecological Importance of Mixed-Severity Fires: Nature’s Phoenix.

Watch a recording of this presentation...


Monthly meeting: Mickey and Jon's Bird ID Quiz

Wednesday September 15, 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm

As is traditional, we will kick off our fall season of meetings with Mickey Long and Jon Fisher hosting an evening of photographic mystery bird identification challenges. Our hosts will also be chiming in with expert tips and tricks for IDing the mystery species involved. We will get into the swing of fall migration by helping sharpen your ID skills and have some laughs along the way. Come join in the fun!

photo of bird guides. CREDIT: Camilla Cerea/Audubon

Monthly meeting: "Bird of Prey" live screening

Wednesday August 18, 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm, Heritage Square Museum

It's our first in-person event in 16 months! Join us as we host an under-the-stars screening of the award-winning documentary "Bird of Prey". Our venue is the grounds of the beautiful Heritage Square Museum, just off the 110 freeway in the Montecito  Heights section of L.A. (MAP)

Relax on the lawn (feel free to bring your own blankets, lawn chairs, and picnic style food and drink) while you watch "Bird of Prey", the story of the Philippine Eagle -- the biggest eagle on earth, and one of the rarest birds in the world. The cinematography of these birds in their natural habitat is stunning, and the story of the people attempting to save the species from extinction is riveting. It's an experience you won't want to miss. (See a trailer) Bird of Prey poster

Monthly meeting: A World on the Wing: The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds with Scott Weidensaul

Scott Weidensaul
Wednesday July 21, 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

In the past two decades, our understanding of the navigational and physiological feats that make bird migration possible has exploded. Whether it's crossing immense oceans, flying above the highest mountains, forgoing sleep for days or weeks, or remaining in unbroken flight for months at a stretch, the latest avian migration discoveries time and time again exceed what we thought was possible.

Author and naturalist Scott Weidensaul has traveled the world to profile the scientists working to unravel the mysteries of migration, and the conservationists fighting to protect the future of the world's migrating birds. It's the subject of his new best­selling book "A World on the Wing: The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds". Join us for a globe-­hopping presentation as Scott shows us some of the ways birds are even more amazing than we thought.

Scott Weidensaul is the author of nearly thirty books, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist "Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds" and "The Peterson Reference Guide to Owls of North America and the Caribbean". Weidensaul's writing has appeared in dozens of publications, including Audubon, Living Bird, Bird Watcher's Digest and National Wildlife. Weidensaul is also an active bird researcher, co­directing Project Owlnet, a collaborative effort among nearly 125 banding and research stations across North America studying owl migration, and for more than 20 years he has directed a major effort to study the movements of Northern Saw­Whet Owls.

Tens of thousands of Amur falcons lift off from their nighttime roost in Nagaland, India, a few of the millions that crowd these remote mountains each autumn en route to Africa.
Tens of thousands of Amur falcons lift off from their nighttime roost in Nagaland, India, a few of the millions that crowd these remote mountains each autumn en route to Africa. (©Scott Weidensaul)


Monthly meeting: Annual June Dinner (sans dinner)

Wednesday June 16, 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm via Zoom

Even with the COVID pandemic mercifully petering out, we're once again holding our annual June meeting virtually via Zoom to be on the safe side. But don't cry for us Larus argentatus!(*) This is still sure to be a great time, as we will be celebrating members' contributions with several awards and carrying on with the PAS annual June tradition of the Members' Slideshow!

Be there and be a Zoom Square!
*Larus argentatus is the scientific name for the Herring Gull. See what we did there?

Belted Kingfisher enjoying a June dinner
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) enjoying a June dinner. Photo by Andy Morffew (CC BY 2.0 license)


Monthly meeting: Southern California Native Plants for the Bird Garden

Parker Davis
Wednesday May 19, 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Got birds? There are about 600 species of birds that call California home. Here in Pasadena, we have fabulous local, native birds, such as the California Towhee, California Quail and California Thrasher. You can find these birds by traveling to a local open space, preserve, or park, but why not just bring your favorite birds to you by planting a few beautiful native plants in your yard? In this presentation, you will learn about some of the best native plants for birds, the relationships that the birds have formed with them, and why they're so important. We'll also go over a few different plant combinations that are not only great for a variety of species of birds, but also beautiful to look at and easy to care for.

Parker Davis is the Director of Hahamongna Native Plant Nursery, a project of the Arroyo Seco Foundation. A Pasadena local and the son of a former biology teacher, Parker spent much of his childhood exploring the canyons and crests of the San Gabriel Mountains. His fascination with the local flora and fauna has been a driving obsession in his life. He was formerly a volunteer at Los Nogales Native Plant Nursery in Debs Park, where, with the support of the Audubon Society, he documented over 200 species of plants, animals, & fungi and compiled them into a digital biome. He began leading interpretive walks and giving talks on natural history over 4 years ago. He also offers independent consultations and design services for gardens with native plants for homes and businesses.

California Figwort photo by Ken-ichi Ueda,
California Figwort (Scrophularia californica). CREDIT: Ken-ichi Ueda,


Monthly Meeting -- Hummingbirds: Small Wonders with Sheri L. Williamson

Wednesday, April 21st, 2021, 7:00PM - 8:30PM

They may be tiny, but hummingbirds know how to live large. Dazzling colors, fearless personalities, voracious appetites, continent­ spanning migrations, "singing" feathers, and sometimes scandalous personal lives are just a few of the qualities that have earned these miniature marvels a devoted following far beyond the birding community. Join internationally known hummingbird researcher Sheri Williamson for an evening with these small wonders. As adaptable as they are, hummingbirds are vulnerable to many of the same environmental crises as other migratory birds — loss of habitat and food resources, pollution, and the effects of climate change. Good news: Almost anyone in N. America can help build a brighter future for hummingbirds with a few simple actions. Williamson, a lifelong naturalist, birder and conservationist, is co­founder and director/naturalist of the Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory. She recently completed a major revision of A Field Guide to Hummingbirds of North America in the Peterson Field Guide Series, first published in 2002, and she will provide a sneak peek at this revised edition.

Rufous Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird. Photo by Chris Spurgeon

Young Birders Club - TEENS

Thursday, April 15th, 2021, 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm

Calling all teens interested in birds, birding, and meeting other teens with similar interests. All skill levels are welcome! This month's talk: How, why and where birds move over the Earth. Humanity has long noticed the movements of birds in time with the seasons. In this talk we'll explore the different trips birds make in their lifetimes and how they regularly manage some of the most impressive feats of travel known to man. Led by budding biologist, serious birder and college sophomore, Teodelina Martelli.

April 2021 YBC-teens flyer

Young Birders Club - KIDS

Wednesday, April 14th, 2021, 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm via Zoom

The PAS Young Birder Club - Kids meets on the second Wednesday of the month on Zoom. All kids interested in birds and nature are welcome. Learn about birds and the environment and meet other kids with similar interests. Parents/guardians are welcome too!


Monthly Meeting -- Listen to Her Sing

Wednesday, March 17th, 2021, 7:00PM - 8:30PM

Only male birds sing, right? Wrong! In fact, this widespread notion has a lot more to do with human cultural and geographic biases than it has to do with nature. In this talk, Nathan Pieplow explores the often­overlooked songs of female birds. You will hear the pair duets of meadowlarks and blackbirds, the musical songs of female cardinals and orioles, and the distinctive song of the female Canyon Wren, among others. In which species do females actually sing more often than males? How do you know when you’re listening to a female Blue Jay? And where did we even get this crazy idea that only male birds sing? Answers to these questions and more in this presentation.

Nathan Pieplow has been fascinated by birds since his childhood in South Dakota and has intensively studied bird sounds since 2003. He is the former editor of the journal Colorado Birds and an author of the Colorado Birding Trail. He lives in Boulder, Colorado, where he teaches writing and rhetoric at the University of Colorado. He is the co-creator of the seminal website and author of the Peterson Field Guide to Bird Sounds of Eastern North America and the Peterson Field Guide to Bird Sounds of Western North America.

Female Bullocks Oriole. Photo by Lois Brunet
Female Bullocks Oriole. Photo by Lois Brunet

Ask A Birder

Wednesday February 24, 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Ask a Birder! Bring all your birding questions to this online conversation. Our experts will do their best to elucidate the most mystifying bird behaviors, songs, calls and plumages. This promises to be a fun time as we puzzle things out together.
This month's experts: Taylor Paez and the gang.

Birders at Estero Bluffs photo by Howard Ignatius
Birders at Estero Bluffs. Photo by Howard Ignatius.
License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

How Cities Affect Evolution and Behavior in the Dark-­eyed Junco and the House Sparrow

February 17, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Dr. Pamela Yeh

One recent phenomenon PAS members have seen firsthand is the rapid change in status of Dark­-eyed Juncos from winter visitors to year­-round residents. This recent adaptation to city life makes them fascinating birds to study for local ornithologists. February's meeting will focus on if and how Dark­-eyed Juncos and humble House Sparrows change their behaviors in urban environments, and how that might ultimately affect their ability to survive and thrive in these human­-modified spaces.

Dr. Yeh is an evolutionary biologist and studies how human activities affect the evolution of species, focusing on the evolution of birds in urban environments and the evolution of drug­ resistant bacteria in urban and agricultural areas. She received her PhD in Evolutionary Biology from UC San Diego and conducted post­doctoral work in the Center for Genomics Research and the Systems Biology Department both at Harvard University. She is currently an Associate Professor at UCLA and External Faculty at Santa Fe Institute.
Dark-eyed Junco photo by Chris Spurgeon
Dark-eyed Junco photo by Chris Spurgeon


Young Birders Club - TEENS

Thursday, February 11th, 2021, 5:30PM

The Young Birders Club teens group kicks off with a Valentine's Day special program! Young birder Teodelina Martelli will tell us about love among the birds -- avian courtship, competition for mates and sexual selection, and pair bonding, as well as the role of birds in human romance.
Young Birders Club TEENS Valentines meeting


Young Birders Club - KIDS

Wednesday, February 10th, 2021, 6PM

Young people interested in birds and nature are welcome to join the Pasadena Audubon Young Birders Club. We meet the second Wednesday of each month. Parents welcome too!


LA's Urban Raptors

January 20, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Courtney McCammon & Dan Cooper

The Griffith Park Raptor Survey was a three­ year project to build our ecological understanding of the park and encourage public stewardship of its resources. The project used citizen scientists to survey every raptor nest found in the area to study local ecological dynamics and how human activity may be impacting wildlife. The annual reports from this project were the first comprehensive dataset of an entire raptor community in the urban core of Los Angeles. Learn about the world of urban raptors and how you can get involved in the ongoing project.

Courtney McGammon received her graduate degree from Loyola Marymount University, and has since worked as a Wildlife Biologist and Environmental Consultant in the Greater LA area and beyond. Dan Cooper is the author of Important Bird Areas of California (2004), an associate editor of the journal "Western Birds", and an authority on California bird ecology, identification and distribution.

Red-shouldered Hawk photo by Lois Brunet
Red-shouldered Hawk photo by Lois Brunet


Ask A Birder

Wednesday January 27, 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm via Zoom

Remember when we could go out for a beer together and talk about all things avian? Yeah, us neither. Well, maybe we remember a little. We really miss getting together with you for casual chats about birds and birding, so we’ve decided to host a new program called “Ask a Birder.”

Each month, we’ll gather with two or three birders on Zoom and you can ask them anything you want! Our first session will be Wednesday, January 27th from 7-8 pm. Join us for a fun hour of Q&A! You bring the questions, and we’ll do our best to provide some answers.

Our first three birders are Mickey Long, Laura Solomon, and Luke Tiller. Mickey will tackle questions about bird behavior and biology, and migration and biogeography, while Laura will be especially eager to answer questions about gardening with native plants to attract birds, local conservation issues, and raising a birder kid. As our underemployed Field Trip Chair, Luke will be happy to answer questions on: choosing birding optics, places to go birding in Los Angeles and beyond and recommendations for beers to celebrate your lifers with.

So grab a beer, pull up a chair, and join us on January 27th! This meeting is online via Zoom.

Young Birders Club

Wednesday, January 13th, 2021, 6PM via Zoom

Young people interested in birds and nature are welcome to join the Pasadena Audubon Young Birders Club. Parents welcome too! Register here


Christmas Bird Count

Meeting - Wednesday, December 16, 2020, 7PM
Count - Saturday, December 19, 2020
Wrap-up Meeting - Saturday, December 19, 2020, 7PM

Pasadena Audubon will be holding their 74th annual Christmas Bird Count this year! Join us via Zoom on Wednesday the 16th to learn about the count from our longtime count leader, Jon Fisher. He'll share information on the history of the count and how you can participate. Then join us for the count on December 19th!
Register for the Wednesday, December 16th meeting here.

Female Purple Finch
Purple Finch photo by Mickey Long


Christmas Bird Count Wrap-up

Saturday, December 19, 2020, 7PM

In lieu of our traditional Christmas Bird Count dinner, join us online for a wrap-up meeting. You'll hear about what was seen and what was not, and enjoy the company of other CBC birders. Register here.


Young Birders Club

Wednesday, December 9, 2020
6:00pm-8:00pm via Zoom

Young Birders Club

Invertebral Limit: Insect Life of Southern California

Wednesday, November 18, 2020
7:00pm-9:00pm via Zoom
Robb Hamilton

If you've ever wondered about the myriad arthropods that make up the foundation of our local ecosystems or noticed the great variety of little critters that come out when the temperatures rise and the birds get quiet, this is the show for you. The intricate beauty and diversity of the invertebrate world around us is guaranteed to leave your head buzzing! The program will feature some of Robb's incredible photographs.
A member of the El Dorado Audubon Society in Long Beach, Mr. Hamilton is lead author of two standard references describing aspects of birdlife in California: The Birds of Orange County: Status & Distribution and Rare Birds of California. He has been providing biological consulting services in southern California since 1988. His company, Hamilton Biological, Inc., specializes in the pratical application of environmental regulations to land management decisions in the region.

The Birder Brain

Wednesday, October 21, 2020
7:00pm-9:00pm via Zoom
Alvaro Jaramillo

Most bird identification lectures focus on field marks and the specifics of separating species. But few ask exactly how we identify birds? What is our thought process? Truth is that bird identification is complicated. The trick is to train yourself to do it like a professional, and that is the aim of this presentation. Join us for a lighthearted but informative explanation of how the birder brain learns birds.
Alvaro Jaramillo is an internationally known ornithologist. An expert on the birds of North America, he wrote the American Birding Association Field Guide to Birds of California and New World Blackbirds. He is also an authority on the birds of Chile, authoring Birds of Chile, collaborating on Chile's Important Bird Areas program, and helping to identify a new bird species there: Oceanites pincoyae (Pincoya Storm­Petrel). He leads birding trips throughout the world with his company, Alvaro's Adventures.


Mickey and Jon's Bird ID Quiz

Wednesday, September 16, 2020
7:00pm-9:00pm via Zoom
Mickey Long and Jon Fisher

As is traditional, we will kick off our fall season of meetings with Mickey Long and Jon Fisher hosting an evening of photographic mystery bird identification challenges. Thanks to the power of Zoom, this year we will be throwing open the challenge of identifying these birds to an even wider audience of our membership. Our hosts will also be chiming in with expert tips and tricks for IDing the mystery species involved. We will get into the swing of fall migration by helping sharpen your ID skills and have some laughs along the way. Come join in the fun!

The Journey of Birds Across Space and Time

Wednesday, August 19, 2020
7:00pm-9:00pm via Zoom
Dr Morgan Tingley

The Carolina Parakeet, the Heath Hen, the Passenger Pigeon - when we contemplate how our country’s
bird life has changed, we often focus on the handful of species we have lost entirely. But while we have
yet to lose a single bird species to our rapidly changing climate, the birds around us have been adapting
and changing in a multitude of ways. Join Dr. Tingley on a journey across our nation and through the last
century, walking in the footsteps of past zoologists to compare their world to the one we see today, to
learn how climate change has already dramatically changed the lives of birds.

Birding Brazil Virtually

Saturday, July 25th

Mentioned by Luke in his Wednesday talk SAVE Brazil and Avistar (The Audubon equivalent there) are running a live Zoom/Youtube feederwatch from feeders across Brazil. It’ll probably be in Brazilian mainly, but they do give many of the bird names in English too and show pictures and range maps of species so you can work out what you are looking at.
(Missed the event? Watch it here).

Virtual July Meeting

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

As we can't run organized trips at this moment in time, Luke Tiller (our new Field Trip Chair) has written a short article with some suggestions on what to look out for and where to go at this time of year. We hope it might inspire you to some birding adventures.

Saturday, July 25th at 11:30am Pacific Time. Mentioned by Luke in his Wednesday talk SAVE Brazil and Avistar (The Audubon equivalent there) are running a live Zoom/Youtube feederwatch from feeders across Brazil. It’ll probably be in Brazilian mainly, but they do give many of the bird names in English too and show pictures and range maps of species so you can work out what you are looking at.
(Missed the event? Watch it here).

Virtual June Meeting

Saturday, June 13, 2020

We’ll share some chapter news and then enjoy the traditional Members’ Slideshow with bird photos from California backyards to the four corners of the globe. We look forward to seeing you!

Please register here to receive the zoom invitation.

All members are welcome to share their bird photos and videos in the Members’ Slideshow.

Instructions for participating in the Members’ Slideshow:

  1. You will have 5 minutes to show your bird photos and videos. This is 10 to 20 photos at most.
  2. Email Lois Brunet at to get on the list of presenters.
  3. Photos will be uploaded here.
  4. Rename one of the empty folders with your name. To do this, open it by double-clicking it, then use the dropdown next to the folder name, then choose Rename.
  5. Upload your photos using drag and drop, or using the “+New” button on the upper left
  6. Number your photo files, if you want them to be shown in a particular order.
  7. Be ready to present when you are called on during the meeting.

Questions? Email Lois Brunet at