General Meetings
Laguna Hills Audubon Society is ending
Rare Birds
Banning Ranch

Other items of interest:
Audubon Guide to North American Birds:
Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Bird Guide:
Phyllis Connell Photography:
National Audubon Website
Audubon Starr Ranch Sanctuary

Cornell Lab Bird Cams

Cavity Conservation Initiative video.

Our 45th Year

Our mission statement
The mission of the Laguna Hills Audubon Society is to enhance the protection and appreciationof birds, wildlife, and habitat,while promoting a cleaner, healthier environment.
Want to connect with nature in a friendly social setting? Let Laguna Hills Audubon be your link. Established in 1971, Laguna Hills Audubon organizes bird walks, brings in guest speakers, publishes a newsletter, offers trips, and holds special events. This season we will host eight public meetings with refreshments. Each meeting features a guest speaker. In addition, this year we offer bird walks and a season-end picnic.


Board Meetings

March 7, Tuesday
April 4, Tuesday
10:30 AM,Conference Room,
Clubhouse #3.

General Meetings
March 9, Thursday
April 13, Thursday
Business Meeting, 6:30 PM
Program, 7:00 PM
Dining Room 1, Clubhouse 3*

Bird Walks

BIRD WALKS Our regular bird walks occur on the 2nd Saturday and the 4th Tuesday of each month. We have no walks in the summer (July – September) and only one in May.

FEBRUARY 21, Tuesday
Dana Point Headlands and Harbor

From El Toro, go south on Moulton Pkwy (Golden Lantern) and cross Pacific Coast Hwy. Turn right on Dana Point Harbor Dr to Cove. Turn right on Cove and go uphill to Green Lantern. Turn left on Green Lantern and go to the Interpretive Center parking lot.
(no fee)

MARCH 11, Saturday
Crystal Cove State Park
South on Laguna Canyon Rd to PCH.  Go right about 5 mi.  Turn left at Pelican Point (where Newport Coast Dr meets PCH).  Turn right to last parking lot. ($15 car entrance fee)

MARCH 21, Tuesday
O’Neill Regional Park

Northeast on El Toro Rd to Live Oak Canyon Rd (S-19).  Right at Cooks’ Corner about 3 mi.  Look for O’Neill Park on the right.  Meet in parking lot just past gate house.

($3 car entrance fee)

MARCH 28, Tuesday
Caspers Wilderness Park

Take the I-5 south.  Exit at Ortega Hwy.  Park entrance is 7 1/2 mil east of the I-5 on the left.  Meet in parking lot to the left of the entrance and behind the gate house.
($3 car entrance fee)

April 9, Saturday
Santiago Oaks Regional Park
North on I-5 to Jamboree Rd. Right on Jamboree.  At junction with Santiago Canyon Rd, continue straight ahead to next traffic light.  Turn left on Santiago Canyon Rd to Windes Rd.  Turn right on Windes to road’s end.  Follow signs to park.
($5 car entrance fee)

APRIL 15, Saturday
Laguna Nigel Regional Park

  From El Toro go south on Moulton to La Paz.  Right on La Paz past Aliso Creek Rd.  Meet in the parking lot to the left of the entrance (next to the playground).
($5 car entrance fee)

APRIL 18, Tuesday
Mason Regional Park
North on  I-405 to University/Jeffrey exit. 
Left on University Dr past Culver Dr.  Left into park and left again to Lot B parking area.
($3 car entrance fee)

APRIL 25, Tuesday
Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park
From Clubhouse 3, go south on Moulton.  Turn right on Alicia Pkwy past Aliso Creek Rd.  Turn right into park.
($3 car entrance fee)


Meet at Clubhouse 3 parking lot at 7:50 AM. If you ride with someone, please pay the driver $2.00 and share of any park entrance fee. Bring binoculars, field guide, water, sun hat, and personal ID including medical insurance cards.
Carpools leave Clubhouse 3 at 8:00 AM.
If you ride with someone, please pay driver $2.00 and share of entrance fee.
For all walks and field trips,
please note that because the Laguna Hills Audubon Society is a non-profit, all volunteer organization, it assumes no responsibility for any injuries incurred while participating or attending society sponsored activities and trips, and cannot be held liable for such accidents or injuries.


LHAS meets within the gated community of Laguna Woods Village. All are invited to attend, but you must request gate clearance at least 24 hours prior to meeting. If you are on our mailing list and receive a copy of the Burrowing Owl, you are cleared for entry to our regular programs (Thursday pm). If not, please email LHAS (LW.AUDU@gmail.com) at least 24 hours in advance of any date you wish to attend and ask to added to the list of approved attendees. 

If you are interested in other bird walks in area, see Sea and Sage Audubon (http://www.seaandsageaudubon.org) for their field trip schedule.



President: Lynne Jeffries 949-363-0323
Vice President: Judy Rizzo 949-587-0075
Recording Secretary: Edna Reid 768-7288
Treasurer: Margaret Marflitt 462-0810
Directors: Jean Lustig, John Andes, Eva Lydick
Email: Laguna Woods Audubon


Bird Walk Leaders: Paul Klahr 837-2177
Ellen Lamb 458-0334
Newsletter Editor: Eva Lydick 354-0787
Webmaster: Bob Hansen, 586-4928
Conservation: Eva Lydick
Historian: Judy Rizzo
Hospitality:  Jean Lustig and Anne Kiehl
Membership: Dave Krieg, 243-5721
Programs: Paul Klahr, Eva Lydick, Judy Rizzo
Publicity: Jean Lustig
Telephone, e-mail: Barbara and Jay Rubin, 380-8811


Bird photos provided by Phyllis Connell Photography
E-mail: pj@pjclark.net

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Watch our "family"
Right outside our door


General Meetings

Thursday, MARCH 9, 2017
Coastal Cactus Wren Relocation and Habitat Restoration

Dr. Milan Mitrovich
Natural Communities Coalition

dtyujA species of special concern to biologists, cactus wrens are holding their own in other parts of Southern California but seem to be vanishing from their traditional haunts in coastal Orange County. One possible reason for the apparent drop in wren numbers goes back to the massive Laguna Beach wildfire of 1993, when 6,700 acres of prime coastal sage scrub habitat - and 389 homes - were turned into charred ruins. Cactus are slow-growing and cactus wrens require cactus – thick, high strands of cactus. And that involves a team working with Milan Mitrovich to update the habitat restoration plan for the 38,000 acre Reserve System in Orange County.
Milan Mitrovich’s background is in conservation science, with an emphasis in landscape and wildlife ecology. Over the last 10+ years, Milan has served in research and advisory roles for several public and private sector organizations, including Solution Strategies, an environmental consulting and strategic advisory firm based out of Los Angeles; the Biological Resource Discipline of the USGS; the Orange County Great Park Design Studio; and the Natural Communities Coalition. Milan holds a BS in Ecology, Behavior and Evolution from UC San Diego, and a PhD in Ecology from UC Davis and San Diego State University.
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Thursday, APRIL 13, 2017
The Future of Banning Ranch

Dr. Terry Welsh, President, or Steven Ray, Executive Director
Banning Ranch Conservancy

The 401-acre Banning Ranch is located in Orange dryjCounty, along Pacific Coast Highway at the mouth of the Santa Ana River, between the cities of Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, and Huntington Beach. This is the largest parcel of unprotected coastal open space remaining in coastal Southern California. The Banning Ranch Conservancy was formed as a 501(c)(3) non-profit with the mission “to preserve, acquire, conserve and manage the entire Banning Ranch as permanent public open space, park and coastal nature preserve.”
Despite 70 years of oil and gas production on the land, Banning Ranch continues as a rich ecosystem with an abundant display of natural biodiversity.  Rich in history, Banning Ranch offers vast opportunities for education, exploration, contemplation, and a variety of visitor-serving amenities. Either Dr Terry Welsh, President, or Steve Ray, Executive Director of the Banning Ranch Conservancy will present an update on the current status of their efforts to preserve and protect this last parcel of undeveloped Land. Dr. Welsh is a com-munity physician and dedicated open space activist. Steve Ray has direct oversight of the Conservancy’s legal counsel and process.
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Birdwatching as a Hobby

dthySo why would anyone want to be a birdwatcher or a birder which is the more popular term? First the obvious, birds are beautiful, they fly, they sing, they do the most interesting things. You can ask almost anyone and they will have a story of something amazing they have seen a wild bird do. But to take it beyond just casually noticing birds or even watching your feeder, there are real reasons why birdwatching is a great hobby.
1.  We get outdoors on a regular basis and walk.

2.  We walk slow and observe birds (yes), but also plants, butterflies, other animals and the natural and human-created world in general.

3.  We test our skill at seeing and hearing and try to identify the birds and other living things we see.  As there are over 400 birds regularly seen in Orange County, so we have some learning to do in order to get the most utykenjoyment from our walks.

4.  As we may only get a quick glimpse, we often have a challenge in identification.  We therefore get both and physical and a mental workout on any occasion.

5.  We usually walk as a group and enjoy companionship as well as a gentle walk and mental exercise.

6.  Birdwatching is inexpensive.  All that is needed is a pair of binoculars and a field guide.

7.  Birdwatching can be done anywhere.  Once you begin, you will rarely be bored no matter where you find yourself. There are over 10,000 bird species in the world. You will never see all of them.

Birdwatching can take so many forms that there is something for almost everyone. There is the sheer beauty for the aesthete. For the OCD, there is listing. Listers can maintain life lists, country / region lists, state lists, county lists, year lists, big-day or year lists and many other permutations. The Century Club is for people trying to see 100 birds in each county in California. I have friends embarked on their 50:50 – fifty birds in each of the fifty states. There are photographers who just want to get a better photo each time they go out. There are those who endeavor to be the most proficient – the quickest to identify a bird, to recognize a birdsong, or to find the greatest rarity.
dtSo why not watch (or look for) mammals or fish or reptiles? Why birds? Well there are people who keep lists of mammals or fish or reptiles or butterflies, but birds are the most popular. First most birds are diurnal, so they are out when we can see them. Second, most birds are identifiable from field marks or song. The majority of mammals — think rodents, bats, voles, etc — are hard to identify by sight; that is, if you can even see them as most are nocturnal. In this area, we are likely to see only five species — Audubon’s cottontail, California ground squirrel, Eastern fox squirrel, coyote and mule deer. Reptiles pose a similar problem. We rarely see reptiles with the exception of the Western fence lizard and red-eared slider.
It is no wonder that birdwatching is a popular and growing hobby for people of all ages. 
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dtyjLaguna Woods Village has played a central role in a couple of recent rare (for Orange County) bird sightings. Jamie Fidler reported a male Williamson’s Sapsucker in LWV near CDS 32 and numerous birders from around Orange County have been able to view and photograph this beautiful bird. And on our bird walk around Mason Regional Park on 11/33, Liz Blecker spotted a female Common Goldeneye. Upon closer inspection, there were actually two birds which were reported to the OCBirding listserv, with subsequent viewing by many local birders. The Sapsucker is rare to Orange County, the last one recorded was about 10 years ago. The Goldeneye is not so uncommon in the County, but usually encountered in saltwater and rarely seen up close in a freshwater park pond.
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Laguna Hills Audubon Society is ending after 44 years.

The LHAS Board believes that we can no longer continue as a chapter of the National Audubon Society. Board members have been wearing two or three hats each and many are now looking to discontinue or reduce their participation. Over the past several years we have lost several stalwart members, among them John Andes, Anne Kiehl, Dave Krieg, Jenni Neff, Jean Lustig, Phil Glaser, Pearl Tai, and Rose Ackerman. While we are grateful that Susi Levin and Jay and Marquita Miller have come forward to help, they alone are not enough. All scheduled programs, bird walks and picnic through June will occur, but there are no plans to continue beyond this time. We regret this decision, but our events do not happen by themselves; they require the work of a number of dedicated volunteers. Please join us in June at our picnic for discussion about how interested members can continue their involvement with the National Audubon Society.
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