Check out other great science fun from our friends at the World of Wonders Science Museum!
Upcoming WOW programs
- February 1st: Nematode Parasitism– Lauren Camp, UC Davis
- March 1st: SCIENCE TRIVIA NIGHT
- April 5th: Earthquake Engineering– Hector Estrada, Pacific Civil Engineer
- May 3rd: SAVE THE FROGS!– Michael Starkey, Ecologist and SAVE THE FROGS! International Campaigns Coordinator
10th Annual Galt Winter Bird Festival
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Festival & Tours
McCaffrey Middle School
997 Park Terrace Drive, Galt, CA 95632
KEY NOTE SPEAKER: David Allen Sibley, Ornithologist/Illustrator
Author of The Sibley Guide to Birds
Mark your calendars for the 10th Annual Galt Winter Bird Festival. The City of Galt, in collaboration with the Cosumnes River Preserve and Galt Joint Union Elementary and High School Districts, is pleased to bring you the 10th Annual Winter Bird Festival. Festival guests will enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the Cosumnes River Preserve and take advantage of the incredible opportunity to catch sightings of waterfowl, shorebirds and wildlife in their winter habitat. Festival headquarters provide a starting point for exclusive preserve tours, educational presentations, wildlife shows, art displays, wine walk, hometown history and hands-on activities.
This is a family-friendly winter wildlife celebration you'll always remember!
Questions! Call 209-366-7115
Or, visit the website at: http://www.ci.galt.ca.us/index.aspx?page=495
The new eBird Mobile app makes it possible to collect and submit observations directly to eBird from the field. iOS and Android users who were accustomed to entering eBird data using the BirdLog app are encouraged to switch to eBird Mobile, the new and official app for entering data to eBird.
Merlin Bird ID
In a breakthrough for computer vision and for bird watching, researchers and bird enthusiasts have enabled computers to achieve a task that stumps most humans—identifying hundreds of bird species pictured in photos. Build in concert with the exceedingly popular Merlin app, the Merlin Bird ID tool lets you upload an image of a bird that you’ve photographed, and if the photo shows one of the supported species, it returns the correct species in the top 3 results, 90% of the time. It currently supports 400 species in North America, but will eventually be expanding to more species in North America, and worldwide. Give it a try.
borrowed from Audubon At Home
Plants for Birds and Wildlife
|Spicebush, photo courtesy USDA-NRCS Plants Database
Birds and wildlife have adapted to utilize native plants that provide food, cover, nesting sites or a combination of resources. Native plants provide food at different times of the year to birds in the form of seeds, fruit or as invertebrate host sites. The growth habits of native plants present recognizable, safe nesting sites and cover that protect birds from inclement weather and predation. The importance of these plants to birds, insects and other wildlife cannot be overstated.
Using native plants in your backyard landscape will offer the most resources to birds and wildlife and serve as rewarding attractants. On these pages you will find some examples of plants that are particularly valuable to specific birds and other beneficial organisms. A more comprehensive database with regional references is in the works at Audubon At Home and will be available online in the near future.
Plantings for birds in our area:
Nuttall's Woodpecker, Oak Titmouse, Yellow-rumped Warbler- California Live Oak
Wrentit, California Towhee, Spotted Towhee - California Wax Myrle
For more information about native plants please visit:
California Native Plant Society
Master Gardener's Program in San Joaquin County
Plants for Beneficial Insects
Predators. Parasitoids. Pollinators.
Welcome them into your Healthy Yard.
These are the insects, bugs and other organisms on the front line of pest control in your yard, guarding against destructive bugs and helping plants reproduce. Nature supplies these beneficial bugs of course, but you can encourage them to remain in your yard by providing them with some essential elements.
Nearly every plant in a natural environment will sustain at least some damage by pests…it is part of the natural balance. But pests don’t overpopulate a natural ecosystem due to the presence of natural enemies. In a healthy yard with its native plants and pesticide-free environment, pests will appear—and so will natural enemies.
THE INSECTS – Wild Friends, Natural Enemies
|Ladybug feeding on cottonwood leaf beetle eggs, photo by James Solomon, USDA Forest Service
Move Over, Lady - It has long been known that ladybugs (or lady beetles), especially in their larval stage, are "good bugs" with voracious appetites for aphids. Without dismissing the value of ladybugs as garden friends, there are other natural pest enemies that are much less conspicuous but even more valuable. The lowly "gnat" that flies by your ear may in fact be the tiny eulophid wasp – a full-grown one is just one-eighth inch – on her way to lay up to one hundred eggs in the pupae of tree-destroying beetles.
Predatory and parasitoid flies and wasps are key players in the biological control of insect pests. Many, in fact, are reared in laboratories and dispersed into crops, forests and neighborhoods to control exotic insect pests (i.e. elm leaf beetle). Click on the link below to learn more about the tiny denizens of your yard and other beneficial organisms.
THE PLANTS – Nectar for Natural Pest Enemies
|Syrphid (hover) Fly, photo by Carl Dennis, Auburn University
Nectar is an important dietary supplement for beneficial wasps and flies. Asters and their cousins (such as daisies and goldenrod) offer excellent resources and there are native varieties in every part of the country. Flowers that are composites - where many small symmetrical flowers occur in a central disk - are perfect for small wasps and flies such as the common predaceous hover fly (pictured left). Many of the beneficial insects are small and require a short flower structure in order to access the nectar.
These same flowering plants will attract a wide range of important pollinators such as native bees, butterflies and honeybees. When they produce seed, these plants will provide a valuable food source for birds and other wildlife in the fall and winter.
Plant a variety of plant types such as groundcover, trees, and shrubs, mimicking natural growth patterns to form complex habitat that will be home to a greater variety of beneficial insects.
THE INSECTS – Information and pictures of the lesser-known but effective natural enemies that occupy your backyard.
PLANTS TO ATTRACT BENEFICIAL INSECTS – Your guide to some stellar examples of the useful plants that will attract a variety of beneficial insects. Look for examples of similar native flowers occurring in your region.
For more information about beneficial insects please visit:
Beneficial Insects in Your Garden
If you’re interested in finding out what rare and unusual birds are being seen in California (or anywhere in the US, for that matter), you should check out Sialia, aka The Birding Lists Digest. Sialia (http://digest.sialia.com) was created to help birders find out "what's going on lately" in various regions of the U.S. with a minimum of hassle. The Digest automatically compiles all posts to dozens of birding email lists and organizes them by region, by day, and by list. Birders can view the current day's messages, or browse messages from the last 30 days. This system allows birders to find information about rare bird sightings and other goings-on around the country in a timely and efficient manner. Check it out!
October 16, 2016 – December 15, 2016
(All sightings pertain to San Joaquin County)
Submitted by Liz West
On October 22nd, David Yee heard a Chestnut-collared Longspur calling in flight with some Horned Larks along Lamb Rd. He wasn’t able to locate it on the ground. On October 31st, Kurt Mize and Jim Rowoth found and photographed a silent Chestnut-collared Longspur (possibly the same bird) foraging on the ground in a field west of Lamb Rd. It was subsequently seen the same day by Frances Oliver and Linda Pittman.
While doing a survey on Camanche Lake off of Cord Rd, October 26th David Yee found a probable Arctic Loon. He returned to Camanche Lake on the 29th to look for it (without luck) and found a Pacific Loon.
On Staten Island, November 4th, David Yee saw a possible Bean Goose near the broken water tower. It had white at the base of the bill, but a dark instead of colored bill.
Pat and Dave Croft found a Eurasian Wigeon at Isenberg Crane Preserve on November 13th.
Ben Sandstorm picked out a Brant from amongst thousands of Cackling Geese, November 22nd on Staten Island.
On November 25th, while looking for the reported Staten Island Brant, David Yee photographed a probable Richardson’s Cackling Goose, a subspecies that normally winters east of the Rockies.
On November 27th, David Yee saw an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull and possibly a juvenile at the Koster Rd. gravel pond.
Ben Sandstorm, Ian Souza-Cole and David Hollie saw a Red Phalarope at Staten Island November 29th.
San Joaquin Audubon Society
PO Box 7755, Stockton, California 95267
For more information contact:
San Joaquin Audubon Society President: Dale Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org
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