Page updated: April 18, 2017



A California Chapter of the National Audubon Society Serving the communities of Stockton, Lodi, Tracy, Manteca, Escalon, Ripon, and Lathrop--All of San Joaquin County.



Places to Visit on our Website

Chapter Officers & Board Members 

Program and Field Trip Information 

Field Checklist of the Birds of San Joaquin County

Bird Sightings in San Joaquin County

Membership Benefits-JOIN US!



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Other Web Pages to Visit



All About Birds-Cornell Online Guide to Identifying Birds

· Help with Identifying Birds

What to do with an injured or orphaned bird

Wildlife Rehab Information

Central Valley Birds Listserve

San Joaquin Birds Listserve

National Audubon Society 

Central Valley Bird Club 

California County Geographic Birding Guide 

Kern River Preserve

Artist Keith Hansen

Artist Rene C. Reyes

Go Green

If you'd like to receive the Hoot Owl electronically, you can subscribe at SJ Audubon Electronic Newsletter Subscribers

Hoot Owl May-June 2017

Hoot Owl March-April 2017

Hoot Owl January-February 2017

Hoot Owl November-December 2016

Hoot Owl September-October 2016

Hoot Owl July-August 2016

Hoot Owl Mar-June 2016

Hoot Owl March-April 2016

Hoot Owl January-February 2016


Special Program Coming to the San Joaquin Audubon Society

SATURDAY, April 29, 2017, 9:00 am - Noon(ish)

iNaturalist Workshop at Oak Grove Regional Park

  1. Have you ever wanted to know the name of a weird bug or flower but didn't know whom to ask?
  2. Do you take tons of pictures of plants and animals but don't know what to do with them? 
  3. Do you want to contribute to a global database of scientifically useful biodiversity data?  

Then try iNaturalist!  iNaturalist is a global online social network of people who share observations from the natural world and help each other identify organisms.

Join Kenichi Ueda for this introduction to the citizen science project, iNaturalist, which he co-founded, and is now sponsored by the California Academy of Sciences. 

In this workshop we'll go through the basics of taking identifiable photos, uploading your first observations, and helping other people out with identifications.  Meet Kenichi at the Oak Grove Nature Center at 9:00 a.m.  To have the entrance fee waived, mention that you are attending the iNaturalist program. The workshop will wrap up around noon.

Check out other great science fun from our friends at the

World of Wonders Science Museum!

Upcoming WOW programs

  • May 3rd: SAVE THE FROGS!– Michael Starkey, Ecologist and SAVE THE FROGS! International Campaigns Coordinator

Annual San Joaquin Audubon Society Chapter Picnic
Saturday, May 20, 2017

Save the date!  On Saturday, May 20, San Joaquin Audubon will hold its Annual Chapter Picnic at the Mokelumne River Day Use Area/Fish Hatchery.  We will start off birding at 8:00 a.m., combining our bird walk with the monthly bird census of this delightful park.  The pot luck brunch will follow at approx. 10:00 a.m., so bring a dish to share.  We'll also have a short Annual Business Meeting.  Meet in the fish hatchery parking lot (below the dam).

San Joaquin County Annual Summer Butterfly Count

     Saturday, June 17, 2017

We will hold the annual San Joaquin County Summer Butterfly Count on Saturday, June 17, 2017.  This family-friendly field trip is a cooperative project of the San Joaquin Audubon Society, the University of California Cooperative Extension, and the North American Butterfly Association.
     We will begin at 8:00 a.m. at the Nature Center at Oak Grove Regional Park.  No experience or expertise is required.  All participants should bring a hat, sunscreen, water, and lunch or a snack (and field guides, binoculars, and nets if you have them).  Call Dr. Kathy Schick (209) 612-5130 for more information.
     In addition to leading the Annual San Joaquin Audubon Society Butterfly Count, Dr. Schick has her PhD in Entomology, her specialty being tiny, stingless parasitoid wasps.  She has recently been appointed as a Research Associate at U.C.Berkeley's Essig Museum and the California Academy of Sciences at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.


eBird Mobile

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

Planting for birds
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

lady bug
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

hover fly
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.






Joe-pye Weed


For more information about beneficial insects please visit:

Xerxes Society

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 ( 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!


February 14, 2017 – April 2, 2017
(All sightings pertain to San Joaquin County)
Submitted by Liz West

On February 27th, David Yee saw a probable Iceland Gull at the Koster Gravel Pit pond. On a March 26th check of the pond, there were 4 first cycle Glaucous Gulls.

David Yee photographed an immature “White-winged” Dark-eyed Junco at Lodi Lake, March 3rd. The next day Ernie Maier found it and David was able to get conclusive photos of it.

Joanne Katanic and Virginia Bonham found an unseasonal Pacific-slope Flycatcher at Oak Grove Park March 17th.

David Yee spotted a Pacific Golden-Plover within a flock of 300 Black-bellied Plovers at Lodi Sewage Ponds, March 23rd.

On an April 2nd bird walk out at White Slough, Jim Rowoth found a Palm Warbler in some willows bordering the edge of a pond. It was still present the next day.

San Joaquin Audubon Society
PO Box 7755, Stockton, California 95267

For more information contact:
San Joaquin Audubon Society President: Dale Smith,

Send website comments or questions to:

Kasey Foley:




For San Joaquin Audubon Field Trips visit our Field Trips Page.




 Membership in the National Audubon Society includes:


San Joaquin Audubon's Hoot Owl newsletter 6 times per year.

AUDUBON magazine.

Monthly field trips led by San Joaquin Audubon members.

General Membership meetings from September-December and February-April.  We often have local experts presenting topics such as Beginning Birding, Gardening for birds and butterflies, Raptor Rehabilitation, Sandhill Cranes-our local winter wonders, Swainson's Hawk conservation, Slide presentations on trips to Mexico, Galapagos, Honduras, Florida,and much, much more.

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