Page updated: August 21, 2014



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

San Joaquin County Birding Areas

Membership Benefits-JOIN US!


You Can Now Join San Joaquin Audubon ONLINE. Please select


portion of your dues comes back to our local chapter! JOIN NOW

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

Stanislaus Audubon Society

National Audubon Society 

Central Valley Bird Club 

California County Geographic Birding Guide 

Kern River Preserve

Artist Keith Hansen

Artist Rene C. Reyes

Current San Joaquin Audubon Newsletter   

Go Green

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

Hoot Owl September-October 2014

Hoot Owl July-August 2014

Hoot Owl May-June 2014

Hoot Owl March-April 2014

Hoot Owl January-February 2014

Hoot Owl November-December 2013

Hoot Owl September-October 2013

Hoot Owl July-August 2013

Hoot Owl May-June 2013

Hoot Owl March-April 2013

Hoot Owl January-February 2013

Check out our Programs and Field Trips Page

To prepare for and complement October's Giant Sequoia program you may want to order the second edition of "The Giant Sequoia of Sequoia and Kings Canyon" book written by our very own Steve Stocking. 

You can find this book by visiting the following link: 

All proceeds benefit the Sequoia Natural History Association.

18TH Annual Central Valley Birding Symposium

The Central Valley Bird Club will be hosting the 18th Annual Central Valley Birding Symposium Nov. 20-23, 2014 at the Stockton Hilton Hotel in Stockton, CA.  Please come and help us kick off this year’s CVBS!  Come meet the CVBS board & staff members! Reconnect with old friends!  Meet new ones!  Take advantage of the scrumptious Hors D’oeuvres buffet & No Host Bar on Thursday night.
     Thursday Night's Keynote speaker is Ed Harper presenting a program on "Appreciating the Birds of the Central Valley”.  The CVBS gets off to a supercharged start with this lively and informative presentation. Ed is a widely known, popular and highly sought after speaker.
     Friday Night's keynote program is presented by Nat Seavey on “From Flood to Drought: A Bird’s-Eye View of Water Management in the Central Valley.“  Nat Seavey, is the Research Director of the Pacific Coast and Central Valley Group at Point Blue Conservation Science (formerly PRBO).  His research is focused on the ecology and conservation of riparian ecosystems, bird migration, the ecological effects of climate change, and applying science to conservation decision making and public policy.
     Saturday Night's keynote program is presented by Joel Greenberg on “The Echoes of their Wings: The Life and Legacy of the Passenger Pigeon."  For the past four years he has been a leader in Project  Passenger Pigeon which aims to mark the anniversary of the species' extinction. He is co-producing with director David  Mrazek the documentary, From Billions to None: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction. It will be available in spring of 2014. 
     Workshops include: "Subspecies for Birders"  by Joe Morlan, "What Birders should know about Taxonomy in Flux" by Jon Dunn & Kimball Garrett, and a photo workshop by Bob Steele, plus, informative talks by Monica Iglesia, Sara Kross, and Bob Meese.  Andy Engilis and his UCD Museum crew will present the very popular Specimen Workshop. 
     Our field trips always turn up exciting birds. Add in the always entertaining and educational Bird ID Panel, the wonderful display of art and gifts for yourself or others at the Birder’s Market and the camaraderie of hundreds of like-minded folks, and you know you’ll have a good time! There's something for everyone interested in birds. Come and join us to bird, learn, and just have fun!
     To look over the line-up of speakers, workshops, and field trips or register, check out our website at:  Registration at:


Rare and Unusual Occurrences

at Stockton, Cal.

(from The Condor, Mar., 1901)


   This year seems an unusual one in the way of bird migration in San Joaquin County, having added to the list thus far several new visitants and also causing an influx of a single species heretofore unknown in this locality, though common in the eastern foothills.  I refer to the Blue-Fronted Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri frontalis.) (Steller’s Jay)

   This species has become so numerous in San Joaquin County, and especially within the city of Stockton, that it has for the time being, taken the place of the noisy California Jay (Aphelocoma californica.) (Western Scrub Jay)  My record of its first appearance is dated November 11, 1900, at which time I saw two of this species in the vicinity of Stockton.  Two days later I saw several of the birds within the limits of the city and from that time on they became quite numerous, showing very little fear in their new haunts and being seemingly at home in the white oaks (Valley Oaks) with which the city abounds.  Mr. Belding (Lyman Belding) informs me that he has found them in the heart of the Sacramento Valley, but has no record of their occurrence in this locality previous to this year.

   The abundance of the birds is shown by the result of a “blue-jay” shoot which five sportsmen from Stockton took part in on December 2, 1900.  They confined themselves to a small area northeast of the city and as a result of their shoot brought home 220 birds, 100 of which were California Jays (Western Scrub Jays) while the remaining 120 were of the Blue-fronted (Steller’s) species.  The birds are still here in large numbers and show no signs of decreasing.

W. B. Sampson

Stockton, Cal., Feb. 14, 1901



Verna Johnston, 95, a founding member of the Calaveras Big Trees Association and resident of Camp Connell, died in Carmel Valley March 1st.  Verna was a science educator, photographer and writer as well as a self-described lover of nature.

Born and educated in Illinois, she came to California, where she taught biology and environmental science at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton for 37 years. A well-known naturalist, Mrs. Johnston lived to educate and reveal the beauty and wonder in nature.

She published more than 100 articles in professional journals and popular magazines ranging from Audubon to The New York Times. Her first book, “Sierra Nevada,” was published in 1970 as part of the series “A Naturalist’s America,” edited by Roger Tory Peterson. Life Magazine featured her in an article in November 1998.

In 1982, she retired to Camp Connell to “hibernate, hike and write.” It was there that she wrote two more books, “California Forests & Woodlands: A Natural History” in 1994 and “Sierra Nevada: The Naturalist’s Companion” in 1999, both published by The University of California Press.  Her photos illustrate these books and the most recent is still available at the new Calaveras Big Trees State Park bookstore.

Ms. Johnston was an active member of the Sierra Club, National Audubon Society, the Wilderness Society and other groups.  She was one of the first presidents of the (then) Stockton Audubon Society and was a respected environmental leader in Stockton for many years. She worked to protect native plants and animals in the Sierra and in California’s Central Valley, and was also active in helping to set aside Point Reyes National Seashore. She served on the San Joaquin County Parks and Recreation Commission during the time when Oak Grove Regional Park was developed and was a leader in having part of that park preserved as a natural area. She was also a founding member of the Calaveras Big Trees Association, where her photos will be on view at the new visitors’ center.

Verna donated books and photos to the Calaveras Big Trees Association and supported the Park in other ways as well.  Her love of books and the out-of-doors also led her to establish the Verna Johnson Nature Collection at the Arnold branch of the Calaveras County Public Library.

Following her wishes, Verna's ashes will be mixed with the earth of the Sierra Nevada, the place she called "home.”
Steve Stocking, Education Chair
San Joaquin Delta College, Retired
Board Member, Calaveras Big Trees Association


June 14, 2014 – August 4, 2014

(All sightings pertain to San Joaquin County)

Submitted by Liz West


On June 21st David Yee found an immature male Allen’s Hummingbird at Heritage Oaks Winery.

On June 25th Terry Ronneberg had two Short-billed Dowitchers at the Tracy Sewage ponds.

On July 4th, Mark and Lorna Elness saw a Short-billed Dowitcher at the Ripon Sewage Ponds, which was present through July 6th.

Mark Elness saw three Marbled Godwits at the Tracy Sewage Ponds July 3rd.

Terri Ronneberg found a Lesser Yellowlegs at the Tracy Sewage Ponds July 10th.

On July 16th Pat Bacchetti saw a female Blue-winged Teal at the Tracy Sewage Ponds. It was still present on the 19th.

At Oak Grove Park, July 19th, on the Stanislaus River near Ripon, David Yee found an adult female Rose-breasted Grosbeak; he also heard an immature male grosbeak that could be Rose-breasted.

On July 25th, David saw an adult Semipalmated Sandpiper at the Lodi Sewage Ponds.


As Published by Jim Gain

Lodi Lake
Lodi Sewage Ponds
White Slough Wildlife Area
Woodbride Wilderness Area- NOW OPEN every weekend Memorial Day to Labor Day (2014)
Woodbridge Rd/Isenberg Crane Reserve
Oakgrove Regional Park
Stockton Sewage Ponds
Flood/Waverly Roads
Caswell State Park
Mokelumne Day Use Area
Tracy Sewage Ponds




San Joaquin Audubon Society
PO Box 7755, Stockton, California 95267
For more information contact:
San Joaquin Audubon Society President: Alan England

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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