Printer Friendly
The Free Library
23,403,340 articles and books


BIRD LOVERS, DUST OFF YOUR BINOCULARS.

Byline: DANA BARTHOLOMEW

Staff Writer

This weekend, Kris Ohlenkamp will rise at dawn, head for the hills, then keep an eagle-eyed watch for plumes.

If he's lucky, he'll spot a favorite red-shouldered hawk. If not, he can still spy some of the 500 species of Los Angeles birds for a continental bird count.

"Bird-watching is exciting," said Ohlenkamp, president of the San Fernando Valley Audubon Society. "They touch your soul."

Sponsored by the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the 10th annual Great Backyard Bird Count tally is expected to draw tens of thousands of bird-watchers from across North America.

Everyone who can crane their necks can contribute.

"The only no-no is to wear anything with feathers -- that would be very un-P.C.," said Pat Leonard, a spokeswoman for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Upstate New York.

"The way to track them across North America is for everybody to go in their backyards, parks, in the cities and the country -- everywhere -- and look for birds."

From today through Monday, enthusiasts across the United States and Canada are asked to take at least 15minutes to jot down species and tally up birds. Results can then be recorded at www.birdsource.org/gbbc.

Each checklist is intended to help ornithologists track such trends as the expanding range of the Eurasian-collared dove and the diminishing number of American crows, which have been hit hard by West Nile virus.

Last year, bird-watchers submitted more than 60,000 lists containing 622 species and 7.6million birds.

In Los Angeles, eight keen spotters tallied 250pigeons.

In Saugus, one patient birder pointed out 250quail.

Across the San Fernando Valley, residents trained their peepers at hundreds of birds, from red-winged blackbirds to yellow-rumped warblers to great blue herons.

The most commonly sighted birds in Los Angeles were mourning doves, Western scrub-jays and American crows.

"It's a national thing, but we see it as a great opportunity to teach people about birds," said Susan Haugland, an environmental instructor for the Mountains Restoration Trust, of Calabasas, which will host its own count Saturday.

The first time Ohlenkamp went bird-watching more than two decades ago, he thought there were just a couple of dozen bird species living in Los Angeles.

"I lived in L.A. all my life -- to see a killdeer, which lives on the (North) Slope in Alaska," the 56-year-old bird-watcher exclaimed. "I (now) know 450 species."

For 25 years, Ohlenkamp has given monthly bird tours of the Sepulveda Basin.

Just two weeks ago, he scurried to Hansen Dam to ogle a crested caracara, an orange-faced South American falcon rare to California.

On Saturday, he will don his floppy canvas hat and moss-green shirt. He will shoulder his 10x42 binoculars. He will leave behind his voluminous bird guide books "because I know 'em all."

And he will stroll quietly through the oaks near his home in Calabasas -- watching and listening.

Listening and watching.

Hoping to hear the sharp "pik" of a downy woodpecker. Or hear the loud "kee-aah" of a red-shouldered hawk. And to get a glimpse of both.

"It's healthy, gets you outdoors. You learn and commune with nature," he said of the national count. "It's good for the soul.

"It is for the birds."

dana.bartholomew(at)dailynews.com

(818) 713-3730

IF YOU WATCH

The 10th annual Great Backyard Bird Count will be held today through Monday. Spend at least 15 minutes and tally up the species and number of birds. For bird count and identification information, go to www.birdsource.org/gbbc/. For the San Fernando Valley Audubon Society, go to http://www.sanfernandovalleyaudubon.org/sfvas/

CAPTION(S):

box

Box:

IF YOU WATCH (see text)
COPYRIGHT 2007 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 Reader Opinion

Title:

Comment:



 

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Feb 16, 2007
Words:613
Previous Article:BRADLEY LANDFILL CRITICS OPPOSE RECYLING PLAN.
Next Article:TERM-LIMIT CHANGES SOUGHT IN PROPOSAL.



Related Articles
STUDENTS GET A BIRD'S-EYE VIEW IN CONTINENT WIDE MIGRATION STUDY.
BALD IS BEAUTIFUL; SOUTHLAND BIRDERS FLOCK TO WITNESS WINTERING EAGLES.
EAGLE EYES; BIRD-WATCHERS TAKE LOOK AROUND STATE PARK.
BIRDERS FLOCK FOR ANNUAL COUNTING : SPECIES SPOTTED, TALLIED IN VALLEY.
Basics of binoc care.
BIRD COUNTERS PREP FOR BIG DAY AVIAN CENSUS SET FOR JAN. 3.
FIRE-RAVAGED CANYON OFFERING NATURE TOURS.
Fern Ridge beckons to budding birders.
FEATHERED FRIENDS TO BE COUNTED ON HOLIDAY AUDUBON TRADITION CONTINUES LOCALLY AND ACROSS THE WORLD.
Why Don't Woodpeckers Get Headaches? And Other Bird Questions You Know You Want to Ask.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters