Field Trip Report: Sandhill Crane Overnight

It was still warming up when ten of us Santa Barbara birders joined Jack Sanford at noon on Saturday at Allensworth State Historic Park. Jack was smiling. He had been here since Wednesday, and had found a number of Burrowing Owl sites. For the next hour, we visited two sites that held about eight owls between them. The birds were very active, and produced lots of ooh’s and aah’s from the group.

We then proceeded to drive to a number of sites Jack had found. Farm fields with hundreds of Long-billed curlews. Ag ponds with 50 Common Mergansers. Poles and wires with raptors perched on them.
Our day ended with the fabulous visit to Pixley NWR for Sandhill Crane and Ibis fly-in’s. The ponds were already filled with waterfowl, shorebirds and gulls by the time we arrived. At dusk we started to hear the unmistakable vocalizations of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Sandhills coming in to roost for the night. White-faced Ibis arrived in large numbers as well. The group was mesmerized for a half hour.

Saturday ended with a campfire of storytelling at Jack’s campsite.
We spent Sunday morning auto touring the Kern NWR. Waterfowl and raptors abound. We found a number of rare species such as Wilson’s Snipe and Yellow-headed Blackbird. The field trip concluded at the end of the tour, and we all made our way home. This is my fourth Allensworth trip, and surely one of the best! Great birding with some great camaraderie, and spending quality time with Jack Sanford, our fearless leader!

Friday Bird Walks for the Spring of 2018

Join Jack Sanford for some great birding and fun time on his Friday bird walks this Spring!

Jack Sanford

Every 2nd and 4th Friday (usually) Jack hosts a casual and fun two hour walk at one of the south coast’s birding hot spots.  For beginners, this is a great opportunity to see the birds and find out where to bird. For the more experienced birder, here is you chance to share your knowledge and skills. Everyone is welcome. Cost is FREE!

This Spring:

Farren Road: Friday, March 9, 2018, 8:30 am - 10:30 am

Elings Park: Friday, March 23, 2018, 8:30 am - 10:30 am

Ennisbrook Nature Trail: Friday, April 13, 2018, 8:30 am - 10:30 pm

Tucker’s Grove and Kiwanis Meadows: Friday, April 27, 2018, 8:30 am - 10:30 am

UCSB Campus Lagoon: Friday, May 11, 2018, 8:30 am - 10:30 am

San Jose Creek East: Friday, May 25, 2018, 8:30 am - 10:30 am

Nature Conservancy Buys the legendary Bixby Ranch

News is out today that the Nature Conservancy has purchased the old Bixby Ranch at Point Conception. I can attest to this location’s beauty as I was able to spend a little time there with my brother when he was a guard for the ranch back sometime around 1970.

You can read the particulars about this acquisition at the following links:

and a little history:

Thomas Fire effects on SBAS Activities

Due to foul air and the fact that Cal Fire is using Cachuma as a staging area, this field trip has been canceled.


The Carpinteria Christmas Bird count has also been moved to
January 5th, 2018


The Santa Barbara CBC Dinner Ticket deadline is now:
Thursday December 28th at 6:00 pm

Field Trip: Hollister Ranch

Saturday, January 6, 2018, 8:00 am - 1:00 pm

Hollister Ranch is a large privately held area of ranchetts north of Gaviota on the coast and into the foot hills. This pristine coastal area is not something to miss. Seize the day and and see for your self the wonders this area holds.

… Continue Reading

El Tecolote December 2017 – February 2018

Santa Barbara Audubon’s December – February 2017 issue of El Tecolote is now available.

In this issue read about:

  • The upcoming Christmas Bird Count (CBC)
  • The CBC Dinner!
  • Meet our new SBAS Treasurer
  • The fun we had at the Goleta Sanitary District open house
  • The fall Brown Pelican Survey
  • Snowy Plovers at the Santa Barbara Zoo
  • News from Eyes In The Sky
  • Upcoming Field Trips, Friday Bird Walks, and programs

To download the pdf file, click the thumbnail image to the right.

A big Thank You to Trent Watanabe for the layout of El Tecolote