How Is Our Chapter Doing?


Co-Presidents Steve Ferry and Dolores Pollock

Last summer, we took up our chapter’s reins, so capably held for 12 years by Darlene Chirman. We’d like to report on our busy year.

We hired a part-time bookkeeper and are on the verge of hiring a part-time executive director, steps that Darlene completely endorses. With our 1200 members, numerous activities, and leadership role in local conservation, we need support. Interestingly, Jan Hamber who sat on our first Board 50 years ago, reports a Board member suggested the idea at that time. We believe the time has come to move our chapter to the next level.

Our educational wing, Eyes in the Sky (EITS), had a strong year. Donations increased. The first EITS Open House at the Natural History Museum was a success. We returned to underserved elementary schools with Max and our Meet your Wild Neighbor program. Thirty-five volunteers work tirelessly to bring the joy of wild birds to young and old. Gabriele Drozdowski was named a Local Hero.

On the conservation front, our 15 member Conservation/Science Committee reviewed project after project, always advocating for birds and their habitats. Meetings with officials and letters to government entities, too numerous to count, are summarized on our website. We pushed for bird-wise decisions at Ocean Meadows Golf Course, Paradiso del Mare, Village at Los Carneros, and Cuyama Solar, among others. We continued with our Tree Swallow nest box and White- tailed Kite Monitoring programs and with restoration projects. Year-long restoration efforts by Jan Oetinger and her Bucket Crew at Lake Los Carneros were recognized by the City of Goleta at their Council Meeting on July 15.


Bobbie Offen honored for 14 years of service to Santa Barbara Audubon as Webmaster and Treasurer. Pictured with Co-presidents Steve Ferry and Dolores Pollock.

On other fronts:

  • we welcomed new board and chapter members and said farewell to others as they left the area or retired after years of diligent service. Of those, Bobbie Offen stands out.

  • with generous donations, we updated our website–visit and enjoy!

  • we continued our popular bird walks and field trips–thank you, Jack Sanford, and trip leaders

  • our CBC had the highest number of participants in the nation (275) and second highest

  • number of species (222)

  • our second Birdathon was enjoyed by 77 participants and brought in needed funds–think about joining in the fun next April

  • our rescued raptors welcome visitors daily at the Audubon Aviary

  • renowned birder Jon Dunn visited for two days and an evening program

  • we’re working with local government officials to protect trees and other habitat, especially for breeding birds

  • the Museum of Natural History continues its strong and welcoming support of SBAS

At their annual retreat, the Audubon Board set these goals: Strengthen conservation, science, advocacy, and education; develop and recruit chapter leadership; expand fundraising to further our mission; make the work we do more visible in the community. With your help, we’re making great progress!

In the coming year, look for a CBC4Kids–we’re planning that now.

Thanks for all your support for Santa Barbara Audubon!