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Highlights from An Arroyo Adventure
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Highlights from An Arroyo Adventure

A quick look at some fun camp memories...

Summer Film Series Kick-off: Brothers of the Wind

Brothers of the Wind

On Friday July 27th, the Audubon Center at Debs Park was happy to kick-off our Summer Film Series in partnership with the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council and Epic Pictures Group by presenting Brothers of the Wind.

We kicked off the event with a live birds of prey show presented by The Nature of Wildworks and Mollie Hogan.  Mollie brought 5 birds along:  Sire the peregrine falcon, Queen the harris hawk, Dancer the barn owl, Dragon the red-tailed hawk, and Harry the turkey vulture.  While we didn't get to see some eagles, Mollie's educational presentation was a treat for everyone in the audience.  We saw Dragon eat a mouse, and how Harry made himself look big to scare potential predators.  Kids and adults of all ages were in awe of these birds of prey.  Mollie even called someone from the audience to pet Dancer the barn owl!  

Mollie Hogan and Queen woo the crowd!
Mollie Hogan and Queen woo the crowd! Photo: Yulissa Morales

All night, guests were welcome to grab some popcorn and sno-cones.  The night wouldn't be complete without a good ol' fashioned eagle-themed photobooth!  Even Dragon couldn't resist!

Say Falconry!
Say Falconry! Photo: Yulissa Morales

Once the audience was all birded up, we started the show.  Center Director Marcos Trinidad and Epic Pictures Co-Founder, Shaked Berenson spoke on the importance and beauty of the film and how it tied to Audubon's mission.  After that, it was lights..camera...ACTION!  Brothers of the Wind was a beautifully shot account of a boy who saves a golden eagle and the difficult choices of growing up and growing apart.  The audience was mesmerized by the story and cinematography.  As the movie came to a close, even a couple of neighborhood coyotes started howling from emotion.

Flap Flap Flap
Flap Flap Flap Photo: Yulissa Morales

Our summer film series continues next month with A Birder's Guide to Everything.  Join us on August 24th at 6:30pm for some nature arts and crafts and a fun movie about birding!  Follow our Summer Film Series, showing a movie outdoors on the 4th Friday of each month.

Audubon California’s New Executive Director Meets the Debs Park Community

On Wednesday July 18th, the Audubon Center at Debs Park was honored to introduce our community and partners to Sarah Rose--Audubon California's new executive director. Sarah Rose recently joined the Audubon California team, but she's not new to Los Angeles or the conservation community.  Sarah previously served as the chief executive officer for the California League of Conservative Voters prior to coming to Audubon.  We were excited to welcome her to the Center and back to Los Angeles.

Viviana Franco (From Lot to Spot), Sarah Rose, and Marcos Trinidad
Viviana Franco (From Lot to Spot), Sarah Rose, and Marcos Trinidad

The night started with some mingling.  Community members and partners got the chance to connect and discuss their relationship with the Audubon Center at Debs Park.  All attendees were given a prompt as they arrived:  "What is your connection to Debs?".  Center Director, Marcos Trinidad opened the program by welcoming everyone to the Center and explaining his relationship to Debs Park:  "My connection to Debs started before I was born.  My parents met down the street at the bus stop on Griffin Ave."  

Cindy Montañez (TreePeople), Dan Knapp (LBCC), Sarah Rose, Sarah Rascon (MRCA)
Cindy Montañez (TreePeople), Dan Knapp (LBCC), Sarah Rose, Sarah Rascon (MRCA)

Rose discussed the importance of Debs Park to Audubon California.  The Center serves as an important window into Los Angeles and Southern California for Audubon.  Rose mentioned how vital the Audubon Center at Debs Park was in helping to pass Proposition 68, the parks and water bond on the June ballot..  Trinidad and the Center made it possible to help create a strong coalition of advocates for the Proposition.  Rose referred back to the night's prompt and asked guests to reflect with each other how they connect to the Center.  Community member Carmela Gomes noted, "As a teacher at Nightingale Middle School, I was interviewed in relation to the vision for this Center at its inception.  Students from my classes became some of the formative youth volunteers."

Sarah Rascon (MRCA), Carmela Gomes, Michael Kaddish (GRID-GLA)
Sarah Rascon (MRCA), Carmela Gomes, Michael Kaddish (GRID-GLA)

We had a blast at this event and it was a great opportunity to continue building Audubon California's mission in Los Angeles.  The night was also a great opportunity to connect our community to the greater project of bird conservation and habitat restoration nation-wide.  We were very excited that Sarah Rose had the chance to meet our community and our partners.

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Bird LA Day 2018 at Debs Park!
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Bird LA Day 2018 at Debs Park!

This past Saturday, May 12th we held our annual Bird LA Day celebration- and it was a hoot!

The word citizen was originally included in the term citizen science to distinguish amateur data collectors from professional scientists, not to describe the citizenship status of these volunteer observers. Today, however, it is important for us to recognize that the term has become limiting to our work and partnerships in some contexts.

Audubon welcomes everyone who finds delight in birds and nature. As part of Audubon’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, we have transitioned from using the term “citizen science” to the more inclusive term “community science.” No matter where a volunteer was born, or how they came to the United States, we value their contribution to our science and conservation programs. Citizenship, or the perception that a volunteer may or may not be a citizen, certainly isn’t a prerequisite to caring for birds.

Furthermore, participation in volunteer data-collection initiatives like the Audubon Christmas Bird Count and the Great Backyard Bird Count are, at their best, communal experiences that bring us together as a caring community of people who are inspired by birds and want to protect them. The term community science better reflects these social and relational realities.

Read more about Audubon's statement on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion here.

We're two banding sessions into the season, and we've already had a handful (literally) of species visit our nets (the skulkers came out to play for sure!): White-crowned Sparrows, Bewick's Wrens, Hermit Thrushes, Lincoln's Sparrows, Bushtits, Spotted Towhees, Anna's Hummingbirds, and the list is growing! 

For our bird banding study, we are not only interested in migratory and over-wintering birds, but mainly in our resident/nesting bird species. Are they simply surviving or are they thriving? What does that say about the health of Debs Park ecosystems overall? Help us answer these questions as we collect data during our banding sessions every Tue morning from 7am-11am. Please RSVP to lhill@audubon.org- space is limited!   

Parents and little ones had a blast exploring urban nature while hiking up to Peanut Lake last Saturday, Feb 24th! Join us for our next Family Hike and Arts & Crafts on Saturday, March 31st, 9:30am-11:30am!

We had a great time revamping Rattlesnake Park last Saturday, Feb 24th! Shout out to our awesome volunteers and MRCA, who helped clean graffiti off signage, weed, and mulch the park to prepare the area for the planting native plants. Join us for our next pocket park event on Sat 3/17, 9am-12pm at Steelhead Park as we continue to revitalize wildlife habitat along the LA River!

 

On February 18th, we hosted the first annual Adam's Forge Festival- it was on fire! The festival had something for everyone- food and drinks, hot steel team striking, copper fold-forming, forging demos, an “Ask a Blacksmith” booth, a kids tomahawk toss, and kids clay forging activities. It was a great turn-out and Adam's Forge was able to raise $9000 for their new building! The money raised was part of their 2018 capital funding campaign to purchase a new building as a permanent home, expand class offerings and do more community outreach.  Adam’s Forge is one of only a handful of organizations of this type in the country, and with the help of its communitywill continue to thrive. Looking forward to next year's festival! 

Check out more pictures from the festival here!

We had an epic Great Backyard Bird Count this year! On February 17th, over 30 volunteer birders helped to spot and count 41 bird species and 798 individual birds! Wowee! Did you know Debs Park is home to over 140 bird species? Let's keep countin'! Join us for Bird Walks every 2nd and 3rd Saturday of the month, 8am-9:20am.

Check out the GBBC 2018 global results here!

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