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Kern Audubon Society News
Chapter, National and Birding News
The Swallow-tailed Kite is unmistakable in flight, with its long, pointed wings, deeply forked tail, and contrasting black-and-white plumage. This largest of American kites is a graceful, buoyant flier, so lightweight and maneuverable that it can capture a dragonfly mid-air.
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird weighs less than a nickel, and like all hummingbird species including the Calliope and Rufous, it is a master of flight. Beating its wings 60 to 80 times a second, this tiny sprite creates a blur of motion and a whirring, insect-like sound.
The Common Loon is the most widespread of the five loon species found in North America. A formidable swimmer and diver like the King Penguin or Red-breasted Merganser, this handsome waterbird is a veritable avian submarine, beautifully adapted to a life in and on the water.
One of North America’s smallest songbirds, the Ruby-crowned Kinglet is tinier than a Black-capped Chickadee and only a bit larger than a Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Unremarkable at first glance, this diminutive bird is a drab olive-green and gray, with a white eye ring and wing bars.
A male Indigo Bunting in breeding plumage is a glorious symphony of shimmering blues, turquoises, and purples. But these beautiful colors are illusory: The male Indigo Bunting owes its glorious appearance to an optical trick — the diffraction of light through its feathers.
The eye-catching Acorn Woodpecker’s head is boldly patterned in black, white, and red, punctuated with wild-looking white eyes that give it a clownish look. It’s a medium-sized bird, bigger than a Downy Woodpecker and a bit smaller than its close, but more easterly, relative the Red-headed Woodpecker.
The program on the current status of the California Condor, prepared by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is a great resource, giving you the latest information via data, history and maps.
Early naturalists called the Great Horned Owl the “winged tiger” or “tiger of the air” because of its ferocity and hunting skills. This big owl (the second heaviest in North America after the Snowy Owl) is also called the “hoot owl” after its deep, booming call, which sounds like: “Who’s a-wake? Me too!”
A chattering, rattling call along the river or lakeside announces the presence of a Belted Kingfisher. Often heard before seen, this dagger-billed, shaggy-crested bird is usually spotted next to a river or lake, or hovering over the water before plunging headfirst to snag a fish.
With flashing black-and-white wings and a bright red crest, when a crow-sized Pileated Woodpecker swoops by, even the most experienced birders stop in their tracks. This is the largest of North American woodpeckers. In the United States, only the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, likely extinct, was bigger.
‘End of the Year’ Event Update June has traditionally been our ‘end of the year’ get-together for members. A time to celebrate our successes for the past year and to renew acquaintances. We have held a picnic at a local park. However, the current health crisis has caused us to cancel the annual June picnic.…
Endangered California condor chick has successfully fledged from a cliff-side nest near the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge in Ventura County, California.
We hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe. In these challenging and uncertain times, we’re reaching out to let you know that we are thinking of you. The health and well-being of our supporters and members is of utmost importance to all of us here at the Kern Audubon Society.