Museum Construction Update
Ann Klovstad and I are now in our temporary office in the museum's new wing, where we will remain until the renovation of the old building is completed, several months from now. Amid the chaos of moving the department and collection, I have some important good news to impart. The museum's board of trustees has approved the expenditure of the funds needed to buy new cases for the bird collection, all-metal cases designed to fit on the compactor tracks and protect the irreplaceable specimens far better than the old ones with their wooden framework and decaying gaskets. This represents a major investment--$302,000--without the aid of an outside grant. Please join me in expressing gratitude to the trustees for their generosity and foresight, and please keep it in mind when you get the museum's fund-raising appeal.
Our Spring WingDing in Mission Bay was another fun event and great opportunity for socializing with bird atlas friends. After a morning of birding, about 130 atlasers enjoyed an informal breakfast buffet, followed by Robert Patton's delightful program on the nesting birds of San Diego Bay. Thanks to Sandy Atseff and staff at Marina Village Conference Center and Ranch Catering, to the Road Crew (Barbara Anderson, Kathy Estey, Cheryl Mann and Joan Roberts) for their able assistance, to Janet Chenier of the museum's store for the gift certificates, Fred Belinsky and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation once again for the truly wonderful and coveted bird atlas hats, and a special thanks to Robert Patton for his terrific presentation.
Our upcoming Fall WingDing is already planned for Saturday, 6 October 2001. Barbara Moore, of the Chula Vista Nature Center, has graciously and enthusiastically invited us back to her facility for this afternoon event. As you recall, we held one of our early WingDings there in the fall of 1998, and for those of you who have not been out there recently, you are in for a pleasant surprise. They have expanded their raptor enclosure area, and their new shorebird exhibit is full of birds. But our attention will primarily be focused on their one-of-a-kind Clapper Rail exhibit, where the first captive-breeding program is now in progress. Their two pairs of the endangered Light-footed Clapper Rail have already laid 16 eggs! We'll hear the inside story on this effort from Richard Zembal of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Charles Gailband, curator of birds at the center. Bring your binoculars for some great birding on the refuge, and a good appetite for a delicious buffet. This event will mark the end of our final breeding season, with plenty of awards, and there will be lots of strategizing for our final winter season. Mark your calendars now! Don't miss it!
Coming Up at the Museum
Southeast Arizona's Birding Hot Spots with Claude Edwards and Mike Klein. Field trip to the rich and varied habitats of southeast Arizona in search of birds and butterflies. Saturday, August 4, 8 AM to Thursday August 9, 6 PM. Price includes van transportation from San Diego, motel accommodations and park admission fees; meals not included. Museum members only, $575.
One Good Tern Deserves Another Look with Claude Edwards. Field trip to areas in San Diego where several species of terns are known to congregate and forage. Saturday, August 11, 8 AM to 1 PM. Price includes van transportation from San Diego. Museum members $59, nonmembers $69.
Birds of Baja California with Kimball Garrett and Baja Discovery Staff. Overland expedition down the Baja California peninsula in search of over 150 species of familiar and exotic birds. Saturday, October 20 to Saturday, October 27. Price includes air and van transportation between San Diego and San Jose del Cabo, hotel accommodations, ground transportation and transfers, and 12 meals. Museum members $1795, nonmembers $1895; deposit $300.
Birding in Costa Rica with Phil Unitt and Leonardo Chaves. Expedition to one of the most biologically rich and diverse countries in the world. Wednesday, November 14 to Sunday, November 25. Museum members only, $2695; deposit $500.