Have you made your reservation for the final WingDing? The invitations have been mailed and we are already taking reservations from bird atlas participants, friends and supporters. This is one WingDing you do not want to miss, so please contact us NOW!
We'll celebrate in the new wing of the San Diego Natural History Museum on the evening of Saturday April 6th. We have a wonderful program planned, beginning with a slide presentation by Phil Pryde on "The Art of Hummingbirds: Martin Johnson Heade and the Gems of Brazil." The Charmaine and Maurice Kaplan Theater will be the perfect venue for this artistic presentation.
We'll also look at the results of our final winter season, with an overview of the past five years and recognition of participants' accomplishments. Plus a few surprises….
After the program we will move into the atrium for a WingDing of a different feather. This time we'll trade in our forms, maps, and target lists for a band, some great food, and a no-host bar. That's right -- it's time to PARTY!!! So, leave the hiking boots and binoculars at home, put on your dancing shoes and join us in celebrating the end of the bird atlas project!
Put Saturday April 6th on your calendar! Please either phone or send an email as soon as possible -- the theater can accommodate 300 people, and you do not want to miss this special program. We hope to see you there!
Thanks and Kudos to Museum staff
Thursday February 28th marked not only the final day of bird atlas field work but also Phil Unitt's birthday. This delightful combination of events was celebrated appropriately at the San Diego Natural History Museum's monthly staff meeting. The beautifully decorated cake (kudos to Debbie Walden) featured a map of the county, superimposed with our grid system (!) and the words "Five Years of Feathered Success!" Congratulations, Phil, and thanks to the museum staff who helped plan the party.
Over the past five years, many museum staff members have contributed their time and considerable talents to the bird atlas project and have provided much appreciated support to our effort.
Since July 1997, the project has been fully funded by outside grants and contracts. For the first few years, we gratefully acknowledge the help of Katie Boskoff in securing this funding. More recently, the museum's grant writer Elizabeth Castillo has been working enthusiastically to secure operating funds for the final year and to fund the publication of the atlas. We are deeply grateful to both Katie and Elizabeth for their faith in our project.
We must also thank Dale Clark for the vision of the museum's website, which has become essential to our communication with our participants and supporters. The website will continue to play a key role as we move to soliciting your comments on species accounts. Thank you, Debbie Walden and Dale, for your continued support.
We thank our network administrator Gabriel Virissimo and computer analyst Bridget Milliken -- the sophistication of the museum's computer system is essential to our building and working effectively with databases of nearly 400,000 records. Both Gabe and Bridget have been extremely supportive and responsive to our needs.
At the beginning of the project, we were fortunate to have the talent of Nancy Owens-Renner who created the striking design for our quarterly newsletter, Wrenderings. Shar Huston and Erik Bolton in our graphics department have continued Nancy's tradition of excellence. Our quarterly newsletter Wrenderings, in both print and on the website, has been an essential vehicle for communication with our participants and supporters.
The Mammals of San Diego County
In the Fall 2001 issue of Wrenderings, we announced a new review of the mammals of San Diego County. Please become a participant in this mammal atlasing project by printing out and using this reporting form to note all mammals that you observe in the county.
Thank you for your help,
If you have any data for the atlas still hanging around, please send them to us now! If you have any data from other field trips or outings over the past five years (with specific location and date), we can incorporate them into our grid system as well. All of your observations are still useful, even though the square may have cleared its threshold already. Our databases are approaching 400,000 records, but each record is important in our five-year snapshot of the birds of San Diego County. We are always eager to receive any data from you for both the breeding and winter seasons. But as each day passes and more species accounts are completed, we'll be less and less able to go back and revise to accommodate late results. So send us those data now!
Of equal importance are your daily field maps plotted with precise locations for rare and sensitive species. These locations will be an important component in the electronic version of our published atlas. We may be contacting you for assistance in ensuring our data and maps are as accurate as possible.
Coming Up at the Museum
A Field Guide to the Birds of Peru, presentation and book signing by James Clements. Join Dr. Clements in an introduction to some of Peru's almost 1800 species of birds. Dr. Clements' research in this hotbed of bird diversity has taken him to Peru 19 times and has culminated in the publication of his beautifully illustrated new book. Wednesday, April 24, 2002; 7-9 p.m. Museum members $6; nonmembers $8.For more information, to register, or to become a museum member, please call 619-232-3821 ext. 203, or check out the museum's website at www.sdnhm.org.