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Birds | The Mono-logue - Part 2

‘Birds’ Category

Holiday shopping: New and exciting books

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 by Andrew, Project Specialist
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holidaybanner2016

It’s always fun to browse the book selection here at the Mono Lake Committee’s Information Center & Bookstore whether you’re looking for a new field guide or a book of poetry, our diverse selection has something for everyone. Here are some of our favorite reads published in 2016 that are featured in the 2016 Fall Catalog.

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Celebrate the National Park Service centennial with two great books about our National Parks. First, Committee member and wilderness advocate Terry Tempest Williams takes you through America’s greatest treasures in The Hour of Land. She beautifully reflects on her time at 12 different (more…)

Resource damage below Tioga Lodge: Observations and photographs

Friday, November 18th, 2016 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide
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In early November I ventured down to the shoreline of Mono Lake below the Tioga Lodge to use my former-biologist eyes to assess the damage done to State Park land and Post Office Creek.

In late October a heavy excavator tore up State Park land along the shore of Mono Lake below Tioga Lodge and Highway 395. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

In late October a heavy excavator tore up State Park land along the shore of Mono Lake below Tioga Lodge and Highway 395. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

It was interesting to contrast the damage caused by the Marina Fire with the damage caused by heavy machinery; I’m sure the combination of the two events is even more detrimental. While I made observations and took photographs, I was especially concerned by two things—the bird habitat adjacent to the excavation and the wide swath of flood water rushing down from what used to be a creek channel that now spreads the water across the landscape haphazardly on it’s way to Mono Lake. (more…)

The 2016 Mono Lake guided bird walk season

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016 by Sandra, Birding Intern
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Hard to fathom that season of guided bird walks has come to an end. Erv and I led our last County Park bird walk yesterday and State Park ranger Dave Marquart led his last on Sunday. It seems we just arrived to serve our third summer as Mono Lake Committee Birding Interns!

An adult Osprey perches watchfully atop a tufa tower near its nest . Photo by Sandra Noll.

An adult Osprey perches atop a tufa tower near its nest . Photo by Sandra Noll.

It has been a great season of birds from “locals” and early spring migrants through the nesting season to, most recently, early fall migrants. These include large numbers of Eared Grebes and phalaropes beginning to stage on Mono Lake where they molt and gain weight for the final legs of their migrations to wintering areas further south. Mono Lake’s status as an internationally important bird area is especially apparent this time of year.

It has been a delight and privilege to introduce visitors from the US and around the world to this beautiful, bountiful place and the work of the Mono Lake Committee to protect, restore, and educate. And it is my pleasure to leave you with a few highlights!

(more…)

Guiding you to the past at Mono Lake

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide
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The season is winding down, birds are heading south to their wintering grounds, and fall is just around the corner. Our next two months of guided trips will focus on catching up with those birds before they disappear and also turning our attention to the ghosts that never leave: the historic places and buildings that tell almost invisible tales of the Mono Basin that existed many years ago. Come explore the shores of Mono Lake with us and refocus your eyes towards the past to imagine what life here was like long before we were born.

The Bodie Jail, photo by Nora Livingston.

The Bodie jail. Photo by Nora Livingston.

Here’s a look at our guided trips in September: (more…)

Refreshing ‘Ologists: California Spotted Owls and fire

Sunday, September 4th, 2016 by Grace, Mono Lake Intern
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The Refreshing ‘Ologist series continues this Wednesday, September 7 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery.

A Spotted Owl in a redwood forest. Photo courtesy of Michel Nichols/National Geographic Creative.

A Spotted Owl in a redwood forest. Photo courtesy of Michel Nichols/National Geographic Creative.

Join us to to learn how fire affects California Spotted Owl habitat. Fire has long been a part of the Sierra Nevada forests, but many years of fire suppression have lead to an increase in stand-replacing fires. Yosemite National Park biologist Stephanie Eyes will discuss how these high-intensity fires affect California Spotted Owl habitat use, and are a potential cause of habitat loss. Stephanie used radio telemetry to monitor California Spotted Owls and determine if their foraging patterns showed preference different levels of burned forest.

Celebrate bird migration with a Mono Lake guided trip

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide
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Have you ever seen a flock of shorebirds dancing in air over a glassy reflective lake? It’s a must-see, even if you aren’t a birder. The birds swirl around each other with seemingly no leader but they’re always in sync, making tight turns and flashing their white bellies in unison. Their whir of wings is calming, a near-silent chorus of feathers.

Wilson's Phalaropes flock over Mono Lake in large numbers. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Wilson’s Phalaropes flock over Mono Lake in large numbers. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Late August is the best time to be in the Mono Basin to see large numbers of shorebirds like sandpipers, curlews, and plovers. We’ve designed a few guided trips to get out and scour the shores (more…)

Canoe Mono Lake before the season ends

Thursday, August 11th, 2016 by Matt, Mono Lake Intern
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Enjoy a peaceful morning float on Mono Lake with a guided canoe tour. Photo by Erv Nichols.

Enjoy a peaceful morning float on Mono Lake with a guided canoe tour. Photo by Erv Nichols.

Have you ever wanted to learn more about Mono Lake from the water? Why not join one of our famous canoe tours? Canoe tours have been an exciting part of the Mono Lake Committee since the beginning. One of our founders, David Gaines, used to take visitors out in his canoe in order to show off the wonders of Mono Lake up close and it is a tradition that is still very popular to this day.

Join our seasoned guides as we wind our way through (more…)

Guided Trips in August: Volcanoes, natural history, birding, and more

Thursday, July 28th, 2016 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide
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A Sierra wave sunset over Mono City. Photo by Nora Livingston.

A Sierra wave sunset over Mono City. Photo by Nora Livingston.

It’s getting to be that time of summer when thunderstorms roll through in the afternoon and the clouds make for some lovely sunsets. It’s a great time to visit the Mono Basin! Spend your morning doing something fun (like a guided trip!) and spend your afternoons watching the storms sweep through from the window of a coffee shop or the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore, then watch the tumultuous sky turn peach and gold and charcoal.

We have some fun guided trips for you to join in on, coming up in the next three weeks: (more…)

Refreshing ‘Ologists: Peregrines return to Yosemite National Park

Sunday, July 24th, 2016 by Grace, Mono Lake Intern
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A Perigrine Falcon eyrie. Photo courtesy of the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

A Peregrine Falcon eyrie. Photo courtesy of the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

The Refreshing ‘Ologist series continues this Wednesday, July 27 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee Gallery.

Ever wonder why certain climbing routes in Yosemite National Park close in summer for nesting birds? Come learn about the amazing recovery the American Peregrine Falcon has made in Yosemite National Park with Crystal Barnes, Yosemite’s raptor monitor. Crystal will discuss what lead to the falcon’s population decline and how ongoing monitoring projects paired with improved management practices have lead to the peregrine’s removal from California’s endangered species list and its current success in Yosemite. See you on Wednesday!

Comment-writing workshop on Wednesday for the Inyo National Forest draft forest management plan

Friday, July 22nd, 2016 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Since 2013 the Inyo National Forest has been working on a draft forest plan, as part of a process to update the 28-year-old forest plan that has been in effect since 1988. The updated, draft Forest Management Plan was released in late May, initiating a public comment period, which closes August 25, 2016.

Make your voice heard for Mono Lake and the Inyo National Forest. Photo by Nora Livingston.

Make your voice heard for Mono Lake and the Inyo National Forest. Photo by Nora Livingston.

We invite you to join us for a comment-letter-writing evening, this coming Wednesday, July 27 at 6:00pm, location TBD (in the Lee Vining/Mono City area) at the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore. We will provide you with all the information and tools you need to write a comment letter to the Forest Service that will help improve the future of the Inyo National Forest. We’ll also provide food and refreshments!

Throughout this process the Mono Lake Committee has been (more…)

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