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Annual Audubon event features dinner, bird talk

November 27, 2013

The Sierra is reflected in one of the still, shallow ponds on the Owens Lake, where migrating birds made a critical pit stop this past September. Photo by Jon Klusmire

Eastern Sierra Audubon Society is presenting the opportunity next week to enjoy an intimate candlelight dinner with 30 or so fellow residents while hearing one of the foremost local birding authorities discuss the Owens Lake.
Anyone with an interest in birds and birding is invited to the group’s annual potluck candlelight dinner and program, set to begin at 6 p.m. at the White Mountain Research Station, 3000 E. Line St., Bishop.
Each participant should bring a dish (entrée, salad or dessert to serve at least six people) and contribute juice, soft drinks, wine or beer to the beverage table. Please bring your own place setting.
Dinner will be followed by a program at 7 p.m. with guest speaker Michael Prather presenting “Owens Lake and Owens River Important Bird Areas.”
According to the Eastern Sierra Audubon chapter, the Owens Lake and Owens River are not only considered Audubon Important Bird Areas – areas recognized as being globally important for bird populations – but are two of the largest IBAs in California.
The Owens River provides riparian and open water habitat for songbirds, waterfowl and marsh species while Owens Lake has many square miles of shorebird habitat, a press release explains. “Audubon members help monitor both of these areas and collect bird data that helps in supporting proper management and protection,” the press release states.
The chapter also leads field trips along the Owens River and around Owens Lake. The population of migrating birds to these two places has exploded, according to Eastern Sierra Audubon, which noted that in April of this year, birders recorded 115,000 birds at Owens Lake in one day.
Prather, a resident of Lone Pine and birding authority, has been teaching about Owens Lake and organizing Owens Lake Big Days for many years. “He has participated in the Owens Lakebed Planning process, giving important input about the habitat potential in this returning wildlife heritage site,” the press release states.

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