On February 20, 2016, during San Luis Obispo County Coastal Discovery & Stewardship Month, the 2nd Annual Avila Beach Bird Sanctuary Day begins at 10am from the Avila Beach Community Center located at 191 San Miguel Street, Avila Beach.
This event celebrates Avila Beach’s designation as an official California Bird Sanctuary town and helps provide stewardship for coastal bird populations through education, appreciation, and contribution opportunities for Stewardship Travelers. Visitors and local residents will learn about the fascinating ecology and complex environment of Avila Beach’s diverse bird sanctuary populations from knowledgeable birders and wildlife specialists. The event is for all ages and participation is free of charge. Any donations received will benefit the Avila Beach Bird Sanctuary and Avila Beach Community Foundation.
Shirley Goetz directs the 2nd Annual Avila Beach Bird Sanctuary Day. In 2013, Goetz, a well-known regional birder, founded the Avila Beach Bird Sanctuary designation project for the County of San Luis Obispo and is instrumental in its continuing success.
The 2nd Annual Avila Beach Bird Sanctuary Day begins at the Avila Beach Community Center, where from 10am to 11am, participants will engage in a brief lesson on the sanctuary’s history and a regional birding overview along with a live Pacific Wildlife Care and Willow Tree Wildlife bird exhibit. Participants will receive helpful information about the environment and its impact on bird populations. Other honored guests include Chairman Mona Olivas-Tucker of Yaktit’utit’u (the Northern Chumash Tribe), as well as, film producer Judy Irving of the movie Pelican Dreams and the star celebrity of the movie, the rescued Brown Pelican “Morro” will be in attendance. (See movie trailer: http://vimeo.com/102655510).
During the exhibit, representatives from Pacific Wildlife Care and Willow tree Wildlife will introduce the audience to live and rescued birds and share the bird’s personal stories and natural history. Pacific Wildlife and Willow Tree Wildlife rescues, rehabilitates, and releases injured or orphaned wildlife successfully throughout San Luis Obispo County each year. Some of the resident bird populations that visitors are likely to see during the day include: Great Blue Herons, California Gulls, Snowy and Common Egrets, Cormorants. The special migratory bird sightings may include: Brant Geese, Loons (Common, Red-throated, & Pacific), Grebes (Western, Eared, Horned, & Clarks), Surf Scoters, Common Murres, and Northern Shovelers and more.
Finishing up the day, participants can explore the beach with a Stewardship Clean Up Kit. Cleanup kits contain a collection bag, gloves, and a Marine Debris checklist. After the stewardship outing, participants will return their checklists to receive an Avila Beach Appreciation Stewardship Tote Bag (one complimentary tote per checklist). The checklist information may be used to help determine trends and sources of specific debris for future marine protection.