Golden Gate Audubon Society First Friday Birdwalk, March 3, 2017 Tilden Nature Area

Alan Kaplan

Tilden Nature Area--Jewel Lake, Contra Costa, California, US
Mar 3, 2017 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM


Golden Gate Audubon Society First Friday Bird Walk, March 3, 2017 to Jewel Lake and Back.

Today's topic was "Nice to Sparrows: Margaret Morse Nice, 1883-1974."
Margaret Morse Nice was the first female president of a major American ornithological society, the Wilson Ornithological Club (now Society), which since 1997 has awarded the Margaret Morse Nice Medal for "a lifetime of contributions to ornithology." In 1942, the American Ornithological Union (now Society) awarded her the Brewster Medal for her studies on the Song Sparrow.

Niko Tinbergen wrote, on her 70th birthday, "Through your works you have become known to ornithologists throughout the entire world as the one who laid the foundation for the population studies now so zealously persecuted." Ernst Mayr wrote, after she died, "I have always felt that she, almost single-handedly, initiated a new era in American ornithology and the only effective countermovement against the list chasing movement. She early recognized the importance of a study of bird individuals because this is the only method to get reliable life history data. She was one of the first people in this country to analyze a local deme."

In her autobiography, Research is a Passion For Me, Margaret Morse Nice wrote, “I feel that the study of ornithology is a wonderful game in which strong sympathy and fellowship reign between the serious participants: we are friends and glad to help one another.” 

Dover Publications has reprinted her two volumes of Studies in the Life History of the Song Sparrow,  and there is a nice sample of her work in The Watcher at The Nest.
Michael Elsohn Ross’s Bird Watching with Margaret Morse Nice is an excellent book for both young (its audience) and old.

Today's Bird of the Day was Orange-crowned Warbler, of which there were many singing males.

Here are the 35 species seen by our MoB (many observers) of 44:

Wild Turkey 
Turkey Vulture      makes it official!
Red-shouldered Hawk  
Red-tailed Hawk 
Band-tailed Pigeon  
Anna's Hummingbird 
Allen's Hummingbird  
Northern Flicker  
Black Phoebe  
Hutton's Vireo  
Steller's Jay 
California Scrub-Jay  
Common Raven  
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  
Oak Titmouse  
Red-breasted Nuthatch 
Brown Creeper  
Bewick's Wren 
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  
Hermit Thrush 
American Robin  
Orange-crowned Warbler  
Yellow-rumped Warbler       Audubon-type
Townsend's Warbler  
Fox Sparrow 
Dark-eyed Junco  
Song Sparrow  
California Towhee  
Spotted Towhee  
Purple Finch 
Lesser Goldfinch      fide Nareg

Best of Boids!

Alan Kaplan

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Alan Kaplan

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