Page updated: August 29, 2016



A California Chapter of the National Audubon Society Serving the communities of Stockton, Lodi, Tracy, Manteca, Escalon, Ripon, and Lathrop--All of San Joaquin County.



Places to Visit on our Website

Chapter Officers & Board Members 

Program and Field Trip Information 

Field Checklist of the Birds of San Joaquin County

Bird Sightings in San Joaquin County

Membership Benefits-JOIN US!



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Other Web Pages to Visit


All About Birds-Cornell Online Guide to Identifying Birds

· Help with Identifying Birds

What to do with an injured or orphaned bird

Wildlife Rehab Information

Central Valley Birds Listserve

San Joaquin Birds Listserve

National Audubon Society 

Central Valley Bird Club 

California County Geographic Birding Guide 

Kern River Preserve

Artist Keith Hansen

Artist Rene C. Reyes

Go Green

If you'd like to receive the Hoot Owl electronically, you can subscribe at SJ Audubon Electronic Newsletter Subscribers

Hoot Owl September-October 2016

Hoot Owl July-August 2016

Hoot Owl Mar-June 2016

Hoot Owl March-April 2016

Hoot Owl January-February 2016

Hoot Owl November-December 2015

Hoot Owl September-October 2015

Hoot Owl July-August 2015

Hoot Owl May-June 2015

Hoot Owl March-April 2015

Hoot Owl January-February 2015

Hoot Owl November-December 2014

Hoot Owl September-October 2014

Hoot Owl July-August 2014

Hoot Owl May-June 2014

Hoot Owl March-April 2014

Hoot Owl January-February 2014

Steve Stocking Dedication at Oak Grove Regional Park

The San Joaquin Audubon Society will be dedicating a plaque in memory of Steve Stocking at Oak Grove Regional Park, 4520 W. Eight Mile Road in Stockton on Friday, September 30, 2016, at 4:00 p.m.  Steve was a botanist, environmentalist, author, and educator, and served for many years as Education Chair for the San Joaquin Audubon Society.  Along with Verna Johnson and others, Steve was instrumental in the creation of the 180-acre Oak Grove Regional Park, which preserves one of the finest remaining examples of native oak woodland in San Joaquin County.  All of Steve's friends, family, students and admirers of his dedicated service to the environment are invited to join in this celebration.

Steve Stocking

Steve Stocking Accepting an Award at the Lodi Sandhill Crane Festival. Photo by Kathy Hieb.


Central Valley Birding Symposium

20th Anniversary

 The Central Valley Bird Club will be hosting the 20th Annual Central Valley Birding Symposium Nov. 17-20, 2016, at the Stockton Hilton Hotel in Stockton, CA.  Please join us for this special 20th anniversary CVBS!  Come meet the board and staff members! Reconnect with old friends and meet new ones!  Enjoy the scrumptious Hors D’oeuvres buffet & No Host Bar on Thursday night. 

The CVBS gets off to a great start with Thursday Night's Keynote speaker, professional bird photographer Bob Steele, presenting a program on "Birding in the Central Valley Over the Past 20 Years”. 
Friday Night's keynote program is presented by Kimball Garrett on “The Central Valley’s Prominent Place in the Past and Present of California Field Ornithology “.    

Saturday Night's keynote program is presented by Ed Harper and friends on “Celebrating 20 Years of the CVBC and the CVBS."    

Workshops include: “Specimen Workshop” with Andy Engilis, “Convincing Details and Other Birding Fiction by Joe Morlan, “Challenging Shorebirds ID Workshop" by Jon Dunn, and "CVBC/CVBS Studies in Review", a series of 15-20 minute programs by Dan Airola and Ed Pandolfino. Plus, attend informative workshops by Bob Steele (Image Editing), Keith Hansen (Bird Sketching), Sal Salerno (Beginning Birding) and Jim Burcio (Carving).  

Field trips, offered Friday, Saturday and Sunday, always turn up exciting birds. Add in the entertaining and educational Bird ID Panel, the wonderful display of art and gifts at the Birder’s Market and the camaraderie of hundreds of like-minded folks, and you know you’ll have a good time! There's something for everyone interested in birds. Come and join us to bird, learn, and just have fun! 

To look over the line-up of speakers, workshops, and fieldtrips, check out our website at: 
Registration begins September 7, 2016.


eBird Mobile

The new eBird Mobile app makes it possible to collect and submit observations directly to eBird from the field.  iOS and Android users who were accustomed to entering eBird data using the BirdLog app are encouraged to switch to eBird Mobile, the new and official app for entering data to eBird.

Merlin Bird ID

In a breakthrough for computer vision and for bird watching, researchers and bird enthusiasts have enabled computers to achieve a task that stumps most humans—identifying hundreds of bird species pictured in photos. Build in concert with the exceedingly popular Merlin app, the Merlin Bird ID tool lets you upload an image of a bird that you’ve photographed, and if the photo shows one of the supported species, it returns the correct species in the top 3 results, 90% of the time. It currently supports 400 species in North America, but will eventually be expanding to more species in North America, and worldwide.  Give it a try.

borrowed from Audubon At Home

Plants for Birds and Wildlife

Planting for birds
Spicebush, photo courtesy USDA-NRCS Plants Database

Birds and wildlife have adapted to utilize native plants that provide food, cover, nesting sites or a combination of resources. Native plants provide food at different times of the year to birds in the form of seeds, fruit or as invertebrate host sites. The growth habits of native plants present recognizable, safe nesting sites and cover that protect birds from inclement weather and predation. The importance of these plants to birds, insects and other wildlife cannot be overstated.

Using native plants in your backyard landscape will offer the most resources to birds and wildlife and serve as rewarding attractants. On these pages you will find some examples of plants that are particularly valuable to specific birds and other beneficial organisms. A more comprehensive database with regional references is in the works at Audubon At Home and will be available online in the near future.

Plantings for birds in our area:

Nuttall's Woodpecker, Oak Titmouse, Yellow-rumped Warbler- California Live Oak

Wrentit, California Towhee, Spotted Towhee - California Wax Myrle

For more information about native plants please visit:

California Native Plant Society

Master Gardener's Program in San Joaquin County

Plants for Beneficial Insects

Predators. Parasitoids. Pollinators.

Welcome them into your Healthy Yard.

These are the insects, bugs and other organisms on the front line of pest control in your yard, guarding against destructive bugs and helping plants reproduce. Nature supplies these beneficial bugs of course, but you can encourage them to remain in your yard by providing them with some essential elements.

Nearly every plant in a natural environment will sustain at least some damage by pests…it is part of the natural balance. But pests don’t overpopulate a natural ecosystem due to the presence of natural enemies. In a healthy yard with its native plants and pesticide-free environment, pests will appear—and so will natural enemies.

THE INSECTS – Wild Friends, Natural Enemies

lady bug
Ladybug feeding on cottonwood leaf beetle eggs, photo by James Solomon, USDA Forest Service

Move Over, Lady - It has long been known that ladybugs (or lady beetles), especially in their larval stage, are "good bugs" with voracious appetites for aphids. Without dismissing the value of ladybugs as garden friends, there are other natural pest enemies that are much less conspicuous but even more valuable. The lowly "gnat" that flies by your ear may in fact be the tiny eulophid wasp – a full-grown one is just one-eighth inch – on her way to lay up to one hundred eggs in the pupae of tree-destroying beetles.

Predatory and parasitoid flies and wasps are key players in the biological control of insect pests. Many, in fact, are reared in laboratories and dispersed into crops, forests and neighborhoods to control exotic insect pests (i.e. elm leaf beetle). Click on the link below to learn more about the tiny denizens of your yard and other beneficial organisms.

THE PLANTS – Nectar for Natural Pest Enemies

hover fly
Syrphid (hover) Fly, photo by Carl Dennis, Auburn University

Nectar is an important dietary supplement for beneficial wasps and flies. Asters and their cousins (such as daisies and goldenrod) offer excellent resources and there are native varieties in every part of the country. Flowers that are composites - where many small symmetrical flowers occur in a central disk - are perfect for small wasps and flies such as the common predaceous hover fly (pictured left). Many of the beneficial insects are small and require a short flower structure in order to access the nectar.

These same flowering plants will attract a wide range of important pollinators such as native bees, butterflies and honeybees. When they produce seed, these plants will provide a valuable food source for birds and other wildlife in the fall and winter.

Plant a variety of plant types such as groundcover, trees, and shrubs, mimicking natural growth patterns to form complex habitat that will be home to a greater variety of beneficial insects.

THE INSECTS – Information and pictures of the lesser-known but effective natural enemies that occupy your backyard.

PLANTS TO ATTRACT BENEFICIAL INSECTS – Your guide to some stellar examples of the useful plants that will attract a variety of beneficial insects. Look for examples of similar native flowers occurring in your region.






Joe-pye Weed


For more information about beneficial insects please visit:

Xerxes Society

Beneficial Insects in Your Garden


If you’re interested in finding out what rare and unusual birds are being seen in California (or anywhere in the US, for that matter), you should check out Sialia, aka The Birding Lists Digest.  Sialia ( was created to help birders find out "what's going on lately" in various regions of the U.S. with a minimum of hassle. The Digest automatically compiles all posts to dozens of birding email lists and organizes them by region, by day, and by list. Birders can view the current day's messages, or browse messages from the last 30 days. This system allows birders to find information about rare bird sightings and other goings-on around the country in a timely and efficient manner.  Check it out!


June 1, 2016 – August 14, 2016
(All sightings pertain to San Joaquin County)
Submitted by Liz West

Jim Rowoth heard several out of season Black Rails at White Slough June 2nd.

During the first week of June a probable Gray Catbird visited Dr. Panisi’s birdbath on Mettler Rd., several times.

On June 14th through 16th, David Yee saw an Allen’s Hummingbird at his feeders.    

Terry Ronneberg saw an adult male Common Goldeneye, June16th at the Tracy Sewage ponds. David Yee, on his June 19th visit had the adult male plus a young male Goldeneye, which have been present since late April.                                                                 

Terry Ronneberg saw a Cassin’s Kingbird feeding a juvenile on Bird Road, July 10th. When he returned July 13th the adult was still present.

While driving on Hwy 4 west of Stockton, July 10th, David Yee saw 1200 to 1400 Swainson’s Hawks in flooded alfalfa fields. They were in three large flocks of varying ages except for juveniles.

David Yee found an adult Semi-palmated Sandpiper, July 13th at the Ripon Sewage Ponds.

Sal Salerno reported Lawrence’s Goldfinches near the entrance of Caswell State Park,
August 4th. John Harris located three near the ranger residence August 6th. They continued through at least August 12th.

Dan Williams found an American Redstart on the south bank of Littlejohns Creek just west of Austin Road August 6th. It was searched for the next day but not found.


San Joaquin Audubon Society
PO Box 7755, Stockton, California 95267

For more information contact:
San Joaquin Audubon Society President: Dale Smith,

Send website comments or questions to:

Kasey Foley:




For San Joaquin Audubon Field Trips visit our Field Trips Page.




 Membership in the National Audubon Society includes:


San Joaquin Audubon's Hoot Owl newsletter 6 times per year.

AUDUBON magazine.

Monthly field trips led by San Joaquin Audubon members.

General Membership meetings from September-December and February-April.  We often have local experts presenting topics such as Beginning Birding, Gardening for birds and butterflies, Raptor Rehabilitation, Sandhill Cranes-our local winter wonders, Swainson's Hawk conservation, Slide presentations on trips to Mexico, Galapagos, Honduras, Florida,and much, much more.

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Join Audubon!
Join today for only $20 -- 43% off the basic rate -- and receive 6 issues of the beautiful, award-winning AUDUBON magazine, membership in your local chapter, plus many other membership benefits. 

To sign up today please click hereĽ Audubon Membership