WESTERN BIRD BANDING ASSOCIATION ANNUAL MEETING
BEAR DIVIDE, CALIFORNIA - MAY 6 - 9, 2023
Join us at the Western Bird Banding Association Annual Meeting in the Los Angeles area! This meeting will be held at the Placerita Canyon Nature Center.
Early May is peak spring migration in the greater Santa Clarita area, especially in the Bear Divide. The Bear Divide is a new locale in Southern California to witness dawn migration flights. Over 10,000 birds have been documented in a single morning flying through this pass and over 140 species have been observed in the last three years. While watching birds quickly zipping by in flight can be a challenge, it is such a spectacle to witness. In addition, the area is especially suited for birders with disabilities; all birds can be observed standing or sitting in a single area. Some expected species include west coast warblers such as Wilson’s, MacGillivray’s, Yellow, Townsend’s, Hermit, Nashville, Orange-crowned, Yellow-rumped, Black-throated Gray, and the occasional Common Yellowthroat. Aside from warblers, multiple Los Angeles summer resident species are returning to the area, including Ash-throated Flycatchers, Lazuli Buntings, Black-headed Grosbeaks, and Hooded Orioles. Other migrants that can easily be observed are Western Tanagers, Warbling Vireos, Cassin's Vireos, Phainopeplas, and Swainson’s Thrush. And we have not even touched on the chaparral and Southern California endemics yet! In the area, possible resident birds include California Towhee, California Quail, California Thrasher, Mountain Quail, Wrentit, and California Scrub-Jay. Lastly, see up to six hummingbird species in the area including Anna’s, Allen’s, Rufous, Costa’s, Black-Chinned, and the smallest bird in the United States, the Calliope Hummingbird. You do not want to miss this meeting!
We will have active workshops featuring the latest and greatest gear and techniques in field ornithology and banding. A new Motus tower was recently installed in the Bear Divide area! Some potential topics will include Motus tag deployment and set-up, molt techniques, and feather analysis. There will also be a visit to the recently established Bear Divide Banding Station.
Also featured is a full schedule of keynote speakers and scientific talks given by ornithologists, ecologists, students, and banders on current topics and innovations. Special awards will be given for student presentations. We will also be holding our regular auction. Nature related item donations are accepted.
Registration form, including costs can be found here.
Call for Papers
We invite abstract submissions for oral presentations, workshops, and posters. While bandings birds constitutes much of what we do, the WBBA and its members encompass much more within ornithology, and every year we showcase this fact at our annual meeting. Click here for the abstract submission information.
There are many hotels, Airbnbs, bed & breakfasts to choose from for accommodation. Campsites can be sparce in the area. We advise attendees to make reservations as early as possible.
Hotels and Motels
Santa Clarita, Newhall, and Valencia accommodations. There are many hotels and motels in the area starting at $80 per room double occupancy, and up, with many at about $120 and up. While there can be cheaper options in the greater Los Angeles area, we recommend to stay North of the San Fernando Valley. Traffic can heavily fluctuate in the morning.
VRBO and Air BnB
Their websites have some rentals that can accommodate several people at comparable rates to motels and hotels.
Campsites in the area can be sparse and most are privately owned. The nearest established campsite operated by a government agency is more than a 40 minute drive to the Placerita Nature Center and in open chaparral area, however below are a couple other private RV/camp parks.
Santa Clarita—River’s End RV Park 13130 Soledad Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91390 Phone: (661) 888-4272
Closest campsite to the Meeting venue and Bear Divide. Approximately 15 minutes. Includes multiple camping site and RV sites.
Soledad Canyon— 7601 Soledad Canyon Rd, Acton, CA 93510 Phone: (661) 268-1214
Approximately 25 minutes. Includes hundreds of camping sites and RV sites.
Angeles Forest—While established campsites operated by the Angeles Forest are over an hour away from the meeting venue, dispersed company is allowed in the area that can be explored.
Tentative Schedule for WBBA Annual Meeting
Los Angeles, California
May 6-9, 2022
PDF SCHEDULE including directions 5/4/23 9pm
For questions during the meeting text:
Dani 609-892-0445 or Tania 213-422-9702
Day 1 May 6th (Saturday) – Location TBD
For the early arrivals:
7:00am-10:00am: Zuma Canyon Banding Station or Bear Divide Banding Station
Official Program :
1:00-3:00 pm WBBA Board Meeting (board members only)
3:00-6:00 pm Arrival and registration at Tomato Joe’s in Santa Clarita
6:00-8:00pm Dinner at Tomato Joe's, Santa Clarita
Day 2 May 7th (Sunday) – Bear Divide and Placerita Canyon Nature Center
6:30am-9:30am: Bear Divide Banding Station and Point Counts
- or - bird watching at Placerita Nature Canyon
10:15am - 12:00pm: Scientific Talks
12:00pm - 1:30pm: Lunch at Placerita Canyon
1:30pm - 3:00pm: Motus Workshop by Southern Sierra Research Station
3:00pm - 4:45pm: Scientific Talks
5:00pm - 6:00pm: Dinner at Placerita Canyon Nature Center
6:05pm - 7:00pm: Keynote Speaker - Dr. Ryan Terrill: An overview of bird migration at Bear Divide
7:00pm - 7:30pm: Closing remarks and exit from Placerita Nature Center
7:30pm - 9:00pm: Social gathering at Brewery Draconum in Santa Clarita (all ages welcome)
Day 3 May 8th (Monday) - Oak Springs and Placerita Canyon Nature Center
Silent Auction runs through the day
7:00am - 9:00am: Oak Springs Banding Station and Bird Walk
10:30am - 12:00pm: Scientific Talks/Workshop
12:00am - 1:30pm: Lunch at Placerita Canyon
1:30pm - 3:30pm: Scientific Talks
3:45pm - 5:00pm: Pyle 2 Molt Workshop with Dani Kaschube (Bring your book if you have one)
5:00pm - 6:00pm: Dinner and silent auction ends
6:05pm – 7:00pm: Keynote Speaker - Chris Spurgeon: Pasadena Audubon Society, We Motus, and you can too!
7:00pm - 7:30pm: Closing remarks, auction item pickup, and exit from Placerita Nature Center
7:30pm - 9:00pm: Social gathering at at Lucky Luke Santa Clarita Taproom
Day 4 May 9th (Tuesday)– Field Day
Click here to sign up for field trips.
7:00am-11:00am: Bear Divide Banding Station lead by Lauren Hill
If you missed the Bird Divide Banding Station visit on Sunday, or would like to visit us again, join us at the Bear Divide Banding Station, observe banding demos and up-close, in-hand views of western avian migrants. Or just hang out to bird the area and witness the phenomenon of morning flight through the migration spectacle of thousands of spring migrants passing overhead through the divide. You will need to park east of the white gate (public vehicle access currently prohibited due to road closures from mudslide damage and active roadwork) on either side of the road and walk west toward the dirt lot where the banding station is located. Carpooling is strongly recommended.
7:00am-11:00am: Santa Clarita River bird walk by Pasedena Audubon.
Join local bird guide, wildlife biologist and President of Pasadena Audubon Society Luke Tiller for a morning walk along San Francisquito Canyon in the heart of suburban Santa Clarita. We will keep our eye open for a mixture of chapparal birds and some of the specialist riparian birds that use this tributary of the Santa Clara River both as breeding birds and migrants including Yellow Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Blue Grosbeak and “Least” Bell’s Vireo. The walk will be easy paced and over flat ground with much of the trail being paved. Once you're signed up, Luke will send an exact meet-up location for this general area.
12:00pm-1:30pm: Moore Lab of Zoology at Occidental College Avian Specimen Collection Tour
Join Moore Lab of Zoology at Occidental College staff for a tour of their 64,000+ avian specimen collection. The vast majority of their collection (60,000 specimens) is whole bird study skins. With 50,000 of these from Mexico, they are the largest Mexican bird collection in the world. They also have over 6,000 birds from Ecuador and sizeable holdings from Honduras (2,200), Guatemala (1,200) and Costa Rica (1,200). The tour will be led by lead research technician of the lab's 3D modeling project (oBird), Russel Campbell and research curatorial assistant, Alana Pizzaro. Please note that these tours are standing, but if anyone is in need of seating/other accommodations, MLZ staff are happy to coordinate. Check out the Lab's website, Instagram, and Twitter for more info. Click here for a link to MLZ's exact location on Google Maps.
For more information and to get on the meeting's mailing list, contact Danielle Kaschube at email@example.com