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Upcoming Eastern Sierra Audubon Programs

When: Normally on the FIRST Wednesdays (unless otherwise noted) of October, December, February, and April; 7:00 PM (see Events Calendar) and sometimes additional months.
Where: Venues vary - in the past we've held programs at the White Mountain Research Center, Owens Valley Station (4 mi. East of Bishop on East Line St., see Map, or the USFS/BLM Office Meeting Room in Bishop (see Map) - See program details for information and updates.

Evening programs will be preceded by (1) announcements of interest to the membership, and (2) sharing of recent bird sightings and other news on the local natural history scene. Check back here or local news media for possible changes. Everyone is welcome to attend!


October Program, Thursday, October 16, 6:30pm:
Trick or treat… it’s Bats… Eeeek!

Join us at 6:30pm (note the earlier time!) on Thursday, October 16th at the at the BLM/Forest Service Office in Bishop (by the DMV) for this special event with wildlife biologist, Leila Harris. Note that this program is on a Thursday night rather than our usual Wednesday, and begins a half an hour earlier than our usual programs. This is a special event, which includes an outdoor component after the program, for those who would like to go outside at night and see Leila's equipment in action, and maybe even be lucky enough to see bats, or other nocturnal critters!

Doors will open to the public at 6:00pm; presentation will begin at 6:30 and last no more than an hour. Outdoor activities will begin at around 7:30pm. Bring a headlamp (or flashlight) if you plan to attend the outdoor component, and if you have a red filter/red light option, that will help preserve our night vision.

Hoary bat

Hoary bat, Lasiurus cinereus
Photo by Joseph M. Szewczak

Trick or treat…it’s Bats…. Eeeek!

But wait… did you know that bats are a vital part of the ecosystem, and that California is home to 23 different species of these marvelous creatures? Come discover the wonderful world of our local bats, and bust some of the Halloween-ish myths about these animals. Not the creepy stuff of horror film and campfire legend, bats are key nocturnal insect predators and equipped with fascinating adaptations for life in tiny roost spaces and the vastness of the night sky. Worldwide, it's estimated that one in every four mammals on the planet is a bat, and they employ a fascinating array of survival strategies and life histories. From fruit-eaters to insect-eaters, migratory bats to hibernating bats, there’s a bat to charm even the most timid soul.

Wildlife biologist Leila Harris will share life histories and cool facts about some of our native bat species, many of which occupy the hills, mines and forests of Mono and Inyo Counties. Learn about ongoing research, conservation challenges and what you can do to support bat-friendly habitats and communities.

Silver-haired bat in a tree, Lasionycteris noctivagans

Silver-haired bat - Lasionycteris noctivagans
Photo by Leila Harris

Special treat: Ever wanted to see a bat up close? Following the presentation, weather allowing, the group is invited to take a walk through the adjacent conservation area with Leila and her trusty bat detector, to observe science in action. If the local bats cooperate, we’ll have the opportunity to hear the echolocation chirps of passing bats, and the chance to see biologists capture and release bats to contribute data to a local study. (Please note: October is getting late in the active season for our local bats, so the weather will determine our fortune for the field component of this program.)

Leila Harris is a wildlife biologist with ICF Jones & Stokes' Environment and Planning Division. In her work with ICF Jones & Stokes, Leila specializes in all things bird and bat. Leila spends about half of any given work year at field sites where human activities intersect the natural environment. Leila finds that this “in-the-trenches” perspective affords her a crucial vantage into the intersection of problems and opportunities. She loves finding new ways to apply survey tools and technology to answer tricky questions, such as what bat species overwinter at a project site in the central Sierra. Day to day, she can be found setting up acoustic bat monitoring stations, coordinating fatality monitoring for wind energy facilities, or conducting focused surveys for a range of species, from Marbled Murrelets to Golden Eagles, Burrowing Owls to roosting bats.

Leila has commented that she is fortunate to have a day job that allows her the flexibility to spend her free time on outreach, education, and field research on bats. She assists at bat capture and acoustic monitoring workshops and is providing field support and data compilation for various studies on Townsend’s big-eared bat, a candidate for listing under the California Endangered Species Act.

Her first field biology experience in 1995 was through a post-college internship on Great Gull Island with the American Museum of Natural History. The island, littered with tern eggs under a sky full of 20,000 screaming terns, was a little nutty, and she loved it. After a decade or so of nonprofit work in the office-centric arenas of environmental policy, organizing, and funding, she returned to conservation field biology and hasn’t looked back.

For more information contact Jenny Richardson (email jennyn63@gmail.com or call 760-920-8541). Also, check back to this page for updates to the list of future speakers. Everyone is welcome to attend all programs!

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Future Programs (schedule subject to change):

  • December - Annual Candlelight Potluck Dinner and Program. (Details TBA!)

Everyone is welcome to attend all programs!

If you have any questions or are interested in presenting a program, please contact our programs coordinator, Jenny Richardson, at: programs@esaudubon.org; 760-920-8541.

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