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Photo by Tom Grey

Our Accomplishments

 

We are working to preserve birds by reducing fatal window strikes.

Bird collisions with glass windows are a leading cause of bird mortality, resulting in hundreds of millions of bird deaths each year in the United States. SCVAS is actively promoting the adoption of bird-safe building design guidelines across Santa Clara County. These guidelines help developers consider the impact on birds of building location, glass surfaces, landscaping, and other risk factors. Our first success came when the City of Sunnyvale adopted bird-safe building design guidelines. We are encouraging other cities to follow their lead. This can be a huge victory for birds!

We create multiple opportunities to enjoy native birds and birding.

We share the joy of watching and learning about birds through our monthly speaker series, birding classes, bird photography programs, and field trips. Our volunteer trip leaders guide birders to top birding spots around the South Bay in search of feathered marvels. We also offer field seminars and adventure travel to more distant birding destinations in the Western U.S. and Latin America. Birding is one of the ways in which we connect people to nature.

We are leading local efforts to restore bird populations in decline.

SCVAS is justly proud of its pioneering efforts to restore the South Bay Area's at-risk Western Burrowing Owl population. In 2011 we began work with the San Jose Department of Environmental Services to transform a 180-acre open field into prime owl habitat. At that time, this site was almost devoid of owls. Three years later, thanks to a number of habitat enhancement projects, it is home to 13 adult owls and 29 chicks. We have shown that the decline of the Burrowing Owl can be reversed, but only if we create the right conditions.

We strive in multiple ways to foster public awareness of native birds and their ecosystems.

Our school programs introduce more than 2,500 children—most of them in low-income communities—to the birds that live around the South Bay. Our Young Audubon programs and Summer Nature Days Camp engage another 1,600 young people with birds through family field trips, nature walks, bird banding, and nest-box building activities. Every October, our Annual Wildlife Education Day brings together hundreds of families, along with dozens of nature-oriented organizations, to celebrate and learn about birds and other wildlife. We also reach out to the public through The Avocet newsletter, the SCVAS Website, social media, and both print and broadcast media.