Swallow-tailed Kite nestling

OAS Zoom Meetings

Saving the California Condor: The Importance of Zoos in Conservation of Endangered Species

Presented by Mike Houlihan, Assistant Curator of Birds, Audubon Zoo

Tuesday, October 19, 7:00 PM

Mike Houlihan assisted with the reintroduction of California Condors. He will discuss how zoos have played an active role in the reintroduction of California Condors and tell us about his experiences working with fish and wildlife in the field. In the case of the condor, zoos became a life preserver for the species in the wild. Mike will discuss the struggles still facing condors and the importance of zoos in wildlife conservation of endangered animals.

Free. Participants must register in advance. To register, send an email request to: OrleansAudubon@aol.comwith “Condors” as the subject line and include your full name in the body of the email message. If participating by phone, also include your phone number. Please register as soon as possible and at least two hours prior to the start of the meeting.



Dr. Erik Johnson

Migratory Birds and the Mississippi River

Presented by Dr. Erik Johnson, Director of Conservation Science, Audubon Delta

One of the longest rivers in the world, the Mississippi River has shaped much of North America, including its bird life. But humans have substantially modified the river for navigation and to protect communities from flooding, which has resulted in important and sometimes dire consequences for the region’s wildlife. Join Audubon’s Erik Johnson on a journey into the connections between the Mississippi River and birds and learn about the opportunities and actions underway to recover bird habitat in the region.

Erik Johnson is the Director of Conservation Science for Audubon Delta, a regional field office of the National Audubon Society, servicing Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas. Erik oversees conservation planning and implementation, habitat management initiatives, and applied scientific research focused on species of conservation concern. Before joining Audubon, Erik conducted his graduate research at LSU studying the effects of deforestation on bird communities in Amazonian Brazil and the effects of fire on wintering Henslow’s Sparrows in southeastern Louisiana. A life-long birder, Erik is actively involved in Louisiana’s birding community and beyond, serving as Louisiana’s Regional Editor for the Christmas Bird Count, Director of the Louisiana Bird Observatory, a member of the Louisiana Rare Bird Records Committee, a board member of the Inland Bird Banding Association, and a Certified Trainer with the American Banding Council.

Click HERE to watch Migratory Birds and the Mississippi River


Egret gliding over Lake Pontchartrain

An Unexpected Passion for Birds

Presented by John Snell, Anchor, Fox 8 News

FOX 8 Anchor John Snell shares how photography inspired an unexpected passion for birding in South Louisiana. He also details the state’s efforts to restore its rapidly eroding wetlands.

Click HERE to watch An Unexpected Passion for Birds


ECUADOR: Straddling the Equator in Search of Condors to Hummingbirds

Presented by Jennifer Coulson and David Muth

Roughly the size of the U.K., Ecuador offers more bird diversity in less space than any other country. This center of avian mega-diversity is home to over 1,650 species of birds! In 2018, Tom and Jennifer Coulson, David Muth, and Princeton ornithologist, Christie Riehl made a birding trip to Ecuador. They found Ecuador to be a user-friendly country for birding and ecotourism. Join Jennifer and David as they take us on a journey exploring the eastern slope of the Andes in search of the gigantic Andean Condor, the exquisite Tourmaline Sunangel, and everything in between. Learn why Ecuador is a special place for birds and birders.

Click HERE to watch Ecuador: Straddling the equator in search of condors to hummingbirds


The Future Delta and Birds

Presented by David Muth

David will focus on Louisiana’s land loss: 2,000 square miles of coastal wetlands over the last century. The state is poised to lose more as the delta sinks and seas rise—in fact, all of the remaining 4,000 square miles are threatened. We will review an aggressive plan to build sediment diversions to restart the natural delta-building process. The Environmental Impact Statement for the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion is expected this spring. The implications for the health of bird populations could not be more profound. David Muth is Director of Gulf Restoration for the National Wildlife Federation.

Click HERE to watch The Future Delta and Birds


40 Years in Borneo: Hacking Through the Jungle in Search of Birds

Presented by Dr. Fred Sheldon

Fred has two fundamental areas of research interest: the evolution and systematics of birds, and the natural history of the birds of the Malay Archipelago. His work in S.E. Asia is concentrated mainly in Borneo, where he is conducting a variety of studies with students and collaborators. Borneo, a giant, rugged island in Southeast Asia’s Malay Archipelago, is shared by the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, Indonesian Kalimantan and the tiny nation of Brunei. It’s known for its beaches and ancient, biodiverse rainforest, home to wildlife including orangutans and clouded leopards. In Sabah is 4,095 meter-tall Mount Kinabalu, the island’s highest peak, and, offshore, the famed dive site Sipadan Island.

Click HERE to watch 40 Years in Borneo: Hacking through the Jungle in Search of Birds


My Big Year – Birding for a Cause

Presented by Dr. Joe Blanda

Joe Blanda is an orthopedic surgeon from Akron, Ohio who did a “big year” of birding in 2016 to raise money for cancer research after the death of his son to brain cancer. A big year is either a personal challenge or a friendly competition among birders who strive to observe as many bird species as possible within a calendar year and within a particular geographic area. Joe is a long-time nature photographer who will share some of his exciting bird sightings both with photographs and some captivating stories. You will learn how he used his passion for nature and birding not only to heal from his loss but also to discover a new desire to help others.

Click HERE to watch My Big Year – Birding for a Cause


Madagascar: A Place Like No Other

Presenters: Ken Harris and Joelle Finley

The fourth largest island on Earth hosts 6 endemic families of birds with over 110 endemic bird species. Ninety percent of its forest species and all of its native land mammals are unique, among them the many species of lemurs, a primate group now largely confined to Madagascar. Two-thirds of all chameleons occur on Madagascar along with 7 species of Baobab trees (Africa has only 1 species). 80% of the forest is gone from Madagascar due to a huge over-population problem and is sadly being replaced by Eucalyptus.

Click HERE to watch Madagascar: A Place Like No Other


Bird Louisiana!

Presenter: Joan Garvey

Louisiana currently boasts a count upwards of 470 species of birds. Of that number about 25% comprise rare migratory birds from the far north, west and tropical Americas. It is a state full of refuges, pinewoods, barrier islands and wetlands, all in the path of breeding, migratory and wintering birds. With our mild climate it is possible to bird here year-round. In our current situation of dealing with a pandemic, birding locally can still be very fulfilling. Travel may also be limited due to other factors, family obligations, work constraints or monetary limits. Most of the birds depicted in this presentation were seen on day trips.

Click HERE to watch Bird Louisiana!


Carolina Dormon, Louisiana Pioneer Woman

Presenter: Linda Auld

Linda Auld “BugLady”

Join Linda Auld in celebrating the life of Caroline Dormon, an intriguing and powerful woman born in the little town of Acadia back in 1888. She is famous for being an artist, teacher, conservationist, and the first woman spokesperson in the U.S. Forestry Service. Learn about her fascinating life, her phenomenal accomplishments, her beautiful Briarwood Nature Retreat, and her fantastic, inspiring books.

Click HERE to watch Caroline Dormon, Louisiana Pioneer Woman


Backyard Birds and More

Black-crowned Night Heron

Instructor: Joelle Finley

We’ll take a quick trip through the seasons looking at the common birds found in our New Orleans area, listening to their calls and discussing some of their migratory patterns. We’ll learn who is here, when they are here and a little something about enhancing our yards to attract them.

Joelle Finley is the OAS Vice-president, Program Chair and Field Trip Coordinator. She has been birding since the 1970s and spends as much time birding outside the U.S. as possible, which has been zero for the past 6 months.

Click HERE to watch Backyard Birds and More


Bay-breasted Warbler by Joan Garvey

Confusing Fall Warblers

Instructor: Wendy Rihner

Ask even the best of birders, and they will admit that warblers in the fall can be a real test of their identification skills. While many birders prefer spring migration because many warblers are decked out in their colorful breeding plumage, identifying those once-brightly colored warblers in the fall presents a real challenge for beginning birders.

Wendy Rihner, OAS Education Chair, hosts a webinar for new birders on how to identify those confusing fall warblers. The webinar covers field identification techniques, plumage differences between spring and fall, and behavioral differences in these wonderful and beautiful species.

Click HERE to watch Confusing Fall Warblers


The Monarch’s Egg and Everyday Wonders of Louisiana’s Butterflies

Presenter: Dr. Donata Henry

This presentation showcases the unique wildlife photography of Walter Clifton, an avid outdoorsman dedicated to documenting the natural history of birds and butterflies of Louisiana. He hand reared and photographed over a dozen different species of butterflies, allowing us to marvel at and appreciate life stages we rarely, if ever, get to see. Notably, he did not use a digital camera. He and Dr. Donata Henry, a Senior Professor of Practice in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Tulane University, explored the Honey Island Swamp together nest searching and waiting in hot, buggy blinds for warblers to reveal their secrets. Join us for a glimpse into the weird and wonderful biodiversity in your own backyard.”

Click HERE to watch The Monarch’s Egg and Other Everyday Wonders of Louisiana’s Butterflies


Raptor Identification

Presenters: Jennifer and Tom Coulson

Raptor biologists Jennifer and Tom Coulson share their basic approach to raptor identification, a strategy which differs from that of most field guides. They will provide a number of novel tips for identifying our native diurnal birds of prey. The Coulsons are true “raptorophiles” who have spent much of their lives studying and working with birds of prey.

Click HERE to watch the Raptor Identification Workshop


Native Plants for Birds

Presenter: Wendy Rihner

Rihner discusses the great potential for gardeners in the Greater New Orleans area to build bird-friendly communities. She will highlight WHAT native plants are, WHERE native plants can be purchased locally, WHY native plants are more important for birds and pollinators than tropicals/exotics, HOW we can help create bird-friendly communities one yard at a time. Wendy Rihner, recently retired from teaching English at Delgado Community College, now has even more time to learn about the relationship native plants play in the lives of birds. Rihner serves on the Board of Directors for the Native Plant Initiative of Greater New Orleans, as well as the executive boards of both the Orleans Audubon Society and Audubon Louisiana.

Click HERE to watch Native Plants for Birds