Partners for the Birds: Pasadena Audubon Society Receives PCF Wildlife Welfare Grant

Pasadena Community Foundation supports Pasadena Audubon Society and wildlife nonprofits Pasadena Audubon Society members watch for water fowl at the Hahamongna Watershed, April 22, 2022.

In 2021, PCF’s Animal Welfare Initiative debuted to support local domestic and wildlife populations and habitat conservation. The funding comes from the Garfield Gilbert Family Endowment for Animals.

Pasadena Audubon Society (PAS) is PCF’s 2022 Wildlife Welfare grant recipient, and the organization will use the funding to support its broad range of educational programming for all ages. “We feel that if the public learns more about birds, they will develop a strong emotional connection to them,” says PAS Executive Director Lois Brunet. Birds serve critical roles in our ecosystem as pollinators, insect catchers, seed spreaders, and even, in the case of vultures, “clean-up crews.” Simply put, when we champion birds, we protect our ecosystem.

During a PAS-sponsored Bird Science Program with fifth graders at Debs Audubon Park, a student spotted a nest. Upon closer examination, the group was delighted to see that it was a great horned owl. PAS will use its PCF grant to grow educational programming like this for young and old alike. ~Photo by Lois Brunet

Members Found Solace in Bird Life During Pandemic

PAS membership grew steadily during the two pandemic years and now stands at about 1,500 bird enthusiasts. “I do think the pandemic was a moment of collective reflection, and many felt the tug of the natural world for the solace and respite it offers from the chaos of our daily lives,” says Brunet.

PCF staff member Sarah Hilbert joined PAS in 2020 and confirms that working more from home during the last two years allowed her to pay more attention to her yard and discover that several dozen avian visitors make regular stops on her property. She recently participated in PAS’s Hahamongna Watershed Bird Walk during the peak of spring songbird migration. Click below to experience the bird walk with a one-minute slide show.

Exciting New Events and a Beautiful New Book

Because birding can be such a communal activity, old and new members alike are thrilled to see PAS once again offering an expanding calendar of events following pandemic restrictions. “Birders are always happy to teach and learn from each other, so we’re all very pleased and relieved to be doing field trips and special events again,” says Brunet.

PAS also just debuted a true labor of love: its Birding Guide to the Greater Pasadena Area, a beautifully illustrated, extensively researched book that has in-depth profiles of 30 of the top birding spots in the Pasadena region, plus information on area specialties, climate, plant communities and more. Visit Pasadena Audubon Society to purchase your copy.

On May 1, 2022, PAS debuted its new “Birding Guide to the Greater Pasadena Area” with a festive event inside Arlington Garden. Pictured with PAS Executive Director Lois Brunet (center) are PCF staff Allie Carreon (left) and Sarah Hilbert (right).