Monday, February 13, 2006

BMB06/06 San Bernardino County Museum 13th February 2006

When 31 BMBs arrived at the Museum on what amounted to a very early summer day, they did not all expect the very full day that Gene Cardiff had prepared for them. A talk through the Museum, with a very great emphasis on birds, surprised the many first-time visitors who, as is usual, had insufficient time to study the wonderful displays – it certainly takes more than one visit. Lunch was taken ‘on the run’ by the river, where it was really quite warm and, among others we saw several Red-tailed Hawks – spring was in the air, a Great-horned Owl on the nest and a Burrowing Owl.

After our walk, we repaired to the basement library where Gene had prepared trays with about 250 skins from their very extensive stock, some of which were a hundred years old. He described his routine for working with skins, took us through a number of examples of closely aligned species and sub-species, and discussed both up-coming changes to the species list, and changes that in his view should be made. He concluded with his well practiced presentation on Coopers Hawks versus Sharp-shinned, always stimulating and a pleasure to all who were there.

We very much appreciate the time and effort that Gene gave us and hope that we can again persuade him to receive us in the future.

Good Birding………