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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
June 6, 2014     The Catalina Islander
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June 6, 2014

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Five eagle chicks are poised to leave their Catalina nests Baby birds buck the trend of past island DDT poisioning COURTESY OF THE CATALINA ISLAND CONSERVANCY Five bald eagle chicks are poised to leave their Catalina Island nests in the coming days, thanks to the continuing efforts of the Institute for Wildlife Studies and the Catalina Island Conservancy. DDT poisoning had extirpated the bald eagle from California's Channel Islands until IWS and the Conservancy partnered to bring them back to Catalina, beginning in 1980. One of the chicks can be seen on IWS' live-streaming "eagle cam," where millions have watched the bald eagles tending to their young. The eaglet has been spotted Seen above left: A bald eagle chick is pecking its way out of its shell. Bald eagles once again breed and successfully fledge their young on Catalina Island thanks to the work of the Institute of Wildlife Studies, in partnership with the Catalina Island Conservancy. Photo from IWS online Eagle Cam. Seen above right: A bald eagle feeds its chicks. These youngsters are about to fledge or leave the nest. They can once again be seen soaring over Catalina Island thanks to the work of the Institute of Wildlife Studies, in partnership with the Catalina Island Conservancy. Photo from IWS online Eagle Cam. perched on the edge of the nest and extending its wings in appar- ent preparation for flight. (To see the eaglet, please visit catalinac- "The wildlife on Catalina is part of what makes the Island so special and unique," said Ann M. Muscat, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Conservancy. "To have "an eagle soar over while you're hik- ing on a trail is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the many people who made possible the return of these majestic birds to Catalina. It's a truly memorable experience" The Conservancy's work to fulfill its mission of restoring and protecting the valuable natural resources of Catalina through a balance of conservation, educa- tion and recreation ensures that the bald eagle will be here today and for future generations. Last year, 10 chicks flew or "fledged" from Catalina Island's nests. Biologists aren't certain why there were fewer eaglets on Catalina Island this year. But they pointed out that the age of the Catalina Island eagles may have played a role. Peter Sharpe, Ph.D., who has been directing bald eagle restora- tion on Catalina for the IWS since 1997, said that 2014 has been a transitional year for Catalina's eagles. He explained that, "three of the four pairs that failed had at least one new member that was nesting for the first time." -Bald eagles generally breed around five years of age. "It can take a new pair upwards of three years before they become successful parents," said Annie Little, biologist for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "We fully expect the younger eagles on Catalina to breed successfully next year." Catalina is home to Crystal, one of the oldest females on the Channel Islands. At age 30, Little said, the eagle is "simply not as fertile as she once was." After two decades without an eagle sighting on Catalina Island, the Conservancy initially helped to fund the Bald Eagle Restoration Program in 1980. As additional funding became available, the IWS took over the program and manages it today with the Conservancy's support directed to providing a healthy ecosystem for the birds. Catalina Conservancy's Avalon Salon Showcases Artist John Budicin COURTESY OF THE CATALINA ISLAND CONSERVANCY In conjunction with Catalina: The Wild Side Art Show & Sale, the Catalina Island Conservancy recently hosted a Wild Side solo salon in Avalon that featured the works of plein air painter John Budicin, who has been traveling to the Island for 15 years to cap- ture on canvas its wildlands and scenic beauty. Salon guests purchased sev- eral of Budicin's paintings depict- ing Catalina landscapes as well Two Harbors and Avalon and other scenic spots on the Island. The award-winning artist from San Bernardino was on hand to describe each of the paintings, his background and his love for the Island. "Catalina has a special hold on me, and it seems I cannot get my fill of the Island," Budicin said. "I have been coming back for a great number of years. It is home to me." While the salon was an event unto itself to focus on Budicin's artistry, it anticipates Catalina: The Wild Side Art Show & Sale on October 26 at Newport Harbor Yacht Club, which will feature additional works by Budicin and nine other award-winning plein air artists. Plein air artists paint in the "open air" so they can accu- rately depict what they see on the Island. "The Salon was a wonderful preview of the high quality of the artists and artworks that our guests will see in Catalina: The Wild Side Art Show & Sale in Newport Beach," said Ann M. Muscat, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Conservancy. "The art show is a unique opportunity to bring attention to the Island's wildlands and document how the Conservancy is restoring and pro- tecting Catalina's natural and cul- tural resources." In addition to Budicin, this year's Catalina: The Wild Side will feature the works of Kenn Backhaus, Bye Bitney, John Cosby, Andy Evansen, Kim Lordier, Joe Paquet, Matt Smith, Kate Starling and Jesse Powell. In a unique use of art for con- servation's sake, proceeds from the sales of the artworks benefit the Conservancy and are used to establish a permanent collection of plein air art that documents the organization's conservation efforts and progress in habitat restoration. Many of the paint- ings acquired during the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Catalina: The Wild Side shows are on display in the i! ii ..... _ .... % -,,.._ -" Gathering at Catalina: The Wild Side Solo Salon in Avalon in May at Castillo del Mar, the ele- gant home of Blanny Avalon Hagenah, are, from left, host Hagenah; the chair of the The Wild Side events for the Conservancy, Victoria Seaver Dean; the guest of honor, artist John Budicin, and Conservancy President and CEO Ann M. Muscat, Ph.D. Photo by Laura Mecoy Conservancy's Nature Center in Avalon Canyon. For the first time ever, Catalina: The Wild Side Art Show & Sale will take place on the mainland, at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club. Doors open at 2 p.m. on October 26 for a 45-minute preview of the artists' works. Sales begin at 2:45 p.m. Tickets are $40 for Conservancy members and $50 for nonmembers. Registration available online or by phone (562) 437-8555 ext 239: About the Catalina Island Conservancy The Catalina Island Conservancy was formed in 1972 and is one of California's oldest land trusts. Its mission is to be a responsible steward of its lands through a balance of conserva- tion, education and recreation. The Conservancy protects the magnificent natural and cultural heritage of Santa Catalina Island, stewarding approximately 42,000 acres of land, 62 miles of rugged shoreline and more than 80 miles of trails. It operates the Airport in the Sky, Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden and two nature centers. Twenty miles from the mainland, the Island is home to more than 60 plant and animal species found nowhere else in the world. For additional information, visit www.catalinaconservancy. org 6 i Friday, June 6, 2014 THE CATALINA ISLANDER 4,