Bird Chautauqua etiquette
Life is full of social mores, (Mono Lake has no Morays) laws, government regulations, and tribal taboos. We don't mean to burden you further, but we do consider the following rules essential Chautauqua etiquette:
1. Children attending field trips or workshops must be accompanied by a parent or designated guardian.
2. No dogs or pets allowed on any Chautauqua event, workshop, or program. Please leave Fido with friends or family and not in the car during a field trip.
3. During the Chautauqua, audio playback devices should not be used by participants, and used only under limited circumstances by field trip leaders. Please do not use audio playback devices under any circumstances below Mono Lake County Park along the State Reserve boardwalk.
The popularity of smart phones and other digital devices has brought about a huge surge in the use of digital playbacks to attract birds and to alter their behavior. These playbacks, though effective at bringing birds into view, can cause unnatural stress on birds and can also be offensive to other birders. We are adopting the policy of the American Birding Association relative to the use of these playback devices: “Individuals [should] limit the use of recordings and other methods of attracting birds, and never use such methods in heavily birded areas, or for attracting any species that is Threatened, Endangered, or of Special Concern, or is rare in your local area.”
4. The Chautauqua is a great place to make new friends and reconnect with old ones but during birding field trips, birds are best heard and appreciated when conversations among birders are minimal and voices are soft (notably on field trips). Please respect the wishes of many participants who have asked us to address this issue by keeping conversations to a minimum during bird walks.
What to bring
June weather in the Mono Basin is typically pleasant but can vary significantly and you need to be prepared for all conditions—including rain, wind, or very warm weather. Cool to cold mornings are guaranteed so dress in warm layers that can be easily shed. Other essentials include: water, sunscreen, bug repellant, hat, rain gear, suitable footwear, daypack, and a lunch for those events that extend through mealtime. Binoculars, scopes, field guides and other birding essentials are advised.
Sun exposure and dehydration
June 21, 2013 is the Summer Solstice—the longest day of the year. The dry, warm climate of the Mono Basin will be even more amplified because most of the Chautauqua takes place outdoors. Drinking lots of water, using sunscreen, and wearing clothing that keeps you well covered will go a long way in preventing problems with the sun. Water is critical to bring along and drinking often is advisable, since all activities will be near 7,000 feet in elevation.
All participants are responsible for providing their own transportation to and from workshops and bird walks. Carpooling arrangements can be made with others informally at the meeting location. Some field activities will be accessible via dirt roads only.
For lodging and other Lee Vining business information acces the Chamber of Commerce online or call (760) 647-6629.
Be sure to purchase your copy of the Birds of the Mono Basin Checklist at either the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore or the Scenic Area Visitor Center Bookstore. It's an updated and comprehensive listing of birds that frequent the Mono Basin and their seasonal abundance. No Chautauqua participant should be without one!
PLEASE be sure to wear your Mono Basin Bird
Chautauqua button during the entire weekend. It will identify you as a
Chautauqua participant for events and some local businesses will be offering
discounts to Chautuaqua participants. It's also important that local businesses
see the positive economic effect that birders bring to local towns. So, make
sure it's visible especially when you're in town eating or browsing the local
Your participation in all workshops, bird walks, and special events is at your own risk. Of course, reasonable safety precautions have been taken by festival organizers and group leaders.