The Buzz: Bird-loving pie-eaters flock together

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Pie-lovers meets bird- counters in downtown Petaluma: Petaluma’s Point Blue Conservation Science, near Shollenberger Park, is teaming up with downtown’s Petaluma Pie Company for a one-of-a-kind pie/bird experience to raise money for local bird conservation efforts. They’ve “flocked together” (their term) to form “The Pied-Billed Grebes,” hoping plenty of local bird-and-pie fans will become participants in the day-long bird-counting/fundraising event on Sunday, Sept. 22.

The Bird-a-thon will involve three different 2-hour-long bird-counting walks, including one within strolling distance of Petaluma Pie Company. From 8-10 a.m., beginning at the Point Blue facility at 3820 Cypress Drive #11, participants will walk one of two different loops and back, each about 2 miles long, and mostly flat. At 11 a.m., a group will depart from the Pie Company (125 N. Petaluma Blvd.) for a 1.5-mile walk to Penry Park then Oak Hill Park and back. Finally, from 4:30-6:30 p.m., a walk through Helen Putnam Park will step off near the main entrance (a $7 parking charge, or a Sonoma County Regional Parks Pass). Each walk includes a post-walk cup of coffee or tea and a slice of sweet or savory pie. For the special day, the Pie Company has invented a little delicacy they have dubbed Point Blueberry Pie. There will also be an end-of-day raffle-style contest challenging bird-counters to correctly guess the total number of birds counted throughout the day.

Participants should bring water, comfortable shoes and binoculars. All walks are $45 minimum donation, $25 for students or seniors. Donations will be accepted at the beginning of the walks (check or cash only), or online ahead of time at Non-participating supporters can make a donation to the effort through the same link. Working together, Petaluma Pie Company and Point Blue hope to raise $2,500.

It’s all part of the 41st annual Rich Stallcup Bird-a-Thon (which officially begins Sept. 17, with an initial guided bird walk at Shollenberger Park at 8 a.m.), created for the dual purpose of raising funds to continue bird conservation work in the Bay Area and beyond, and to keep track of the habits of local birds of all kinds.

American Association of University Women to hold annual Fall Social: This Sunday, Sept. 15, a free fall social will be held at the Petaluma Community Center at Lucchesi Park, 320 N. McDowell Blvd., beginning at 1:30 p.m. The annual celebration will honor the accomplishments of women and girls in Sonoma County. The event will feature presentations by young women who received AAUW scholarships for various educational opportunities and will highlight women in the community who are emerging as leaders. The organizations goal is to advance equity and opportunity for women and girls through advocacy, education and research. Petaluma AAUW is celebrating its 65th year as an organization in 2019. This event is free and is open to the public.

(Have an idea for a good BUZZ item? Drop a line to Community Editor David Templeton at

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