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Sun, May 19


Carmel River State Beach

Birds and Books, with artist and photographer Carolyn Monastra

Join the Center for Photographic Art and the Monterey Audubon Society for an in-person bird walk, artist’s presentation, and book-making workshop.

Birds and Books, with artist and photographer Carolyn Monastra
Birds and Books, with artist and photographer Carolyn Monastra

Time & Location

May 19, 2024, 8:00 AM – 2:30 PM PDT

Carmel River State Beach, 26495 Scenic Rd, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA

About the event


8:00am – 10:30 am: Bird outing at the nearby Carmel River Beach area 

11:00am – 2:30 pm: Presentation and Workshop in the CPA Gallery 

Limited to 12 participants. $140.00 for CPA members; $165 for non-members (book-making materials included). Monterey Audubon Society chapter members can contact Amanda ( for a discount code. 

Binoculars will be available to borrow or bring your own. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Space is limited, register before May 18 at 6:00pm. Information about the workshop will be sent to you prior to the date.

Description: Birds and Books Join artist Carolyn Monastra, the Center for Photographic Art, and the Monterey Audubon Society for a unique one-day event that will include a bird walk, artist’s presentation, and bird-themed book-making workshop.

In addition to their intelligence and aesthetic appeal, birds play crucial roles within our ecosystems. They act as pollinators, seed dispersers, predators, and scavengers, all of which are vital for maintaining ecological balance. However, a sobering report from Science magazine in 2019 revealed a concerning trend: bird populations in North America have declined dramatically. Factors such as climate change, pesticide usage, and urbanization have contributed to a staggering decrease, with nearly three billion birds lost since 1970 - equating to one in four birds.

In response to this decline, Carolyn Monastra has created a conceptual art project titled "Divergence of Birds." Through her work, she aims to shed light on this loss and inspire action among audiences to become proactive stewards of our environment, advocating for the protection of birds and their habitats.

This collaborative event caters to a wide range of interests. The day begins with a bird walk, co-led by guides from the Monterey Audubon Society and Carolyn Monastra. Participants will receive birding advice, photography tips, and learn about some of the regional birds facing threats from climate change and other factors.

We will explore the Carmel River beach and lagoon, a special meeting of rock, sand, tule rushes, and ocean. Some of the birds we are likely to see include Whimbrel, Killdeer, Bufflehead, Anna’s and Allen’s Hummingbirds, Bewick’s and Marsh Wrens, various swallows, gulls, and raptors, and perhaps even a Sora! 286 species have been seen at this birding hotspot - who knows what will show up? We will travel less than a mile round-trip but will be walking across sand and uneven terrain.

Back at the Center for Photographic Art, Monastra will present her climate projects, followed by a Q&A session. Participants will then choose a regional climate-threatened bird and create a mini accordion pop-up book-in-a-tin using recycled paper ephemera and other materials.

No prior birding or book-making experience required for this event. Some basic photography knowledge is helpful if you plan to bring your camera on the bird outing.

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