LeValley is a longtime northern California birder who was active throughout
almost all our period of review. He first appears in the southern California
region of Audubon Field Notes in fall 1969, when he is credited
as observing a host of vagrants with Guy McCaskie from Pt. Loma to the
Salton Sea to Death Valley. This was the year that Ron graduated from Sacramento
State College (now Sacramento State University). Clearly, Ron took to chasing
rarities across California very early on. Just a glance at the rarities
he has found (below) suggests the breadth of his Statewide experience.
He began a long involvement with Point Reyes Bird Observatory as early
as 1966, and later served as a PRBO biologist on S.E. Farallon Island in
1968 and again from 1979-1981.
Ron may be best known, however, for his birding in Humboldt County. He attended Humboldt State University in the mid-to-late '70s, obtaining his Master's in Biology in 1980. There he became a regular in the pack of good, active Humboldt birders that included Dick Erickson, Tom Schulenberg, Stan Harris, Gary Lester and others. They discovered numerous vagrants traps and added much to our knowledge about birds in northwestern California. Among the more impressive birds to his credit is a Black-backed Wagtail that he observed from his home in McKinleyville — perhaps the best 'yard bird' at any one's home in California!
Ron served for 20 seasons as a Regional Editor for American Birds in northern California, scattered over six different years. This ties him with Ted Chandik for the 3rd longest period of work on this important seasonal journal.
In 1979, Ron founded and for 15 years operated an ecotourism company specializing in marine mammals and island biology. His travels extended from South America and the Galapagos to Alaska, Australia and Africa. He has been teaching natural-history and bird-watching classes for more than 30 years. As a professional photographer, Ron has compiled an impressive collection (over 30,000 images) of wildlife photographs that he uses for presentations and publications.
More recently, and after the close of our period of review (in 1989),
Ron founded and became the senior biologist of Mad River Biologists, an
environmental consulting firm in Arcata.
Photo (left or above) circa 1976, courtesy Ron LeValley
Selected publications 1980-1989:
All photos © to photographers identified on this page; all rights
All text © Don Roberson; all rights reserved.
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