WHO WAS WHO IN CALIFORNIA BIRDING
1965-1989
TIM MANOLIS  [Timothy D. Manolis]
Tim Manolis has been a longtime, native northern California birder whose influence extended throughout almost all our period of review (1965-1989). He came from a family of naturalists, including his mother and his brother and sister. He first appeared in Audubon Field Notes in winter 1967-68, and was active throughout the last '60s and '70s. He had many ties with Rich Stallcup and the PRBO crowd in the early days, birding widely in northern California. In time, Tim became the premier birder in the Sacramento Valley and in northeastern California, places that had been left virtually untouched by most others. He amassed excellent county lists for all 58 counties. He has been very active in Christmas Bird Counts, compiling numerous counts over our period. He served as a Regional Editor for American Birds for 4 seasons in the 1970s.

Tim's interest were always broader than just birds he was known as an expert naturalist in many fields: herps, mammals, and, eventually, butterflies and dragonflies. In time, Tim would become one of most prominent experts in identification of dragonflies in the field, and his field guide on the subject (Manolis 2003) would become the standard guide for California. But that's long after our period had ended.

Tim was very active in the operations of Western Field Ornithologists, serving as officer, board member, speaker, and conference organizer. He was WFO president from 1986 to the end of our period of review in 1989. Tim was the moving force and coordinator of the Sacramento County breeding bird atlas (1988-1992), and was the founder of the Sacramento Bird Records Committee, which reviews rarity claims from the Sacramento vicinity. He has been long interested in disseminating information about Central Valley and Great Basin birds in California, areas that have long been overshadowed by emphasis of the coast.

Photo 5 Aug 1972 Scotty's Castle © Van Remsen
 

Among Tim's contributions during our period were his works of bird art. His black-and-white sketches often enlivened the pages of Western Birds, and his annual display of "fall warblers," painted on interesting natural wood backgrounds, were often a highlight of WFO conventions in the 1980s. He illustrated a variety of bird papers, and his pipit plate in Roberson's (1980) Rare Birds of the West Coast remains the most accurate of those paintings to this day.

Tim was a significant mentor to numerous birders in California, particularly in the Sacramento Valley, and his gentle ways and love of all nature was infectious. His interest in birds extended beyond identification, and delved into biology, ecology, and conservation. Although he may now be considered among the premier dragonfly experts in the continent, he remains a subregional editor (for Lassen County) and an active birder in the Sacramento vicinity.

Photo (right) is of Tim's "Prairie Warbler" from his "fall warbler collection" in Sep 1982
 

Significant bird records: Many records of local interest, particularly in the Central Valley and northeast, but those with statewide implications include
  • Black Vulture  13 Apr 1972  Chico BUT first CA record
  • Tricolored Heron  24 Aug 1971  Honey Lake LAS first northern CA rec

Selected publications 1972-1989:

  • Manolis, T. 1972. A Louisiana Heron in northeastern California. Calif. Birds 3:19-21.
  • Manolis, T. 1975. Site Guide: Honey & Eagle Lakes, California. Amer. Birds 29:19-21.
  • Manolis, T. 1977. Foraging relationships of Mountain Chickadees and Pygmy Nuthatches. West. Birds 8: 13-20.
Selected publications since 1989:
  • Manolis, T. 2003. Dragonflies and Damselflies of California. U.C. Calif. Press, Berkeley.

All photos © to photographers identified on this page; all rights reserved.
All text © Don Roberson; all rights reserved.

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