Re: Band-tailed Pigeons in Eastern Alameda


Lyn Dailey
 

I’m by no means an expert birder but pretty sure there were large flocks lurking in my neighborhood for about a month recently in the east Oakland hills. I was able to observe them in close trees for long periods and they appeared to be band tailed pigeons to me.
Lyn

On Mar 9, 2021, at 11:29 AM, Alexander Henry <awhenry@umich.edu> wrote:

Hi all,

Sorry to be nitpicky, but here goes.

There have been a lot of reports of Band-tailed Pigeons in Eastern Alameda county recently.

Please keep in mind that Band-tailed Pigeons are NOT common in east county. There is lots of suitable habitat at the upper elevations of Mines Road, and high counts of Band-tailed Pigeons there do not surprise me, however they are still not particularly common at Mines Road, and do in my opinion merit either written notes or photos if large numbers are observed.

Elsewhere in the eastern part of the Livermore Valley and the Altamont Hills (such as Cedar Mountain Winery), there is very little suitable habitat, and Band-tailed Pigeon sightings should definitely be documented with write-ups or photos. I’m not saying they don’t or can’t occur, just that they are uncommon enough in that area that care should be taken to separate them from other pigeon and dove species, and some form of written or photographic documentation would be greatly appreciated (at least by me personally).

In order to understand the status of Band-tailed Pigeon in this area, consider that they are flagged “rare” in eBird in both Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties, I believe. There are only 2 previous records of Band-tailed Pigeon from Del Puerto Canyon (not far from upper Mines Road), and only a handful of records, mostly small numbers, from Kiln Canyon in the Corral Hollow Pass area (near Tesla Road and Cedar Mountain Winery). Given the rarity status of this species only a few miles away over the county line, I think we should all make a collective effort to properly document Band-tailed Pigeon sightings in eastern Alameda county.

Again, sorry if it seems like I’m nitpicking! (I am, admittedly). And for those who are interested in finding rarities, given the large numbers of Band-tailed Pigeons at Mines Road, a trip to Del Puerto Canyon could be a good idea! (It’s also getting into that Costa’s time of year, isn’t it?)

Thanks!
Alex Henry
Berkeley


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