Date   

Tricolored Blackbirds, Allen's Hmr - Ocean Meadows

Karen Havlena <jkhavlena@...>
 

Tue, 28 Feb 2012 -- Bird numbers are changing along the coast.  Our wintering
TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS had dwindled to 1, but today there are 8 males
and a couple of females in the yard.  Two male ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRDS
are around the neighborhood.  The wintering (3rd yr) N MOCKINGBIRD is still
at Ocean Meadows Cir & Hwy 1.  Also, the number of AM ROBINS has increased
from our usual 3 birds to 32.

Karen Havlena
Ocean Meadows/Ten Mile Area
North of Fort Bragg, MEN, California

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: Be On the Lookout for "Orange" Hummers

AlbionWood <albionwood@...>
 

Monday February 27, 2012 - We have had both male and female Selasphorus here pretty steadily through the last half of the month, whenever I have had time to check for them. Mostly we have had one or two male Allen's and one or two female S. sp. Today however there is a bright orange male Rufous Hummingbird, who has taken over a feeder (displacing the Allen's who previously held that territory), and at least three different male Allen's, along with an undetermined number of female Selasphorus.

It looks like the Allen's may be here to stay - at least one of these males appears to have been holding the same territory for several days now. It will be interesting to keep track of the Rufous and see when the last one leaves.

Cheers,
Tim Bray
Middle Ridge, Albion

On Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 7:40 PM, K A Havlena <kahavlena@yahoo.com <mailto:kahavlena@yahoo.com>> wrote:

I have already seen a male ALLEN'S HUMMER. North of us, they are
beginning
to see RUFOUS Hummers, too. Please report to Mendobirds ASAP if you see
a hummingbird with ORANGE sides, especially in February.
Thanks,
Karen Havlena (per eBird request of Chuck Vaughn).


Location of Frog Woman Rock - South MEN County

K A Havlena
 

25 Feb 2012 -- I neglected to give a location for Frog Woman Rock in
the post for Bob and Ryan Keiffer's White-throated Swifts.  The huge
rock along Hwy 101 used to be known as Squaw Rock.  It is a few
miles north of the Mendocino/Sonoma County line near Commiskey
Station Rd and Pieta Creek.  This area is south of Hopland, but I
don't know a specific mile marker (guessing around mm 8).  Sorry
that I can't be more specific, but the renamed Frog Woman Rock
is huge -- you can't miss it.

K Havlena

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White-Throated Swifts & Others - Southern MEN County

Karen Havlena <jkhavlena@...>
 

Sat, 25 February 2012 -- Bob and Ryan Keiffer birded along Hwy 101 at
the re-named Frog Woman Rock.  Three WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS
were seen flying and chattering.  Two PEREGRINE FALCONS were on
the rock.  Two AMERICAN DIPPERS (beautifully singing) were below
on the Russian River.  Also on the river was a male HOODED MERGANSER
and COMMON MERGANSERS. 

For Bob and Ryan Keiffer


(K Havlena)

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Ferruginous Hawk in Potter Valley

George Chaniot
 

Fri, 24 Feb 2012 -- About noon today I had a FERRUGINOUS HAWK over my yard
in Potter Valley. It was about treetop level when I picked it up, but it
spiraled up on a thermal almost out of sight and the glided out far to the
north. I think this is only the second time I've seen one from the yard
since 1978.

George Chaniot
Potter Valley, MEN, CA


Lake Cleone Surf Scoter/Teals

birdmanofthewoods3 <birdmanofthewoods3@...>
 

I've been watching very tired, distressed juvenile male SURF SCOTER in the shallows by the picnic tables in Lake Cleone in MacKerricher park for the past several days. Mostly he just slept. The good news is that yesterday he was diving and and hunting. He seemed to be able to handle the 2 foot warm calm water which must be a nice break from that pounding surf on the ocean. I think he is going to make it.

Also two female teals were seen which I tentatively identified as BLUE-WINGED TEALS, but don't hold me to it.


Re: Canada Geese on the move! And Al returned on Tuesday afternoon

Jeff Petit
 

Al was not at the cove yesterday - Wednesday or today as of noon.  We'll check again this afternoon. 

 
Good Birding,
Beth and Jeff

________________________________
From: jackson_us <jackson2@mcn.org>
To: Mendobirds@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Thursday, February 23, 2012 1:57 PM
Subject: [Mendobirds] Canada Geese on the move! And Al returned on Tuesday afternoon


 
Thanks to Rich Kuehn's phone call, I saw several large flocks of Canada Geese flying northward yesterday. One flock had 400+ birds. It was interesting to see the large V followed by a long single line of these Geese. As they passed by Fish Rocks, which is near Anchor Bay, the birds dipped down and flew lower, just above the ocean. Yes, Canada Geese are on the move. An interesting note, perhaps - Rich saw the largest group passing by his Sea Ranch home at 11:35 am. I saw them off of Anchor Bay at 11:53 am.

And Beth Petit reported that Al, our favorite Laysan Albatross, returned to the waters off the Point Arena Pier Tuesday between 1 pm and 4 pm.

Jeanne Jackson, Anchor Bay




[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Canada Geese on the move! And Al returned on Tuesday afternoon

jackson_us
 

Thanks to Rich Kuehn's phone call, I saw several large flocks of Canada Geese flying northward yesterday. One flock had 400+ birds. It was interesting to see the large V followed by a long single line of these Geese. As they passed by Fish Rocks, which is near Anchor Bay, the birds dipped down and flew lower, just above the ocean. Yes, Canada Geese are on the move. An interesting note, perhaps - Rich saw the largest group passing by his Sea Ranch home at 11:35 am. I saw them off of Anchor Bay at 11:53 am.

And Beth Petit reported that Al, our favorite Laysan Albatross, returned to the waters off the Point Arena Pier Tuesday between 1 pm and 4 pm.

Jeanne Jackson, Anchor Bay


Tickets Now on Sale for Pt Reyes Birding & Nature Festival (April 27-29)

will_w04
 

Tickets are now on sale for the 2012 Point Reyes Birding & Nature
Festival to be held April 27-29. Visit
http://www.pointreyesbirdingfestival.org/site/ . The events and
registration-links may be found by clicking the day of the festival
(Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday).
Please direct any questions to Amy Trainer, Executive Director of the
Festival at amy@eacmarin.org .
Will WilsonCorte Madera


Re: Murdering Barred Owls in California

Jeff Petit
 

Chet,
 
In 1810 Alexander Wilson saw a flock of Passenger Pigeon (now extinct) in Kentucky flying overhead "at a height beyond gun shot . . .from right to left far as the eye could reach " for five hours.  He estimated the total number to be 2,230,272,000.  John James Audubon in 1826,"after observing one pigeon slaughter, he said "Persons acquainted with these birds might naturally conclude that such havoc would soon put and end to the species.  But I have satified myself, by long observation, that nothing but the gradual diminution of our forests can accomplish this decrease."  from The History of Wildlife in America by Hal Borland and National Wildlife Federation 1975.  Pages 86-87.  For the big picture, please read the whole book - it's very informative. 
 
Systematic thinning of one species in favor of another is very dangerous although we agree with Tim.  Killing the Barred Owls won't save the Spotted Owl. Unfortunately, it's too late.  There are so many success stories in wildlife management.  Killing Owls won't be one of them!
 
Agree to disagree,
Jeff and Beth 
.


________________________________
From: Chet Ogan <chet_ogan@yahoo.com>
To: Jeff Petit <bethandjeff35@yahoo.com>; "Mendobirds@yahoogroups.com" <Mendobirds@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Saturday, February 18, 2012 11:46 PM
Subject: Re: [Mendobirds] Murdering Barred Owls in California


Jeff,
 Twenty years ago after many years of debate and testimony and a lot of work by scientists, including myself, and a declaration by USFWS that Northern Spotted Owls were an endangered species, they (NSOW) received Endangered status. This also involved millions of dollars spent in research, debates, scientist's testimonies, lost timber dollars to counties, etc.  It is not without a lot of study that the "taking" of Barred Owls, which do interbreed with Spotted Owls, is being undertaken.  There are 30-year studies into the demographics of NSOW in Humboldt and Trinity counties on both private and federal lands, Lassen County, the coast and Cascade regions of Oregon, the Sierra Nevada forests. It is in these areas where several generations NSOW has been intensively studied that this "take" in being done.  USFWS presented a program to our Audubon chapter over 2 years ago on the various aspects of these studies. I suggest you look at some of our back issues
of "The Sandpiper" (Redwood Region Audubon Society) and read about it.  USFWS tried to find zoos and institutes, wildlife care centers, groups that use raptors for show-and-tell programs to accept Barred Owls which would be displaced. Very few places wanted them. The only option then was lethal "take" in order to try to save NSOW.  In Redwood National Park, once a place where NSOW could easily be found, has lost almost all its NSOW territories to BAOW.  BAOW have a much broader food base, including a diet which consists of greater percentage of birds. More insects, reptiles, and crawfish are also on their diet. In my career I analyzed 5000 Spotted Owl pellets for diet content. I also looked at a few Barred Owl pellets. The difference in diet was immediately apparent.  BAOW usurp the best old-forest habitat from NSOW. 
This not the first time that a species has been "taken" at the expense of another species, you are hearing and getting sentimentally influenced by "yellow press" directed at reaction by PETA groups.  Common Ravens in central Oregon were taken by USFWS to protect Franklin Gulls, for instance. 
 How many ground-nesting songbirds have been "murdered" by housecats? How many nesting seabirds have been "murdered" by introduced rats?  How many species are extinct because of human introduced predators? How much oak woodland throughout the United States is being "rototilled" by introduced pigs? 
Maybe you are saying "these Barred Owls came here into the western states naturally, leave them be." We created those conditions which allowed BAOW to move from eastern NA to the west.  It is unclear whether BAOW moved across the north through Canada after we cut and opened up vast old-growth timber for our houses and for agriculture or whether our exclusion of fires in the prairies, which allowed poplars and cottonwoods to increase in riparian stream corridors across the Great Plains, was the reason why BAOW were able to successfully move across the continent.  In either case, we were likely the cause of BAOW expansion. Should we just let it go, or should we try to solve the NSOW demise? 

Chet Ogan
Eureka, CA

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.
-John Muir

The first precaution of intelligent ecological tinkering is to keep every cog and wheel.
-Aldo Leopold

A system of conservation based solely on economic self-interest is hopelessly lopsided.
-Aldo Leopold

Chet Ogan
chet_ogan@ymail.com
707-442-9353
707-496-9001


________________________________
From: Jeff Petit <bethandjeff35@yahoo.com>
To: "Mendobirds@yahoogroups.com" <Mendobirds@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Saturday, February 18, 2012 8:25 AM
Subject: [Mendobirds] Murdering Barred Owls in California


 
Yesterday we switched from channel 7 evening news to WPIX, channel 5 for a change.  Unfortunately we saw an extremely disturbing feature about the assasination of 3,000 Barred Owls in an attempt the save the endangered Spotted Owl.  How can this possibly be justified?  Is there anything we can to do to try to stop this blatent slaughtering of birds of prey?
 
Thanks,
Jeff and Beth Petit

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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: Possible Clark's Grebe at Arena Cove

Lisa Walker \(Feather\) <feather7023@...>
 

Looks to be a Western. The Clarke's Grebe has more white well above the eye.

--- On Tue, 2/21/12, Beth and Jeff <bethandjeff35@yahoo.com> wrote:

From: Beth and Jeff <bethandjeff35@yahoo.com>
Subject: [Mendobirds] Possible Clark's Grebe at Arena Cove
To: Mendobirds@yahoogroups.com
Date: Tuesday, February 21, 2012, 9:41 AM
















 









We posted 2 photos on Mendobirds. Is this a Clark's Grebe or a Western?



Thanks,

Beth and Jeff


Possible Clark's Grebe at Arena Cove

Jeff Petit
 

We posted 2 photos on Mendobirds. Is this a Clark's Grebe or a Western?

Thanks,
Beth and Jeff


AL THE ALBATROSS

Cathy Ortiz
 

I plan on going to the coast this week- Is Al still in Pt Areana?
Cathy


Re: Murdering Barred Owls in California

jarlyus <jimarm@...>
 

I don't know enough about the Barred vs. Spotted Owl subject to offer an opinion other than that I am finding the discussion interesting.

I was surprised to find Cowbirds equated with cats and Starlings, even though Chuck has over the years never failed to describe them as a plague.
I have found their adaptation fascinating, but have been at a loss to figure out the huge variation in their numbers around my place in SE Potter Valley. They were as common as any bird for a long period and now have been completely absent for at least five years (probably more).

Any others with this experience?

I would be happy to ask this in a new thread, but it does seem connected to this one.

Jim Armstrong


Re: Murdering Barred Owls in California

AlbionWood <albionwood@...>
 

Chet,

I think Muir's quote illustrates my personal objection to all such attempts by humans to "pick winners" in the ecological competition of life. We all know that evolution continues, yet we instinctively try to prevent it happening during our lifetimes. It seems to be a form of nostalgia, the natural human longing for a world fixed at some point in the past. (Which itself is probably a manifestation of our fear of death, but that's getting pretty far from the forest!)

We also let emotion cloud our scientific thinking, placing more value on certain species and less on others, based mostly on personal criteria.

If the BAOW is better able to adapt to the changing environment of the West, whatever the cause of that change, why should humanity attempt to prevent it from succeeding? And if BAOW success results from changing habitat, why do we think killing a bunch of them will change the long-term course of evolution?

Cheers,
Tim

p.s. Lest anyone mistake me, I should add that I do these sorts of things myself. Starlings, cowbirds, and housecats are unwelcome in the patch of habitat where I am able to impose my subjective value judgements, and I apply selection pressure to the best of my ability. I just don't think it should be done as a matter of public policy.

On 2/18/2012 11:46 PM, Chet Ogan wrote:


When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.
-John Muir


PAS presents Tues 02/21: Adventures in East Africa

Cheryl Watson
 

East Africa is a destination for serious adventurers, renowned for its concentrations of wild animals, such as the "big five": elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard and black rhinoceros. Birders consider the area a paradise; there are 518 bird species alone in Serengeti National Park. On Tuesday February 21, 2012 at 7PM in the Ukiah Civic Center, join the Peregrine Audubon Society to hear Dr. Ed Harper tell us what it is like to have an elephant reach through the window and almost touch him. Image how it feels to be sitting a foot below a cheetah that has decided to use the roof of your vehicle as a lookout for its next meal or the relief of out-running an elephant even though you have done it with a jeep!

Ed Harper is a retired mathematics professor from American River College in Sacramento. His interest in birds began during his early childhood while growing up in Montana. An excellent birder and photographer, he has traveled to every continent. He has photographed over 750 species of birds in North America alone. His exquisite photographs have appeared in many books and publications and record the wildlife and stunning geography of East Africa. This is the area now comprising the countries of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and has inspired authors; Hemingway, Ruark and Roosevelt and the films Out of Africa and Hatari.

An annual speaker at California's Central Valley Birding Symposium, his lively and informative talks are in high demand from many birding festivals and community groups. Harper has been leading birding tours since 1980. Presently he leads many tours with his wife Susan through their company, Sandpiper Journeys that specializes in small groups with some of their favorite destinations being in East Africa.

This Peregrine Audubon sponsored presentation is free to the public, though donations will be welcome. The Ukiah Civic Center is located at 300 Seminary Ave. To join Peregrine Audubon Society and receive a newsletter with regular announcements about programs and field trips, please send $20 to PAS, P.O. Box 311, Ukiah, CA 95482.


Spotted Owl, Barred Owl, a true conservation biologist's dilema

Robert William Hewitt
 

I was surprised to hear that Green Diamond had already started taking Barred Owls as part of a more regional study of how this may help increase Spotted Owl numbers if the Barred Owls are lethally removed.

It is a very tough nut to crack as removing animals cannot be maintained ad-infinitum, and in some cases, such as Coyotes, it simply stimulates a much greater reproductive output by the problem species.

But, what can one do to protect a known endangered species? As an owl biologist for over 20 years myself, I know that Green Diamond, the USFWS, and other parties such as HSU apply a rigorous scientific approach to these matters. So for now as a study for "science" and if the Federal agency in charge of protecting wildlife approves then is not illegal or unethical otherwise one would have to halt all animal deaths as a result of scientific research. I have more questions about the long term sustainability of such a program. It is a definate dilema, and I'm glad I don't have to make the decisions, just respond to the determinations of my fellow biologists.

I did read the article and it gave a good balanced approach to the argument, quoting the right people who are in the thick of this. However the statement that timber harvest is a greater threat to Spotted Owls is not correct.

Don't quote me, because I don't have a PHd, or all the demographic details at my disposal. However, lots of studies and lots of qualified biologists, many from established universities conducted the legally required range-wide analysis for an endangered species a few years back. This was a tome indeed, but it clearly stated that Barred Owls were currently the greatest threat to Spotted Owls. This is not me, it's the best science, the USFWS and the law can provide.

So, I tell you something, I'm looking forward to our upcoming seasonal owl meetings. Surveying for spotted owls and their protection had sort of become "old hat" compared to how it was in the early 90's. But, boy has it risen to the top of the concern/controversy pile these days.

Finally, I hope folks don't "kill the messenger" as I'm just stating what I've read. I'm neither behind the trigger or gassing up the chainsaw, but I do still want to come down to Mendocino this weekend and bird it up with you guys.

Yours Rob Hewitt

ps. check out www.godwitdays.org our new web site one can even sign up for a Spotted Owl trip this April.


Prairie Falcon in Potter Valley

George Chaniot
 

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 -- Today and yesterday I saw a PRAIRIE FALCON on Pine Avenue in Potter Valley. Both times it was chasing Brewer's Blackbirds. This is a smaller bird and not the very large female seen several weeks ago.

George Chaniot
Potter Valley, MEN, CA


Re: Murdering Barred Owls in California

Chet ogan
 

Jeff,
 Twenty years ago after many years of debate and testimony and a lot of work by scientists, including myself, and a declaration by USFWS that Northern Spotted Owls were an endangered species, they (NSOW) received Endangered status. This also involved millions of dollars spent in research, debates, scientist's testimonies, lost timber dollars to counties, etc.  It is not without a lot of study that the "taking" of Barred Owls, which do interbreed with Spotted Owls, is being undertaken.  There are 30-year studies into the demographics of NSOW in Humboldt and Trinity counties on both private and federal lands, Lassen County, the coast and Cascade regions of Oregon, the Sierra Nevada forests. It is in these areas where several generations NSOW has been intensively studied that this "take" in being done.  USFWS presented a program to our Audubon chapter over 2 years ago on the various aspects of these studies. I suggest you look at some of our back issues
of "The Sandpiper" (Redwood Region Audubon Society) and read about it.  USFWS tried to find zoos and institutes, wildlife care centers, groups that use raptors for show-and-tell programs to accept Barred Owls which would be displaced. Very few places wanted them. The only option then was lethal "take" in order to try to save NSOW.  In Redwood National Park, once a place where NSOW could easily be found, has lost almost all its NSOW territories to BAOW.  BAOW have a much broader food base, including a diet which consists of greater percentage of birds. More insects, reptiles, and crawfish are also on their diet. In my career I analyzed 5000 Spotted Owl pellets for diet content. I also looked at a few Barred Owl pellets. The difference in diet was immediately apparent.  BAOW usurp the best old-forest habitat from NSOW. 
This not the first time that a species has been "taken" at the expense of another species, you are hearing and getting sentimentally influenced by "yellow press" directed at reaction by PETA groups.  Common Ravens in central Oregon were taken by USFWS to protect Franklin Gulls, for instance. 
 How many ground-nesting songbirds have been "murdered" by housecats? How many nesting seabirds have been "murdered" by introduced rats?  How many species are extinct because of human introduced predators? How much oak woodland throughout the United States is being "rototilled" by introduced pigs? 
Maybe you are saying "these Barred Owls came here into the western states naturally, leave them be." We created those conditions which allowed BAOW to move from eastern NA to the west.  It is unclear whether BAOW moved across the north through Canada after we cut and opened up vast old-growth timber for our houses and for agriculture or whether our exclusion of fires in the prairies, which allowed poplars and cottonwoods to increase in riparian stream corridors across the Great Plains, was the reason why BAOW were able to successfully move across the continent.  In either case, we were likely the cause of BAOW expansion. Should we just let it go, or should we try to solve the NSOW demise? 

Chet Ogan
Eureka, CA

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.
-John Muir

The first precaution of intelligent ecological tinkering is to keep every cog and wheel.
-Aldo Leopold

A system of conservation based solely on economic self-interest is hopelessly lopsided.
-Aldo Leopold

Chet Ogan
chet_ogan@ymail.com
707-442-9353
707-496-9001


________________________________
From: Jeff Petit <bethandjeff35@yahoo.com>
To: "Mendobirds@yahoogroups.com" <Mendobirds@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Saturday, February 18, 2012 8:25 AM
Subject: [Mendobirds] Murdering Barred Owls in California


 
Yesterday we switched from channel 7 evening news to WPIX, channel 5 for a change.  Unfortunately we saw an extremely disturbing feature about the assasination of 3,000 Barred Owls in an attempt the save the endangered Spotted Owl.  How can this possibly be justified?  Is there anything we can to do to try to stop this blatent slaughtering of birds of prey?
 
Thanks,
Jeff and Beth Petit

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Ukiah Black-Crowned Night-Herons

sauntergs <steveg@...>
 

I have seen 2 or 3 Black-Crowned Night-Herons in a bushy Douglas Fir Tree twice this last month roosting during the day at 418 Mendocino Drive in Ukiah. I talked to the neighbor today living just east of the tree which hangs into her backyard and she says about 12 to 20 fly-out toward the south each evening. Perhaps these are the Oak Manor night-herons? Also saw a Pileated Woodpecker near there today. Steve

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