Re: Grasshopper Sparrows

Ron Grabyan

Great information, Ryan!  Would you mind posting a link(s) list all birds who are endangered, or one of the other categories including “special concern”?  This would be very helpful.  Thanks so much!
Ron Grabyan

Ron Grabyan

On May 29, 2019, at 6:11 AM, Ryan Winkleman <rswinkleman@...> wrote:


The popularity of the Indigo Bunting at Quail Hill Preserve in Irvine has by extension resulted in a marked increase in eBird reports of Grasshopper Sparrows from this same location relative to most years. Many of these reports include nice close-up photos of singing or otherwise alert birds. While Grasshopper Sparrows are sometimes conspicuously perched and can often be found by looking for the small lump on the edge of a plant, they are also highly territorial and respond readily to playback, which makes them a convenient species for photography.

I'm not suggesting that anybody has been using playback for photos, but I do feel it is important to point out that Grasshopper Sparrow is declining both nationally and regionally, and in California is considered by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to be a species of special concern. Using taped playback on protected species is actually prohibited without a permit. Grasshopper Sparrows are already quite rare and localized within the county. The grassland habitats favored by this species are similarly uncommon in Orange County, and thus it is important that these areas continue to be welcome homes for these birds while they are attempting to nest and raise their young. If you do happen to find yourself in Grasshopper Sparrow habitat at Quail Hill or elsewhere in the county where they may breed--and the same could be said for any of our other legally protected and scarce (and territorial) breeders such as Bell's Vireo, California Gnatcatcher, and Yellow-breasted Chat, just to name a few--please use good judgement, remember that these birds are still actively nesting at this date, and please enjoy them in their natural states so that our local populations can continue to be sustained.

Ryan Winkleman
Rancho Santa Margarita

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