Re: Crossbills and bat questions request
Here on the coast south of you we have nearly NO bats, they are really
hard to see. The bat I see most often in the Montara - Half Moon Bay is the
Big Brown, a couple of times in the day! I have seen a type of Myotis as
well over ponds south of town. But the dearth of bats is amazing here. In
the forest in the south county then I think I have seen Hoary, and perhaps
Pipistrelle (tiny). I have yet to see a Free-tailed on the coast. I bet bats
in the city will be where it is warmest and where there is water.
That definitely does not answer your question, but it gives you some
From: SFBirds@... [mailto:SFBirds@...] On Behalf Of
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2013 7:56 PM
To: SFBirds; josiah@...
Subject: [SFBirds] Crossbills and bat questions request
Well said Matt.
The recent cold seemed to have driven many of the birds to food stress, and
with that different movements, different behaviors and even different food
sources. In my yard herring scales and roe have had the sparrows going crazy
like a mini terrestrial herring run. They responded similarly last year
around this time. Interestingly the flock disappeared for almost 2 weeks
previous, with nary a sparrow scout in sight.
This morning I had a group of about 12 of the non-local crossbills fly
over the yard going SE. These are the first crossbills I have had here in
several months after a flurry of regulars last winter and spring. I am used
to hearing the local larger billed ones from the yard, type 2 I believe but
the shorter, more scratchy calls of these birds were a noteworthy change. I
have had the local ones flying over Mt. Lake of late, one of their favorite
haunts. BTW, as many of you know there is an article on ebird with links
to the different calls (
http://ebird.org/content/ebird/news/red-crossbill-types) and information on
ranges and habits. I have heard the crossbill types described as clans of
gypsies with long inherited but only somewhat regular routes. A little
tid-bit on one of SF's most enigmatic and hard to spot bird species.
Out on the coastal bluffs I noted a lone Hoary Bat in the glow of
sunset and it got me thinking. If I am not mistaken this is the only bat to
winter in our area, with the others being migratory. Hoary is also our
largest bat and roosts in trees, often among Cypress cones. Sometimes in
pairs, but often solitary. These are not colony roosting bats like
California Myotis that live in chimneys, old buildings or hollowed out
trees. The latter is a species I do not know from SF. In contrast the far
less conspicuous Pallid Bat prefers roosting under loose bark, much like a
While I see bats regularly in SF during late summer and fall migration, I
have never seen a loyal colony of bats in the city and wondering if anyone
else has. As far as records go, I believe Mexican Free-tailed is the most
abundant bat in the city and these occur only in the warmer months.
Finally, has anyone ever heard of any bat species breeding anywhere in the
city? I am struck by the lack of general knowledge out there on the subject.
I really appreciate any observations or knowledge from the group on their
understanding of bats in the city.
Thanks very much and good birding!