Re: Native birds and native trees

Alvaro Jaramillo

Nathaniel et al.

I always wonder what the coast here in Half Moon Bay was naturally, and I
am still wondering. If anyone knows of any good sources on the Internet or
on paper summarizing what the habitats were like in SF and the Peninsula
historically, I would like to know about them. Now my big guess is that in
the sand dune habitats of SF, there must have been some pines. I mean pines
are the quintessential sand species, largely because they can take it while
most other trees can't. I wonder if there were stands of Bishop or Monterey
Pine in and around these sand areas or at least in acidic soil/sandy areas
at the edge of the dunes?? Any ideas?

Just a quick note on disturbance and bluebirds. I used to work on a project
in Canada where we routinely banded, measured, weighed, Eastern Bluebirds in
their boxes. This was to look at the effects of contaminants on the birds,
and they were unfazed by our work. Surely a bunch of birders at a distance
is less bothersome to the birds than biologists looking into their nests
every few days. I don't recall any nest failures or abandonment due to our
work. Cavity nesters know they got it pretty good and safe, that is why so
many of them are so loud!



Alvaro Jaramillo
Half Moon Bay, CA

Field Guides - Birding Tours Worldwide

-----Original Message-----
From: SFBirds@... [mailto:SFBirds@...] On Behalf
Of Nathaniel Wander
Sent: Monday, July 11, 2005 9:38 PM
To: SFBirds@...
Subject: [SFBirds] Native birds and native trees

After working for some weeks on quail monitoring in the Presidio, I've
to appreciate that there are native trees--like coast live oak--and native
shrubs--like coyote bush--that can reach tree-like proportions. I've
counted over twenty species of birds that regularly breed, feed/and or
shelter in these plants: Spotted Towhee, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Hooded
Oriole, White-Crowned Sparrow, Downy Woodpecker, Bushtit, Black Phoebe,
and, of course, California Quail, just to name a few.

My experiences beginning just a few miles up the coast from San Francisco
and extending up to the Canadian border is that several species of taller,
relatively native trees--the fog-belt, drip-forest trees--do fine in
climates like San Francisco's: Douglas Fir, Redwood, Tan Oak, various
cedars, again, just to name a few. Did none of these species ever
in San Francisco?

One problem with Pacific Coast forest regeneration, because of year-round
drying winds and long summer droughts, is that once a stand is cut, it
takes a hell of lot of work to get a new one going, i.e., to build up
enough density so that the fog-forest phenomenon of trees acting as
condensers and dripping the water down to their own roots can kick
in. Golden Gate Park, however, proves it can be done. It just doesn't
need to be done with Australian eucalypts and exotic acacias.from every
here and yon.


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