Date   

Re: FW: That gull

Dan Murphy <murphsf@...>
 

I have to second this. I've seen quite a few all white gulls along the coast
after April. I generally see at least one such bird every year. In fact I
have some great photos of a Glausous-winged Gull at LM which doesn't show even
a feather darker than bright white. Many of the feathers were worn to bare
shafts and the rest had lost all pigment. Still, it was a Glaucous-winged
Gull. I can't recall bill color, but if it becomes an issue I'll dig through
and find the photos. I presume something is wrong with such birds since they
haven't migrated and they clearly haven't molted.

Best, Dan

"Stephen J. Davies" wrote:

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen J. Davies [mailto:sdavies@...]
Sent: Tuesday, June 06, 2000 1:38 PM
To: Josiah Clark
Cc: Sfbirds
Subject: RE: [SFBirds] That gull

Josiah and co
I have not had a chance to go check out this gull yet (has it been seen
since?), but I would be EXTREMELY cautious about claiming an Iceland on the
West Coast at this time of year. 1st year gulls of a number of species can
look very pale (even white) at this time of year, particularly in the (by
now) very worn retrices and remiges. This is particularly so with species
that have pale 1st year plumages to start with (e.g. Glaucous-winged), but
even those with a lot of pigment can look incredibly pale by now (check out
the 1st summer Glaucous-winged (specimen) and California Gull on Don
Roberson's page at http://montereybay.com/creagrus/SCZgullmys.html - yes a
CALIFORNIA Gull!). Personally, I would not attempt to distinguish a 1st
year Iceland from a pale 1st year Thayers at this time of year. But it
should be possible to determine if it is thayeri/kumlieni, rather than
glaucescens or other type, from a combination of size and structure. How
big is it? What is the shape of the bill? Head shape? Even if it is only
a Thayers, I imagine this would be quiet something - they should all be way
to the north by now.
Don's page (http://montereybay.com/creagrus/SCZgullmys.html) also has an
excellent discussion on the problem of summer claims of white-winged gulls -
pertaining to a summer claim of Glaucous Gull in this instance, but the same
problems apply to Iceland too. Sorry to pour cold water on this, but I
think a heavy dose of caution is in order. I would love to see this bird if
it is still around, so please post any further sightings.
Might also want to check Don's photos and excellent discussion of an Orange
Co. bird that appears to be a classic Kumlien's in every respect
(http://montereybay.com/creagrus/ORA_kumliens.html).

As an aside, I don't think you need to worry about bringing up the rear in
the B2K Harry - I added one species last month!:|. I did see 190 species on
a 2 week tip to AZ though. Oh well...
Hope to see you all soon
Bird hard
Stephen

-----Original Message-----
From: Josiah Clark [mailto:sunbittern@...]
Sent: Tuesday, June 06, 2000 12:32 PM
To: SFBirds@...
Subject: [SFBirds] That gull

Hey again,
Harry braught up the possibility of the gull I saw being a young GW Gull,(
which I commonly see at Crissy) I want to re iterate. This bird was WHITE.
It was totally striking in appearance, even from the top of Merry Way. It
was like nothing I have ever seen, (perhaps only because the plumage is so
worn, but still a good study)
I am writing again because Ive never heard of such a lack of interest
about such a potentially rare species.
I would ask anyone around that area to take a special peek onto the
rocks or into the Sutro Baths. The primaries were in such bad shape I could
imagine it staying around a while.

Josiah

following is a kind message from Harry about the gull:

That kind of gull wason Ocean Beach Saturday and a similar one at Merced a
week
ago...I believe all are yearling Glaucous-winged with very worn
feathers...at
least the two I saw were slender but overall taller than the Westerns
nearby...black beak I believe is a key field mark in these veyr light
colored
gulls, but I am not a great gullacsious birder

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Willow Flycatcher sightings

Josiah Clark <sunbittern@...>
 

Hey SF birders: a big favor
Please forward any Willow Flycatcher sightings you have to me, passed or present. Specifically we need sightings from Mnt Lake Park, El Pollin Springs, Tennessee Hollow and Lobos Creek. Most valuable are sightings of this species in riparian or native veg. If you happen to know the kind of plants the birds were using, this is an added bonus. Any other notes folks want to add on the occurrence of this species would be helpful.
( While we all have seen Willow Flys passing through degraded coastal habitats ie) E Wash,outer PT Reyes, my experience is they show up more often and stay longer when in riparian habitats.)
I have recently come to learn that the presence of the state endangered Willow Flycatcher on migration in given areas may make or break many habitat upcoming enhancement plans (which of course will offer the best birding!) Without help from you and our endangered friends, conservation lobbyists have little leverage for proposed landscape alternatives to restoration.
Many thanks
Josiah Clark


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Tennessee Hollow

Harry Fuller <harry_fuller@...>
 

JOsiah's post reminded me...hey, Alan, had pair of Cal Quail at Tennessee Hollow
on little knoll above and south of the willows across the street from the flat
that was past weekend.

Harry Fuller
www.towhee.net


B2K San Francisco

Mark W. Eaton <mweaton@...>
 

May results online. Ho-hum, Kevin out in front... :-)

Mark

http://home.pacbell.net/mweaton/Birding/B2K/B2KResults.html

Mark
--
Mark Eaton mailto:mweaton@...
SFBirds Web Page http://home.pacbell.net/mweaton
Golden Gate Audubon Web Page http://goldengate.ca.audubon.org

"Leaders should lead as far as they can then vanish. Their ashes
should not choke the fire they have lit."

- H.G. Wells (1866-1946)


[Fwd: Invitation to join northbaybirds]

Mike Feighner <pac_loon@...>
 

Hello Birders:

From time to time birders have submitted e-mail reports from Marin
County with the side note that this was "outside the area". Well, there
is a new birding listserve just for that now. It's called
North-Bay-Birds and covers birding in Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Lake, and
Solono Counties. See below:
--
Mike Feighner, Livermore, CA, pac_loon@...


Brood Parasitism

rferrick@...
 

Witnessed my first "live" example of brood parasitism this afternoon at Pine
Lake Park. I was checking the willows at the west end, when a crying,
fledgling Brown Headed Cowbird appeared in an opening. An adult Dark Eyed
Junco answered the crying by feeding the bird that is at least twice its size
by now. Quite interesting. The Birder's Handbook mentions DE Junco as an
"uncommon Cowbird host" so I thought I would pass it on.

Nothing else to report. Did stop by Sutro Baths yesterday evening but the
only gulls around were Western's.

Rich


Re: Brood Parasitism

Jay Withgott <withgott@...>
 

Yes, Rich, I forgot to mention when I saw you that I'd seen that Cowbird
& Junco too. And I think cowbird parasitism of ground-nesters in
general is much less common than of above-ground cup-nesters. Also of
interest was the fact that a female cowbird who was in the area at one
point perched directly above the vocalizing fledgling and repeatedly
gave the typical cowbird burbly rattle call quite forcefully, looking
around and down in an agitated manner. It was obviously responding to
or communicating with the fledgling cowbird. Might encounters like this
help young cowbirds gain a sense of identity ("species recognition" in
the technical parlance) despite their being orphans?

To all of you SFBirders, today begins my summer-long absence from our
fair city. So I expect to fall swiftly to last place in our fair
competition. But I'll look forward to the fall!

Jay


rferrick@... wrote:

Witnessed my first "live" example of brood parasitism this afternoon at Pine
Lake Park. I was checking the willows at the west end, when a crying,
fledgling Brown Headed Cowbird appeared in an opening. An adult Dark Eyed
Junco answered the crying by feeding the bird that is at least twice its size
by now. Quite interesting. The Birder's Handbook mentions DE Junco as an
"uncommon Cowbird host" so I thought I would pass it on.

Nothing else to report. Did stop by Sutro Baths yesterday evening but the
only gulls around were Western's.

Rich

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Re: Brood Parasitism

Alan Hopkins <ash@...>
 

This is the first Cowbird chick I have heard of this year. I have not
been out much, but I've seen lots of Junko chicks and White-crowned
Sparrow chicks in the few times I have been out. It seems to be a good
year so far for those birds.

I have noticed, and I think the SF Breeding Bird Atlas may also show
that the birds that nest in the early spring are less prone to Cowbird
parasitism than those who breed later. It will be interesting to see if
lots of young cowbirds show up soon.

Jay� we'll try to save some good birds for your return.


Alan


North American Birds - Spring Records

Htcotter@...
 

Hi All,
I would again solicit any spring records and descriptions from March thru May
for North American Birds for SF.
Thanks to those who have sent them in,

Hugh


That Gull and Willow Flycatcher sightings

Josiah Clark <sunbittern@...>
 

So far no luck on the Willow Fly sightings. I always thought of Willow as the second most common Empid in the city? Dan told me all his Willows were from chain of lakes. I have at least 5 sightings for the Presidio, some from the areas I need. I know Ivan Samuels has a few as well, but if anyone remembers theirs I would still really appreciate them!

Thanks everyone for the input on the gull. Stephen Davies website was very helpful. What a bleached Calif Gull! Still to me this bird is obviously NOT a GW Gull due to size and shape. After talking with Rich Stallcup and peeling apart characteristics he concluded the gull was most likely a 98 model Thayers Gull which has missed a molt or 2. He told of a bird like this at Stow Lake he had in late Spring a couple years ago. (*So Iceland Gull was too ambitious.)
Josiah












Josiah
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Re: Brood Parasitism

Paul Saraceni <Paul.Saraceni@...>
 

I've seen at least 2 young cowbirds at Mt. Davidson recently (6/1), plus 1
female that always seems to be poking around the bushes in which the
White-crowned Sparrows nest -- they are apparently the hosts. Lots of young
White-crowns up there, and 1 young Junco.

Paul

-----Original Message-----
From: Alan Hopkins <ash@...>
To: Jay Withgott <withgott@...>
Cc: rferrick@... <rferrick@...>; sfbirds@...
<sfbirds@...>
Date: Thursday, June 08, 2000 8:59 AM
Subject: Re: [SFBirds] Brood Parasitism


This is the first Cowbird chick I have heard of this year. I have not
been out much, but I've seen lots of Junko chicks and White-crowned
Sparrow chicks in the few times I have been out. It seems to be a good
year so far for those birds.

I have noticed, and I think the SF Breeding Bird Atlas may also show
that the birds that nest in the early spring are less prone to Cowbird
parasitism than those who breed later. It will be interesting to see if
lots of young cowbirds show up soon.


Re: Brood Parasitism

Harry Fuller <harry_fuller@...>
 


[Fwd: Brood Parasitism]

Allan Ridley <aridley@...>
 

I have slides of a DE JUnco parent feeding an oversized cowbird chick in the
Arboretum redwood forest edge near the greenhouse about 5 years ago.

Allan


Mt. Davidson odds & ends

Paul Saraceni <Paul.Saraceni@...>
 

I checked Mt. D. this morning in the hopes that last night's rain dropped
some late migrants down, but no such luck.

This week I've observed a marked increase in numbers of Lesser Goldfinches
(18 on 6/8, 14 on 6/6) and Pine Siskins (11 on 6/8, 6 on 6/6). Has anyone
noted similar happenings elsewhere in the City?

The local Band-tailed Pigeon flock now includes 4 juveniles, usually
roosting or feeding on berries near the Ravine.

Finally, yesterday I observed my first Hooded Oriole (male) at Mt. D.

Paul Saraceni
Paul.Saraceni@...


Land's End odds & ends

fogeggs
 

Wednesday morning I saw 9 adult Pigeon Guillemots in view at once at the
'split rock' nesting area on the north side of Land's End; a higher number
than I've noted there before. Behind them offshore a Peregrine was hunting,
and a young male Hooded Oriole was in the lower end of West Wash.
Brian


Fri AM

rferrick@...
 

Stopped at Land's End and the Cliff House this morning (8:00AM-8:45AM). 2 Sooty Shearwaters flew by the Cliff House just beyond the Cormorant nesting rock. There was lots of Common Murre activity, a couple of Caspian Terns, and 2 Black Oystercatchers. Checked Sutro Baths again, just the regular Gulls.

Rich


cowbirds...only for those of stout heart

Harry Fuller <harry_fuller@...>
 

There was discussion of Cowbirds earlier this week, and last weekend Murphy and
I were trying to recall what we knew about Cowbird invasion of California...here
is rough summary of research paper in Studies in Avian Biology #15. Pub. by
Cooper Ornith. Society.

The Cowbirds' communal feeding and dispersed nesting pattern allows it to fly
many miles daily, and thus rapidly colonize wide areas when the habitat and food
supply allows. The Cowbird is supposed to have been a camp follower of buffalo
and American Plains Indians. They still basically follow large, herding
mammals, usuall eating on the ground. Often taking insects scared up by horses,
buffalo, cattle or soccer players. They thrive in areas of mixed habitat,
discontinuous forest, pastures, fields, corrals, etc. Historically there were

in late 1870s Bendire found them to be rare in Great Basin, none at Malheur in
1870s where they now abound...there is some speculation that as wagon routes
across the Basin and Sierra became set, the Cowbirds followed the larger
migrants westward along the southern routes

By 1890 the Cowbird was into the Great Basin but not yet west of the Sierra
In 1889 they were in the desert east of Los Angeles
In 1905 they were in Loa Angeles County
1907 Bakersfield area
1911 Fresno
1922 Fremont area
1931 Sacramento
1934 Oakland/Berkeley & Yosemite
1941 Eureka
1946 Eugene
1955 Seattle/ Victoria, B.C.
1957 Tahoe

They are the fastest spreadin native bird in North America

Author of this history ended with call for Cowbird population control to save
vireos and flycatchers in California

If anybody enjoys Stephen King I can send them a xerox of this horror story


Friday evening

Harry Fuller <harry_fuller@...>
 

escaped the airless building where I work to confront a gorgeous day that
existed outside

Mother Ruddy Duck with six ducklings...south of cement bridge, Merced...male was
visible 100 yards away
Four juvenile Coot and two juvenile PB Grebe in that part of Merced as well
many juvenile BRBL and RWBL

at south end of Ocean Beach( checkin gon dan's Bank Sw) 1 Pig Guil >6 Surf
Sc 2 Whimbrel all the usual stuff as well

Land's End 2 We Grebe remain nothing else unusual except skunk at the
willows below Merrie Way

This morning: Gadwall pair at Mallard Lake, with Gr Egret nearby...if they have
a nest I hope it is well hidden

Yesterday I checked the nesting HUVI at MIddle Lake, adult still on intact
nest...soon we'll see if they are raising a Cowbird or chicks of their own
and there was a pair of No RW Swallows in the flock feeding over Spreckels


Quail Reports

Alan Hopkins <ash@...>
 

I am sorry if you got this already, it seems that most of my postings
bounced yesterday.

Quail Report Sat June 10,

I�ve been out on the lookout for quail nesting lately.

Strybing:
Friday I did not see either of female quail in Strybing. There was a
male on century duty on the slender Douglas Fur in the California
Garden. This is not far from where the nest was robbed a few weeks ago.
The female could be on a second clutch now. we should keep our eyes
open. I suspect the other female may be trying to nest near or in the
succulent garden again. Unfortunately they had the sprinklers on over
the area and then it rained. This is bad news for birds trying to
incubate eggs.
Last weekend and during the week I weeded around most of our quail
plants, Don Mahony found out that the mowers would be in and had someone
use a weed-wacker to make a broader area around the plants so they
wouldn�t get mowed down.

In the Presidio:

Last weekend I saw a pair near the two brown brick buildings along
Battery Caulfield Rd., but could not find the birds in the restored
area. Today I bumped into Josiah leading a trip for Presidio folks he
was able to point out the pair by the brick buildings, and in the
restored area. (I had looked for both and missed, seems they like it to
warm up before the come out of hiding) Also Damian Raffa had some great
new caution Quail signs put up, near where two females were run over
some time back.

At fort Funston I was finally able to see the bird I had been hearing
for weeks. It was in the restored revine that boarders the northern edge
of the Skyline Grove by some black plastic sheeting. I saw the male
standing on a small concrete structure. He was just standing there
acting strangely, and then I saw the female directly below him in the
structure. As I watched the female I realized why the male was acting so
strangely� the female was hobbling about on one foot and appeared to
have a broken leg. I watched for about ten minutes until the female
hobbled under some brush and out of sight. Ugh! I don�t think she will
last long. I hope she lives long enough to get a clutch off.
While I can�t say for sure who the culprit was, only a quarter of the
dogs that are supposed to be on leashes are actually leashed. All it
would take is one bad dog of the hundreds that go by to do this. �Bad
dog does� not cut it when the dog has a quail in its jaws.

At least the flowers were lovely.

Alan


Wood Duck - North Lake GGP

rferrick@...
 

This morning there was a male Wood Duck on the west side of North Lake in
amongst the Mallards. It was pulling feathers out of its breast, was rather
drab, but had the distinct facial markings.

Not much else there or at Middle Lake. Lesser Goldfinch and Wilson's Warbler
continue at Middle Lake.

Rich