Migrant songbird #s up in Sacramento - Steller's Jay also still present #s

Dan Airola

For a local study of effects of residual oak trees on migrant bird use of residential areas, I've conducted systematic transect counts in Sacramento's Curtis Park neighborhood. Migrant numbers have been building up very slowly since early April, but today numbers shot up dramatically. In about 2.5 hrs of survey today covering about 1.8 miles, I had 30 migrants. The previous high count, in surveys of 3.1 miles during May 4-7 was 10 migrants.

New species found today included Cassin's Vireo (1)Hermit(1), Nashville (1), Black-throated Gray (1), and Townsend's Warblers (3). Other species seen today (with today's #s) that were seen in previous surveys included Warbling Vireo (2), Orange-crowned Warbler (1), Wilson's Warbler (6), Western Tanager(6), and Black-headed Grosbeak (8). I did not see any flycatchers today, and have only had one in previous surveys.

The spring survey results appear to be agreeing with those from last fall, showing that residential areas with oaks have much higher use by many migrant species than area that lack oaks.

Unrelated, a neighbor who lives in the heart of the area where the Steller's Jay was seen during Nov 2010-Feb 2011 reported seeing the Steller's Jay yesterday. She said she saw it from 4 feet away on her back deck, and described it well.

This week I also have seen two Red-breasted Nuthatches at different areas of the Curtis Park neighborhood.

Dan Airola