Date: 3/20/17 9:29 pm
From: Suzanne Coleman <isooz...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...>
Subject: Re: IBET BY Hummer
Dear birders,
With all of the changes our environment is going through I would not use past data to strictly determine any current or future sightings' or events' probabilities or possibilities.  
I see this occurring quite a bit, especially with the belief held by many that length of day determines migration.  I have seen in the past few years that migration is more dependent on the availability of food sources (usually related to temperatures and temperature stability) than length of day.  It makes sense that the belief that length of day determined migration was held, as in the recorded past climate likely had not gone through this type of change (though it has in the past, but I believe that was over 100 years ago?).  This is a wonderful example of one the best tenets of science:  correlation does not equal causation.  In other words, just because two things occur together does not mean that one is caused by the other.  When an additional variable (temperature) is changed, you can see that the two variables that were believed to be directly linked (migration and daylight length), no longer have that relationship.  I find it very interesting, and we will probably be having more and more examples of this type of broadening of our beliefs as things continue to change in our environment.
Suzanne ColemanPR Cook

From: "Paul Clyne <paulclyne2000...> [ILbirds]" <ILbirds-noreply...>
To: "Bailey, Steven D" <sdbailey...>; "IBET (<ILbirds...>)" <ILbirds...>
Sent: Monday, March 20, 2017 11:06 PM
Subject: Re: IBET BY Hummer

  I guess it goes without saying that remarkably earlyspring reports of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds raise questions of speciesidentification, especially in light of more recent winter records of RufousHummingbirds in the eastern US.  I know from personal communication that the 11 Apr1981 Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Chicago, cited in Bohlen’s 1989 Birds ofIllinois, was actually identified in the field only as a “hummingbird,” but ata time when Ruby-throated Hummingbird was the only species known to haveoccurred in Illinois. It wasn’t until 1986 that Illinois’ first RufousHummingbird was documented.  One previous Illinois report in March forRuby-throated Hummingbird that I’m aware of was published as undocumented inthe IOS journal Meadowlark: female, Cache River (Johnson County), 20 Mar 2004.  Steven Mlodinow’s (1984) Chicago Area Birds includesa record (apparently unpublished at that time) of a specimen of Ruby-throatedHummingbird from Berrien Springs, Michigan, obtained on 30 or 31 Mar 1979. Ihaven’t checked for any updates on that record.  I looked at the eBird range maps for Ruby-throatedHummingbird in March, and there’s nothing there for Illinois. Missouri showsthree validated March records (21-30 March), and there’s also an eBird recordfrom far southern Indiana on 22 Mar. All of these March records, however,appear to come from bulk uploads of historical data, with no further informationincluded in the public eBird output.  How many March records of hummingbirds in theMidwest are identifiably Ruby-throated Hummingbirds?  Paul ClyneChicago (Cook Co) <paulclyne2000...>

From: "'Bailey, Steven D' <sdbailey...> [ILbirds]" <ILbirds-noreply...>
To: "IBET (<ILbirds...>)" <ILbirds...>
Sent: Monday, March 20, 2017 1:10 PM
Subject: Re: IBET BY Hummer

  Today would be an extremely early arrival date for a Ruby-throated Hummingbird to be back in Illinois (in fact the earliest ever!). Bohlen’s Birds of Illinois has April 11th as the earliest hummingbird record for the state. Although there likely has been one or a few earlier arrival dates set for this species since that book was published, it is likely that it is only by one or a few days earlier… not 22 days earlier. Are there a lot of flowers in bloom there in Carroll County, or maybe lots of insects flying around? The reason that it is usually at least mid-April before the hummingbirds get back, is because there will be plenty for them to eat by then. Otherwise, it is basically like committing suicide to arrive back to find there is nothing/virtually nothing for them to eat. Possibly the bird was one of the two species of kinglet, which are not much bigger than a hummingbird (and also hover somewhat like them)… and much more likely to be around now… or maybe even a chickadee. (Sorry if this is a duplicate posting, my first post did not seem to get delivered).   Steve Bailey Mundelein (Lake Co.) <sdbailey...>  

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