Date: 4/1/17 6:10 pm From: Joel Geier <joel.geier...> Subject: [obol] Fwd: "Oregon" Vesper Sparrow returns to Bald Hill Farm (Benton County)
Sorry, forgot to send this to OBOL yesterday ... Bald Hill Farm is on the west side of Corvallis.
To: MidValley Birds <birding...>, Mid-Valley Nature <mid-valley-nature...> Subject: "Oregon" Vesper Sparrow returns to Bald Hill Farm Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2017 18:01:43 -0700
Bob Altman found a VESPER SPARROW at Bald Hill Farm this morning (31 Mar), near the little ramada/kiosk along the trail that heads south into Bald Hill Park.
This is the same spot where local birders have regularly reported Vesper Sparrows during nesting season in recent years. And indeed, this bird turns out to be one that Bob banded last year in a nesting territory that extended into the pasture on the east side of the ramada. So it returned to basically the same territory that it used last year.
The Vesper Sparrows that nest at Bald Hill and elsewhere in western Oregon, as well as the South Puget Sound region of Washington, belong to a distinct subspecies, "Oregon" Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus affinis). These birds have been proposed for federal listing under the Endangered Species Act by the American Bird Conservancy:
As part of the effort to understand whether and how these birds disperse from productive nesting sites like Bald Hill to take advantage of suitable habitat elsewhere, last year Bob started banding Vesper Sparrows with colored bands. Bob and I will be continuing this project this year at Bald Hill and nearby sites (such as Fitton Green).
Please let us know if you see any color-banded birds. Each bird has been marked with an aluminum band on the bottom of the right leg and a plastic color-band on the top, along with two color bands on the left leg.
If you see a color-banded bird please contact either Bob (<baltman...>, phone 541-745-5331) or me (<joel.geier...>, 541-745-5821) with as much of the following information as possible:
- the date and location, - the color band combinations by leg.
Please note which color band is on top. For example, you might report: "red over aluminum on the right leg, yellow over green on the left leg." Even partial information (for example, if you were just were able to see the colors on one leg) can be useful.
The band colors include red, orange, yellow, green, dark blue, light blue, black, and white. Sometimes the colors of the plastic bands will fade over time with exposure to sunlight, so if what you see doesn't quite line up with that list of colors, please just try to describe what you see. If you manage to get a photo, that would also be helpful!