Date: 2/3/18 7:52 am
From: Joel Geier <joel.geier...>
Subject: [obol] Banded Streaked Horned Larks - probability of finding one
Hi Bob & All,

The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife report at this link:
gives information about banded Streaked Horned Larks at Joint Base
Lewis-McChord (JBLM) by Adrian Wolf and his colleagues with the Center
for Natural Lands Management.

As of 2016, a total of 359 larks had been banded on JBLM since 2010. You
could probably add another 100 or so to that total for 2017. However the
total number of banded larks from this population that are still flying
around is no doubt a lot lower. The total population of Streaked Horned
Larks at JBLM and other sites in south Puget Sound area, in any given
nesting season, is about 115 to 125 adult pairs.

Most of the larks banded at JBLM were banded as nestlings, and there is
a lot of mortality in the first year. Fewer than half (~45%) of
nestlings survive the first 8 weeks after fledging, and fewer than one
quarter (18.5 to 24%) return to their natal sites in the following
breeding season. The main factors causing mortality of juveniles in the
migration/overwintering periods still aren't well understood, so this is
part of the motivation for requesting Oregon birders to keep an eye out
for banded larks.

So far as I'm aware, only 3 or 4 of the banded larks from JBLM have ever
been detected by non-professional observers in Oregon. In December 2013,
as part of a Portland Audubon volunteer project, Dave Irons found 2 or 3
banded larks at the Rivergate industrial site in Portland, and managed
to get photos of the bands on one of them. Jim Leonard's detection on
private land north of Baskett Slough NWR this December is the other one
that I've heard of.

In 2014-2015, volunteers on a similar project in the mid-Willamette
Valley checked flocks containing a total of about 460 larks. Of these,
an estimated 108 larks were seen well enough to check for bands, and
none were observed to be banded. So the odds of seeing a color-banded
lark from JBLM in Oregon are about 1:100 or less, even when you're
working hard at it. That was why I got so excited to see Jim's photo.

In addition to CNLM's banding project at JBLM, Randy Moore at Oregon
State University has been banding Streaked Horned Larks at Corvallis
Airport (where the nesting population fluctuates from 35 to 50 pairs). I
think his total number of banded larks is also up in the hundreds, but
again, most of those were banded as nestlings.

A couple of years ago Peter Moore found one of Randy's color-banded
larks at Herbert Open Space (south of Corvallis, about a mile and a half
from Corvallis Airport). That's the only detection that I've heard of
away from Corvallis Airport. But Randy may have additional data from his
own efforts to patrol for wintering Horned Lark flocks.

Good birding,

On Sat, 2018-02-03 at 01:06 -0500, <obol...> wrote:
> From: "Robert O'Brien" <baro...>
> Date: Fri, 2 Feb 2018 10:22:30 -0800
> Subject: [obol] Re: Photo: Banded Streaked Horned Lark Info
> Hi Jim- Great Photo and interesting Info. I wonder how many such
> Larks have been banded to date. Maybe Joel knows. If not it would be
> interested to inquire of your contacts. This would tell something
> about the likelihood of making a find like yours.
> Bob OBrien
> On Fri, Feb 2, 2018 at 7:20 AM, Jim Leonard <photojleonard...>
> wrote:
> > Jim Leonard, while along on Livermore Road just north of Baskett
> Slough > NWR, photographed a Streaked Horned Lark (below), endemic to
> the Pacific > Northwest. This female had two leg bands on each leg.
> > After consulting with Joel Geier and receiving confirmation from
> Adrian Wolf of the Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM), the
> photos of these Horned Larks are from a migratory population in Puget
> Sound, which were banded by the CNLM.

> Per Adrian, “She was banded as a nestling on June 17, 2016, at Gary
> Army Airfield on Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM), up here in the Puget
> lowlands of Pierce County, WA. She returned to JBLM in 2017 as a first
> year breeding bird, but not to Gary Army; rather she bred at McChord
> > Airfield, a case of natal dispersal.” Adrian said that Jim’s
> photograph at Basket Slough will help CNLM with their current movement
> analysis, specifically in understanding where these birds spend the
> winter.
> > Click on link for photo. Photo taken Dec.30, 2017.
> >

Joel Geier
Camp Adair area north of Corvallis

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