Date: 7/14/18 10:42 am From: Randy Wardle <wrwardle...> Subject: [MBBIRDS] Cedar Waxwing nest viewing today at 12:30pm
If anyone is interested in seeing an extremely rare sight, only the second recorded nesting of Cedar Waxwings in Santa Cruz County history, I will have a scope set up on 40X at a safe distance today from 12:30pm to 1:30pm along Shell Rd. near Shorebirds Pond at the Pajaro Dunes. Drive just past the slough bridge overpass on Shell Rd. and park to the right and walk back to view the nest and the 3 or 4 growing nestlings. (Help us determine how many there are!). The nest was found several weeks ago by Alex Rinkert and is a rare sight indeed. The chicks are growing fast and will probably fledge in the next week or so. Alex has given the okay to view the nest as long as we stay a good ways away to avoid disturbing them. Bring your scope if you have one and your camera with telephoto lens if you want to try and get photos or video.
Date: 7/10/18 5:53 pm From: Chris Hartzell <c.hartzell...> Subject: [MBBIRDS] Laguna Grande Park and Monterey Audubon
Here is my current statement regarding Laguna Grande Park and Monterey Audubon...
Laguna Grande Park (LGP) is one of the top birding sites in Monterey County. Several years ago there was an effort made by the cities to sterilize the park’s habitat to address the transient population inhabiting the park. As the VP of Monterey Audubon at the time, I stepped in to protect LGP and have spent approximately the last six years and over 1000 hours intervening and working with the responsible agencies to stop catastrophic work and come up with viable solutions to meeting the agency’s needs, while still keeping prime habitat. I have been successful in resolving the problem in the "Virgin Ave. patch" in Monterey's area, but Seaside continues to be an issue. After leaving my role as VP with Monterey Audubon, I continued to represent Monterey Audubon as the Chair of the LGP Committee, which comprised of local birder non-boardmembers.
From the beginning to present, the 'primary' leadership of Monterey Audubon has created intentional roadblocks to the organization getting involved in this project, and recent complications in the project caused by them cannot go unanswered.
Today, I cut my ties with Monterey Audubon completely and will no longer represent Monterey Audubon in the project, or be associated with the organization in any manner under its current leadership. I WILL CONTINUE TO WORK TO PRESERVE LGP, but cannot ethically do so representing Monterey Audubon.
I have notified all the agencies I have been working with and received strong support from both them and the local community in continuing my efforts. All efforts will be continuing without Monterey Audubon's involvement. I will continue to utilize the advice and opinions of those non-board members who were part of the committee and be sure that all future work is done as it has all along; at no time making any major decisions without utilizing multiple opinions and advice to come to the right middle-ground for the project. Money that was donated to Monterey Audubon that was committed to the cause was supposed to be isolated and available for only LGP. Although I will make all attempts for the organization to follow through on those commitments that were put in writing, I can no longer guarantee Monterey Audubon will honor that. I am still a supporter of the purpose and intent of the National Audubon Society and if there are opportunities to incorporate bird education within the park's project, I will fully incorporate National in whenever possible.
Those who know me, know that my ethics, values, and morals are of the highest standard. The leadership of Monterey Audubon has become the opposite of that, for which I can no longer ethically be associated with. It is supposed to be about the birding community and the members, but instead becoming more of an elitist social club based on leadership's time and pet projects. From ongoing resistance and roadblocks on important conservation efforts to the cancellation of the Rare Bird Alert in favor of a private, exclusive notification group to unethical practices and treatment as well as intentional exclusion of membership, and more...I can no longer be a part of such an organization. Although there are those current board members I still respect and believe in, my feelings are so strong about the organization's leadership and practices, I am reaching out to National Audubon about the matter and will also refuse to give any more money to National Audubon if Monterey Audubon is to receive any credit for my membership (yes, Monterey Audubon receives credit for every National membership that has a Monterey County address associated with it).
If you are interested in more details, you may read the attached letter I am sending to National Audubon.
I fully realize and expect many to chastise me for this, outcast and alienate me, try to make arguments about it and even retaliate (as has already occurred). I accepted a position that was supposed to represent the best interest of paying members and the birding community and took on a project that was not for the benefit of the organization or myself, but critical for the environment. My loyalty is not in having a good reputation, but instead to the conservation efforts locally, the organization’s donors and members, and informing local birders about what is happening in their community. I will fulfill my duty regardless of the negativity directed at me and if necessary, defend against the very organization that is supposed to be supporting these causes.
Date: 7/7/18 8:50 am From: 'Elizabeth Van Dyke' via mbbirds <mbbirds...> Subject: [MBBIRDS] Monterey Bay Birding Festival
The Monterey Bay Birding Festival is now open for registration. It will be held September 28-29-30, 2018. There will be about 40 field trips, 5 presentations and 9 workshops to choose from throughout the weekend, plus a “Taste of the Valley” reception on Friday. Keynote speakers include Jonathan Franzen and John Muir Laws. Many thanks go to Debbie Diersch and all the volunteers, trip leaders and presenters who have done a great job in making this event possible.
To learn more details or to register, go to: montereybaybirding.org
I’m in the middle of reorganizing, remodeling the house and am short on book space. I have already given to charity many dozens of books, but saved the following list for any birders, if they are interested. Contact me off-list if you are interested in any of these titles. Donations of bird seed would be much appreciated, but not expected.
Birding at the Bottom of the Bay by Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society
A Birder’s Guide to Southeastern Arizona by Harold Holt
Birds of Northern California (Annotated Field List) by McCaskie, DeBenedictis, Erickson, Morlan
A Birder’s Guide to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas by Harold Holt
A Birder’s Guide to Florida by Harold Holt
A Birder’s Guide to the Texas Coast by Harold Holt
Birds of Yosemite by Stebbins and Stebbins
An Introduction to Southern California Birds by Herbert Clarke
Birding in the American West by Kevin Zimmer
Wood Warblers’ World by Hal Harrison
The Distribution of the Birds of California by Grinnell and Miller
Birds of Southern California’s Deep Canyon by Wesley Weathers
Song and Garden Birds of North America by National Geographic Society
Avian Foraging: Theory, Methodology, and Applications by Morrison, Ralph, Verner and Jehl
The Complete Birder by Jack Connor
Teaching Kids About Birds by Erik Blom
Birdfiniding in Forty National Forests and Grasslands (Birding Magazine Supplement)
Best Birding in Mapa and Solano Counties by Napa-Solano Audubon Society
The World of Roger Tory Peterson by John Devlin and Grace Naismith
Hosting the Birds by Jan Mahnken
Tales of a Low-Rent Birder by Pete Dunne
Birds of Cimarron National Grassland by USDA Forest Service
Pelagic Birds of Monterey Bay, California by Rich Stallcup
A Birder’s Guide to the Lompoc Valley by Gene Lynch
Where Birders Go in Southern California by Henry Childs
Birder’s Guide to Northern California by Lolo and Jim Westrich
A Guide to Bird Behavior Volume 1 by Donald Stokes
Cavity-Nesting Birds of North American Forests by USDA Forest Service
An Audubon Handbook Western Birds
Getting Started in Bird Watching by Edward Cronin
Birds Tomorrow by Norval Barger
The Birdwatcher’s Book of Lists by Lester Short
Rare Birds of the West Coast by Don RobersonBirdhouses, Feeders You Can Make by Hi Sibley
Feather Quest - A North American Birder’s Year by Pete Dunne
Bird Conservation International Volume 5, Numbers 2/3 1995 (Ted Parker Memorial Issue)
Backyard Birding by Terence Lindsey and RG Turner
Finding Birds Around the World by Peter Alden and John Gooders
The Birder’s Handbook by Paul Ehrlich, David Dobkin and Darryl Wheye
Beginner’s Guide to Birdwatching by Todd Culver and Paul Konrad
The Bird Garden by Stephen Kres
Bird Watch (photography) by Bates Littlehales (I think you would like this one, Carole Rose!)
National Audubon Society Book of Wild Birds by Les Line and Franklin Russell
All the World’s Animals - Songbirds edited by Graham Bateman
Where the Birds Are - A Guide to All 50 States and Canada by John Oliver Jones
The Living World of Audubon by Roland Clement
Ecology and Conservation of Neotropical Migrant Landlords by John Hagan III and David Johnston
Date: 7/6/18 12:28 pm From: 'Lisa Sheridan' via mbbirds <mbbirds...> Subject: Re: [MBBIRDS] Memorial Picnic
Hi Friends of Steve and Fellow Birders,
I'm looking forward to honoring Steve this Sunday and enjoying an opportunity to meet and mingle with other members of our club.
As a last minute idea please consider bringing any of your nature books to trade or give to others. including- bird books for other countries, plant and bug id reference books.
This is not meant to be a book drop off but rather an opportunity to share or trade among ourselves.
Looking forward to seeing you all again,
From: Nickie Zavinsky <nickiezee0111...>
To: Mbbirds Bay Birds <mbbirds...>
Sent: Fri, Jul 6, 2018 10:01 am
Subject: [MBBIRDS] Memorial Picnic
Please join us on Sunday Iuly 8th at 11:00 for the 2nd annual Steve Gerow Memorial Picnic. The picnic will be held at the 40 Thieves picnic area in DeLaveaga Park. To get to 40 Thieves pass the main park entrance. Look for picnic grounds signs on the right and turn in there.
The Bird Club will provide cups, plates and
Cutlery for this potluck. Please bring a dish to share.
Hope to see you there!
Nickie ZavinskyOld Friends Pet Supportwww.santacruzpets.com1-(831)566-8580
Date: 7/6/18 10:01 am From: Nickie Zavinsky <nickiezee0111...> Subject: [MBBIRDS] Memorial Picnic
Please join us on Sunday Iuly 8th at 11:00 for the 2nd annual Steve Gerow Memorial Picnic. The picnic will be held at the 40 Thieves picnic area in DeLaveaga Park. To get to 40 Thieves pass the main park entrance. Look for picnic grounds signs on the right and turn in there. The Bird Club will provide cups, plates and Cutlery for this potluck. Please bring a dish to share. Hope to see you there! Nickie -- Nickie Zavinsky Old Friends Pet Support www.santacruzpets.com 1-(831)566-8580
Date: 7/5/18 9:49 pm From: James Maughn <jamaughn...> Subject: [MBBIRDS] Blue Grosbeak (?) at Quien Sabe Road, San Benito Co.
At 4pm today, there was something BLUE GROSBEAKish at the top of Quien Sabe Road, at the gate at the top of the hill just before the road turns and drops down into the valley and ceases there to be publicly accessible. (This is after the road deadends at Santa Ana or Anita or whichever it is, and then veers off again to the left...)
I say grosbeakish because the bird seemed to have a lighter-colored breast than I would expect, but the beak was much too heavy for a Lazuli Bunting.
Here's a link, with photos and a map that's probably less convoluted than my description of the location:
Date: 7/4/18 1:18 pm From: Randy Wardle <wrwardle...> Subject: [MBBIRDS] Birding email for July
Here is the birding email for the month of July in Santa Cruz County for those that are interested. Thanks to Alex and Lois for their continued support for this project. Hope you have a Happy 4th!
July has arrived, it's the middle of summer, and there is a lot of birding activity in our county. Many species are still actively breeding and some are even raising a second brood. There seems to be recently fledged young everywhere and lots of juveniles can be heard begging for food from their parents. Many bird fledglings will be dispersing from their natal grounds during the month.
Watch for Loggerhead Shrikes and Western Meadowlarks in area grasslands this month as they presumably disperse from breeding locations outside the county. Also keep an eye out for post-breeding dispersants such as Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Western Tanagers, Lazuli Buntings, Bullock's Orioles, and many others that may turn up in areas where they do not breed. Continue to watch for Purple Martins at places like Terrace Point, Natural Bridges and Watsonville and also for Black Swifts on the north coast at Moore Creek Preserve, Wilder Ranch and Sand Hill Bluff. July is also a good month to listen at dusk for Common Poorwills up at Loma Prieta. Are there any Tricolored Blackbirds breeding in the county this year? They have most recently bred at the quarry in Wilder Ranch and at Last Chance Road in Swanton, but the county's breeding population seems to be dwindling.
As July progresses, Wood Ducks begin congregating at Neary Lagoon. All of the duck species are now molting into eclipse plumage around the county and it is getting more difficult to distinguish the sexes.
Fall shorebird migration picks up throughout the month. Look for adult golden-plovers, Ruddy Turnstones, Red Knots, phalaropes and other rarer migrants along coastal rocky shores and area beaches. Black Turnstones and Surfbirds should also start returning this month. During July, Sooty Shearwaters become more numerous as do Heermann's Gulls, Brown Pelicans, and Elegant Terns. Toward the end of the month be sure to start watching for Least and Common Terns at creek and river mouths in the county. Also by late July, fledgling Common Murres from breeding colonies to the north will start floating into county waters. Pigeon Guillemots will also begin fledging, as will Marbled Murrelets. Juveniles of these two species are often confused with each other so you will need to be careful when identifying them.
Between all the breeding activity, the dispersing of many species, and the beginning of Fall migration of shorebirds along the coast, there is plenty to look for in July. I wish you much success and good birding this month!
Date: 7/3/18 1:19 pm From: Nickie Zavinsky <nickiezee0111...> Subject: [MBBIRDS] Fwd: SC Bird Club: new July events for members!
---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Santa Cruz Bird Club <singersa.aol.com...>
Date: Mon, Jul 2, 2018 at 8:03 PM
Subject: SC Bird Club: new July events for members!
Join us for a picnic and a coastal walk
View this email in your browser
<https://mailchi.mp/513f6b510809/sc-bird-club-new-july-events-for-members?e=e6713ab4ca> Come one and all and join us for the *2nd annual Steve Gerow Memorial
Picnic and Book Exchange!*
* Sunday July 8th at 11:00 am.*
The picnic will be at the 40 Thieves picnic area in DeLaveaga Park. To get
to 40 Thieves pass the main park entrance. Look for picnic grounds signs on
the right and turn in there.
Please bring a dish to share and any bird or nature books you’d like to
trade or donate.
The Bird Club will provide cups, plates and cutlery.
* Hope to see you all there!*
*Coastal Bird Walk:* Saturday, July 28th at 8:00 am
The Santa Cruz Bird Club
the Santa Cruz Sierra Club are co-sponsoring a bird walk in celebration of
the 100 year anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The clubs
welcome you to explore nature together in the wonders of Wilder Ranch State
Park. The varied habitats of this park hold a good variety of birds and
other wildlife. We will take a coastal walk along Old Cove Landing Trail.
Expect a few miles of easy flat walking (walk rating Easy 1A).
*Field leaders:* the bird walk will be led by Phil Brown and Nicholas
Levendosky, two highly knowledgeable Santa Cruz Bird Club field leaders.
I invite you all to my talk on Tuesday Jul 10, for Monterey Audubon Society. It is titled, Birding to Save Colombia's Birds. It is about the work I have been involved in with National Audubon to use birding tourism as an engine for economic growth in small communities in Colombia, and how this is a catalyst for long term conservation. With a bunch of bird photos and details about the places we are visiting and birding in.
Date: 7/2/18 4:02 pm From: Alvaro Jaramillo <chucao...> Subject: RE: [MBBIRDS] dead Red-footed Booby on Moss Landing SB
Wow! Hi, this is a brown morph adult. Reasons are that it has red feet, as well, the bill is mainly gray with a pinkish looking base of the mandible. Juveniles also show an indistinct darker breast band. Basically juveniles have blackish bills, and older immatures (year 1 -2) have pink bills with dark tips.
Date: 7/2/18 10:22 am From: Heidi Sandkuhle <mrskuhle...> Subject: Re: [MBBIRDS] Steve Gerow Memorial Picnic
What day and time, please.
From: Nickie Zavinsky
Sent: Monday, July 02, 2018 9:55 AM
To: Mbbirds Bay Birds
Subject: [MBBIRDS] Steve Gerow Memorial Picnic
Come one and all and join us for the 2nd annual Steve Gerow Memorial Picnic. The picnic will be at the 40 Thieves picnic area in DeLaveaga Park. To get to 40 Thieves pass the main park entrance. Look for picnic grounds signs on the right and turn in there.
The Bird Club will provide cups, plates and
Cutlery for this potluck affair. Please bring a dish to share.
Hope to see you all there!
Date: 7/2/18 9:55 am From: Nickie Zavinsky <nickiezee0111...> Subject: [MBBIRDS] Steve Gerow Memorial Picnic
Come one and all and join us for the 2nd annual Steve Gerow Memorial Picnic. The picnic will be at the 40 Thieves picnic area in DeLaveaga Park. To get to 40 Thieves pass the main park entrance. Look for picnic grounds signs on the right and turn in there. The Bird Club will provide cups, plates and Cutlery for this potluck affair. Please bring a dish to share. Hope to see you all there! -- Nickie Zavinsky Old Friends Pet Support www.santacruzpets.com 1-(831)566-8580
On Sat, Jun 30, 2018 at 8:41 PM, Barbara Riverwoman <river...> wrote:
> The female Long-tailed Duck was still present at about 7:15 pm, actively > diving near the pump station outlet on the east side of the river. It > surfaced for very short periods, then stayed underwater for15-30 seconds. > > > -- > For Monterey Rare Bird alerts call 831-250-4550 > --- > You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups > "mbbirds" group. > To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an > email to mbbirds+<unsubscribe...> > To post to this group, send email to <mbbirds...> > To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/d/ > msgid/mbbirds/<40545D15-9E80-4A72-A73A-6C1378301CD9...> > For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout. >
The female Long-tailed Duck was still present at about 7:15 pm, actively diving near the pump station outlet on the east side of the river. It surfaced for very short periods, then stayed underwater for15-30 seconds.
Date: 6/30/18 12:25 pm From: Pete Sole <pete...> Subject: Re: [MBBIRDS] Grosbeak hybrid?
First, thanks to Anna and Jeff for their responses.
I agree with them that the bird is a heavily streaked immature Black-headed Grosbeak.
On 6/30/18 9:53 AM, Pete Sole wrote: > Hi Birders, > > This morning we had 5 or more Black-headed Grosbeaks on the feeders > today. Some were recently fledged young. At one point we had 4 birds > less than a yard apart. It was fun to study the variations among > individuals. In particular, one bird that came by alone, struck me due > to the amount of streaking on the belly, flanks, and close to the > breast. Here's an image that hopefully is good enough to debate: > > http://www.lighthousenet.com/photos/birds/documentary/grosbeak_180630a.jpg > > > Question: > > Is the streaking on this bird within the "normal" variation of the > Black-headed Grosbeak species, or is it indicative of a Black-headed / > Rose-breasted hybrid? > > The more bi-colored bill would rule out a pure female or immature > Rose-breasted Grosbeak, but the streaking seemed to be particularly > heavy compared to the other Black-headed Grosbeaks I saw this morning. > > Your thoughts? > > Oh, and one other cool bird was an osprey fly over with a fish in its > talons. Documentary type shot here: > http://www.lighthousenet.com/photos/birds/documentary/osprey_180630a.jpg > > Fun birding, > > Pete Sole > > Soquel, CA > > > > > > >
Date: 6/30/18 9:53 am From: Pete Sole <pete...> Subject: [MBBIRDS] Grosbeak hybrid?
This morning we had 5 or more Black-headed Grosbeaks on the feeders today. Some were recently fledged young. At one point we had 4 birds less than a yard apart. It was fun to study the variations among individuals. In particular, one bird that came by alone, struck me due to the amount of streaking on the belly, flanks, and close to the breast. Here's an image that hopefully is good enough to debate:
Is the streaking on this bird within the "normal" variation of the Black-headed Grosbeak species, or is it indicative of a Black-headed / Rose-breasted hybrid?
The more bi-colored bill would rule out a pure female or immature Rose-breasted Grosbeak, but the streaking seemed to be particularly heavy compared to the other Black-headed Grosbeaks I saw this morning.
Date: 6/24/18 9:26 pm From: larry corridon <larry961357...> Subject: Re: [MBBIRDS] Costa's Hummingbird bill abnormality
Last year and the year before I had one Anna’ Hummer with a smooth “knob” on the upper bill and one with a “knob” on the lower bill. They didn’t return this year but seemed quite heathy…once I took a couple of yellow flowers out of my feeders so that they could feed. I would love to know definitively if this might be contagious. On line searches didn’t seem to answer this.<IMG_2001.jpeg>
I’ve tried to attach a photo but it may not appear.
Date: 6/21/18 11:41 am From: Blake Matheson <gypaetusbarbatus1...> Subject: [MBBIRDS] Summer 2018 MAS Newsletter
Monterey Audubon's latest Sanderling Newsletter is now available on our
esy of Michael Mont
and includes a timely, important and informative article regarding
endangered Tricolored Blackbirds, a California near-endemic species, as
well as our upcoming schedule of lectures. Enjoy!
*Blake T. Matheson*
http://www.birdsandbeasts.org * "If you save the living environment, the biodiversity that we have left,
you will also automatically save the physical environment, too... If you
only save the physical environment, you will ultimately lose both." E.O.
Date: 6/20/18 8:08 am From: Howard Stephenson <hlstephenson...> Subject: Re: [MBBIRDS] Black Swift’s at Wilder Coast
Monday I made the trip to Ano Nuevo State Park looking for Bank Swallows
and Black Swifts, life birds for me.
The Banks where easy to find at Cove Beach, located west of the beach
access stairway. I had up to 20 checking out the nesting holes. No nesting
activity or feeding of babies was noted.
The Black Swifts where a little harder to find.
I had a possible quick view of a pair very high inland above Cove Beach
bluffs, not a very satisfying look to check them off the list.
I finally got good binocular views with up to 5 Black Swifts feeding very
high up in the wind shear looking back inland from Bright Beach boardwalk
area .Some courtship chasing was noted.
To get access to the Bright Beach area you'll need to get a free seal
viewing pass at the main entry gate. The Park fee is $10 ($9 for seniors 62
On Tue, Jun 19, 2018 at 10:21 PM, Alexander Gaguine <gaguine...>
> Tonight on Ohlone Bluff Trail, Wilder Ranch SP. 7:30 pm. Three Black
> Swifts flying together around cove 100 yds east of Strawberry Beach
> (between Dairy Gulch and 3-Mile Beach). Very interactive with each other.
> Stayed over the same cove for 5-6 minutes. For a moment they flew low and
> directly overhead. Eileen Balian could hear them twittering. Then they
> disappeared. All glossy black with “swift” wingbeats. Stood out clearly
> among the many Cliff Swallows. No white or brown of other swift species.
> Sent from my iPhone
> For Monterey Rare Bird alerts call 831-250-4550
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
> "mbbirds" group.
> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
> email to mbbirds+<unsubscribe...>
> To post to this group, send email to <mbbirds...>
> To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/d/ms > gid/mbbirds/<09B32BFF-33C1-41A4-8278-2146E635D740...>
> For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.
Date: 6/19/18 10:22 pm From: Alexander Gaguine <gaguine...> Subject: [MBBIRDS] Black Swift’s at Wilder Coast
Tonight on Ohlone Bluff Trail, Wilder Ranch SP. 7:30 pm. Three Black Swifts flying together around cove 100 yds east of Strawberry Beach (between Dairy Gulch and 3-Mile Beach). Very interactive with each other. Stayed over the same cove for 5-6 minutes. For a moment they flew low and directly overhead. Eileen Balian could hear them twittering. Then they disappeared. All glossy black with “swift” wingbeats. Stood out clearly among the many Cliff Swallows. No white or brown of other swift species. Fun!
Sent from my iPhone
Date: 6/19/18 5:11 pm From: Lisa Larson <lisafaylarson...> Subject: [MBBIRDS] Pinto Lake is bustling!
I found another Bittern brood of three at the north end of the first arm of the Lake. VERY small and fuzzy. They have been in the same spot since 10:30 when I spotted them being fed. So I have confirmed 8 chicks!
Red-shouldered Hawks have fledged and it is noisy! I have seen one baby, but I believe I may have heard 2. Both parents are feeding them.
Also freshly fledged Scrub Jays, California Thrashers, Spotted Towhees.
Fledged ACWO and Nuttall's are still being fed.
Bittern drama on the middle arm! Squabbles between males and females. I took a video. Quite a spectacle! Two "dueling boomer" males.
I was happy to see a juice Black- crowned Night Heron fishing 20 feet from me! It didn't know I was there. I hadn't seen a BCNH there for quite a while!
Date: 6/18/18 2:58 pm From: Lisa Larson <lisafaylarson...> Subject: [MBBIRDS] American Bitterns at Pinto Lake Co. Park
Sorry for the late post. I can't seem to find enough time to bird AND post these days!
I saw 11 BITTERNS at Pinto on Friday. There were indeed five babies. I took a video of a big male booming away. I heard three males - one on the first arm and two in the middle arm of Pinto Lake. I also saw a female on the first arm and two on the second arm.
There were two older babies closer to the waterline. It was amazing how huge their heads looked compared to their mom. They looked like they were nearly swallowing her head as she regurgitated food into their mouths. She would only feed one and then fly or skulk out to get more food before feeding the other.
There was another female with three smaller babies farther in from the lake, presumably near the nest. These babies were much smaller. I had never seen a bittern so young and small - all fuzz. She flew out to hunt for more mood for them.
This is something interesting I wondered about as I watched the babies being fed for hours:
At one point I saw a female feeding one of the two larger babies, then she flew over to where the smaller babies were and fed one of them before flying back out. So, was the same female mother to all 5 chicks?
The same male will copulate with 2-3 females. She will have 3-5 eggs, sometimes 2-7 per Kenn Kaufman's "Lives of North American Birds".
So it is perfectly conceivable that all 5 chicks were hers. Or were they? It was obviously exhausting work, feeding all those hungry babies. The fuzzy heads of the larger ones made her head look like a needle. Is it possible that there could be cooperative feeding of young between females who have bred with the same male? Does it even matter if they have the same father? Clearly, there was one dominant male in that arm of the lake. Could the adult female have been related? Without constant surveillance and tagging of individual birds we can never know. Unless they are captured and DNA is tested. But that would cause undue stress and be terrifying/cruel to the birds.
Has anyone else seen two female American Bitterns feeding the same young?
BTW-we are careful to clean our feeders 2x per week or more, but I’ve taken down ALL the hummingbird feeders, bleached them and am putting them away for a few weeks to prevent further spread of the pox.
Also, I took down the bird bath after bleaching it.
Avian pox is also spread by mosquitos. So taking down feeders will not necessarily stop the spread, but it should help prevent further infections. Eliminating standing water, even in small pots helps prevent breeding mosquitos. Also, we have mosquito fish in our horse troughs to help with prevention.
I’d be interested in hearing of other cases occurring in our area.
Date: 6/18/18 11:34 am From: Donald Glasco <don.glasco...> Subject: [MBBIRDS] Moonglow rookery
I am passing on summary of ‘official’ count of Moonglow/Seal Bend corm/heron//egret rookery from Kerstin Wasson of Elkhorn Slough. Count date was 11 June.
The rookery is going strong in the Seal Bend eucalyptus grove. This year, quite a few trees to the West of the usual location were used, making counting a bit more difficult. Still, by walking out to the end of the levee, you can see them all. This is a great time to take a look at the large chicks roaming around near nests, waiting for parents to come feed them; in a few more weeks they will fledge. So if you have a chance, go check it out!
· Great blue herons have held remarkably steady for the past decades; this year they have 21 nests which is on the high side of typical. Most nests have two chicks, already about 80% of adult size.
· Great egret nest numbers are variable, and this represented the worst year since the move from the main Reserve to the Seal Bend area, with only 20 nests. Their chicks are still too small to count (hunkered down in the nest, and of course we can’t peek in from far below).
· Double-crested cormorant nest numbers are also variable over time; this year, we counted 115 nests. Most nests had either 2 or 3 chicks, about 80% of adult size. Both their nest numbers and their chick numbers have been on the rise since a dip in 2015-2016.