ALBirds
Received From Subject
4/24/24 11:32 am Greg D. Jackson via groups.io <g_d_jackson...> Re: [ALbirds] Musings on Fallouts
4/23/24 8:03 pm Ken Hare via groups.io <kmhare46...> Re: [ALbirds] Musings on Fallouts
4/23/24 7:24 pm Drew Haffenden via groups.io <andrew...> Re: [ALbirds] Musings on Fallouts
4/23/24 2:10 pm Eric Soehren via groups.io <esoehren...> [ALbirds] Vacant Breeding Bird Survey Routes - Seeking Volunteers (2024)
4/23/24 1:05 pm Collin Stempien via groups.io <cstempien40...> [ALbirds] Musings on Fallouts
4/21/24 7:24 pm Lucy & Bob Email via groups.io <RobertADuncan...> [ALbirds] Summary of today's fallout at Ft. Pickens
4/21/24 5:34 am Lucy & Bob Email via groups.io <RobertADuncan...> [ALbirds] fallout coming
4/20/24 6:32 pm Lucy & Bob Email via groups.io <RobertADuncan...> [ALbirds] Birding prospects
4/20/24 7:10 am Ken Hare via groups.io <kmhare46...> [ALbirds] Bells Vireo
4/20/24 6:16 am Bob Reed via groups.io <bobreed1987...> Re: [ALbirds] Analysis of yesterday's coastal birding
4/19/24 11:20 am Gregory J. Harber via groups.io <gharber...> Re: [ALbirds] Painted Bunting
4/19/24 10:33 am LINDA HENCKELL via groups.io <beaumama...> [ALbirds] Painted Bunting
4/19/24 8:07 am <swmavocet...> via groups.io <swmavocet...> [ALbirds] fyi - Semi-rare bird report to eBird
4/19/24 7:13 am <swmavocet...> via groups.io <swmavocet...> Re: [ALbirds] Merlin and Identification
4/17/24 6:41 pm Damien J. Simbeck via groups.io <tnbarredowl...> Re: [ALbirds] Merlin and Identification
4/17/24 5:22 pm Scott Gravette via groups.io <inadu4...> Re: [ALbirds] Merlin and Identification
4/17/24 5:09 pm Ken Hare via groups.io <kmhare46...> Re: [ALbirds] Merlin and Identification
4/17/24 12:35 pm Jim Holmes via groups.io <jfholmes...> Re: [ALbirds] Merlin and Identification
4/17/24 11:55 am Bob Reed via groups.io <bobreed1987...> Re: [ALbirds] I don’t know if these are rare right now , but there were 17 Long-billed Dowitchers at Harrison Lake This morning . First dike by Hwy 17 on the point .
4/17/24 11:38 am Joe Wujcik via groups.io <yckmass...> [ALbirds] I don’t know if these are rare right now , but there were 17 Long-billed Dowitchers at Harrison Lake This morning . First dike by Hwy 17 on the point .
4/17/24 7:36 am Katherine Clemo via groups.io <kclemo54...> Re: [ALbirds] Merlin and Identification
4/17/24 6:10 am Bob Reed via groups.io <bobreed1987...> Re: [ALbirds] Merlin and Identification
4/17/24 4:24 am Damien J. Simbeck via groups.io <tnbarredowl...> Re: [ALbirds] Merlin and Identification
4/16/24 6:04 pm Bob Reed via groups.io <bobreed1987...> Re: [ALbirds] Merlin and Identification
4/16/24 3:28 pm Douglas Hamm via groups.io <dhamm72...> Re: [ALbirds] Merlin and Identification
4/16/24 12:12 pm Jim Holmes via groups.io <jfholmes...> [ALbirds] Merlin and Identification
4/15/24 2:17 pm Mason Currier via groups.io <masonacurrier...> Re: [ALbirds] Pelagic Info!
4/15/24 9:46 am Greg D. Jackson via groups.io <g_d_jackson...> [ALbirds] Saginaw/Calera this AM (15 Apr)
4/15/24 6:29 am ToddDeVore via groups.io <devore...> Re: [ALbirds] Upland Sandpiper in Shelby Co
4/14/24 6:22 pm Ken Wills via groups.io <memontei...> Re: [ALbirds] Upland Sandpiper in Shelby Co
4/14/24 11:50 am Rick Remy via groups.io <rickremy...> [ALbirds] Upland Sandpiper in Shelby Co
4/14/24 7:47 am <swmavocet...> via groups.io <swmavocet...> Re: [ALbirds] Bobwhite on Dauphin Island
4/14/24 6:43 am Greg D. Jackson <g_d_jackson...> Re: [ALbirds] Bobwhite on Dauphin Island
4/14/24 6:34 am Melinda W <Modoodle1989...> Re: [ALbirds] Bobwhite on Dauphin Island
4/14/24 6:05 am Greg D. Jackson <g_d_jackson...> Re: [ALbirds] Upland Sandpiper spectacle
4/14/24 4:55 am Lucy & Bob Email <RobertADuncan...> Re: [ALbirds] Bobwhite on Dauphin Island
4/14/24 4:30 am Tommie Rogers <sundragon1...> Re: [ALbirds] Bobwhite on Dauphin Island
4/13/24 11:46 pm Jud Johnston <egrosbeak1946...> Re: [ALbirds] Bobwhite on Dauphin Island
4/13/24 8:25 pm Chuck Estes via groups.io <chucklola...> Re: [ALbirds] Bobwhite on Dauphin Island
4/13/24 7:20 pm Drew Haffenden <andrew...> Re: [ALbirds] Bobwhite on Dauphin Island
4/13/24 6:40 pm Geoffrey Hill <hillgee...> [ALbirds] Bobwhite on Dauphin Island
4/13/24 9:45 am Greg D. Jackson <g_d_jackson...> [ALbirds] Wilson’s Phalarope in Swan Creek WMA
4/13/24 9:08 am Craig Litteken via groups.io <littekenc...> [ALbirds] Upland Sandpiper spectacle
4/10/24 11:04 pm Drew Haffenden <andrew...> Re: [ALbirds] WINDY caution
4/10/24 8:05 pm Lucy & Bob Email <RobertADuncan...> [ALbirds] WINDY caution
4/10/24 3:39 pm Mason Currier <masonacurrier...> [ALbirds] Pelagic Info!
4/10/24 7:50 am Drew Haffenden <andrew...> Re: [ALbirds] AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour
4/10/24 6:02 am park mcgehee <parkmcgehee...> Re: [ALbirds] AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour
4/10/24 5:58 am park mcgehee <parkmcgehee...> Re: [ALbirds] AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour
4/9/24 5:11 pm Lawrence Gardella <lfgardella...> Re: [ALbirds] AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour
4/9/24 5:09 pm Cheryl Killingsworth <killingsworthcheryl...> Re: [ALbirds] AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour
4/9/24 4:35 pm Drew Haffenden <andrew...> Re: [ALbirds] AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour
4/9/24 4:24 pm Cheryl Killingsworth <killingsworthcheryl...> Re: [ALbirds] AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour
4/9/24 3:39 pm Lawrence Gardella <lfgardella...> Re: [ALbirds] AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour
4/9/24 3:34 pm Drew Haffenden <andrew...> Re: [ALbirds] AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour
4/9/24 3:07 pm Cheryl Killingsworth <killingsworthcheryl...> Re: [ALbirds] AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour
4/9/24 3:03 pm Drew Haffenden <andrew...> [ALbirds] AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour
4/5/24 1:51 pm Geoffrey Hill <hillgee...> [ALbirds] Western Grebe at Guntersville
4/4/24 7:14 am Lucy & Bob Email <RobertADuncan...> [ALbirds] Analysis of yesterday's coastal birding
4/3/24 5:53 pm Lucy & Bob Email <RobertADuncan...> [ALbirds] Today's weather
4/3/24 6:37 am Katherine Clemo <kclemo54...> Re: [ALbirds] Week's birding propects
4/2/24 6:52 pm Lawrence Gardella <lfgardella...> Re: [ALbirds] Week's birding propects
4/2/24 6:24 pm Cynthia Freeman <Cynthiafreeman633...> Re: [ALbirds] AOS Spring Meeting
4/2/24 2:41 pm Drew Haffenden <andrew...> [ALbirds] AOS Spring Meeting
4/1/24 8:44 am Lucy & Bob Email <RobertADuncan...> [ALbirds] Week's birding propects
3/31/24 10:23 am Lucy & Bob Email <RobertADuncan...> [ALbirds] Fork-tailed Flycatcher at FT. Pickens 8:45 a.m.
3/30/24 6:13 pm Lawrence Gardella <lfgardella...> [ALbirds] Interesting Song Series by Hooded Warbler
3/30/24 8:12 am Greg D. Jackson <g_d_jackson...> Re: [ALbirds] New eBird pelagic filter coverage - Gulf of Mexico (GoM) waters
3/29/24 11:27 am Donald Dehm <donalddehm...> Re: [ALbirds] Gray gull
3/29/24 10:49 am Drew Haffenden <andrew...> Re: [ALbirds] Gray gull
3/28/24 1:59 pm Mason Currier <masonacurrier...> Re: [ALbirds] Possible Western Flycather
3/28/24 12:00 pm Collin Stempien <cstempien40...> Re: [ALbirds] Possible Western Flycather
3/28/24 11:20 am Jim Holmes via groups.io <jfholmes...> Re: [ALbirds] Possible Western Flycather
3/28/24 2:57 am Donald Dehm <donalddehm...> Re: [ALbirds] Gray gull
3/27/24 7:29 pm Drew Haffenden <andrew...> [ALbirds] Gray gull
3/27/24 12:31 pm Melinda W <Modoodle1989...> Re: [ALbirds] Odd Cattle egret
3/27/24 11:28 am Jud Johnston <egrosbeak1946...> Re: [ALbirds] Odd Cattle egret
3/27/24 8:18 am john cole via groups.io <johnb_cole...> Re: [ALbirds] Odd Cattle egret
3/27/24 6:05 am Brent <brenteanes72...> Re: [ALbirds] Odd Cattle egret
3/27/24 5:42 am Craig Litteken via groups.io <littekenc...> [ALbirds] Odd Cattle egret
3/25/24 3:56 pm Bill Summerour <billsummerour...> Re: [ALbirds] New eBird pelagic filter coverage - Gulf of Mexico (GoM) waters
 
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Date: 4/24/24 11:32 am
From: Greg D. Jackson via groups.io <g_d_jackson...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Musings on Fallouts
Collin and all,

This is very well put and illustrates the reality of the enormous
challenges these birds face each spring. Your admonitions about
overly-enthusiastic pursuit while viewing or photographing the exhausted
migrants is spot on, and something we all need to keep in mind.

As you said, we have no direct control over these events, and the perils
of this journey have been present naturally for many thousands of years.
As such, I personally do not feel shame in feeling excitement about the
possibility of viewing this true spectacle of nature. I also get excited
about seeing vagrant birds, even if I know many of these far-displaced
individuals sadly may not survive. It is indeed important, though, to
not make their precarious situation worse.

Where we have significant influence in this process is in the provision
and maintenance of crucial emergency stopover habitat along the Gulf. It
is also vital the public is educated about the importance of these
places. The efforts of DIBS and others have made a huge difference in
the survival of these birds when they need it most, and we need to
further support this fine work.

Greg


Greg D. Jackson

Birmingham, AL


On 4/23/2024 3:05 PM, Collin Stempien wrote:
> Note: photo of dead bird included.
> Few things get Northern Gulf Coast birders more excited than hearing predictions of a fallout. While these conditions provide an incredible spectacle for us birders, on a more somber note, these events can really take a toll on the birds. These migrants aren’t stopping to enjoy our white sandy beaches, but rather, because they are on the literal verge of death. Fallouts occur because conditions switched to an unfavorable direction, and in major events, force migrants to exhaust every last gram of stored energy, to the point many are unable to recover.
>
> Conditions earlier this week appeared to be aligning for a classic fallout, but for those of us on the western side of our area, birding Saturday evening and Sunday morning was surprisingly slow. Very few migrants were present, even in the classic migrant traps. While this may have largely indicated that birds were vectored elsewhere, I did find it somewhat concerning, particularly the switch to very strong north winds overnight.
>
> While surveying a nearshore island in Mississippi Monday morning (which I survey constantly throughout the year for work), I noticed something unusual. Low numbers of very tired migrants were still around, trying their best to recover in a poor quality habitat. Sights such as a Blackpoll Warbler foraging on the ground of a sandy dune, trying to build back its reserves, greeted me. Other species included Yellow, Prairie, Blue-winged, and Black-throated Green warblers, a Northern Waterthrush, a Yellow-throated Vireo, etc. all foraging along some lightly vegetated beach dunes. This island doesn’t even host a single tree, hardly the ideal stopover site for otherwise forest-y birds.
>
> This morning, while conducting surveys on a Mississippi barrier island, I found some evidence of what I was afraid of. Migrants that were otherwise in beautiful condition and unharmed, were lying dead in the vegetation. A quick search turned up Gray Catbirds and Red-eyed Vireos with what we would refer to as fat scores and muscle scores of 0 in the banding world, meaning the bird had essentially used up every single remnant of energy reserve it had. These birds were lucky enough to make it to land, but were unable to recover, and are surely only a tiny portion compared to the birds who did not make it across the gulf to be found.
>
> Sorry to dull the mood, but I think it is important to keep these things in mind. I too am more than guilty of being excited at the prospects of incoming birds. While events such as these are entirely out of our control, they serve as an important reminder to enjoy the sights but give birds space and respect. The last thing they need is to be pushed from tree to tree for photos, or to be lured in by a fake song coming from a speaker. Birds are simply trying to survive and move on; let’s allow them to carry on rebuilding those reserves so that future generations of bird nerds don’t just have to hear about “the old days” where birds were everywhere.
>
> Collin
>
>
>
>
>
>


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Date: 4/23/24 8:03 pm
From: Ken Hare via groups.io <kmhare46...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Musings on Fallouts
 

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Date: 4/23/24 7:24 pm
From: Drew Haffenden via groups.io <andrew...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Musings on Fallouts
Collin I echo your thoughts. While I like most other birders take advantage of a fallout, I believe - and have shared my thoughts previously - that hoping for one or celebrating one is misguided if one I concerned about our birds. Scores of thousands to hundreds of thousands of birds dying while crossing the gulf is not something to hope for. Sweet passage across and safe arrival is.

Cheers,

Drew Haffenden
________________________________
From: <ALbirds...> <ALbirds...> on behalf of Collin Stempien via groups.io <cstempien40...>
Sent: Tuesday, April 23, 2024 3:05:12 PM
To: <ALbirds...> <ALbirds...>
Subject: [ALbirds] Musings on Fallouts

Note: photo of dead bird included.
Few things get Northern Gulf Coast birders more excited than hearing predictions of a fallout. While these conditions provide an incredible spectacle for us birders, on a more somber note, these events can really take a toll on the birds. These migrants arent stopping to enjoy our white sandy beaches, but rather, because they are on the literal verge of death. Fallouts occur because conditions switched to an unfavorable direction, and in major events, force migrants to exhaust every last gram of stored energy, to the point many are unable to recover.

Conditions earlier this week appeared to be aligning for a classic fallout, but for those of us on the western side of our area, birding Saturday evening and Sunday morning was surprisingly slow. Very few migrants were present, even in the classic migrant traps. While this may have largely indicated that birds were vectored elsewhere, I did find it somewhat concerning, particularly the switch to very strong north winds overnight.

While surveying a nearshore island in Mississippi Monday morning (which I survey constantly throughout the year for work), I noticed something unusual. Low numbers of very tired migrants were still around, trying their best to recover in a poor quality habitat. Sights such as a Blackpoll Warbler foraging on the ground of a sandy dune, trying to build back its reserves, greeted me. Other species included Yellow, Prairie, Blue-winged, and Black-throated Green warblers, a Northern Waterthrush, a Yellow-throated Vireo, etc. all foraging along some lightly vegetated beach dunes. This island doesnt even host a single tree, hardly the ideal stopover site for otherwise forest-y birds.

This morning, while conducting surveys on a Mississippi barrier island, I found some evidence of what I was afraid of. Migrants that were otherwise in beautiful condition and unharmed, were lying dead in the vegetation. A quick search turned up Gray Catbirds and Red-eyed Vireos with what we would refer to as fat scores and muscle scores of 0 in the banding world, meaning the bird had essentially used up every single remnant of energy reserve it had. These birds were lucky enough to make it to land, but were unable to recover, and are surely only a tiny portion compared to the birds who did not make it across the gulf to be found.

Sorry to dull the mood, but I think it is important to keep these things in mind. I too am more than guilty of being excited at the prospects of incoming birds. While events such as these are entirely out of our control, they serve as an important reminder to enjoy the sights but give birds space and respect. The last thing they need is to be pushed from tree to tree for photos, or to be lured in by a fake song coming from a speaker. Birds are simply trying to survive and move on; lets allow them to carry on rebuilding those reserves so that future generations of bird nerds dont just have to hear about the old days where birds were everywhere.

Collin








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Date: 4/23/24 2:10 pm
From: Eric Soehren via groups.io <esoehren...>
Subject: [ALbirds] Vacant Breeding Bird Survey Routes - Seeking Volunteers (2024)
AL Birders--

I'm seeking volunteers to adopt a Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) route for the upcoming breeding season in Alabama.

As an overview, the USGS BBS is a long-term, standardized monitoring program run by volunteers (over 2,000 people) throughout North America. Since its inception in 1966, the BBS is one of the most important bird monitoring programs in existence as it provides population trend estimates for the continent’s breeding birds at different temporal and spatial scales. The data is used in many ways and enables researchers and wildlife agencies to better evaluate the current statuses of species in terms of conservation need. Observers must be able to identify birds by sight and song, although most detections are made by ear. Essentially, the survey entails conducting 50, 3-minute point counts at stops placed at 0.5 mile increments along an established road route. It typically takes 4 hours to complete. Start times are 30 minutes before local sunrise. Routes are surveyed only once a year and you can select the day to run them usually between mid-May to 30 June, although some start dates may be a week later in the northern part of the state. Weekends are the best days to run routes (especially Sundays) with much lower traffic volume.

I am looking for dedicated birders who possess the necessary skills to readily identify all breeding birds by sight and song to step up and participate. Over the past year, there have been a number of retirements from their routes, so I'm currently seeking to fill 14 vacancies in the state.

Current vacant routes include the following:

Liberty (02019) – Pickens

Riderwood (02020) – Choctaw

Linden (02021) – Marengo

Castleberry (02038) – Conecuh

Millry (02039) – Washington

Epes (02048) – Sumter

Escatawpa (02052) – Washington

Grove Hill (02053) – Clarke

Rock Chapel (02063) – Marengo

Courtland (02102) – Lawrence

Carter Grove (02203) – Madison

Stevenson (02204) –  Jackson

Vernon (02205) – Lamar

Claiborne (02214) – Clarke

So if you are concerned about the welfare of our breeding birds and possess the necessary skills to identify them, please consider taking one of the vacant routes listed above. Participation requires dedicating a day to scout the route for familiarity and then a single morning beginning at the designated start time to survey a route of 50 stops, which contributes substantially to our present day knowledge of breeding bird statuses on many levels!  If you currently have an assigned route(s) or have participated in the past, thank you for your dedicated service.

If you are unfamiliar with the BBS and have questions about it or want to request a route, please contact me (contact information below). I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Thank you for your consideration and good birding!

Eric Soehren, Alabama BBS Coordinator
AL DCNR - State Lands Division
Wehle Land Conservation Center
334-529-3003
eric.soehren@...


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Date: 4/23/24 1:05 pm
From: Collin Stempien via groups.io <cstempien40...>
Subject: [ALbirds] Musings on Fallouts
Note: photo of dead bird included.
Few things get Northern Gulf Coast birders more excited than hearing predictions of a fallout. While these conditions provide an incredible spectacle for us birders, on a more somber note, these events can really take a toll on the birds. These migrants aren’t stopping to enjoy our white sandy beaches, but rather, because they are on the literal verge of death. Fallouts occur because conditions switched to an unfavorable direction, and in major events, force migrants to exhaust every last gram of stored energy, to the point many are unable to recover.

Conditions earlier this week appeared to be aligning for a classic fallout, but for those of us on the western side of our area, birding Saturday evening and Sunday morning was surprisingly slow. Very few migrants were present, even in the classic migrant traps. While this may have largely indicated that birds were vectored elsewhere, I did find it somewhat concerning, particularly the switch to very strong north winds overnight.

While surveying a nearshore island in Mississippi Monday morning (which I survey constantly throughout the year for work), I noticed something unusual. Low numbers of very tired migrants were still around, trying their best to recover in a poor quality habitat. Sights such as a Blackpoll Warbler foraging on the ground of a sandy dune, trying to build back its reserves, greeted me. Other species included Yellow, Prairie, Blue-winged, and Black-throated Green warblers, a Northern Waterthrush, a Yellow-throated Vireo, etc. all foraging along some lightly vegetated beach dunes. This island doesn’t even host a single tree, hardly the ideal stopover site for otherwise forest-y birds.

This morning, while conducting surveys on a Mississippi barrier island, I found some evidence of what I was afraid of. Migrants that were otherwise in beautiful condition and unharmed, were lying dead in the vegetation. A quick search turned up Gray Catbirds and Red-eyed Vireos with what we would refer to as fat scores and muscle scores of 0 in the banding world, meaning the bird had essentially used up every single remnant of energy reserve it had. These birds were lucky enough to make it to land, but were unable to recover, and are surely only a tiny portion compared to the birds who did not make it across the gulf to be found.

Sorry to dull the mood, but I think it is important to keep these things in mind. I too am more than guilty of being excited at the prospects of incoming birds. While events such as these are entirely out of our control, they serve as an important reminder to enjoy the sights but give birds space and respect. The last thing they need is to be pushed from tree to tree for photos, or to be lured in by a fake song coming from a speaker. Birds are simply trying to survive and move on; let’s allow them to carry on rebuilding those reserves so that future generations of bird nerds don’t just have to hear about “the old days” where birds were everywhere.

Collin



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Date: 4/21/24 7:24 pm
From: Lucy & Bob Email via groups.io <RobertADuncan...>
Subject: [ALbirds] Summary of today's fallout at Ft. Pickens
Hi all,
Migrants performed according to script today. They were scarce at Ft. Pickens this morning. But at about 4 pm, from our vantage point at the "dump" 8 of us birders started to observe wave after wave of migrants moving onto the island from the Gulf.  It was primarily composed of Indigo Buntings and Red-eyed Vireos with some Blue Grosbeaks mixed in. A few tanagers of both species and a few orchard orioles also arrived. Warblers were present but in low numbers with the exception of about 20 yellow warblers. My estimate of 200 Indigos is considered low by Lucy though! (See checklists from others from Escambia County!)
The day started when the Duncans watched 55 Purple Martins come in from the bay from our vantage point on the tip of the peninsula along with about 35 Barn Swallows. This was the vanguard of the movement we witnessed later as the strongest flyers arrive first. The late afternoon movement was a result of strong headwinds they encountered as they moved into the northern Gulf. The Martins were followed by the Indigos later and perhaps more warblers will follow tonight. We will know if that is the case by morning.
I looked at some checklists from Dauphin Is. and Ft. Morgan and from what I saw, they indicated the movement was not as heavy to the west of Pensacola. This would make sense as initial winds behind the front were strong NW and would have vectored incoming birds more our way eastward.
Bob DuncanGulf Breeze, FL




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Date: 4/21/24 5:34 am
From: Lucy & Bob Email via groups.io <RobertADuncan...>
Subject: [ALbirds] fallout coming
Hi all,
Currently, (7:30 am) heavy storms are located about 100 to 150 miles south of the SE LA  - Destin coasts and if birds are on schedule, we may have a good fallout if they were up last night and on schedule. Winds here in Gulf Breeze are NNW about 15 - 20 mph.
Bob Duncan


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Date: 4/20/24 6:32 pm
From: Lucy & Bob Email via groups.io <RobertADuncan...>
Subject: [ALbirds] Birding prospects
Hi all,
A front is due tonight, so what does that mean to us at the height of Spring migration? Launch conditions in Yucatan are favorable with no storms present and light winds. Don't be fooled by maps showing winds out of the north on the  northern Yucatan Peninsula. That is the sea breeze effect due to hot temps over land and the N winds do not extend well into the Gulf where the prevailing E or SE winds take over. Apparently birds have learned this long ago.
A front is entering the Gulf tonight and will be in the N Gulf by morning. Any incoming flights should meet head winds well offshore before they reach land. This should be a factor that will bring some birds down to the traps. However, the rain and thunderstorms predicted for tomorrow morning and afternoon will not extend far into the Gulf, so a classic fallout should not be expected. The SE winds birds will encounter tonight are not strong and should not be a significant factor vectoring birds toward the TX-LA coast, giving us a better chance for migrants.
Winds increase out of the N Sunday night and Monday and the front is forecast to reach the S Gulf. This MAY impeded movements N for Monday but this late in the season birds in a rush to establish territories may throw caution to the winds and take off anyhow, in which case we will see more birds at the traps. 
For Wednesday and the remainder of the week, migration conditions return to normal. That's my best guess as to what may transpire. 
Now if BirdCast would show us what's coming in from the Gulf, guessing would not be necessary.
Good Birding,
Bob DuncanGulf Breeze, FL.








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Date: 4/20/24 7:10 am
From: Ken Hare via groups.io <kmhare46...>
Subject: [ALbirds] Bells Vireo
Near back entrance to Shell Mounds (near FDA gate) about 9 am. But I haven’t seen it in past few minutes.


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Date: 4/20/24 6:16 am
From: Bob Reed via groups.io <bobreed1987...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Analysis of yesterday's coastal birding
Bob,

What is your take on birding weather for tomorrow? To my unpracticed eye,
it looks good on this end for a fallout. What about launch conditions?

We're at DI.

Thanks,

Bob

On Thu, Apr 4, 2024, 09:14 Lucy & Bob Email <RobertADuncan...>
wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> Looking at reports from St. Marks to Dauphin Is., the front with its
> strong NW & W winds vectored a Trans-Gulf movement to the eastern
> Panhandle. Elizabeth Hawkins described what was a classic fallout at St.
> George Is. and St. Marks had a large fallout of R. E. Vireos.
>
> Over here in the western Panhandle we came up short, as expected. Checking
> the paucity of reports from the AL coast, birders there suffered the same
> fate. Disappointingly, few if any migrants came in to Gulf Breeze overnight
> from what I have observed so far.
>
> The rain associated with the front dissipated as it approached the
> Pensacola area but regenerated and extended into the Gulf as it approached
> the eastern Panhandle, producing classic fallout conditions there. Lucky
> were the birders who braved the weather and got in on the spectacle!
>
> For the benefit of the legions of new birders in the area, I cannot
> emphasize enough the importance that WIND DIRECTION AND VELOCITY have on
> where and when migrants coming from the tropics will make landfall.
> Cornell's BIRDCAST is great (but not infallible) for predicting *Fall *movements
> coming into our area, but it does not help us when it comes to Spring
> migration. So for that, we must rely on weather information available to
> us. I rely heavily on the Marine Forecast (NOAA) for wind forecasts about a
> week ahead.
>
> NW winds will abate by Sat. and swing around to SE and migration will
> resume, with the thrust toward the TX - LA coasts through Sun. Beyond that,
> watch the forecast but don't forget West Indian migrants can still be
> moving through our area.
>
> Bob Duncan
> Gulf Breeze, FL
>
>
>
>
> --
> Lucy and Bob Duncan
> Gulf Breeze, Florida
>
>


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Date: 4/19/24 11:20 am
From: Gregory J. Harber via groups.io <gharber...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Painted Bunting
Awesome, Linda! Picture or not, please consider entering your sighting into eBird.

Gregory J. Harber
Birmingham, AL
<gharber...>

Visit my photo page in The Art Shop at
http://www.calvinwildphotography.com
-----Original Message-----
From: <ALbirds...>
Sent: Apr 19, 2024 12:33 PM
To: <albirds...>
Subject: [ALbirds] Painted Bunting

Saw a male Painted Bunting at my feeder in Birmingham. He showed up twice, but he was too fast to get a picture. Will keep trying.









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Date: 4/19/24 10:33 am
From: LINDA HENCKELL via groups.io <beaumama...>
Subject: [ALbirds] Painted Bunting
Saw a male Painted Bunting at my feeder in Birmingham. He showed up twice, but he was too fast to get a picture. Will keep trying.


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Date: 4/19/24 8:07 am
From: <swmavocet...> via groups.io <swmavocet...>
Subject: [ALbirds] fyi - Semi-rare bird report to eBird
AOS Birders on the Coast,
I'm not sure if this will (or did) trigger the eBird rare bird email filter or not.   If not, I'm passing along an unconfirmed  report was made to eBird yesterday Thursday 4/18 at 1:30 pm of a HUDSONIAN GODWIT at the Ft Morgan ferry dock.   
The comments were "Very dark back , rufous front and upturned by colored bill. Grey neck. When it took off it went into a Field where we could see it’s head pop up behind flowers. It flew again and we observed the black tail and white rump. Also narrow wing stripe KN edge"
If you are in the area, might be worth a second look.
Good luck,Steve McConnellHartselle, AL


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Date: 4/19/24 7:13 am
From: <swmavocet...> via groups.io <swmavocet...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Merlin and Identification
Folks,
I'll add some comments about the Merlin tool in relation to eBird data collection:   
Please remember eBird Central has intentionally cast a very wide net with the desire for more and more bird data and has designed a system to encourage more reporting to maximize data quantity while at the same time involving more people to become more aware and "care more" about the birds around them.  Many of these people would not have otherwise discovered the excitement of birding and data collection without eBird.
The designers and administrators at eBird Central are very thorough and thoughtful.  I'm sure they considered the issue of false "common" bird reports reaching the database without review as they designed the system and procedures currently in place .  I don't know this for fact but allow me to speculate their discussion ended with a conclusion the error-rate (incorrect data reaching the database) is not proportional to the total number of data points.  Example: If one observer (using Merlin or just their own eyes/ears) enters two wrong data points for a species and eight accurate ones, their personal error rate is 20%.  But if 1000 other observers enter 10,000 accurate points for the same common species and 2 wrong ones, the overall error rate drops to only 0.04%.   Since data collection error rates are never 0.0%, a decision had to be made how best to move forward along with the other goals in the minds of the eBird designers.  
Please be aware some Alabama eBird observers have sight or hearing impairments and find Merlin to be a great help to keep them involved in the process of bird data collection eBird has designed.  
The backup QA/QC right now for data quality checking are the team of regional , experienced reviewers each state has to look over the unusual reports filtered out from the bulk of expected species, counts, dates.    Just because raw (unreviewed) data triggers an eBird email rare bird alert does not mean it will be accepted into their database in the end.
Thanks for your patience.  My siskins are calling....lol.  Come on redpoll - maybe this is the spring!
Steve McConnellHartselle, AL

On Wednesday, April 17, 2024 at 09:36:17 AM CDT, Katherine Clemo <kclemo54...> wrote:

Amen!
On Wed, Apr 17, 2024, 7:23 AM Damien J. Simbeck via groups.io <tnbarredowl...> wrote:

If you get rare bird alerts from eBird, you probably saw the reports of Dusky-capped Flycatcher and Hawfinch. Neither burd seen by the observer, both identified by Merlin.
I ran Merlin at my house for about 30 minutes yesterday. Most of the birds detected were correct.  It did peg the Purple Martin and Summer Tanager calls made by my Mockingbird (I heard them too, straight from the Mockingbird's mouth). It picked up a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (and it does that every time I use the app) that I never saw or heard. I usually only get Gnatcatchers in my yard during fall migration. It also detected a White-breasted Nuthatch that did not detected,  and they are RARE in my yard (only a handful of records on 30+ years of residency). Another likely error was Song Sparrow.  They are regular around my feeder each winter, but di not nest here. I haven't seen one on over a month. About a week ago, Merlin pegged a Downy Woodpecker when I coughed. I do have Downy in my yard, but it was not calling at the time Merlin picked it up.
Merlin is a good tool to help learn bird songs/calls, but eBird should really push folks to record only those birds seen/heard and identified by the observer. I know these reports of common birds doesn't really destroy the database, but it can definitely make some birds look more common than they are. And it's building a birding community that can't identify birds on their own...probably the true downside of the app.

Damien Simbeck
Killen AL

Sent from my (non-Apple) phone. You can teach an old dog new tricks!

On Tue, Apr 16, 2024 at 8:04 PM, Bob Reed<bobreed1987...> wrote: I too have recently been getting Junco IDs on Merlin in inappropriate places. In every instance Pine Warblers were present. I had not picked up on the similarity. Thanks for sharing. 
Bob Reed Tallassee,  Alabama 

On Tue, Apr 16, 2024, 17:28 Douglas Hamm via groups.io <dhamm72...> wrote:

Even if you do have the correct location, you still have to be careful. I think there is a Pine Warbler/Dark-eyed Junco problem. Below is a ticket I submitted to Merlin on my recent observations:

I think I have discovered a flaw in the Merlin sound ID appthat gives false hits for Dark-eyed Juncos. On March 27 on the Gator Lake TrailMerlin picked up a Junco. I couldn't find the bird, so I didn’t record it. Thiswas in season and would be prime Junco habitat, but I thought I should be ableto see it and I couldn’t.  On April 7 onthe Jeff Friend Trail, I got another Junco call. I couldn't find this birdeither and did not record the sighting as a result. It was also beginning toget late in the season for a Junco. Last Saturday this happened again, thistime at the Middle Grounds at Fort Morgan. But this time I noticed something.When Pine Warblers were calling, both the Pine Warbler AND Junco readings wouldlight up yellow, indicating a match. I could only hear one bird. My wife was along,and she could only hear one bird also, and it was definitely a Pine Warbler. Inall three cases, there were Pine Warblers in the area. Not only did I get visualson the Pine Warblers, but the calls were coming from overhead. You would expectJunco calls to be coming from the ground or at least lower down.

So, then I got on the computer and played all the Junco callsI could find. One of them is very similar to Pine Warbler calls. In fact, All AboutBirds makes this exact point:

Male Dark-eyed Juncos sing an even, musicaltrill of 7-23 notes that lasts up to 2 seconds. It’s similar to the songs ofboth the Chipping Sparrow and the Pine Warbler and is loud enough to be heardfrom several hundred feet away.

I think I can tell the two apart now, having spent quite sometime listening to recordings. The Pine Warbler seems to be a little higherpitched to me. I think Merlin sound ID is sometimes giving false Junco readingson Pine Warbler calls.
Anybody else have similar experiences?
Douglas Hamm
On Tuesday, April 16, 2024 at 02:12:45 PM CDT, Jim Holmes via groups.io <jfholmes...> wrote:


This has been discussed multiple times on all the listservs that I subscribed to but as a reminder, Merlin identification (especially the Sound ID) has problems and should not be relied upon as the sole method of identification.   One way to make the Merlin Sound ID more reliable is to ensure you have the location setting accurate. 

See:  https://support.ebird.org/en/support/solutions/articles/48001214056-merlin-sound-id-best-practices#2-Set-your-location

 

If you are certain that the Merlin sound ID is correct and it is being flagged as rare, please upload the recording into the eBird list.

https://support.ebird.org/en/support/solutions/articles/48001214056-merlin-sound-id-best-practices#3-Upload-your-sound-recording-to-your-checklist

 

This recent list highlights this point (several species would certainly not be suggested if the location setting was correct):https://ebird.org/checklist/S168927564

 

Thanks,

 

Jim

 

James F. Holmes, MD, MPH

Professor and Executive Vice Chair

Department of Emergency Medicine

UC Davis School of Medicine

Office (916) 734-1533

 
**CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE** This e-mail communication and any attachments are for the sole use of the intended recipient and may contain information that is confidential and privileged under state and federal privacy laws. If you received this e-mail in error, be aware that any unauthorized use, disclosure, copying, or distribution is strictly prohibited. If you received this e-mail in error, please contact the sender immediately and destroy/delete all copies of this message.





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Date: 4/17/24 6:41 pm
From: Damien J. Simbeck via groups.io <tnbarredowl...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Merlin and Identification
Here's a screen clip of a checklist from Wilson Dam a while back (winter 22/23). At least the observer just listed the rarities under passerine sp. This is one of several similar lists reported from the Shoals area at that time. Obviously a Merlin "birder".



Damien Simbeck
Killen AL

Sent from my (non-Apple) phone. You can teach an old dog new tricks!

On Wed, Apr 17, 2024 at 7:09 PM, Ken Hare<kmhare46...> wrote: Reading what Douglas Hamm wrote raises the possibility that I’ve misidentified a few Pine Warblers as Juncos, and possibly vice versa. I don’t list anything from Merlin I don’t hear or see myself, so missed identifications is usually not an issue. I use Merlin to find the possible presence of a species, not as the final authority. But I just refreshed my memory by listening to the typical trill call of each bird, and I’m no longer sure I could tell them apart. 
In other words, I’m not only not sure I can rely on Merlin to tell them apart, I’m not sure I can continue to rely on my own ears to tell them apart. 
Oh, well. It’s that Philadelphia vs. Red-eyed Vireo conundrum all over again. 
Ken H. 










On Apr 17, 2024, at 2:35 PM, Jim Holmes via groups.io <jfholmes...> wrote:





I ran Merlin today while birding in my yard.  I also got a Song Sparrow which was not present (I have never had a Song Sparrow in my yard).  One of the Louisiana birders was also complaining that Merlin was picking up Song Sparrow when his yard does not contain them. So, there must be something (bird or other regular sound) that Merlin is mistaking.

 

I think the bigger problem IS the “common” birds not flagged by eBird.  The rarities (should) get filtered out of the public database.  Although Merlin certainly increases detection of a small number of individuals, it is adding a bunch of false positives to the database (especially for species where voice is a problem).  I have seen plenty of instances where Merlin was calling the same bird two different species!

 

Thanks,

 

Jim

 

James F. Holmes, MD, MPH

Professor and Executive Vice Chair

Department of Emergency Medicine

UC Davis School of Medicine

Office (916) 734-1533

 

From: <ALbirds...> <ALbirds...> On Behalf OfDamien J. Simbeck via groups.io
Sent: Wednesday, April 17, 2024 4:24 AM
To: <ALbirds...>; Bob Reed <bobreed1987...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Merlin and Identification

 

If you get rare bird alerts from eBird, you probably saw the reports of Dusky-capped Flycatcher and Hawfinch. Neither burd seen by the observer, both identified by Merlin.

 

I ran Merlin at my house for about 30 minutes yesterday. Most of the birds detected were correct.  It did peg the Purple Martin and Summer Tanager calls made by my Mockingbird (I heard them too, straight from the Mockingbird's mouth). It picked up a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (and it does that every time I use the app) that I never saw or heard. I usually only get Gnatcatchers in my yard during fall migration. It also detected a White-breasted Nuthatch that did not detected,  and they are RARE in my yard (only a handful of records on 30+ years of residency). Another likely error was Song Sparrow.  They are regular around my feeder each winter, but di not nest here. I haven't seen one on over a month. About a week ago, Merlin pegged a Downy Woodpecker when I coughed. I do have Downy in my yard, but it was not calling at the time Merlin picked it up.

 

Merlin is a good tool to help learn bird songs/calls, but eBird should really push folks to record only those birds seen/heard and identified by the observer. I know these reports of common birds doesn't really destroy the database, but it can definitely make some birds look more common than they are. And it's building a birding community that can't identify birds on their own...probably the true downside of the app.

Damien Simbeck
Killen AL

Sent from my (non-Apple) phone. You can teach an old dog new tricks!

 


On Tue, Apr 16, 2024 at 8:04 PM, Bob Reed

<bobreed1987...> wrote:

I too have recently been getting Junco IDs on Merlin in inappropriate places. In every instance Pine Warblers were present. I had not picked up on the similarity. Thanks for sharing. 

 

Bob Reed 

Tallassee,  Alabama 

 

 

On Tue, Apr 16, 2024, 17:28 Douglas Hamm via groups.io <dhamm72...> wrote:


Even if you do have the correct location, you still have to be careful. I think there is a Pine Warbler/Dark-eyed Junco problem. Below is a ticket I submitted to Merlin on my recent observations:

 

I think I have discovered a flaw in the Merlin sound ID app that gives false hits for Dark-eyed Juncos. On March 27 on the Gator Lake Trail Merlin picked up a Junco. I couldn't find the bird, so I didn’t record it. This was in season and would be prime Junco habitat, but I thought I should be able to see it and I couldn’t.  On April 7 on the Jeff Friend Trail, I got another Junco call. I couldn't find this bird either and did not record the sighting as a result. It was also beginning to get late in the season for a Junco. Last Saturday this happened again, this time at the Middle Grounds at Fort Morgan. But this time I noticed something. When Pine Warblers were calling, both the Pine Warbler AND Junco readings would light up yellow, indicating a match. I could only hear one bird. My wife was along, and she could only hear one bird also, and it was definitely a Pine Warbler. In all three cases, there were Pine Warblers in the area. Not only did I get visuals on the Pine Warblers, but the calls were coming from overhead. You would expect Junco calls to be coming from the ground or at least lower down.

So, then I got on the computer and played all the Junco calls I could find. One of them is very similar to Pine Warbler calls. In fact, All About Birds makes this exact point:

Male Dark-eyed Juncos sing an even, musical trill of 7-23 notes that lasts up to 2 seconds. It’s similar to the songs of both the Chipping Sparrow and the Pine Warbler and is loud enough to be heard from several hundred feet away.

I think I can tell the two apart now, having spent quite some time listening to recordings. The Pine Warbler seems to be a little higher pitched to me. I think Merlin sound ID is sometimes giving false Junco readings on Pine Warbler calls.

Anybody else have similar experiences?

 

Douglas Hamm

 

On Tuesday, April 16, 2024 at 02:12:45 PM CDT, Jim Holmes viagroups.io <jfholmes...> wrote:

 

 

This has been discussed multiple times on all the listservs that I subscribed to but as a reminder, Merlin identification (especially the Sound ID) has problems and should not be relied upon as the sole method of identification.   One way to make the Merlin Sound ID more reliable is to ensure you have the location setting accurate. 

See:  https://support.ebird.org/en/support/solutions/articles/48001214056-merlin-sound-id-best-practices#2-Set-your-location

 

If you are certain that the Merlin sound ID is correct and it is being flagged as rare, please upload the recording into the eBird list.

https://support.ebird.org/en/support/solutions/articles/48001214056-merlin-sound-id-best-practices#3-Upload-your-sound-recording-to-your-checklist

 

This recent list highlights this point (several species would certainly not be suggested if the location setting was correct):https://ebird.org/checklist/S168927564

 

Thanks,

 

Jim

 

James F. Holmes, MD, MPH

Professor and Executive Vice Chair

Department of Emergency Medicine

UC Davis School of Medicine

Office (916) 734-1533

 

**CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE** This e-mail communication and any attachments are for the sole use of the intended recipient and may contain information that is confidential and privileged under state and federal privacy laws. If you received this e-mail in error, be aware that any unauthorized use, disclosure, copying, or distribution is strictly prohibited. If you received this e-mail in error, please contact the sender immediately and destroy/delete all copies of this message.







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Date: 4/17/24 5:22 pm
From: Scott Gravette via groups.io <inadu4...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Merlin and Identification
I can't remember ever hearing a Junco sing in Alabama. Scott GravetteHartselle,
AL
--------------------

From: "Ken Hare" <kmhare46...>
Reply-To: <ALbirds...>
To: <ALbirds...>
Cc: "Bob Reed" <bobreed1987...>
Sent: April 17, 2024 at 7:09 PM CDT
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Merlin and Identification
Reading what Douglas Hamm wrote raises the possibility that I’ve
misidentified a few Pine Warblers as Juncos, and possibly vice versa.
I don’t list anything from Merlin I don’t hear or see myself, so
missed identifications is usually not an issue. I use Merlin to find
the possible presence of a species, not as the final authority. But I
just refreshed my memory by listening to the typical trill call of
each bird, and I’m no longer sure I could tell them apart. In other
words, I’m not only not sure I can rely on Merlin to tell them apart,
I’m not sure I can continue to rely on my own ears to tell them apart.
Oh, well. It’s that Philadelphia vs. Red-eyed Vireo conundrum all over
again. Ken H.


On Apr 17, 2024, at 2:35 PM, Jim Holmes via groups.io
<jfholmes...> wrote:

I ran Merlin today while birding in my yard. I also got a Song
Sparrow which was not present (I have never had a Song Sparrow in
my yard). One of the Louisiana birders was also complaining that
Merlin was picking up Song Sparrow when his yard does not contain
them. So, there must be something (bird or other regular sound)
that Merlin is mistaking.

I think the bigger problem IS the “common” birds not flagged by
eBird. The rarities (should) get filtered out of the public
database. Although Merlin certainly increases detection of a small
number of individuals, it is adding a bunch of false positives to
the database (especially for species where voice is a problem). I
have seen plenty of instances where Merlin was calling the same
bird two different species!

Thanks,

Jim

James F. Holmes, MD, MPH

Professor and Executive Vice Chair

Department of Emergency Medicine

UC Davis School of Medicine

Office (916) 734-1533

From: <ALbirds...> <ALbirds...> On Behalf Of Damien J.
Simbeck via groups.io
Sent: Wednesday, April 17, 2024 4:24 AM
To: <ALbirds...>; Bob Reed <bobreed1987...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Merlin and Identification

If you get rare bird alerts from eBird, you probably saw the
reports of Dusky-capped Flycatcher and Hawfinch. Neither burd seen
by the observer, both identified by Merlin.

I ran Merlin at my house for about 30 minutes yesterday. Most of
the birds detected were correct. It did peg the Purple Martin and
Summer Tanager calls made by my Mockingbird (I heard them too,
straight from the Mockingbird's mouth). It picked up a Blue-gray
Gnatcatcher (and it does that every time I use the app) that I
never saw or heard. I usually only get Gnatcatchers in my yard
during fall migration. It also detected a White-breasted Nuthatch
that did not detected, and they are RARE in my yard (only a
handful of records on 30+ years of residency). Another likely
error was Song Sparrow. They are regular around my feeder each
winter, but di not nest here. I haven't seen one on over a month.
About a week ago, Merlin pegged a Downy Woodpecker when I coughed.
I do have Downy in my yard, but it was not calling at the time
Merlin picked it up.

Merlin is a good tool to help learn bird songs/calls, but eBird
should really push folks to record only those birds seen/heard and
identified by the observer. I know these reports of common birds
doesn't really destroy the database, but it can definitely make
some birds look more common than they are. And it's building a
birding community that can't identify birds on their
own...probably the true downside of the app.

Damien Simbeck
Killen AL

Sent from my (non-Apple) phone. You can teach an old dog new
tricks!

On Tue, Apr 16, 2024 at 8:04 PM, Bob Reed

<bobreed1987...> wrote:

I too have recently been getting Junco IDs on Merlin in
inappropriate places. In every instance Pine Warblers were
present. I had not picked up on the similarity. Thanks for
sharing.

Bob Reed

Tallassee, Alabama

On Tue, Apr 16, 2024, 17:28 Douglas Hamm via groups.io
<dhamm72...> wrote:

Even if you do have the correct location, you still have
to be careful. I think there is a Pine Warbler/Dark-eyed
Junco problem. Below is a ticket I submitted to Merlin on
my recent observations:

I think I have discovered a flaw in the Merlin sound ID
app that gives false hits for Dark-eyed Juncos. On March
27 on the Gator Lake Trail Merlin picked up a Junco. I
couldn't find the bird, so I didn’t record it. This was in
season and would be prime Junco habitat, but I thought I
should be able to see it and I couldn’t. On April 7 on the
Jeff Friend Trail, I got another Junco call. I couldn't
find this bird either and did not record the sighting as a
result. It was also beginning to get late in the season
for a Junco. Last Saturday this happened again, this time
at the Middle Grounds at Fort Morgan. But this time I
noticed something. When Pine Warblers were calling, both
the Pine Warbler AND Junco readings would light up yellow,
indicating a match. I could only hear one bird. My wife
was along, and she could only hear one bird also, and it
was definitely a Pine Warbler. In all three cases, there
were Pine Warblers in the area. Not only did I get visuals
on the Pine Warblers, but the calls were coming from
overhead. You would expect Junco calls to be coming from
the ground or at least lower down.

So, then I got on the computer and played all the Junco
calls I could find. One of them is very similar to Pine
Warbler calls. In fact, All About Birds makes this exact
point:

Male Dark-eyed Juncos sing an even, musical trill of 7-23
notes that lasts up to 2 seconds. It’s similar to the
songs of both the Chipping Sparrow and the Pine Warbler
and is loud enough to be heard from several hundred feet
away.

I think I can tell the two apart now, having spent quite
some time listening to recordings. The Pine Warbler seems
to be a little higher pitched to me. I think Merlin sound
ID is sometimes giving false Junco readings on Pine
Warbler calls.

Anybody else have similar experiences?

Douglas Hamm

On Tuesday, April 16, 2024 at 02:12:45 PM CDT, Jim Holmes
via groups.io <jfholmes...> wrote:

This has been discussed multiple times on all the
listservs that I subscribed to but as a reminder, Merlin
identification (especially the Sound ID) has problems and
should not be relied upon as the sole method of
identification. One way to make the Merlin Sound ID more
reliable is to ensure you have the location setting
accurate.

See:
https://support.ebird.org/en/support/solutions/articles/48001214056-merlin-sound-id-best-practices#2-Set-your-location

If you are certain that the Merlin sound ID is correct and
it is being flagged as rare, please upload the recording
into the eBird list.

https://support.ebird.org/en/support/solutions/articles/48001214056-merlin-sound-id-best-practices#3-Upload-your-sound-recording-to-your-checklist

This recent list highlights this point (several species
would certainly not be suggested if the location setting
was correct): https://ebird.org/checklist/S168927564

Thanks,

Jim

James F. Holmes, MD, MPH

Professor and Executive Vice Chair

Department of Emergency Medicine

UC Davis School of Medicine

Office (916) 734-1533

**CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE** This e-mail communication and
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Date: 4/17/24 5:09 pm
From: Ken Hare via groups.io <kmhare46...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Merlin and Identification
 

Back to top
Date: 4/17/24 12:35 pm
From: Jim Holmes via groups.io <jfholmes...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Merlin and Identification
I ran Merlin today while birding in my yard. I also got a Song Sparrow which was not present (I have never had a Song Sparrow in my yard). One of the Louisiana birders was also complaining that Merlin was picking up Song Sparrow when his yard does not contain them. So, there must be something (bird or other regular sound) that Merlin is mistaking.

I think the bigger problem IS the "common" birds not flagged by eBird. The rarities (should) get filtered out of the public database. Although Merlin certainly increases detection of a small number of individuals, it is adding a bunch of false positives to the database (especially for species where voice is a problem). I have seen plenty of instances where Merlin was calling the same bird two different species!

Thanks,

Jim

James F. Holmes, MD, MPH
Professor and Executive Vice Chair
Department of Emergency Medicine
UC Davis School of Medicine
Office (916) 734-1533

From: <ALbirds...> <ALbirds...> On Behalf Of Damien J. Simbeck via groups.io
Sent: Wednesday, April 17, 2024 4:24 AM
To: <ALbirds...>; Bob Reed <bobreed1987...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Merlin and Identification

If you get rare bird alerts from eBird, you probably saw the reports of Dusky-capped Flycatcher and Hawfinch. Neither burd seen by the observer, both identified by Merlin.

I ran Merlin at my house for about 30 minutes yesterday. Most of the birds detected were correct. It did peg the Purple Martin and Summer Tanager calls made by my Mockingbird (I heard them too, straight from the Mockingbird's mouth). It picked up a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (and it does that every time I use the app) that I never saw or heard. I usually only get Gnatcatchers in my yard during fall migration. It also detected a White-breasted Nuthatch that did not detected, and they are RARE in my yard (only a handful of records on 30+ years of residency). Another likely error was Song Sparrow. They are regular around my feeder each winter, but di not nest here. I haven't seen one on over a month. About a week ago, Merlin pegged a Downy Woodpecker when I coughed. I do have Downy in my yard, but it was not calling at the time Merlin picked it up.

Merlin is a good tool to help learn bird songs/calls, but eBird should really push folks to record only those birds seen/heard and identified by the observer. I know these reports of common birds doesn't really destroy the database, but it can definitely make some birds look more common than they are. And it's building a birding community that can't identify birds on their own...probably the true downside of the app.
Damien Simbeck
Killen AL

Sent from my (non-Apple) phone. You can teach an old dog new tricks!

On Tue, Apr 16, 2024 at 8:04 PM, Bob Reed
<bobreed1987...><mailto:<bobreed1987...>> wrote:
I too have recently been getting Junco IDs on Merlin in inappropriate places. In every instance Pine Warblers were present. I had not picked up on the similarity. Thanks for sharing.

Bob Reed
Tallassee, Alabama


On Tue, Apr 16, 2024, 17:28 Douglas Hamm via groups.io<http://groups.io/> <dhamm72...><mailto:<yahoo.com...>> wrote:
Even if you do have the correct location, you still have to be careful. I think there is a Pine Warbler/Dark-eyed Junco problem. Below is a ticket I submitted to Merlin on my recent observations:


I think I have discovered a flaw in the Merlin sound ID app that gives false hits for Dark-eyed Juncos. On March 27 on the Gator Lake Trail Merlin picked up a Junco. I couldn't find the bird, so I didn't record it. This was in season and would be prime Junco habitat, but I thought I should be able to see it and I couldn't. On April 7 on the Jeff Friend Trail, I got another Junco call. I couldn't find this bird either and did not record the sighting as a result. It was also beginning to get late in the season for a Junco. Last Saturday this happened again, this time at the Middle Grounds at Fort Morgan. But this time I noticed something. When Pine Warblers were calling, both the Pine Warbler AND Junco readings would light up yellow, indicating a match. I could only hear one bird. My wife was along, and she could only hear one bird also, and it was definitely a Pine Warbler. In all three cases, there were Pine Warblers in the area. Not only did I get visuals on the Pine Warblers, but the calls were coming from overhead. You would expect Junco calls to be coming from the ground or at least lower down.

So, then I got on the computer and played all the Junco calls I could find. One of them is very similar to Pine Warbler calls. In fact, All About Birds makes this exact point:

Male Dark-eyed Juncos sing an even, musical trill of 7-23 notes that lasts up to 2 seconds. It's similar to the songs of both the Chipping Sparrow and the Pine Warbler and is loud enough to be heard from several hundred feet away.

I think I can tell the two apart now, having spent quite some time listening to recordings. The Pine Warbler seems to be a little higher pitched to me. I think Merlin sound ID is sometimes giving false Junco readings on Pine Warbler calls.
Anybody else have similar experiences?

Douglas Hamm

On Tuesday, April 16, 2024 at 02:12:45 PM CDT, Jim Holmes via groups.io<http://groups.io/> <jfholmes...><mailto:<ucdavis.edu...>> wrote:



This has been discussed multiple times on all the listservs that I subscribed to but as a reminder, Merlin identification (especially the Sound ID) has problems and should not be relied upon as the sole method of identification. One way to make the Merlin Sound ID more reliable is to ensure you have the location setting accurate.

See: https://support.ebird.org/en/support/solutions/articles/48001214056-merlin-sound-id-best-practices#2-Set-your-location



If you are certain that the Merlin sound ID is correct and it is being flagged as rare, please upload the recording into the eBird list.

https://support.ebird.org/en/support/solutions/articles/48001214056-merlin-sound-id-best-practices#3-Upload-your-sound-recording-to-your-checklist



This recent list highlights this point (several species would certainly not be suggested if the location setting was correct): https://ebird.org/checklist/S168927564



Thanks,



Jim



James F. Holmes, MD, MPH

Professor and Executive Vice Chair

Department of Emergency Medicine

UC Davis School of Medicine

Office (916) 734-1533


**CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE** This e-mail communication and any attachments are for the sole use of the intended recipient and may contain information that is confidential and privileged under state and federal privacy laws. If you received this e-mail in error, be aware that any unauthorized use, disclosure, copying, or distribution is strictly prohibited. If you received this e-mail in error, please contact the sender immediately and destroy/delete all copies of this message.



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Date: 4/17/24 11:55 am
From: Bob Reed via groups.io <bobreed1987...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] I don’t know if these are rare right now , but there were 17 Long-billed Dowitchers at Harrison Lake This morning . First dike by Hwy 17 on the point .
Great pictures!

On Wed, Apr 17, 2024, 13:38 Joe Wujcik via groups.io <yckmass=
<aol.com...> wrote:

>
>


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Date: 4/17/24 11:38 am
From: Joe Wujcik via groups.io <yckmass...>
Subject: [ALbirds] I don’t know if these are rare right now , but there were 17 Long-billed Dowitchers at Harrison Lake This morning . First dike by Hwy 17 on the point .
>
>


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Date: 4/17/24 7:36 am
From: Katherine Clemo via groups.io <kclemo54...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Merlin and Identification
Amen!

On Wed, Apr 17, 2024, 7:23 AM Damien J. Simbeck via groups.io <tnbarredowl=
<aol.com...> wrote:

> If you get rare bird alerts from eBird, you probably saw the reports of
> Dusky-capped Flycatcher and Hawfinch. Neither burd seen by the observer,
> both identified by Merlin.
>
> I ran Merlin at my house for about 30 minutes yesterday. Most of the birds
> detected were correct. It did peg the Purple Martin and Summer Tanager
> calls made by my Mockingbird (I heard them too, straight from the
> Mockingbird's mouth). It picked up a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (and it does
> that every time I use the app) that I never saw or heard. I usually only
> get Gnatcatchers in my yard during fall migration. It also detected a
> White-breasted Nuthatch that did not detected, and they are RARE in my
> yard (only a handful of records on 30+ years of residency). Another likely
> error was Song Sparrow. They are regular around my feeder each winter, but
> di not nest here. I haven't seen one on over a month. About a week ago,
> Merlin pegged a Downy Woodpecker when I coughed. I do have Downy in my
> yard, but it was not calling at the time Merlin picked it up.
>
> Merlin is a good tool to help learn bird songs/calls, but eBird should
> really push folks to record only those birds seen/heard and identified by
> the observer. I know these reports of common birds doesn't really destroy
> the database, but it can definitely make some birds look more common than
> they are. And it's building a birding community that can't identify birds
> on their own...probably the true downside of the app.
>
> Damien Simbeck
> Killen AL
>
> Sent from my (non-Apple) phone. You can teach an old dog new tricks!
>
> On Tue, Apr 16, 2024 at 8:04 PM, Bob Reed
> <bobreed1987...> wrote:
> I too have recently been getting Junco IDs on Merlin in
> inappropriate places. In every instance Pine Warblers were present. I had
> not picked up on the similarity. Thanks for sharing.
>
> Bob Reed
> Tallassee, Alabama
>
>
> On Tue, Apr 16, 2024, 17:28 Douglas Hamm via groups.io <dhamm72=
> <yahoo.com...> wrote:
>
> Even if you do have the correct location, you still have to be careful. I
> think there is a Pine Warbler/Dark-eyed Junco problem. Below is a ticket I
> submitted to Merlin on my recent observations:
>
> I think I have discovered a flaw in the Merlin sound ID app that gives
> false hits for Dark-eyed Juncos. On March 27 on the Gator Lake Trail Merlin
> picked up a Junco. I couldn't find the bird, so I didn’t record it. This
> was in season and would be prime Junco habitat, but I thought I should be
> able to see it and I couldn’t. On April 7 on the Jeff Friend Trail, I
> got another Junco call. I couldn't find this bird either and did not record
> the sighting as a result. It was also beginning to get late in the season
> for a Junco. Last Saturday this happened again, this time at the Middle
> Grounds at Fort Morgan. But this time I noticed something. When Pine
> Warblers were calling, both the Pine Warbler AND Junco readings would light
> up yellow, indicating a match. I could only hear one bird. My wife was
> along, and she could only hear one bird also, and it was definitely a Pine
> Warbler. In all three cases, there were Pine Warblers in the area. Not only
> did I get visuals on the Pine Warblers, but the calls were coming from
> overhead. You would expect Junco calls to be coming from the ground or at
> least lower down.
>
> So, then I got on the computer and played all the Junco calls I could
> find. One of them is very similar to Pine Warbler calls. In fact, All About
> Birds makes this exact point:
>
> Male Dark-eyed Juncos sing an even, musical trill of 7-23 notes that lasts
> up to 2 seconds. It’s similar to the songs of both the Chipping Sparrow and
> the Pine Warbler and is loud enough to be heard from several hundred feet
> away.
>
> I think I can tell the two apart now, having spent quite some time
> listening to recordings. The Pine Warbler seems to be a little higher
> pitched to me. I think Merlin sound ID is sometimes giving false Junco
> readings on Pine Warbler calls.
> Anybody else have similar experiences?
>
> Douglas Hamm
>
> On Tuesday, April 16, 2024 at 02:12:45 PM CDT, Jim Holmes via groups.io
> <jfholmes...> wrote:
>
>
> This has been discussed multiple times on all the listservs that I
> subscribed to but as a reminder, Merlin identification (especially the
> Sound ID) has problems and should not be relied upon as the sole method of
> identification. One way to make the Merlin Sound ID more reliable is to
> ensure you have the location setting accurate.
>
> See:
> https://support.ebird.org/en/support/solutions/articles/48001214056-merlin-sound-id-best-practices#2-Set-your-location
>
>
>
> If you are certain that the Merlin sound ID is correct and it is being
> flagged as rare, please upload the recording into the eBird list.
>
>
> https://support.ebird.org/en/support/solutions/articles/48001214056-merlin-sound-id-best-practices#3-Upload-your-sound-recording-to-your-checklist
>
>
>
> This recent list highlights this point (several species would certainly
> not be suggested if the location setting was correct):
> https://ebird.org/checklist/S168927564
>
>
>
> Thanks,
>
>
>
> Jim
>
>
>
> James F. Holmes, MD, MPH
>
> Professor and Executive Vice Chair
>
> Department of Emergency Medicine
>
> UC Davis School of Medicine
>
> Office (916) 734-1533
>
>
> **CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE** This e-mail communication and any attachments
> are for the sole use of the intended recipient and may contain information
> that is confidential and privileged under state and federal privacy laws.
> If you received this e-mail in error, be aware that any unauthorized use,
> disclosure, copying, or distribution is strictly prohibited. If you
> received this e-mail in error, please contact the sender immediately and
> destroy/delete all copies of this message.
>
>
>


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Date: 4/17/24 6:10 am
From: Bob Reed via groups.io <bobreed1987...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Merlin and Identification
I agree with you, Damien. Merlin is a useful tool, but no more. It should
NEVER be used as a substitute for human knowledge and expertise.

On Wed, Apr 17, 2024, 06:23 <tnbarredowl...> <tnbarredowl...> wrote:

> If you get rare bird alerts from eBird, you probably saw the reports of
> Dusky-capped Flycatcher and Hawfinch. Neither burd seen by the observer,
> both identified by Merlin.
>
> I ran Merlin at my house for about 30 minutes yesterday. Most of the birds
> detected were correct. It did peg the Purple Martin and Summer Tanager
> calls made by my Mockingbird (I heard them too, straight from the
> Mockingbird's mouth). It picked up a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (and it does
> that every time I use the app) that I never saw or heard. I usually only
> get Gnatcatchers in my yard during fall migration. It also detected a
> White-breasted Nuthatch that did not detected, and they are RARE in my
> yard (only a handful of records on 30+ years of residency). Another likely
> error was Song Sparrow. They are regular around my feeder each winter, but
> di not nest here. I haven't seen one on over a month. About a week ago,
> Merlin pegged a Downy Woodpecker when I coughed. I do have Downy in my
> yard, but it was not calling at the time Merlin picked it up.
>
> Merlin is a good tool to help learn bird songs/calls, but eBird should
> really push folks to record only those birds seen/heard and identified by
> the observer. I know these reports of common birds doesn't really destroy
> the database, but it can definitely make some birds look more common than
> they are. And it's building a birding community that can't identify birds
> on their own...probably the true downside of the app.
>
> Damien Simbeck
> Killen AL
>
> Sent from my (non-Apple) phone. You can teach an old dog new tricks!
>
> On Tue, Apr 16, 2024 at 8:04 PM, Bob Reed
> <bobreed1987...> wrote:
> I too have recently been getting Junco IDs on Merlin in
> inappropriate places. In every instance Pine Warblers were present. I had
> not picked up on the similarity. Thanks for sharing.
>
> Bob Reed
> Tallassee, Alabama
>
>
> On Tue, Apr 16, 2024, 17:28 Douglas Hamm via groups.io <dhamm72=
> <yahoo.com...> wrote:
>
> Even if you do have the correct location, you still have to be careful. I
> think there is a Pine Warbler/Dark-eyed Junco problem. Below is a ticket I
> submitted to Merlin on my recent observations:
>
> I think I have discovered a flaw in the Merlin sound ID app that gives
> false hits for Dark-eyed Juncos. On March 27 on the Gator Lake Trail Merlin
> picked up a Junco. I couldn't find the bird, so I didn’t record it. This
> was in season and would be prime Junco habitat, but I thought I should be
> able to see it and I couldn’t. On April 7 on the Jeff Friend Trail, I
> got another Junco call. I couldn't find this bird either and did not record
> the sighting as a result. It was also beginning to get late in the season
> for a Junco. Last Saturday this happened again, this time at the Middle
> Grounds at Fort Morgan. But this time I noticed something. When Pine
> Warblers were calling, both the Pine Warbler AND Junco readings would light
> up yellow, indicating a match. I could only hear one bird. My wife was
> along, and she could only hear one bird also, and it was definitely a Pine
> Warbler. In all three cases, there were Pine Warblers in the area. Not only
> did I get visuals on the Pine Warblers, but the calls were coming from
> overhead. You would expect Junco calls to be coming from the ground or at
> least lower down.
>
> So, then I got on the computer and played all the Junco calls I could
> find. One of them is very similar to Pine Warbler calls. In fact, All About
> Birds makes this exact point:
>
> Male Dark-eyed Juncos sing an even, musical trill of 7-23 notes that lasts
> up to 2 seconds. It’s similar to the songs of both the Chipping Sparrow and
> the Pine Warbler and is loud enough to be heard from several hundred feet
> away.
>
> I think I can tell the two apart now, having spent quite some time
> listening to recordings. The Pine Warbler seems to be a little higher
> pitched to me. I think Merlin sound ID is sometimes giving false Junco
> readings on Pine Warbler calls.
> Anybody else have similar experiences?
>
> Douglas Hamm
>
> On Tuesday, April 16, 2024 at 02:12:45 PM CDT, Jim Holmes via groups.io
> <jfholmes...> wrote:
>
>
> This has been discussed multiple times on all the listservs that I
> subscribed to but as a reminder, Merlin identification (especially the
> Sound ID) has problems and should not be relied upon as the sole method of
> identification. One way to make the Merlin Sound ID more reliable is to
> ensure you have the location setting accurate.
>
> See:
> https://support.ebird.org/en/support/solutions/articles/48001214056-merlin-sound-id-best-practices#2-Set-your-location
>
>
>
> If you are certain that the Merlin sound ID is correct and it is being
> flagged as rare, please upload the recording into the eBird list.
>
>
> https://support.ebird.org/en/support/solutions/articles/48001214056-merlin-sound-id-best-practices#3-Upload-your-sound-recording-to-your-checklist
>
>
>
> This recent list highlights this point (several species would certainly
> not be suggested if the location setting was correct):
> https://ebird.org/checklist/S168927564
>
>
>
> Thanks,
>
>
>
> Jim
>
>
>
> James F. Holmes, MD, MPH
>
> Professor and Executive Vice Chair
>
> Department of Emergency Medicine
>
> UC Davis School of Medicine
>
> Office (916) 734-1533
>
>
> **CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE** This e-mail communication and any attachments
> are for the sole use of the intended recipient and may contain information
> that is confidential and privileged under state and federal privacy laws.
> If you received this e-mail in error, be aware that any unauthorized use,
> disclosure, copying, or distribution is strictly prohibited. If you
> received this e-mail in error, please contact the sender immediately and
> destroy/delete all copies of this message.
>
>
>
>


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Date: 4/17/24 4:24 am
From: Damien J. Simbeck via groups.io <tnbarredowl...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Merlin and Identification
If you get rare bird alerts from eBird, you probably saw the reports of Dusky-capped Flycatcher and Hawfinch. Neither burd seen by the observer, both identified by Merlin.
I ran Merlin at my house for about 30 minutes yesterday. Most of the birds detected were correct.  It did peg the Purple Martin and Summer Tanager calls made by my Mockingbird (I heard them too, straight from the Mockingbird's mouth). It picked up a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (and it does that every time I use the app) that I never saw or heard. I usually only get Gnatcatchers in my yard during fall migration. It also detected a White-breasted Nuthatch that did not detected,  and they are RARE in my yard (only a handful of records on 30+ years of residency). Another likely error was Song Sparrow.  They are regular around my feeder each winter, but di not nest here. I haven't seen one on over a month. About a week ago, Merlin pegged a Downy Woodpecker when I coughed. I do have Downy in my yard, but it was not calling at the time Merlin picked it up.
Merlin is a good tool to help learn bird songs/calls, but eBird should really push folks to record only those birds seen/heard and identified by the observer. I know these reports of common birds doesn't really destroy the database, but it can definitely make some birds look more common than they are. And it's building a birding community that can't identify birds on their own...probably the true downside of the app.

Damien Simbeck
Killen AL

Sent from my (non-Apple) phone. You can teach an old dog new tricks!

On Tue, Apr 16, 2024 at 8:04 PM, Bob Reed<bobreed1987...> wrote: I too have recently been getting Junco IDs on Merlin in inappropriate places. In every instance Pine Warblers were present. I had not picked up on the similarity. Thanks for sharing. 
Bob Reed Tallassee,  Alabama 

On Tue, Apr 16, 2024, 17:28 Douglas Hamm via groups.io <dhamm72...> wrote:

Even if you do have the correct location, you still have to be careful. I think there is a Pine Warbler/Dark-eyed Junco problem. Below is a ticket I submitted to Merlin on my recent observations:

I think I have discovered a flaw in the Merlin sound ID appthat gives false hits for Dark-eyed Juncos. On March 27 on the Gator Lake TrailMerlin picked up a Junco. I couldn't find the bird, so I didn’t record it. Thiswas in season and would be prime Junco habitat, but I thought I should be ableto see it and I couldn’t.  On April 7 onthe Jeff Friend Trail, I got another Junco call. I couldn't find this birdeither and did not record the sighting as a result. It was also beginning toget late in the season for a Junco. Last Saturday this happened again, thistime at the Middle Grounds at Fort Morgan. But this time I noticed something.When Pine Warblers were calling, both the Pine Warbler AND Junco readings wouldlight up yellow, indicating a match. I could only hear one bird. My wife was along,and she could only hear one bird also, and it was definitely a Pine Warbler. Inall three cases, there were Pine Warblers in the area. Not only did I get visualson the Pine Warblers, but the calls were coming from overhead. You would expectJunco calls to be coming from the ground or at least lower down.

So, then I got on the computer and played all the Junco callsI could find. One of them is very similar to Pine Warbler calls. In fact, All AboutBirds makes this exact point:

Male Dark-eyed Juncos sing an even, musicaltrill of 7-23 notes that lasts up to 2 seconds. It’s similar to the songs ofboth the Chipping Sparrow and the Pine Warbler and is loud enough to be heardfrom several hundred feet away.

I think I can tell the two apart now, having spent quite sometime listening to recordings. The Pine Warbler seems to be a little higherpitched to me. I think Merlin sound ID is sometimes giving false Junco readingson Pine Warbler calls.
Anybody else have similar experiences?
Douglas Hamm
On Tuesday, April 16, 2024 at 02:12:45 PM CDT, Jim Holmes via groups.io <jfholmes...> wrote:


This has been discussed multiple times on all the listservs that I subscribed to but as a reminder, Merlin identification (especially the Sound ID) has problems and should not be relied upon as the sole method of identification.   One way to make the Merlin Sound ID more reliable is to ensure you have the location setting accurate. 

See:  https://support.ebird.org/en/support/solutions/articles/48001214056-merlin-sound-id-best-practices#2-Set-your-location

 

If you are certain that the Merlin sound ID is correct and it is being flagged as rare, please upload the recording into the eBird list.

https://support.ebird.org/en/support/solutions/articles/48001214056-merlin-sound-id-best-practices#3-Upload-your-sound-recording-to-your-checklist

 

This recent list highlights this point (several species would certainly not be suggested if the location setting was correct):https://ebird.org/checklist/S168927564

 

Thanks,

 

Jim

 

James F. Holmes, MD, MPH

Professor and Executive Vice Chair

Department of Emergency Medicine

UC Davis School of Medicine

Office (916) 734-1533

 
**CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE** This e-mail communication and any attachments are for the sole use of the intended recipient and may contain information that is confidential and privileged under state and federal privacy laws. If you received this e-mail in error, be aware that any unauthorized use, disclosure, copying, or distribution is strictly prohibited. If you received this e-mail in error, please contact the sender immediately and destroy/delete all copies of this message.



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Date: 4/16/24 6:04 pm
From: Bob Reed via groups.io <bobreed1987...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Merlin and Identification
I too have recently been getting Junco IDs on Merlin in
inappropriate places. In every instance Pine Warblers were present. I had
not picked up on the similarity. Thanks for sharing.

Bob Reed
Tallassee, Alabama


On Tue, Apr 16, 2024, 17:28 Douglas Hamm via groups.io <dhamm72=
<yahoo.com...> wrote:

> Even if you do have the correct location, you still have to be careful. I
> think there is a Pine Warbler/Dark-eyed Junco problem. Below is a ticket I
> submitted to Merlin on my recent observations:
>
> I think I have discovered a flaw in the Merlin sound ID app that gives
> false hits for Dark-eyed Juncos. On March 27 on the Gator Lake Trail Merlin
> picked up a Junco. I couldn't find the bird, so I didn’t record it. This
> was in season and would be prime Junco habitat, but I thought I should be
> able to see it and I couldn’t. On April 7 on the Jeff Friend Trail, I
> got another Junco call. I couldn't find this bird either and did not record
> the sighting as a result. It was also beginning to get late in the season
> for a Junco. Last Saturday this happened again, this time at the Middle
> Grounds at Fort Morgan. But this time I noticed something. When Pine
> Warblers were calling, both the Pine Warbler AND Junco readings would light
> up yellow, indicating a match. I could only hear one bird. My wife was
> along, and she could only hear one bird also, and it was definitely a Pine
> Warbler. In all three cases, there were Pine Warblers in the area. Not only
> did I get visuals on the Pine Warblers, but the calls were coming from
> overhead. You would expect Junco calls to be coming from the ground or at
> least lower down.
>
> So, then I got on the computer and played all the Junco calls I could
> find. One of them is very similar to Pine Warbler calls. In fact, All About
> Birds makes this exact point:
>
> Male Dark-eyed Juncos sing an even, musical trill of 7-23 notes that lasts
> up to 2 seconds. It’s similar to the songs of both the Chipping Sparrow and
> the Pine Warbler and is loud enough to be heard from several hundred feet
> away.
>
> I think I can tell the two apart now, having spent quite some time
> listening to recordings. The Pine Warbler seems to be a little higher
> pitched to me. I think Merlin sound ID is sometimes giving false Junco
> readings on Pine Warbler calls.
> Anybody else have similar experiences?
>
> Douglas Hamm
>
> On Tuesday, April 16, 2024 at 02:12:45 PM CDT, Jim Holmes via groups.io
> <jfholmes...> wrote:
>
>
> This has been discussed multiple times on all the listservs that I
> subscribed to but as a reminder, Merlin identification (especially the
> Sound ID) has problems and should not be relied upon as the sole method of
> identification. One way to make the Merlin Sound ID more reliable is to
> ensure you have the location setting accurate.
>
> See:
> https://support.ebird.org/en/support/solutions/articles/48001214056-merlin-sound-id-best-practices#2-Set-your-location
>
>
>
> If you are certain that the Merlin sound ID is correct and it is being
> flagged as rare, please upload the recording into the eBird list.
>
>
> https://support.ebird.org/en/support/solutions/articles/48001214056-merlin-sound-id-best-practices#3-Upload-your-sound-recording-to-your-checklist
>
>
>
> This recent list highlights this point (several species would certainly
> not be suggested if the location setting was correct):
> https://ebird.org/checklist/S168927564
>
>
>
> Thanks,
>
>
>
> Jim
>
>
>
> James F. Holmes, MD, MPH
>
> Professor and Executive Vice Chair
>
> Department of Emergency Medicine
>
> UC Davis School of Medicine
>
> Office (916) 734-1533
>
>
> **CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE** This e-mail communication and any attachments
> are for the sole use of the intended recipient and may contain information
> that is confidential and privileged under state and federal privacy laws.
> If you received this e-mail in error, be aware that any unauthorized use,
> disclosure, copying, or distribution is strictly prohibited. If you
> received this e-mail in error, please contact the sender immediately and
> destroy/delete all copies of this message.
>
>


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Date: 4/16/24 3:28 pm
From: Douglas Hamm via groups.io <dhamm72...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Merlin and Identification
Even if you do have the correct location, you still have to be careful. I think there is a Pine Warbler/Dark-eyed Junco problem. Below is a ticket I submitted to Merlin on my recent observations:

I think I have discovered a flaw in the Merlin sound ID appthat gives false hits for Dark-eyed Juncos. On March 27 on the Gator Lake TrailMerlin picked up a Junco. I couldn't find the bird, so I didn’t record it. Thiswas in season and would be prime Junco habitat, but I thought I should be ableto see it and I couldn’t.  On April 7 onthe Jeff Friend Trail, I got another Junco call. I couldn't find this birdeither and did not record the sighting as a result. It was also beginning toget late in the season for a Junco. Last Saturday this happened again, thistime at the Middle Grounds at Fort Morgan. But this time I noticed something.When Pine Warblers were calling, both the Pine Warbler AND Junco readings wouldlight up yellow, indicating a match. I could only hear one bird. My wife was along,and she could only hear one bird also, and it was definitely a Pine Warbler. Inall three cases, there were Pine Warblers in the area. Not only did I get visualson the Pine Warblers, but the calls were coming from overhead. You would expectJunco calls to be coming from the ground or at least lower down.

So, then I got on the computer and played all the Junco callsI could find. One of them is very similar to Pine Warbler calls. In fact, All AboutBirds makes this exact point:

Male Dark-eyed Juncos sing an even, musicaltrill of 7-23 notes that lasts up to 2 seconds. It’s similar to the songs ofboth the Chipping Sparrow and the Pine Warbler and is loud enough to be heardfrom several hundred feet away.

I think I can tell the two apart now, having spent quite sometime listening to recordings. The Pine Warbler seems to be a little higherpitched to me. I think Merlin sound ID is sometimes giving false Junco readingson Pine Warbler calls.
Anybody else have similar experiences?
Douglas Hamm
On Tuesday, April 16, 2024 at 02:12:45 PM CDT, Jim Holmes via groups.io <jfholmes...> wrote:

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This has been discussed multiple times on all the listservs that I subscribed to but as a reminder, Merlin identification (especially the Sound ID) has problems and should not be relied upon as the sole method of identification.   One way to make the Merlin Sound ID more reliable is to ensure you have the location setting accurate. 

See:  https://support.ebird.org/en/support/solutions/articles/48001214056-merlin-sound-id-best-practices#2-Set-your-location

 

If you are certain that the Merlin sound ID is correct and it is being flagged as rare, please upload the recording into the eBird list.

https://support.ebird.org/en/support/solutions/articles/48001214056-merlin-sound-id-best-practices#3-Upload-your-sound-recording-to-your-checklist

 

This recent list highlights this point (several species would certainly not be suggested if the location setting was correct):https://ebird.org/checklist/S168927564

 

Thanks,

 

Jim

 

James F. Holmes, MD, MPH

Professor and Executive Vice Chair

Department of Emergency Medicine

UC Davis School of Medicine

Office (916) 734-1533

 
**CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE** This e-mail communication and any attachments are for the sole use of the intended recipient and may contain information that is confidential and privileged under state and federal privacy laws. If you received this e-mail in error, be aware that any unauthorized use, disclosure, copying, or distribution is strictly prohibited. If you received this e-mail in error, please contact the sender immediately and destroy/delete all copies of this message.


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Date: 4/16/24 12:12 pm
From: Jim Holmes via groups.io <jfholmes...>
Subject: [ALbirds] Merlin and Identification
This has been discussed multiple times on all the listservs that I subscribed to but as a reminder, Merlin identification (especially the Sound ID) has problems and should not be relied upon as the sole method of identification. One way to make the Merlin Sound ID more reliable is to ensure you have the location setting accurate.
See: https://support.ebird.org/en/support/solutions/articles/48001214056-merlin-sound-id-best-practices#2-Set-your-location

If you are certain that the Merlin sound ID is correct and it is being flagged as rare, please upload the recording into the eBird list.
https://support.ebird.org/en/support/solutions/articles/48001214056-merlin-sound-id-best-practices#3-Upload-your-sound-recording-to-your-checklist

This recent list highlights this point (several species would certainly not be suggested if the location setting was correct): https://ebird.org/checklist/S168927564

Thanks,

Jim

James F. Holmes, MD, MPH
Professor and Executive Vice Chair
Department of Emergency Medicine
UC Davis School of Medicine
Office (916) 734-1533

**CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE** This e-mail communication and any attachments are for the sole use of the intended recipient and may contain information that is confidential and privileged under state and federal privacy laws. If you received this e-mail in error, be aware that any unauthorized use, disclosure, copying, or distribution is strictly prohibited. If you received this e-mail in error, please contact the sender immediately and destroy/delete all copies of this message.


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Date: 4/15/24 2:17 pm
From: Mason Currier via groups.io <masonacurrier...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Pelagic Info!
Ok all, deposit payments will open tomorrow at 12 noon. Please make $150 dollars out on Venmo @Thomas-Haughton-2.

The final $250 will be paid later. The trip will be all day on May 25th. The captain is great! Here is his website- https://captaintfishing.com/

Reminder that there is only room for 6 more people. If you’re really interested in going get deposits in promptly at 12. Once registered, I will send out more info on the trip. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns. My number is 251-263-1296.

Happy Birding,
Mason Currier


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Date: 4/15/24 9:46 am
From: Greg D. Jackson via groups.io <g_d_jackson...>
Subject: [ALbirds] Saginaw/Calera this AM (15 Apr)
AL Birders:

"Happy" Tax Day everyone! 🙁 To put myself in a better mood, I opened
the morning with a mug of coffee on the boardwalk at Limestone Park,
reveling in the birdsong all around. Hard to beat early morning at a
marsh! Enjoyed my FOS adult male Orchard Oriole singing in clear view
near the platform, and both House and Marsh wrens were in song. A Sora
called from deep in the marsh but no other rails were heard. Several
beautiful Wood Ducks were about but no gangly Anhingas were spotted. My
favorite bird encounter of the morning was a lengthy point-blank view of
a lovely LINCOLN'S SPARROW low in the trees by the pond at the model
aviator pavilion -- not a bird I get to see often in this area,
especially well (but of course I didn't have my camera . . .).

A check for Rick's Upland Sandpiper at the Calera Publix fields was
unsuccessful, and when I had the pleasure of running into Joe Wujcik and
Michael Fritts I learned they also had not seen it this morning. The
White-fronted is still hanging around, though. The whole area is really
busy today with lots of construction and mowing. And as Ken alluded, we
are at the verge of losing at least parts of this area soon. Another
hotel is being built near the Hampton Inn, and at the back side of the
Publix fields near the microwave tower road, dump trucks have begun
filling in that portion with dirt. It's a man-made field to begin with,
of course, but we have so little accessible short-grass field habitat in
the area it's going to be painful to lose it (plus  the Saginaw/Calera
area has been on fire for good birds so far this year!).

Greg


Greg D. Jackson

Birmingham, AL



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Date: 4/15/24 6:29 am
From: ToddDeVore via groups.io <devore...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Upland Sandpiper in Shelby Co
I note the variety of birds that have been seen by myself and others in this open grassy area over the last few years: Merlin, horned larks, dickcissel, short-eared owl, american golden plovers, and sandpipers including this latest one.  Enjoy it while you can, as it is obvious more parking lots are destined for this area soon.  The arrow of development points only in one direction around here, towards more and more.


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Date: 4/14/24 6:22 pm
From: Ken Wills via groups.io <memontei...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Upland Sandpiper in Shelby Co
The Upland Sandpiper was still in the Calera development fields behind the big metal building, Betacom, when I left at 6:45 p.m.  Hopefully it will still be there in the morning.   I would bring a scope for optimal viewing.  
I heard about the bird second hand from a new birder I encountered in Limestone Park, and as soon as he told me about it I headed down there .  It was the first Upland Sandpiper I have seen in Alabama, and I had a much better and longer look of this bird than I had of that species in the Mississippi Delta.   Great way to end a late afternoon birding trip.  
Ken Wills 
On Sunday, April 14, 2024 at 01:50:14 PM CDT, Rick Remy <rickremy...> wrote:


We just saw a single Upland Sandpiper in Shelby County in the field on Highway 31 directly across from Hampton Inn in the fields known as Publix Fields. It was near the fence by the big metal building. 


Rick and Susan Remy



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Date: 4/14/24 11:50 am
From: Rick Remy via groups.io <rickremy...>
Subject: [ALbirds] Upland Sandpiper in Shelby Co
We just saw a single Upland Sandpiper in Shelby County in the field on Highway 31 directly across from Hampton Inn in the fields known as Publix Fields. It was near the fence by the big metal building.

Rick and Susan Remy


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Date: 4/14/24 7:47 am
From: <swmavocet...> via groups.io <swmavocet...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Bobwhite on Dauphin Island
Folks,I'm not a lawyer but I'll speculate the legality of this situation might be complicated by the fact NOBO are classified by the state as game birds so less clearly protected in a way from human exploitation than, say, a Northern Cardinal.   
I did find this DCNR link to information about state game bird or game mammal propagation permits.  The office memo also at this link says they stopped issuing these annual permits for deer after 2013 because 'they were not needed' (lol) but I don't see a reference to indicate game bird permits were also halted then or since.   
The fine at the time for an expired permit was only $25-100.   However, permit holders were required to keep the animals on their own property.
www.outdooralabama.com/sites/default/files/Licenses/Current%20Commercial%20Licenses/Propagation.pdf

Steve McConnellHartselle, AL
On Sunday, April 14, 2024 at 08:43:47 AM CDT, Greg D. Jackson <g_d_jackson...> wrote:

Geoff and all,

A few of us have been discussing the California Quail and N. Bobwhite
issues on the island recently and I wanted to share some info. Geoff,
you're not alone in your recent experiences as there have been multiple
reports of both species at numerous sites on the island in the past year
or two. Looking at eBird reports, it can be difficult at times to
isolate observations truly occurring on the island (for this and other
species), as sometimes folks roll a visit to the causeway or farther
north on the mainland into their island checklist for the day. But
clearly there has been a change.

Howard Horne provided some information on the people who evidently are
releasing California Quail and presumably bobwhites, too. I don't know
the legality of doing this without permits, but IMO introducing this
type of potential ecological change into a system seems really questionable.

I did some research on this matter the other day, looking at numerous
record sets though not doing a deep dive into the literature. In
general, N. Bobwhite would not be considered a regular native species on
the island as far as I can determine (or recall from 50+ years personal
experience). Old texts more or less imply statewide distribution but
don't specifically mention the situation on the island, though Imhof
(1976) indicates quail being less common near salt water. Looking at the
state database and records from the Breeding Bird Atlas, Bird Banding
Lab, Breeding Bird Surveys, etc., there is not evidence of normal
occurrence on the island.

There have been, however, occasional prior credible reports of bobwhites
which appear to be actually on the island (not including the causeway).
Whether these were wandering individuals from the mainland or escaped
birds from some unknown collection is unclear (though I've never heard
of anyone keeping bobwhites on the island until recently).

Overwater flight by bobwhites would seem odd, but they are known to show
displacement at times. In Alabama, the farthest record of movement I've
seen so far is from a bird banded in Fairhope and shot near Atmore,
nearly 40 miles away. Away from Alabama, Stupka's book on the Great
Smoky Mountains NP (1963) describes elevational seasonal movements, and
Bent (1932) indicates movements related to environmental conditions.

I haven't yet checked with the state game folks about this situation,
either in regard to old records on the island or the issue with the
current (presumably unauthorized) releases. People with ADCNR have been
tracking bobwhites for many decades and may have more insights.

Greg


Greg D. Jackson

AOS Bird Records Compiler

Birmingham, AL



On 4/13/2024 10:25 PM, Chuck Estes via groups.io wrote:
> There have been numerous sightings of both Northern Bobwhite and California Quail around the island over the last 3 weeks.  My understanding is that there is a man on the island incubating eggs and raising and releasing these birds.  I don’t remember his name but I was told he was asked to stop doing it but said he believed Bobwhite were native to the island and would continue the practice.  Not sure his logic on California Quail.
> Chuck Estes
> Oak Ridge, TN
>
>
>
>








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Date: 4/14/24 6:43 am
From: Greg D. Jackson <g_d_jackson...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Bobwhite on Dauphin Island
Geoff and all,

A few of us have been discussing the California Quail and N. Bobwhite
issues on the island recently and I wanted to share some info. Geoff,
you're not alone in your recent experiences as there have been multiple
reports of both species at numerous sites on the island in the past year
or two. Looking at eBird reports, it can be difficult at times to
isolate observations truly occurring on the island (for this and other
species), as sometimes folks roll a visit to the causeway or farther
north on the mainland into their island checklist for the day. But
clearly there has been a change.

Howard Horne provided some information on the people who evidently are
releasing California Quail and presumably bobwhites, too. I don't know
the legality of doing this without permits, but IMO introducing this
type of potential ecological change into a system seems really questionable.

I did some research on this matter the other day, looking at numerous
record sets though not doing a deep dive into the literature. In
general, N. Bobwhite would not be considered a regular native species on
the island as far as I can determine (or recall from 50+ years personal
experience). Old texts more or less imply statewide distribution but
don't specifically mention the situation on the island, though Imhof
(1976) indicates quail being less common near salt water. Looking at the
state database and records from the Breeding Bird Atlas, Bird Banding
Lab, Breeding Bird Surveys, etc., there is not evidence of normal
occurrence on the island.

There have been, however, occasional prior credible reports of bobwhites
which appear to be actually on the island (not including the causeway).
Whether these were wandering individuals from the mainland or escaped
birds from some unknown collection is unclear (though I've never heard
of anyone keeping bobwhites on the island until recently).

Overwater flight by bobwhites would seem odd, but they are known to show
displacement at times. In Alabama, the farthest record of movement I've
seen so far is from a bird banded in Fairhope and shot near Atmore,
nearly 40 miles away. Away from Alabama, Stupka's book on the Great
Smoky Mountains NP (1963) describes elevational seasonal movements, and
Bent (1932) indicates movements related to environmental conditions.

I haven't yet checked with the state game folks about this situation,
either in regard to old records on the island or the issue with the
current (presumably unauthorized) releases. People with ADCNR have been
tracking bobwhites for many decades and may have more insights.

Greg


Greg D. Jackson

AOS Bird Records Compiler

Birmingham, AL



On 4/13/2024 10:25 PM, Chuck Estes via groups.io wrote:
> There have been numerous sightings of both Northern Bobwhite and California Quail around the island over the last 3 weeks. My understanding is that there is a man on the island incubating eggs and raising and releasing these birds. I don’t remember his name but I was told he was asked to stop doing it but said he believed Bobwhite were native to the island and would continue the practice. Not sure his logic on California Quail.
> Chuck Estes
> Oak Ridge, TN
>
>
>
>


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Date: 4/14/24 6:34 am
From: Melinda W <Modoodle1989...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Bobwhite on Dauphin Island
 

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Date: 4/14/24 6:05 am
From: Greg D. Jackson <g_d_jackson...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Upland Sandpiper spectacle
Hi Craig,

Spectacle indeed! You guys certainly have been treated to a "grasspiper"
bonanza recently! The thundering hordes of up to 710 Am. Golden-Plovers
last month took out the previous state maximum of 470 set in the same
general area. And your tally of 102 Upland Sandpipers yesterday toppled
both the previous spring high of 75 and the fall max of 70.

The Buff-breasteds are always nice to see, and 13 almost reaches the
spring high of 16; /much /larger numbers have been recorded in autumn,
with many triple-digit counts and a max of 172.

Send some of these guys up our way . . .

Greg


Greg D. Jackson

AOS Bird Records Compiler

Birmingham, AL


On 4/13/2024 11:08 AM, Craig Litteken via groups.io wrote:
> The Upland Sandpiper spectacle continues at the sod farms near Foley. 
> A week or so ago, over 70 uplands were reported at the Riverview Turf
> Farm near Foley, but today the uplands were at the sod fields east of
> CR 49.  This time, however, there were 102!  Most were along Kaiser
> Road and the road to the east...over 70 along just those two roads. 
> The rest were spread throughout other fields.  Though a few of the
> birds moved around, I was careful not to double count, and it was easy
> to count the birds one by one since they were fairly spread out from
> one another.
>
> In addition to the uplands, there were also 13 Buff-breasted
> sandpipers with 12 in one group at the north end of Kaiser Road.  A
> few birds in this group were also doing courtship displays.
>
> American golden-plovers, Black-bellied plovers, Killdeer, and a few
> Lesser Yellowlegs were also around.
>
> The Upland and Buffy show was quite the spectacle this morning!
>
> Happy migration!
>
> Craig Litteken
> Daphne
>


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Date: 4/14/24 4:55 am
From: Lucy & Bob Email <RobertADuncan...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Bobwhite on Dauphin Island
 

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Date: 4/14/24 4:30 am
From: Tommie Rogers <sundragon1...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Bobwhite on Dauphin Island
With the constant clearing, development and mowing in most states, where else can they live? I've watched them disappear from counties surrounding me. Too many large properties are mowed year round.
Maybe someone had a good idea putting them there. The habitat is very similar to where I used to live in Florida and enjoyed abundant flocks of NOBO.

Tommie Rogers
Marion county, TN

From: "Jud Johnston" <egrosbeak1946...>
To: <ALbirds...>
Sent: Sunday, April 14, 2024 2:46:24 AM
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Bobwhite on Dauphin Island

Dr. Hill, I think you are justified in questioning the sudden proliferation of bobwhites. Sounds like exactly what you suggested. I do know I saw a pheasant in the Audubon Sanctuary once, 8-10 years ago. That was explained as a release from a failed breeding attempt.
Jud Johnston
Waynesboro, TN

On Sat, Apr 13, 2024 at 8:40 PM Geoffrey Hill < [ mailto:<hillgee...> | <hillgee...> ] > wrote:





Hi AL birders,

I’ve been coming to Dauphin Island since 1993 and I’ve never detected a Northern Bobwhite on the island. This morning, my grad students and I were up before sunrise at the Sealab, getting ready to load our students into vans for their coastal field trip, and there was bobwhite on the deck railing of the house. Amazing. But it was very tame, and another bobwhite was calling across the lawn. Not normal. Then we pulled into the parking lot at the beach by the pier and other bobwhite was calling. Later, we got to the airport and another bobwhite was calling. Given that California Quail have been reported for the last few weeks, I’m suspecting that someone is releasing quail on the island including bobwhite. Anyone know anything about this?



Maybe it is all in my head, but bobwhite all over Dauphin Island doesn’t seem natural.



Geoff Hill

Auburn






**********************************

Dr. Geoffrey Hill

William P. Molette Professor

Dept. Biol. Sci.

331 Funchess Hall

Auburn University

Auburn, AL 36849-5414



e-mail: [ mailto:<hillgee...> | <hillgee...> ]

web page: [ http://www.auburn.edu/academic/science_math/res_area/hill_lab/index.html | http://www.t ] [ http://hehilllab.com/ | hehilllab.com ]



NEW BOOK: Mitonuclear Ecology

Oxford Series in Ecology and Evolution

****************************************















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Date: 4/13/24 11:46 pm
From: Jud Johnston <egrosbeak1946...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Bobwhite on Dauphin Island
Dr. Hill, I think you are justified in questioning the sudden proliferation
of bobwhites. Sounds like exactly what you suggested. I do know I saw a
pheasant in the Audubon Sanctuary once, 8-10 years ago. That was explained
as a release from a failed breeding attempt.

Jud Johnston
Waynesboro, TN

On Sat, Apr 13, 2024 at 8:40 PM Geoffrey Hill <hillgee...> wrote:

> Hi AL birders,
>
> I’ve been coming to Dauphin Island since 1993 and I’ve never detected a
> Northern Bobwhite on the island. This morning, my grad students and I were
> up before sunrise at the Sealab, getting ready to load our students into
> vans for their coastal field trip, and there was bobwhite on the deck
> railing of the house. Amazing. But it was very tame, and another bobwhite
> was calling across the lawn. Not normal. Then we pulled into the parking
> lot at the beach by the pier and other bobwhite was calling. Later, we got
> to the airport and another bobwhite was calling. Given that California
> Quail have been reported for the last few weeks, I’m suspecting that
> someone is releasing quail on the island including bobwhite. Anyone know
> anything about this?
>
>
>
> Maybe it is all in my head, but bobwhite all over Dauphin Island doesn’t
> seem natural.
>
>
>
> Geoff Hill
>
> Auburn
>
>
>
>
>
> **********************************
>
> Dr. Geoffrey Hill
>
> William P. Molette Professor
>
> Dept. Biol. Sci.
>
> 331 Funchess Hall
>
> Auburn University
>
> Auburn, AL 36849-5414
>
>
>
> e-mail: <hillgee...>
>
> web page: http://www.t
> <http://www.auburn.edu/academic/science_math/res_area/hill_lab/index.html>
> hehilllab.com
>
>
>
> *NEW BOOK: Mitonuclear Ecology*
>
> Oxford Series in Ecology and Evolution
>
> ****************************************
>
>
>
>
>


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Date: 4/13/24 8:25 pm
From: Chuck Estes via groups.io <chucklola...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Bobwhite on Dauphin Island
There have been numerous sightings of both Northern Bobwhite and California Quail around the island over the last 3 weeks. My understanding is that there is a man on the island incubating eggs and raising and releasing these birds. I don’t remember his name but I was told he was asked to stop doing it but said he believed Bobwhite were native to the island and would continue the practice. Not sure his logic on California Quail.
Chuck Estes
Oak Ridge, TN

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Date: 4/13/24 7:20 pm
From: Drew Haffenden <andrew...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Bobwhite on Dauphin Island
Must also be releases.

Cheers,

Drew Haffenden
________________________________
From: <ALbirds...> <ALbirds...> on behalf of Geoffrey Hill via groups.io <hillgee...>
Sent: Saturday, April 13, 2024 8:39:57 PM
To: <ALbirds...> <ALbirds...>
Subject: [ALbirds] Bobwhite on Dauphin Island


Hi AL birders,

Ive been coming to Dauphin Island since 1993 and Ive never detected a Northern Bobwhite on the island. This morning, my grad students and I were up before sunrise at the Sealab, getting ready to load our students into vans for their coastal field trip, and there was bobwhite on the deck railing of the house. Amazing. But it was very tame, and another bobwhite was calling across the lawn. Not normal. Then we pulled into the parking lot at the beach by the pier and other bobwhite was calling. Later, we got to the airport and another bobwhite was calling. Given that California Quail have been reported for the last few weeks, Im suspecting that someone is releasing quail on the island including bobwhite. Anyone know anything about this?



Maybe it is all in my head, but bobwhite all over Dauphin Island doesnt seem natural.



Geoff Hill

Auburn





**********************************

Dr. Geoffrey Hill

William P. Molette Professor

Dept. Biol. Sci.

331 Funchess Hall

Auburn University

Auburn, AL 36849-5414



e-mail: <hillgee...><mailto:<hillgee...>

web page: http://www.t<http://www.auburn.edu/academic/science_math/res_area/hill_lab/index.html>hehilllab.com<http://hehilllab.com/>



NEW BOOK: Mitonuclear Ecology

Oxford Series in Ecology and Evolution

****************************************






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Date: 4/13/24 6:40 pm
From: Geoffrey Hill <hillgee...>
Subject: [ALbirds] Bobwhite on Dauphin Island
Hi AL birders,
Ive been coming to Dauphin Island since 1993 and Ive never detected a Northern Bobwhite on the island. This morning, my grad students and I were up before sunrise at the Sealab, getting ready to load our students into vans for their coastal field trip, and there was bobwhite on the deck railing of the house. Amazing. But it was very tame, and another bobwhite was calling across the lawn. Not normal. Then we pulled into the parking lot at the beach by the pier and other bobwhite was calling. Later, we got to the airport and another bobwhite was calling. Given that California Quail have been reported for the last few weeks, Im suspecting that someone is releasing quail on the island including bobwhite. Anyone know anything about this?

Maybe it is all in my head, but bobwhite all over Dauphin Island doesnt seem natural.

Geoff Hill
Auburn


**********************************
Dr. Geoffrey Hill
William P. Molette Professor
Dept. Biol. Sci.
331 Funchess Hall
Auburn University
Auburn, AL 36849-5414

e-mail: <hillgee...><mailto:<hillgee...>
web page: http://www.t<http://www.auburn.edu/academic/science_math/res_area/hill_lab/index.html>hehilllab.com<http://hehilllab.com/>

NEW BOOK: Mitonuclear Ecology
Oxford Series in Ecology and Evolution
****************************************



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Date: 4/13/24 9:45 am
From: Greg D. Jackson <g_d_jackson...>
Subject: [ALbirds] Wilson’s Phalarope in Swan Creek WMA
AL Birders:

A basic-plumaged Wilson's Phalarope is an early surprise at Swan Creek WMA. It’s in the dewatering area to the east of West Dike Road. Park at the well-marked new parking area about halfway down the road and walk east past the gate down the track crossing the open area. Several species of shorebirds and ducks are south of the track, best seen from the middle. Long looks, bring a scope. Tim Milback was here when I arrived and had found a couple of molting Black-bellied Plovers.

Greg

Greg D. Jackson
Birmingham, AL


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Date: 4/13/24 9:08 am
From: Craig Litteken via groups.io <littekenc...>
Subject: [ALbirds] Upland Sandpiper spectacle
The Upland Sandpiper spectacle continues at the sod farms near Foley.  A week or so ago, over 70 uplands were reported at the Riverview Turf Farm near Foley, but today the uplands were at the sod fields east of CR 49.  This time, however, there were 102!  Most were along Kaiser Road and the road to the east...over 70 along just those two roads.  The rest were spread throughout other fields.  Though a few of the birds moved around, I was careful not to double count, and it was easy to count the birds one by one since they were fairly spread out from one another.
In addition to the uplands, there were also 13 Buff-breasted sandpipers with 12 in one group at the north end of Kaiser Road.  A few birds in this group were also doing courtship displays.
American golden-plovers, Black-bellied plovers, Killdeer, and a few Lesser Yellowlegs were also around.
The Upland and Buffy show was quite the spectacle this morning!
Happy migration!
Craig LittekenDaphne


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Date: 4/10/24 11:04 pm
From: Drew Haffenden <andrew...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] WINDY caution
I swap up and down on Windy, like Bob my go to app. It had strong winds - 24 plus - bringing flow from SE to due north to us from this morning. There has been at least one post reporting thousands of birds but I have seen very few


Cheers,

Drew Haffenden
________________________________
From: <ALbirds...> <ALbirds...> on behalf of Lucy & Bob Email via groups.io <RobertADuncan...>
Sent: Wednesday, April 10, 2024 10:04:45 PM
To: Albirds <albirds...>; Nflbirds <nflbirds...>
Subject: [ALbirds] WINDY caution

Hi all,

Just a cautionary note about using WINDY in determining bird movements. Right now looking out at Pensacola Bay (about 5 pm) the wind is N about 25 mph with higher gusts and has been that way, NW to N, since at least 2:30 this afternoon. But WINDY is showing winds surface out of the S all during this time. The weather station at Gulf Breeze High School is also showing winds out of the NW.

WINDY is usually right, but not this afternoon. If I were away from the coast looking at WINDY for bird movements, I would get the impression they had an easy time of it coming in. Not so. Some Indigos have dropped in to our yard and a report from Dauphin Is. indicates a substantial fallout.

Bob Duncan
Gulf Breeze, FL

--
Lucy and Bob Duncan
Gulf Breeze, Florida



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Date: 4/10/24 8:05 pm
From: Lucy & Bob Email <RobertADuncan...>
Subject: [ALbirds] WINDY caution
Hi all,
Just a cautionary note about using WINDY in determining bird movements. Right now looking out at Pensacola Bay (about 5 pm) the wind is N about 25 mph with higher gusts and has been that way, NW to N,  since at least 2:30 this afternoon. But WINDY is showing winds surface out of the S all during this time. The weather station at Gulf Breeze High School is also showing winds out of the NW.
WINDY is usually right, but not this afternoon. If I were away from the coast looking at WINDY for bird movements, I would get the impression they had an easy time of it coming in. Not so. Some Indigos have dropped in to our yard and a report from Dauphin Is. indicates a substantial fallout.
Bob DuncanGulf Breeze, FL


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Date: 4/10/24 3:39 pm
From: Mason Currier <masonacurrier...>
Subject: [ALbirds] Pelagic Info!
Hi all! I mentioned this a few months ago, and I was serious about it! I have May 25th scheduled to do a pelagic trip. 6 free spaces available, each 400 dollars with a 150 deposit due before the trip. Currently figuring out the best way for the captain to receive deposit payments. Once this is figured out, he will open up the trip to 6. I will let know the day and time you can send in payment. I just wanted to let people know the price and that it is in the works. Looking forward to it!

Mason Currier
Mobile, AL


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Date: 4/10/24 7:50 am
From: Drew Haffenden <andrew...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour
Park and others, the boat is now full. Sorry to those who missed out.

Cheers

Drew Haffenden

From: <ALbirds...> <ALbirds...> On Behalf Of park mcgehee via groups.io
Sent: Wednesday, April 10, 2024 7:58 AM
To: <ALbirds...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour

Catherine and I will take 2 of those seats. Thx. Park mcgehee

On Tue, Apr 9, 2024 at 5:03 PM Drew Haffenden <andrew...><mailto:<andrew...>> wrote:
We have 3 spaces on the AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour operated by naturalist, author, filmmaker and discoverer of the remains of the Clotida, the last slave ship. I have done this trip many times and will be on board. Full five hour morning tour. $150.

Cheers,

Drew Haffenden



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Date: 4/10/24 6:02 am
From: park mcgehee <parkmcgehee...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour
Catherine and I would like to use 2 ‘of those seats. Who do we need to
contact to reserve them?/

Park mcgehee

On Tue, Apr 9, 2024 at 5:03 PM Drew Haffenden <andrew...> wrote:

> We have 3 spaces on the AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour operated by
> naturalist, author, filmmaker and discoverer of the remains of the Clotida,
> the last slave ship. I have done this trip many times and will be on board.
> Full five hour morning tour. $150.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Drew Haffenden
>
>
>


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Date: 4/10/24 5:58 am
From: park mcgehee <parkmcgehee...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour
Catherine and I will take 2 of those seats. Thx. Park mcgehee

On Tue, Apr 9, 2024 at 5:03 PM Drew Haffenden <andrew...> wrote:

> We have 3 spaces on the AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour operated by
> naturalist, author, filmmaker and discoverer of the remains of the Clotida,
> the last slave ship. I have done this trip many times and will be on board.
> Full five hour morning tour. $150.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Drew Haffenden
>
>
>


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Date: 4/9/24 5:11 pm
From: Lawrence Gardella <lfgardella...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour
Ben Raines, The Last Slave Ship


Larry Gardella
Daphne

On Tue, Apr 9, 2024, 6:23 PM Cheryl Killingsworth <
<killingsworthcheryl...> wrote:

> Let’s do it. Count us in. Pay when we get there by credit card or check,
> or send you the money?
>
> We’ll read the book, too. What’s the author’s last name and/or name of the
> book?
>
> Thanks much,
> Cheryl and Jim
>
>
> On Apr 9, 2024, at 5:33 PM, Drew Haffenden <andrew...> wrote:
>
> Cheryl 20th, Sat morning. It’s a really great trip and Ben is super
> knowledgeable about the delta and a really nice guy.
>
> Cheers
>
> Drew Haffenden
>
> *From:* <ALbirds...> <ALbirds...> *On Behalf Of *Cheryl
> Killingsworth via groups.io
> *Sent:* Tuesday, April 9, 2024 5:07 PM
> *To:* <ALbirds...>
> *Subject:* Re: [ALbirds] AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour
>
> Drew, what’s the date? Jim McMinn and I would love to go.
>
> Cheryl Killingsworth and James McMinn
>
>
>
>
> On Apr 9, 2024, at 5:03 PM, Drew Haffenden <andrew...> wrote:
>
> We have 3 spaces on the AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour operated by
> naturalist, author, filmmaker and discoverer of the remains of the Clotida,
> the last slave ship. I have done this trip many times and will be on board.
> Full five hour morning tour. $150.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Drew Haffenden
>
>
>
>
>
>


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Date: 4/9/24 5:09 pm
From: Cheryl Killingsworth <killingsworthcheryl...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour
 

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Date: 4/9/24 4:35 pm
From: Drew Haffenden <andrew...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour
Ben Raines. America's Amazon was his first book (and video seen on PBS) and the unrelated The Last Slave Ship. The latter, 250 pages I read in 3 sittings, the first half the book. I couldn't put it down as he is a great writer. You can pay Ben directly on the day with cc or other payment methods.

Cheers,

Drew Haffenden
________________________________
From: <ALbirds...> <ALbirds...> on behalf of Cheryl Killingsworth via groups.io <killingsworthcheryl...>
Sent: Tuesday, April 9, 2024 6:23:51 PM
To: <ALbirds...> <ALbirds...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour

Lets do it. Count us in. Pay when we get there by credit card or check, or send you the money?

Well read the book, too. Whats the authors last name and/or name of the book?

Thanks much,
Cheryl and Jim


On Apr 9, 2024, at 5:33 PM, Drew Haffenden <andrew...><mailto:<andrew...>> wrote:

Cheryl 20th, Sat morning. Its a really great trip and Ben is super knowledgeable about the delta and a really nice guy.

Cheers

Drew Haffenden

From: <ALbirds...><mailto:<ALbirds...> <ALbirds...><mailto:<ALbirds...>> On Behalf Of Cheryl Killingsworth via groups.io<http://groups.io/>
Sent: Tuesday, April 9, 2024 5:07 PM
To: <ALbirds...><mailto:<ALbirds...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour

Drew, whats the date? Jim McMinn and I would love to go.

Cheryl Killingsworth and James McMinn




On Apr 9, 2024, at 5:03 PM, Drew Haffenden <andrew...><mailto:<andrew...>> wrote:

We have 3 spaces on the AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour operated by naturalist, author, filmmaker and discoverer of the remains of the Clotida, the last slave ship. I have done this trip many times and will be on board. Full five hour morning tour. $150.

Cheers,

Drew Haffenden





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Date: 4/9/24 4:24 pm
From: Cheryl Killingsworth <killingsworthcheryl...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour
Let’s do it. Count us in. Pay when we get there by credit card or check, or send you the money?

We’ll read the book, too. What’s the author’s last name and/or name of the book?

Thanks much,
Cheryl and Jim


> On Apr 9, 2024, at 5:33 PM, Drew Haffenden <andrew...> wrote:
>
> Cheryl 20th, Sat morning. It’s a really great trip and Ben is super knowledgeable about the delta and a really nice guy.
>
> Cheers
>
> Drew Haffenden
>
> From: <ALbirds...> <mailto:<ALbirds...> <ALbirds...> <mailto:<ALbirds...>> On Behalf Of Cheryl Killingsworth via groups.io <http://groups.io/>
> Sent: Tuesday, April 9, 2024 5:07 PM
> To: <ALbirds...> <mailto:<ALbirds...>
> Subject: Re: [ALbirds] AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour
>
> Drew, what’s the date? Jim McMinn and I would love to go.
>
> Cheryl Killingsworth and James McMinn
>
>
>
>
> On Apr 9, 2024, at 5:03 PM, Drew Haffenden <andrew...> <mailto:<andrew...>> wrote:
>
> We have 3 spaces on the AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour operated by naturalist, author, filmmaker and discoverer of the remains of the Clotida, the last slave ship. I have done this trip many times and will be on board. Full five hour morning tour. $150.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Drew Haffenden
>
>



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Date: 4/9/24 3:39 pm
From: Lawrence Gardella <lfgardella...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour
And his book about the discovery (as well as all the details he includes as
background) is wonderful.

Larry Gardella

On Tue, Apr 9, 2024 at 5:03 PM Drew Haffenden <andrew...> wrote:

> We have 3 spaces on the AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour operated by
> naturalist, author, filmmaker and discoverer of the remains of the Clotida,
> the last slave ship. I have done this trip many times and will be on board.
> Full five hour morning tour. $150.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Drew Haffenden
>
>
>


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Date: 4/9/24 3:34 pm
From: Drew Haffenden <andrew...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour
Cheryl 20th, Sat morning. It’s a really great trip and Ben is super knowledgeable about the delta and a really nice guy.

Cheers

Drew Haffenden

From: <ALbirds...> <ALbirds...> On Behalf Of Cheryl Killingsworth via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, April 9, 2024 5:07 PM
To: <ALbirds...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour

Drew, what’s the date? Jim McMinn and I would love to go.

Cheryl Killingsworth and James McMinn




On Apr 9, 2024, at 5:03 PM, Drew Haffenden <andrew...><mailto:<andrew...>> wrote:

We have 3 spaces on the AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour operated by naturalist, author, filmmaker and discoverer of the remains of the Clotida, the last slave ship. I have done this trip many times and will be on board. Full five hour morning tour. $150.

Cheers,

Drew Haffenden




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Date: 4/9/24 3:07 pm
From: Cheryl Killingsworth <killingsworthcheryl...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour
Drew, what’s the date? Jim McMinn and I would love to go.

Cheryl Killingsworth and James McMinn



> On Apr 9, 2024, at 5:03 PM, Drew Haffenden <andrew...> wrote:
>
> We have 3 spaces on the AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour operated by naturalist, author, filmmaker and discoverer of the remains of the Clotida, the last slave ship. I have done this trip many times and will be on board. Full five hour morning tour. $150.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Drew Haffenden
>



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Date: 4/9/24 3:03 pm
From: Drew Haffenden <andrew...>
Subject: [ALbirds] AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour
We have 3 spaces on the AOS Spring meeting delta boat tour operated by naturalist, author, filmmaker and discoverer of the remains of the Clotida, the last slave ship. I have done this trip many times and will be on board. Full five hour morning tour. $150.

Cheers,

Drew Haffenden


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Date: 4/5/24 1:51 pm
From: Geoffrey Hill <hillgee...>
Subject: [ALbirds] Western Grebe at Guntersville
I was able to relocate the Western Grebe at Guntersville Reservoir, but it took some effort. I started around 720am at the Trail of Tears boat ramp and the beach area in Guntersville State Park. I spent about 90 minutes scanning the lake from all angles along this shoreline. Even though it did not seem like a windy morning up in the park, on the south shore of the lake there was a stiff wind with a lot of chop on the lake. There were very few birds in the lake out from this south shore, probably because of the chop and wind. I finally gave up on finding the grebe from that location and drove around to Seibold Boat Ramp on the other side of the lake. To see open water from this location, you have to walk out onto the wooden pier at the boat ramp and look to the left. There were way more birds on this side of the lake, and in with some loons and cormorants was the Western Grebe. It was a long scope view, and the bird was backlit by the morning sun so I identified it mostly by shape. Western Grebes have a very distinctive shape (except from Clarks Grebe).
Maybe on a calm day it will drift back toward the south shore but for now, it is a tough bird to see. Geoff Hill, Auburn


**********************************
Dr. Geoffrey Hill
William P. Molette Professor
Dept. Biol. Sci.
331 Funchess Hall
Auburn University
Auburn, AL 36849-5414

e-mail: <hillgee...><mailto:<hillgee...>
web page: http://www.t<http://www.auburn.edu/academic/science_math/res_area/hill_lab/index.html>hehilllab.com<http://hehilllab.com/>

NEW BOOK: Mitonuclear Ecology
Oxford Series in Ecology and Evolution
****************************************



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Date: 4/4/24 7:14 am
From: Lucy & Bob Email <RobertADuncan...>
Subject: [ALbirds] Analysis of yesterday's coastal birding
Hi all,
Looking at reports from St. Marks to Dauphin Is., the front with its strong NW & W winds vectored a Trans-Gulf movement to the eastern Panhandle. Elizabeth Hawkins described what was a classic fallout at St. George Is. and St. Marks had a large fallout of R. E. Vireos.
Over here in the western Panhandle we came up short, as expected. Checking the paucity of reports from the AL coast, birders there suffered the same fate. Disappointingly, few if any migrants came in to Gulf Breeze overnight from what I have observed so far.
The rain associated with the front dissipated as it approached the Pensacola area but regenerated and extended into the Gulf as it approached the eastern Panhandle, producing classic fallout conditions there. Lucky were the birders who braved the weather and got in on the spectacle!
For the benefit of the legions of new birders in the area, I cannot emphasize enough the importance that WIND DIRECTION AND VELOCITY have on where and when migrants coming from the tropics will make landfall. Cornell's BIRDCAST is great (but not infallible) for predicting Fall movements coming into our area, but it does not help us when it comes to Spring migration. So for that, we must rely on weather information available to us. I rely heavily on the Marine Forecast (NOAA) for wind forecasts about a week ahead. 
NW winds will abate by Sat. and swing around to SE and migration will resume, with the thrust toward the TX - LA coasts through Sun. Beyond that, watch the forecast but don't forget West Indian migrants can still be moving through our area.
Bob DuncanGulf Breeze, FL 

 


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Date: 4/3/24 5:53 pm
From: Lucy & Bob Email <RobertADuncan...>
Subject: [ALbirds] Today's weather
Hi all,
The presence of 6 E. Kingbirds  on The Point here in Gulf Breeze at about 4 p.m., but not present this a.m., tells me these Trans-Gulf migrants came in this afternoon. During bird movements from the tropics, the strongest flyers arrive first, Kingbirds, swallows etc. These were followed at about 5:30 p.m. by a few others, Prothonotaries, Indigos that were not observed this a.m. Slower flyers arrive later, so there could be more arriving after dark. So it MAY be good at the migrant traps tomorrow morning, especially to the east of Pensacola since we have been having strong NW - W winds all day.
The front has penetrated the southern Gulf with winds out of the north on the Yucatan Peninsula, so migration should be shut down. This is reflected in BirdCast's prediction for tonight, Thurs and Friday nights. Winds will swing around Sat and migration conditions should improve.
So if I were going birding this week, I would be at the traps tomorrow morning. That's my best guess.
Happy Birding!
Bob DuncanGulf Breeze, FL


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Date: 4/3/24 6:37 am
From: Katherine Clemo <kclemo54...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Week's birding propects
Nice!

On Tue, Apr 2, 2024, 9:52 PM Lawrence Gardella <lfgardella...> wrote:

> Hi Bob,
>
> I am looking forward to seeing what this cold front brings in. But in our
> backyard the last 3 days have been good for us on the migrant front.
> Andrea and I have had 3 species of vireo (Red-eyed, Yellow-throated and
> numerous White-eyed), 8 species of warbler (2 Tennessee, one
> Black-and-white, several Prothonotary, 2 or 3 Worm-eating, several Hooded,
> several Northern Parulas, several Pine, one Yellow-rumped), and a Scarlet
> Tanager. Many of the warblers and 3 White-eyed Vireos have bathed in our
> bird baths.
>
> Some of the birds we see are probably staying in the yard for at least a
> few days, but others spend only a few minutes. Andrea and I just hope that
> the show keeps going.
>
> Larry Gardella
> Daphne
>
> On Mon, Apr 1, 2024 at 10:44 AM Lucy & Bob Email <
> <RobertADuncan...> wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>>
>> Currently, it's pretty dull in Gulf Breeze, not a single migrant this
>> a.m., except Parula and WE Vireo, both probably left over from last week's
>> movements. Not much should change today, with birds unimpeded by either
>> rain or headwinds, their destination inland locations but not the coast.
>> Except for a few that might trickle out.
>>
>> The next weather event will be a cold front entering our area on Tuesday
>> night with winds shifting to NW 10 - 20 knots for Wednesday and Thursday.
>> This is good news for Pensacola and Tallahassee birders as Trans-Gulf
>> migrants should be vectored more toward our coast rather than the usual
>> Texas - SW LA landfall. This front will not be accompanied by heavy weather
>> in the Gulf as the squall line should not extend far into the Gulf. Hence,
>> no classic fallout expected.
>>
>> So my best guess is that the best birding days will be Wednesday
>> afternoon and Thursday, especially areas to the east of LA. Late arrivals
>> should be expected since birds will experience headwinds, maybe coming in
>> overnight rather than the expected late morning - afternoon arrivals.
>>
>> Once the front reaches the southern Gulf, it will hinder further
>> migration north, but I don't know if that will be the case. If it does,
>> then prospects for the weekend will not be good.
>>
>> And that is my best guess.
>>
>> Bob Duncan
>> Gulf Breeze, FL
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Lucy and Bob Duncan
>> Gulf Breeze, Florida
>>
>>
>


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Date: 4/2/24 6:52 pm
From: Lawrence Gardella <lfgardella...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Week's birding propects
Hi Bob,

I am looking forward to seeing what this cold front brings in. But in our
backyard the last 3 days have been good for us on the migrant front.
Andrea and I have had 3 species of vireo (Red-eyed, Yellow-throated and
numerous White-eyed), 8 species of warbler (2 Tennessee, one
Black-and-white, several Prothonotary, 2 or 3 Worm-eating, several Hooded,
several Northern Parulas, several Pine, one Yellow-rumped), and a Scarlet
Tanager. Many of the warblers and 3 White-eyed Vireos have bathed in our
bird baths.

Some of the birds we see are probably staying in the yard for at least a
few days, but others spend only a few minutes. Andrea and I just hope that
the show keeps going.

Larry Gardella
Daphne

On Mon, Apr 1, 2024 at 10:44 AM Lucy & Bob Email <
<RobertADuncan...> wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> Currently, it's pretty dull in Gulf Breeze, not a single migrant this
> a.m., except Parula and WE Vireo, both probably left over from last week's
> movements. Not much should change today, with birds unimpeded by either
> rain or headwinds, their destination inland locations but not the coast.
> Except for a few that might trickle out.
>
> The next weather event will be a cold front entering our area on Tuesday
> night with winds shifting to NW 10 - 20 knots for Wednesday and Thursday.
> This is good news for Pensacola and Tallahassee birders as Trans-Gulf
> migrants should be vectored more toward our coast rather than the usual
> Texas - SW LA landfall. This front will not be accompanied by heavy weather
> in the Gulf as the squall line should not extend far into the Gulf. Hence,
> no classic fallout expected.
>
> So my best guess is that the best birding days will be Wednesday afternoon
> and Thursday, especially areas to the east of LA. Late arrivals should be
> expected since birds will experience headwinds, maybe coming in overnight
> rather than the expected late morning - afternoon arrivals.
>
> Once the front reaches the southern Gulf, it will hinder further migration
> north, but I don't know if that will be the case. If it does, then
> prospects for the weekend will not be good.
>
> And that is my best guess.
>
> Bob Duncan
> Gulf Breeze, FL
>
>
>
> --
> Lucy and Bob Duncan
> Gulf Breeze, Florida
>
>
>


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Date: 4/2/24 6:24 pm
From: Cynthia Freeman <Cynthiafreeman633...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] AOS Spring Meeting
Drew,

I have registered. Really looking forward to the weekend. Super excited
about the guest speaker, Nathan Pieplow. I have a lot to learn about
birding by ear!

Cynthia

Cynthia L Freeman
Dauphin Island, AL.


On Tue, Apr 2, 2024 at 4:41 PM Drew Haffenden <andrew...> wrote:

> Everyone if you intend coming to the Spring AOS meeting please register
> now! We have limited space and need to finalize this and catering for
> banquet and Friday workshop and social evening by April 8 at the latest.
> After that attendance at events may not be possible for those not
> registered.
>
>
>


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Date: 4/2/24 2:41 pm
From: Drew Haffenden <andrew...>
Subject: [ALbirds] AOS Spring Meeting
Everyone if you intend coming to the Spring AOS meeting please register now! We have limited space and need to finalize this and catering for banquet and Friday workshop and social evening by April 8 at the latest. After that attendance at events may not be possible for those not registered.


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Date: 4/1/24 8:44 am
From: Lucy & Bob Email <RobertADuncan...>
Subject: [ALbirds] Week's birding propects
Hi all,
Currently, it's pretty dull in Gulf Breeze, not a single migrant this a.m., except Parula and WE Vireo, both probably left over from last week's movements. Not much should change today, with birds unimpeded by either rain or headwinds, their destination inland locations but not the coast. Except for a few that might trickle out.
The next weather event will be a cold front entering our area on Tuesday night with winds shifting to NW 10 - 20 knots for Wednesday and Thursday. This  is good news for Pensacola and Tallahassee birders as Trans-Gulf migrants should be vectored more toward our coast rather than the usual Texas - SW LA landfall. This front will not be accompanied by heavy weather in the Gulf as the squall line should not extend far into the Gulf. Hence, no classic fallout expected.
So my best guess is that the best birding days will be Wednesday afternoon and Thursday, especially areas to the east of LA. Late arrivals should be expected since birds will experience headwinds, maybe coming in overnight rather than the expected late morning - afternoon arrivals. 
Once the front reaches the southern Gulf, it will hinder further migration north, but I don't know if that will be the case. If it does, then prospects for the weekend will not be good.
And that is my best guess.
 Bob DuncanGulf Breeze, FL



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Date: 3/31/24 10:23 am
From: Lucy & Bob Email <RobertADuncan...>
Subject: [ALbirds] Fork-tailed Flycatcher at FT. Pickens 8:45 a.m.
Bird at Ft. Pickens moving W down the island. Ft. Morgan birders be on alert!
  Bob  Duncan
Gulf Breeze, FL


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Date: 3/30/24 6:13 pm
From: Lawrence Gardella <lfgardella...>
Subject: [ALbirds] Interesting Song Series by Hooded Warbler
[image: image.png]
A B C D
B E B
On March 25 at Bayfront Park/Village Point Preserve, Daphne, Alabama, I
heard what I originally thought was singing by more than one Hooded Warbler
and then suspected was single bird giving a loud song and echoing it with
softer versions soon after the main song. The recording (done on my
cellphone) is attached.

I emailed Donald Kroodsma, who has written the definitive books on bird
song, asking what he thought of the recording. Dr. Kroodsma responded:

Interesting. I see 7 songs in your recording.

If I give each unique song a letter, I see what I think is A B C D B E B.

A is the loudest, and occurs only once. I would bet that is one bird. Let's
call him Bird A.

Then there's what I think is a second bird, which is B, who sings song B.

And then I would bet there are 2 other males (C and D) in the area. The
songs are too close together to think that they'd be from the same bird,
and they're fainter than the songs A and B. So I think those are 2 more
birds.

By the time we get to B E B, I'd guess that it is Bird B continuing to sing
there, and the song E could be from Birds C or D, given there's been some
time since Songs C and D, and given that these Hooded Warblers have several
different songs in their repertoire.

My best guess: Birds A B C D, and then song E could be from either Birds C
or D.

Songs A and B are so similar to each other yet the 3 B versions are alike
and distinctly different from A.

And most hooded warbler males would have only one song like that.


When I followed up by saying that I do not believe that Hooded Warblers
breed regularly at Bayfront Park/Village Point Preserve (and that they are
one of the several Alabama species with a customary breeding range just
north of I-10, and Bayfront is at least 1.5 miles south of that highway), Dr.
Kroodsma answered:



I suspect a flock of migrants moving through, close to their breeding site,
singing on the way.


When you are out looking for migrant warblers, listen to them, too. And
record anything that strikes you as interesting.



Larry Gardella

Daphne

>
>


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Date: 3/30/24 8:12 am
From: Greg D. Jackson <g_d_jackson...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] New eBird pelagic filter coverage - Gulf of Mexico (GoM) waters
AL Birders:

Steve did a great job portraying the new eBird pelagic tool. However,
after discussion with Steve and Howard Horne, I wanted to post a
reminder that the eBird (and Am. Birding Assoc.) pelagic boundaries do
NOT correspond to the official boundaries used for Alabama records and
by the Alabama Bird Records Committee (ABRC).

Alabama records have always been based on the concept of waters directly
offshore, or perpendicular to the general direction of our coastline. So
for us that means directly south, with no intervening land between our
shores and Mexico. This was codified in the original Bylaws of the ABRC
in 1987 as waters between lines of longitude dropped from the borders at
the mainland south to 200 nautical miles.

Texas birder Dwight Peake made a strong attempt for the states along the
Gulf to coordinate their pelagic boundaries and allow all states
fronting the Gulf reasonable "access" to their offshore waters. This
concept was included in an excellent 1996 article he co-authored with
Mark Elwonger ("A New Frontier: Pelagic Birding in the Gulf of Mexico,"
/Winging It/ 8(1): 1, 4-9). The ABA was formulating a pelagic boundary
policy for listing around that time, ultimately using the Closest Point
of Land (CPL) system continued by eBird. The problem with that for the
northern Gulf is the projection of Louisiana, particularly the long and
narrow projection of the Mouth of the Mississippi and the Chandeleur
Islands. Using a CPL approach, Alabama waters were significantly
decreased and Mississippi was excluded from all deep waters directly off
their shore. The resultant borders were a difficult-to-use set of
diagonal boundaries with little relation to the traditional concept of
offshore waters.

Peake's plan was to use longitudinal boundaries extending to the
Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ) for the region between Louisiana and
Florida, with Alabama retaining traditional waters and Mississippi with
a narrow corridor directly south (but avoiding Louisiana territorial
waters off the Chandeleurs). Ultimately Peake's efforts to achieve
consensus were unsuccessful, as were mine when I continued the effort.
In 1998 the ABRC studied this issue and seriously considered multiple
opinions from others in the Gulf region, with a unanimous endorsement to
continue Alabama's traditional "direct offshore" approach extending
south to the EEZ. This was formalized further in the Bylaws after work
by Howard using detailed mapping programs. Disparity between the two
methodologies results in zones where records are claimed by two states;
I have tried to share as many of these as possible over the years.

The graphic below shows the CPL boundaries used by eBird/ABA which Steve
presented together with an overlay (in yellow) of the official Alabama
bird records area. The longitudinal coordinates of the east and west
borders are given. On prior dedicated birding pelagic trips we have used
that eastern boundary ("The Wall") as an easy-to-use navigational guide,
trying not to stray east into what we considered Florida waters. (In
fact, past recreational birding pelagic ventures have almost always
remained within waters covered by both systems.) Most Alabama birders
playing the listing game over the years have used the official Alabama
standard, but as in all things related to listing it is a personal choice.



I hope this is helpful in a better understanding of the methodology and
history of these boundaries. If you have further questions, please
contact me offlist.

Greg


Greg D. Jackson

AOS Bird Records Compiler

Birmingham, AL

<g_d_jackson...>



On 3/24/2024 10:10 PM, <swmavocet...> via groups.io wrote:
> AL-Birders,
> I want to pass along some eBird news regarding the Alabama offshore
> pelagic filter lat/long coordinate boundaries.
>
> After several years in development, eBird rolled out in Jan 2024 new
> pelagic filter boundaries worldwide, including the Gulf of Mexico
> (GoM).  The new pelagic filter boundaries follow the generally
> accepted "closest point of land" criteria to assign a report to a
> country or a U.S. state such as in the case of GoM waters.
>
> The new Alabama eBird pelagic filter zone starts at 10 nm offshore
> (about where you lose sight of land) and ends in a point about 105 nm
> directly south of FL shore.  See the five-sided polygon plotted below
> marked "AL". .   If the location of your sightings is within 0-10
> nautical miles (nm) offshore (the purple strip shown below in the
> first Google map), the closest land filter in checklist form will
> appear in the eBird software for you to choose from.  Beyond 10 nm out
> to the polygon point farthest south, the new pelagic filter will
> appear in checklist form.  The pelagic filter will have far fewer
> species to pick through so it is more useful than a land filter when
> ebirding on the high seas or entering sightings after your boat trip
> is done.
>
> The central-northern GoM filter boundaries now look like these.
>
>
> The lat/long coordinates for the AL polygon are approximately these:
> Inline image
>
> If you are a Google Earth user, the attached .kmz file may be imported
> to see this new eBird GoM boundary layout along with all the eBird
> worldwide pelagic filter boundaries recently established for the first
> time.
>
> Using the GE view I overlayed the coordinates of the 5-sided Alabama
> polygon corners on the Google satellite view showing the underwater
> terrain.  DeSoto Canyon seen here at 500-1000 fathoms depth east of
> Venice, LA has been a productive target location for pelagic trips
> over the years.
>
> Even with the new polygon boundary there is still a canyon edge to
> target within the new Alabama eBird zone.  But if you stray too far
> east, west , or south out of the Alabama polygon, eBird will now
> record your sightings as occurring outside Alabama waters.
>
>
> Inline image
>
>
> Good luck,
>
> Steve McConnell
> Hartselle, AL
>
>
>


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Date: 3/29/24 11:27 am
From: Donald Dehm <donalddehm...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Gray gull
Glad you got it!!

Donald

On Fri, Mar 29, 2024 at 12:49 Drew Haffenden <andrew...> wrote:

> Gray Gull close flyover 10.30 this morning Alabama Point.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Drew Haffenden
> ------------------------------
> *From:* <ALbirds...> <ALbirds...> on behalf of Donald Dehm
> via groups.io <donalddehm...>
> *Sent:* Thursday, March 28, 2024 4:57:16 AM
> *To:* <ALbirds...> <ALbirds...>
> *Subject:* Re: [ALbirds] Gray gull
>
> Drew,
> It is still being seen at Alabama Point, usually early in the morning.
> If you park at the main parking area of Alabama Point on East Side of the
> bridge, take the boardwalk near restrooms that lead to the life guard
> station near bridge base.
> Check the beaches from the bridge and south to the Gulf, be sure to check
> the sand spot/peninsula that jets into Perdido pass.
> It has been known to hang with groups of Laughing Gulls and Pelicans.
> Often it is on the outer edges of these groups, but if someone is feeding
> birds, he may be right up in the mix, just look for that one gill that
> takes its food to the shoreline to wash it.
>
> Full odd mostly gray, but his head is paler and may be turning to white of
> an adult male.
>
> Donald
>
> On Wed, Mar 27, 2024 at 21:29 Drew Haffenden <andrew...> wrote:
>
> I am back from traveling and want to go for Gray Gull Friday. Info needed
> and welcome. Thanks.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Drew Haffenden
>
>
>
>


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Date: 3/29/24 10:49 am
From: Drew Haffenden <andrew...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Gray gull
Gray Gull close flyover 10.30 this morning Alabama Point.

Cheers,

Drew Haffenden
________________________________
From: <ALbirds...> <ALbirds...> on behalf of Donald Dehm via groups.io <donalddehm...>
Sent: Thursday, March 28, 2024 4:57:16 AM
To: <ALbirds...> <ALbirds...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Gray gull

Drew,
It is still being seen at Alabama Point, usually early in the morning.
If you park at the main parking area of Alabama Point on East Side of the bridge, take the boardwalk near restrooms that lead to the life guard station near bridge base.
Check the beaches from the bridge and south to the Gulf, be sure to check the sand spot/peninsula that jets into Perdido pass.
It has been known to hang with groups of Laughing Gulls and Pelicans.
Often it is on the outer edges of these groups, but if someone is feeding birds, he may be right up in the mix, just look for that one gill that takes its food to the shoreline to wash it.

Full odd mostly gray, but his head is paler and may be turning to white of an adult male.

Donald

On Wed, Mar 27, 2024 at 21:29 Drew Haffenden <andrew...><mailto:<andrew...>> wrote:
I am back from traveling and want to go for Gray Gull Friday. Info needed and welcome. Thanks.

Cheers,

Drew Haffenden




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Date: 3/28/24 1:59 pm
From: Mason Currier <masonacurrier...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Possible Western Flycather
Thanks for the input! Unfortunately these are the only pics I got. I deleted others but I didn’t get any better looks at the wings. I photographed it at this moment when it was alone and not interacting with the Alder. I am super unfamiliar with WEFL and just took a Quick look at some guides and to me it watched WEFL. If you don’t mind, could you point out to me what my bird is missing from what the photos can tell? Thanks


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Date: 3/28/24 12:00 pm
From: Collin Stempien <cstempien40...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Possible Western Flycather
 

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Date: 3/28/24 11:20 am
From: Jim Holmes via groups.io <jfholmes...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Possible Western Flycather
Mason,

Thanks for the photos.

When I first looked at the photo on my phone I felt that it looked good for Western and if I saw that bird out here in California, I probably would not look at it a 2nd time.

When, I looked on my computer screen, however, I was less optimistic so I sent it to a few experts out here.

The response so far has been mixed between lean to YBFL, not able to rule out either and could be Western but need more photos.

As for your thoughts, any of the Empidonax can have that crested look, especially when interacting with another bird. There are plenty of photos in eBird of crested appearing YBFL.

There are also plenty of images in eBird of YBFL with a similar eye-ring as your bird (thicker posteriorly). I do not think your bird's eye-ring has the classic, pointed teardrop shape of WEFL.

The bill appears within the range of both species.

The wing panel which is the really diagnostic character that needs to be seen is not visible enough. What you have circled on the primaries looks more like a YBFL wing panel than WEFL but without better angle/photos, I can't be sure. I tried to find some WEFL photos in ebird that were at a similar angle as your bird to see the wing panel at this angle. Unfortunately, the photos of WEFL wing panels that I found at a similar angle do not look like your bird's wing panel. See https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/585609111 https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/109415761 https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/585609081 https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/337563751

Your images are numbered 308 and 313. Are there additional images (309, 310, 311, and 312)?



Thanks,

Jim

James F. Holmes, MD, MPH
Professor and Executive Vice Chair
Department of Emergency Medicine
UC Davis School of Medicine
Office (916) 734-1533

From: <ALbirds...> <ALbirds...> On Behalf Of Mason Currier via groups.io
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2024 10:39 AM
To: <ALbirds...>
Subject: [ALbirds] Possible Western Flycather

Hi all! I'm back with another photo I came across if photo review I wanted to share and get thoughts on. Last September I found this bird at Shell Mounds and hesitantly ID'd it as YBFL. I had seen a YBFL there a week before and figured it might still be around due to the LEFL that had spent a couple weeks at the park. I quickly got distracted on the ID when a ALFL flew in and chased it off the branch! I was unable to relocate the bird and forgot about it between the ALFL and then the Flamingos that showed up the next weekend. But in reviewing photos it feels very off to me. While obviously wacky rare, the the most similar species to Yellow-bellied would be Western Flycatcher. One was banded at the Bird Sanctuary a few days later!

First I see the overall even brighter, water coloring and the thick eye ring. If you think of the eyeing as a compass, the NW side is thickest like WEFL's. It has a more teardrop shape look clearly shown in one pic unlike YBFL's thinner ring. Also the bird shows the slight crest and a peaked head shape unlike YBFL's rounded head with maybe a slightly longer bill. You can only see part of the wing but it shows a distinct WEFL field mark that is all black on YBFL-the pale fringing on the primaries which is circled below.

Let me know y'alls thoughts. These are the only photos I have, both attached below.

Thanks,

Mason Currier
Mobile, AL

**CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE** This e-mail communication and any attachments are for the sole use of the intended recipient and may contain information that is confidential and privileged under state and federal privacy laws. If you received this e-mail in error, be aware that any unauthorized use, disclosure, copying, or distribution is strictly prohibited. If you received this e-mail in error, please contact the sender immediately and destroy/delete all copies of this message.


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Date: 3/28/24 2:57 am
From: Donald Dehm <donalddehm...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Gray gull
Drew,
It is still being seen at Alabama Point, usually early in the morning.
If you park at the main parking area of Alabama Point on East Side of the
bridge, take the boardwalk near restrooms that lead to the life guard
station near bridge base.
Check the beaches from the bridge and south to the Gulf, be sure to check
the sand spot/peninsula that jets into Perdido pass.
It has been known to hang with groups of Laughing Gulls and Pelicans.
Often it is on the outer edges of these groups, but if someone is feeding
birds, he may be right up in the mix, just look for that one gill that
takes its food to the shoreline to wash it.

Full odd mostly gray, but his head is paler and may be turning to white of
an adult male.

Donald

On Wed, Mar 27, 2024 at 21:29 Drew Haffenden <andrew...> wrote:

> I am back from traveling and want to go for Gray Gull Friday. Info needed
> and welcome. Thanks.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Drew Haffenden
>
>
>


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Date: 3/27/24 7:29 pm
From: Drew Haffenden <andrew...>
Subject: [ALbirds] Gray gull
I am back from traveling and want to go for Gray Gull Friday. Info needed and welcome. Thanks.

Cheers,

Drew Haffenden


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Date: 3/27/24 12:31 pm
From: Melinda W <Modoodle1989...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Odd Cattle egret
 

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Date: 3/27/24 11:28 am
From: Jud Johnston <egrosbeak1946...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Odd Cattle egret
The gray-blue on the upper breast is evocative of tricolored heron. Is
interbreeding possible?

Jud Johnston
Waynesboro, TN

On Wed, Mar 27, 2024 at 10:18 AM john cole via groups.io <johnb_cole=
<yahoo.com...> wrote:

> The newer Sibley Guide to Birds book and app have drawings of 2 aberrant
> colorations for Cattle Egrets.
>
>
>
> <https://mail.onelink.me/107872968?pid=nativeplacement&c=Global_Acquisition_YMktg_315_Internal_EmailSignature&af_sub1=Acquisition&af_sub2=Global_YMktg&af_sub3=&af_sub4=100000604&af_sub5=EmailSignature__Static_>
>
> On Wednesday, March 27, 2024, 8:41 AM, Craig Litteken via groups.io
> <littekenc...> wrote:
>
> This past Saturday I noticed an odd colored Cattle Egret in a field about
> a mile from my house east of Daphne, but since I was going down the road at
> 45 mph and had to get home, I didn't think too much about the bird and
> passed it off as likely being dirty from foraging in a recently plowed
> field. I saw it again in the same field on Sunday morning when returning
> from Fort Morgan, but this time I decided to go back for another look after
> a brief stop at home. I was wondering if it may actually be something
> different.
>
> While studying the bird in the field, it is clearly different in
> appearance, but I couldn't come up with anything other than a Cattle Egret
> with an odd partially gray color. What would normally be a peach color at
> the top of the head down to the upper neck was a dark brownish-gray, the
> head and neck ranged from a light gray to dark gray halfway down the body
> to the chest, back, and partially on the wings. Interestingly, the peach
> color that would normally be seen on the lower neck and chest of a Cattle
> Egret was still the same expected peach color, but it contrasted distinctly
> against the gray neck and chest. The gray on the wings was not evenly
> spread but mottled. The bill was bright yellow-orange with yellow
> extending around the eyes. The gray color was fairly symmetrical on both
> sides of the bird.
>
> This is the first time I have seen a Cattle Egret with anything other than
> normal color patterns, and certainly the first time seeing a Cattle Egret
> with dark coloration, so I started researching dark colors in Cattle
> Egrets. Through a Google search I came across a few references that
> mention dark aberrant colors in Cattle Egrets and it appears to be quite
> rare. David Sibley had a chat going for a few years around the late 2000's
> up to around 2012 with links to several photos of dark Cattle Egrets from
> various states and countries. Sibley also has a brief article discussing
> dark Cattle Egrets and even notes in his 2008 field guide the possibility
> of a rare dark color morph. Apparently, the debate at the time was not
> settled on the cause of dark coloration in Cattle Egrets. Some thoughts
> range from chemical dying/staining from spraying orchards/crops to staining
> from foraging to oil spills to natural variation.
>
> I searched a couple hundred photos in the eBird library and did not see
> any dark Cattle Egrets. I did see one set of photos that, at first, may
> have been candidates for dark Cattle Egrets, but upon a closer look, they
> had normal color patterns, but were dirty from foraging in a dump. There
> are thousands more Cattle Egret photos in the eBird library so maybe with
> additional searching one may find photos of other dark Cattle Egrets.
>
> A few photos (not the best quality) of the Daphne bird are attached.
>
> So, whatever the reason for the dark colored Cattle Egret, it does appear
> to be quite an interesting and rare sighting. I certainly welcome
> additional insight from others.
>
> Happy birding!
>
> Craig Litteken
> Daphne
>
>
>
>


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Date: 3/27/24 8:18 am
From: john cole via groups.io <johnb_cole...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Odd Cattle egret
The newer Sibley Guide to Birds book and app have drawings of 2 aberrant colorations for Cattle Egrets.
On Wednesday, March 27, 2024, 8:41 AM, Craig Litteken via groups.io <littekenc...> wrote:

This past Saturday I noticed an odd colored Cattle Egret in a field about a mile from my house east of Daphne, but since I was going down the road at 45 mph and had to get home, I didn't think too much about the bird and passed it off as likely being dirty from foraging in a recently plowed field.  I saw it again in the same field on Sunday morning when returning from Fort Morgan, but this time I decided to go back for another look after a brief stop at home.  I was wondering if it may actually be something different.
While studying the bird in the field, it is clearly different in appearance, but I couldn't come up with anything other than a Cattle Egret with an odd partially gray color.  What would normally be a peach color at the top of the head down to the upper neck was a dark brownish-gray, the head and neck ranged from a light gray to dark gray halfway down the body to the chest, back, and partially on the wings.  Interestingly, the peach color that would normally be seen on the lower neck and chest of a Cattle Egret was still the same expected peach color, but it contrasted distinctly against the gray neck and chest.  The gray on the wings was not evenly spread but mottled.  The bill was bright yellow-orange with yellow extending around the eyes.  The gray color was fairly symmetrical on both sides of the bird.
This is the first time I have seen a Cattle Egret with anything other than normal color patterns, and certainly the first time seeing a Cattle Egret with dark coloration, so I started researching dark colors in Cattle Egrets.  Through a Google search I came across a few references that mention dark aberrant colors in Cattle Egrets and it appears to be quite rare.  David Sibley had a chat going for a few years around the late 2000's up to around 2012 with links to several photos of dark Cattle Egrets from various states and countries.  Sibley also has a brief article discussing dark Cattle Egrets and even notes in his 2008 field guide the possibility of a rare dark color morph.  Apparently, the debate at the time was not settled on the cause of dark coloration in Cattle Egrets.  Some thoughts range from chemical dying/staining from spraying orchards/crops to staining from foraging to oil spills to natural variation.
I searched a couple hundred photos in the eBird library and did not see any dark Cattle Egrets.  I did see one set of photos that, at first, may have been candidates for dark Cattle Egrets, but upon a closer look, they had normal color patterns, but were dirty from foraging in a dump.  There are thousands more Cattle Egret photos in the eBird library so maybe with additional searching one may find photos of other dark Cattle Egrets.
A few photos (not the best quality) of the Daphne bird are attached.
So, whatever the reason for the dark colored Cattle Egret, it does appear to be quite an interesting and rare sighting.  I certainly welcome additional insight from others.
Happy birding!
Craig LittekenDaphne





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Date: 3/27/24 6:05 am
From: Brent <brenteanes72...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Odd Cattle egret
 

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Date: 3/27/24 5:42 am
From: Craig Litteken via groups.io <littekenc...>
Subject: [ALbirds] Odd Cattle egret
This past Saturday I noticed an odd colored Cattle Egret in a field about a mile from my house east of Daphne, but since I was going down the road at 45 mph and had to get home, I didn't think too much about the bird and passed it off as likely being dirty from foraging in a recently plowed field.  I saw it again in the same field on Sunday morning when returning from Fort Morgan, but this time I decided to go back for another look after a brief stop at home.  I was wondering if it may actually be something different.
While studying the bird in the field, it is clearly different in appearance, but I couldn't come up with anything other than a Cattle Egret with an odd partially gray color.  What would normally be a peach color at the top of the head down to the upper neck was a dark brownish-gray, the head and neck ranged from a light gray to dark gray halfway down the body to the chest, back, and partially on the wings.  Interestingly, the peach color that would normally be seen on the lower neck and chest of a Cattle Egret was still the same expected peach color, but it contrasted distinctly against the gray neck and chest.  The gray on the wings was not evenly spread but mottled.  The bill was bright yellow-orange with yellow extending around the eyes.  The gray color was fairly symmetrical on both sides of the bird.
This is the first time I have seen a Cattle Egret with anything other than normal color patterns, and certainly the first time seeing a Cattle Egret with dark coloration, so I started researching dark colors in Cattle Egrets.  Through a Google search I came across a few references that mention dark aberrant colors in Cattle Egrets and it appears to be quite rare.  David Sibley had a chat going for a few years around the late 2000's up to around 2012 with links to several photos of dark Cattle Egrets from various states and countries.  Sibley also has a brief article discussing dark Cattle Egrets and even notes in his 2008 field guide the possibility of a rare dark color morph.  Apparently, the debate at the time was not settled on the cause of dark coloration in Cattle Egrets.  Some thoughts range from chemical dying/staining from spraying orchards/crops to staining from foraging to oil spills to natural variation.
I searched a couple hundred photos in the eBird library and did not see any dark Cattle Egrets.  I did see one set of photos that, at first, may have been candidates for dark Cattle Egrets, but upon a closer look, they had normal color patterns, but were dirty from foraging in a dump.  There are thousands more Cattle Egret photos in the eBird library so maybe with additional searching one may find photos of other dark Cattle Egrets.
A few photos (not the best quality) of the Daphne bird are attached.
So, whatever the reason for the dark colored Cattle Egret, it does appear to be quite an interesting and rare sighting.  I certainly welcome additional insight from others.
Happy birding!
Craig LittekenDaphne


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Date: 3/25/24 3:56 pm
From: Bill Summerour <billsummerour...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] New eBird pelagic filter coverage - Gulf of Mexico (GoM) waters
Steve,

Thanks...

Bill

On Sun, Mar 24, 2024, 10:11 PM <swmavocet...> via groups.io <swmavocet=
<aol.com...> wrote:

> AL-Birders,
> I want to pass along some eBird news regarding the Alabama offshore
> pelagic filter lat/long coordinate boundaries.
>
> After several years in development, eBird rolled out in Jan 2024 new
> pelagic filter boundaries worldwide, including the Gulf of Mexico (GoM).
> The new pelagic filter boundaries follow the generally accepted "closest
> point of land" criteria to assign a report to a country or a U.S. state
> such as in the case of GoM waters.
>
> The new Alabama eBird pelagic filter zone starts at 10 nm offshore (about
> where you lose sight of land) and ends in a point about 105 nm directly
> south of FL shore. See the five-sided polygon plotted below marked "AL".
> . If the location of your sightings is within 0-10 nautical miles (nm)
> offshore (the purple strip shown below in the first Google map), the
> closest land filter in checklist form will appear in the eBird software for
> you to choose from. Beyond 10 nm out to the polygon point farthest south,
> the new pelagic filter will appear in checklist form. The pelagic filter
> will have far fewer species to pick through so it is more useful than a
> land filter when ebirding on the high seas or entering sightings after your
> boat trip is done.
>
> The central-northern GoM filter boundaries now look like these.
> [image: Inline image]
>
> The lat/long coordinates for the AL polygon are approximately these:
> [image: Inline image]
>
> If you are a Google Earth user, the attached .kmz file may be imported to
> see this new eBird GoM boundary layout along with all the eBird worldwide
> pelagic filter boundaries recently established for the first time.
>
> Using the GE view I overlayed the coordinates of the 5-sided Alabama
> polygon corners on the Google satellite view showing the underwater
> terrain. DeSoto Canyon seen here at 500-1000 fathoms depth east of Venice,
> LA has been a productive target location for pelagic trips over the years.
>
> Even with the new polygon boundary there is still a canyon edge to target
> within the new Alabama eBird zone. But if you stray too far east, west ,
> or south out of the Alabama polygon, eBird will now record your sightings
> as occurring outside Alabama waters.
>
>
> [image: Inline image]
>
>
> Good luck,
>
> Steve McConnell
> Hartselle, AL
>
>
>
>


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