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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Haycock Mountain

Hiked up Haycock Mountain near Lake Nockamixon this morning. Lots of birds singing, but not as many warbler species as I might have hoped (only 9--best being 1 Blackpoll Warbler). I did have dozens of singing Ovenbirds and Black-and-white Warblers. Also lots of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Scarlet Tanagers, and nest-building Baltimore Orioles. My best bird was probably a Yellow-throated Vireo--not a bird I see many of around here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New Plan to Save Birds in North America

Partners in Flight, the cooperative effort to save birds in Canada, Mexico, and the United States, has just published a new plan--Saving our Shared Birds.

Some Key findings of Saving Our Shared Birds: Partners in Flight Tri-National Vision for Landbird Conservation:

--The most imperiled birds include 44 species with very limited distributions, mostly in Mexico, including the Thick-billed Parrot and Horned Guan.
--Also of high tri-national concern are 80 tropical residents with ranges in Mexico, such as the Red-breasted Chat and Resplendent Quetzal.
--Additionally, 24 species that breed in the United States and Canada continue to warrant immediate action to prevent further declines, including Cerulean Warbler, Black Swift, and Canada Warbler.
--Forty-two common bird species have steeply declined by 50% or more in the past 40 years, including Common Nighthawk, Eastern Meadowlark and Loggerhead Shrike.

You can download a pdf of the plan here.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Mystery Lifer or Not

So a regional eBird reviewer in Oregon just sent me a note:

We are asking for additional details on the following observation:

Species: Cordilleran Flycatcher
Count: X
Observation date: Sep 17, 1982
Location: Malheur NWR--Headquarters, Harney, US-OR
Submission ID: S3092545

Hmmm. Good question. I submitted this record when I entered my North American life list. So this is a record from my very first Cordilleran Flycatcher when I was 14 years old.

Or not.

Back then, there was no such thing as Cordilleran Flycatcher--just Western Flycatcher. So this would have been the very first Western Flycatcher I ever saw. I have it on my life list spreadsheet as being seen 9-17-82 at Malhuer NWR. I remember that weekend trip with my dad and sister--I had lobbied heavy for months for him to drive us the seven hours one way from Portland so I could do some birding there. But I don't remember seeing this bird. Just part of the murky early birding past.

But it gets even murkier. When I went back to see what kind of records I might have on this bird I found this in my old Golden Guide, where I kept track of my life birds back in the day:

Western Flycatcher 9-17-83

Note the different year. Hmmm.

Then when I go back to a written version of my life list that I compiled in 1984, I have the following listed:

Western Flycatcher 9-17-83 Oaks Bottom, Multnomah Co

Double Hmmm.

Did I mess up the year of the observation when I wrote it down in my Golden Guide (unlikely)? How did I go from seeing a Western Flycatcher on 9-17-83 in Portland to seeing a Cordilleran Flycatcher 9-17-82 on the other side of the state?

I have no idea.

Fortunately I've seen many Cordilleran Flycatchers (and Pacific-slope Flycatchers, the other part of the old Western Flycatcher species) since the early 80s. But I may never really know now when I first saw either one!

So much for old records!

(Photo: Jerry Friedman/Wikipedia)

Ten Warbler Morning

Best bird this morning at Peace Valley were 3 singing Worm-eating Warblers. Don't get to see too many of those around here, so it was great to have them singing and out in the open at close range. Other FOS birds for me were a Baltimore Oriole, Veery, and a pair of Indigo Buntings.
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