This nesting season will be remembered for its frequent, though mostly light, rains. Many tadpoles and invertebrates at the vernal pools may have been washed downstream. The entire season was green, with much standing water. The singing male census held its own with 65 nesting species, missing being the Willow Flycatcher, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Brown Thrasher and Yellow-breasted Chat. Neotropical migrant species on territory stayed at just over 40% of all species, but their numbers are slowly drifting down from the peak of 57% of birds censused in 1995 to 41%.
Early nest attempts failed for many species, especially the ground nesters: there were only 9 Ovenbird fledglings banded compared to 15 last year, not appearing until mid July, and no Towhee and Blue-winged Warbler fledglings. Only 4 Wood Thrush fledglings were banded compared to 15 last year. Catbird fledglings appeared in the mist nets June 21, two weeks earlier than usual indicative of the warming trend, and three waves were evident though numbers were depressed.
Mist-netting for the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship program resulted in 218 new birds compared to 341 last year, due both to fewer adults captured and the paucity of fledglings. Forty species were banded compared to 43 last year. Fifty birds returned from previous years, compared to 58 last year, and 14 of these were banded as fledglings. Ages of returns were over-8-years old male Veery, 8-year female Cardinal and 3 male Catbirds, over-7-years male and female Wood Thrushes, over-6-years male Catbird, 6-year male hybrid Chickadee, over-5-years male Robin, 5-year female Towhee, several other 5-year, 4-year, 3-year birds of various species. The migratory miles flown and navigation back to the same territory are awe inspiring.
As cooperators with the University of California LA/National Insititute of Health Avian Flu project, we swabbed and took feather samples of 200 birds.
The species list follows, the numbers being singing/displaying males on territory.
|Common Name||Count & Comments|
|Great Blue Heron||flyover June 14|
|Green Heron||at pond July 26|
|Canada Goose||2 pr, nests predated|
|Black Vulture||flyover June 14|
|Turkey Vulture||2 pairs|
|Red-tailed Hawk||2 pair, routinely mobbed.|
|Chimney Swift||flyover July 20|
|Eastern Wood Pewee||6|
|Barn Swallow||5 pairs, 25 fledglings|
|Blue-gray Gnatcatcher||pair building nest|
|Eastern Bluebird||3, 2 broods|