4319Yellow-billed Magpies & West Nile Virus
- Aug 31, 2005Yellow-billed Magpies and West Nile Virus
Yellow-billed Magpies are in trouble, and need your help.
Some people in Davis are monitoring their numbers, and if you have any
in your area, and would like to also monitor the populations please
Bicycle Bird Biologists, and Magpie Monitors at:
I have been counting Magpies for several months now, and their numbers
are going down.
Below is a letter by Holly Ernest, who is the Magpie Count Coordinator.
Hi Davis Bicycle Bird Biologists and Magpie Monitors (and those
California magpies have been dying by the hundreds these past weeks
from West Nile Virus. I have seen and heard very few of the usual
magpies in my count area in west Davis during the past several days,
except for numbers of dead and dying birds. Several of you have also
noted this in your emails to me.
Thanks to a number of you who have sent in regular bird counts over
the past year. More counters are needed.
Now is an especially important time to count and note information on
all magpies you see. Counts of zero magpies seen/heard, as always, are
just as important, if not more important than counts with magpies
If we don't take note and report bird numbers, magpies could be the
proverbial tree falling in the forest - if no one is there to see it
(and report it), what is the proof that a population decline really
happened (from state and federal agency perspectives)? I have been
communicating with state and federal agencies with the aim magpies will
not be a "silent (extinct) tree", but I need your help with data. If
the species is in jeopardy, data and science can provide the foundation
for getting them listed as threatened or endangered and thereby
providing legal protection from additional threats (like habitat loss)
- but such protection will not be considered without data.
*If you would like to start counting, but haven't lately, or aren't
set up yet or it looked too difficult, please contact me. I aim to make
it as simple and easy as possible so that everyone who wants to help
can participate. Just count magpies during your regular biking or
walking in Davis. If you'd like to put up recruitment posters or help
me with data compilation and analysis for Bicycle Bird
Biologists/Magpie Monitors - send me an email.
Some counters use Mac/Apple computers, and I may have difficulty
reading Mac files - but please stay in touch with me so we can work out
how to communicate the magpie counts.
*If you know of anyone who may be interested in counting, feel free to
forward my email address to them, along with this web site link:
* Bicycle Bird Biologist & Davis Bird Counters web site:
*West Nile Web sites:
CA Dept of Health West Nile web site http://www.westnile.ca.gov/
Sac-Yolo Mosquito Control Web site: http://www.fightthebite.net/
*Happy Counting, avoid those mosquitoes, and email in your counts every
If you want to be removed from this email list, send me an email.
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Holly Ernest DVM PhD
Wildlife and Ecology Unit
Veterinary Genetics Laboratory
School of Veterinary Medicine
University of California
PHONE: (530) 754-8245
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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