Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

RE: [CALBIRDS] Birdfinding in Humboldt

Expand Messages
  • Ron LeValley
    Hi all, Thanks to David for his post on Humboldt birding challenges. I might add that for those of you with high speed internet connections and are yahoo group
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 1, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      Hi all,

      Thanks to David for his post on Humboldt birding challenges. I might add
      that for those of you with high speed internet connections and are yahoo
      group members (most of you are, or you wouldn't be reading this), you can
      subscribe in (almost) real time to the Arcata Bird Box.

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/arcatabirdbox/

      This listserv recieves audio messages which are called in to the Arcata
      BirdBox (707) 822-5666 (LOON).

      The benefits of using this listserv are saving on your long-distance phone
      bills by getting Arcata BirdBox messages in your mailbox. Another plus is
      you receive voice messages in your mailbox minutes (mean = 5 minutes,
      n=10)after it is called in. Also you get the messages without tying up the
      BirdBox phone.

      Messages get sent as .wav files. Broadband helps as average file size is
      270kb. Max size is about 1 MB.

      Our thanks go to Elias Elias for setting up this really useful service.

      Ron LeValley

      Ron LeValley, Senior Biologist
      ron@...
      707/839-0900
      Fax 839-0867
      www.madriverbio.com
      Mad River Biologists
      1497 Central Avenue
      McKinleyville, CA 95519


      -----Original Message-----
      From: dfxjcp@... [mailto:dfxjcp@...]
      Sent: Thursday, January 01, 2004 11:57 AM
      To: calbirds@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [CALBIRDS] Birdfinding in Humboldt

      I don't often post to Calbirds, but I am going to ask ninety seconds of your
      time today.

      An out-of-the-area birder has recently complained to me (this is Fix
      writing) about difficulty in relocating some rarities here in Humboldt
      County lately. That post has spurred me to explain to the Calbirds
      readership, and to newer birders, why these things happen. For starters,
      99% of Humboldt County is rural countryside. This is an area larger than
      some eastern states and with 150,000 people, nearly all jammed into the
      Humboldt Bay lowlands and a few tiny towns elsewhere. With the exception of
      Arcata Marsh, the birds you want to chase and see often show up in
      out-of-the-way places in expanses of outlying habitat with few working
      landmarks.

      In contrast to, say, Southern California, habitat for rare birds here is
      abundant. Humboldt is really nothing BUT habitat. We have heard birders
      from farther south in California, accustomed to going to parks or estuarine
      reserves, say that there is so much habitat they 'don't know where to bird'.
      This is not all roses. When a grackle or sparrow or some other such
      pastoral-country bird shows up, it may be way out along some side road or
      farm lane miles from anywhere. If an odometer reading is by chance not
      included in the initial directions, finding one's way to such a place can be
      tough. We do our best. It takes time to understand how the area is laid
      out.

      Some have expressed the opinion that, in general, the directions on the
      Arcata Bird Box are not sufficient. This is in part true. It is also a
      fact that the Box exists chiefly for the use of local birders. An
      out-of-town birder interested in building a Humboldt list cannot expect
      thorough directions to a Blackpoll, a Barred Owl, a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
      or any other fairly routine vagrant to be on the Box. We rely on the Box to
      help each other keep the pulse, to decide where to spend an hour and a half
      out birding; Stan Harris and I use the reports in compiling field notes.
      Conversely, we know what's Hot, and try to provide the best guidance allowed
      in the minute's time allowed for messages.

      Resources exist that will help you. There is the Arcata area birding guide,
      available locally. It is dated, and is pretty much designed for beginning
      birders, but remains useful. The gazetteer section of Stanley Harris's
      excellent Northwestern California Birds (HSU Press 1996) is replete with
      well-worded detail and good maps. Directions at Joe Morlan's website,
      readily found and printed out, are helpful. 'California Birding' will get
      you there in a search.

      Especially helpful are our local birders. There are many fine people who
      live here who are into birds, know where they show up, know precisely how to
      guide others to rarities on the phone, know the area can be confusing, know
      that precious time and money are invested in travel, and are happy to take
      time to assist out-of-area birders. I will gladly put our phone number out
      there, it's (707) 822-3613. Give Jude or myself a call. Give us or any of
      a number of others a ring when you get to town. We have a thriving birding
      community, made up of people who want others to enjoy success when they
      arrive after tiring drives or overpriced air connections.

      Thank you for your attention and understanding.

      David Fix
      Arcata



      Unsubscribe: mailto:CALBIRDS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      Website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CALBIRDS
      Listowners: mailto:CALBIRDS-owner@yahoogroups.com

      For vacation suspension of mail go to the website. Click on Edit My
      Membership and set your mail option to No Email. Or, send a blank email to
      these addresses:
      Turn off email delivery: mailto:CALBIRDS-nomail@yahoogroups.com
      Resume email delivery: mailto:CALBIRDS-normal@yahoogroups.com



      Yahoo! Groups Links

      To visit your group on the web, go to:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CALBIRDS/

      To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
      CALBIRDS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

      Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
      http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
    • wagtail1997
      Just a thought...but if it is recognized that the wide expanses makes it difficult to refind birds in Humboldt County, why not start using GPS coordinates on
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 1, 2004
      • 0 Attachment
        Just a thought...but if it is recognized that the wide expanses makes
        it difficult to refind birds in Humboldt County, why not start using
        GPS coordinates on the RBA reports? GPS units are relatively
        inexpensive today, and many birders own such units. I don't think
        that technology has been utilized on RBAs to any great extent, but it
        would be a natural for the situation described. Joel Weintraub, Dana
        Point, CA (OrCoRBA compiler)
      • John Sterling
        I d like to add some additional comments. NWCalbirds is a listserve for the Humboldt region. I suggest that outside visitors send an email to that listserve
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 1, 2004
        • 0 Attachment
          I'd like to add some additional comments. NWCalbirds is a listserve for the
          Humboldt region. I suggest that outside visitors send an email to that
          listserve announcing when they plan to visit and what they hope to see.
          When I lived in Humboldt from 1979-1991, we rarely had visiting birders so
          we did not often keep tabs on rare birds once all of the locals had seen
          them. By letting the locals know that you are interested, they may keep
          better track of these birds. Also...most of the older, more experienced
          birders in Humboldt County are very busy with work (most of them are working
          biologists), so they don't always have the time that they used to have for
          keeping track of these rare birds. So...please be considerate when placing
          "expectations" on their time. However, they are very generous and many of
          the newer birders are especially active in getting their county lists up to
          snuff, so it is likely that someone could help out visitors. (dare I say
          that providing some sort of compensation for their limited time may do
          wonders for their morale as many of them, especially the students are on
          limited budgets)

          I second Fix's remark that there is an abundance of habitat......not
          surprisingly, much of the good habitat is not checked regularly outside of
          the immediate Humboldt Bay area .....so don't be shy about checking other
          coastal areas as they are likely to hold outstanding rareties that have not
          yet been discovered. Many of the known hot spots are little more than
          unmarked areas that locals know about from a collective knowledge of
          historical sightings....so these locations are not easily described in
          writing since many of us just "know" the location--I couldn't describe
          exactly where many of these locations are after birding them for 25 years.
          Fix did a good job of explaining this issue. Perhaps GPS units will solve
          these problems in the future once this technology takes hold in the birding
          community.

          Also...it is important for outside visitors to let the locals know of their
          own sightings as well. When I was living up there, we sometimes had
          outsiders report birds days or weeks after the sightings. The locals do not
          like that at all!

          John
          **********************************
          John Sterling
          26 Palm Ave
          Woodland, CA 95695
          530 668-8694 (home office)
          530 668-1985 (home)
          916 737-3000 ext 3593 (Sacramento office)
          916 752-0899 (cell phone)


          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Ron LeValley" <ron@...>
          To: <dfxjcp@...>; <calbirds@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Thursday, January 01, 2004 12:13 PM
          Subject: RE: [CALBIRDS] Birdfinding in Humboldt


          > Hi all,
          >
          > Thanks to David for his post on Humboldt birding challenges. I might add
          > that for those of you with high speed internet connections and are yahoo
          > group members (most of you are, or you wouldn't be reading this), you can
          > subscribe in (almost) real time to the Arcata Bird Box.
          >
          > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/arcatabirdbox/
          >
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.