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Yellow-billed Magpies & West Nile Virus

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  • Gary Zamzow
    Hi Michelle, That is good news. Can use some these days. Would you like to document the number of Magpies that you see? You could just count/estimate the ones
    Message 1 of 15 , Sep 5, 2005
      Hi Michelle,

      That is good news. Can use some these days.
      Would you like to document the number of Magpies that you see?
      You could just count/estimate the ones flying over, or roosting, or
      nesting in your neighborhood.
      I keep the tally on my computer.
      Here is a link for information about counting Magpies.
      http://www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/wildlife/projects_BBB.html

      Sacramento/Davis has been the epicenter for WNV in California this year.
      I hope that it doesn't get to your Magpies.

      Thank you and take care.
      Gary Zamzow
      Davis, CA


      On Sep 4, 2005, at 5:36 PM, Michelle Burkey wrote:

      > Hi Gary
      >  I live in North  Fairfield and am still seeing large flocks of YBM's
      > every morning and evening. I saw several flocks of at least 50+ this
      > morning and expect they'll be back this evening. I estimate at least
      > 200 a day go over coming and going each day here.
      >
      > Michelle
      >
      >
      > At 03:50 PM 9/4/2005 -0700, you wrote:
      >> Hi Debbie,
      >>
      >> That is a good observation by your friend. Might be the work of an
      >> Accipiter. Hope so.
      >>
      >> I read that there are fewer reports of dead birds in the
      >> Davis/Sacramento area.
      >> It might be because the virus has run its course, or that there are
      >> fewer birds left to die.
      >>
      >> I'm still finding Magpies in my census area, and pockets of Magpies
      >> elsewhere.
      >> I hope that these have developed an immunity to the WNV, and will be
      >> nesting next spring.
      >>
      >> I don't see large flocks of Magpies flying in and out of Davis at
      >> dawn
      >> and dusk like I did last year at this time.
      >> I'll keep counting Magpies to document a trend, which as of now, is
      >> down.
      >>
      >> Thank you Debbie, and take care.
      >> Gary Zamzow
      >> Davis, CA
      >>
      >>
      >> On Sep 4, 2005, at 9:19 AM, Debbie Viess wrote:
      >>
      >> >
      >> > Hi Gary,
      >> >   My data at this point on WNV in Stellers is circumstantial. A gal
      >> > that lives close by Huckleberry Preserve in the Oakland Hills
      >> tells me
      >> > that jays have been abundant at her feeders. If that is still
      >> > currently the case, then perhaps my concern has been misguided. The
      >> > feather piles and carcass could have been caused by an acciipiter.
      >> I
      >> > will continue to monitor, and let you know if I obtain more and
      >> better
      >> > data; if I find an intact carcass, I will send it off.
      >> > 
      >> > Debbie
      >> >
      >> >
      >> > Hi Debbie,
      >> > Is West Nile in the Bay Area, and the Oakland Hills?
      >> > If it is, and there are lots of mosquitos, Steller's Jays could be
      >> >  vulnerable.
      >> > Please let me//us know if you hear anything about the Steller's.
      >> > Take care,
      >> > Gary Zamzow
      >> > Davis, CA
    • Debbie Viess
      CA birders, Sorry for the cross-posting if you are also on the EBB list. I am still trying to puzzle out the migrant that we saw at our window. The closest
      Message 2 of 15 , Oct 3, 2005
        CA birders,
        Sorry for the cross-posting if you are also on the EBB list. I am
        still trying to puzzle out the migrant that we saw at our window. The
        closest match that I can come up with is a Taiga Orange-crowned Warbler
        (it was solidly unmarked gray on its head, breast and back, with a white
        eye stripe.couldn't see its butt in the dark). Would this be a possible
        migrant in the area above Lake Tahoe? Thanks for any help from our
        various CA birding mavens. D.V.


        This past weekend, I was up at Echo Lake Lodge, just west of Lake Tahoe
        along Hwy. 50. I was in the company of many mushrooming friends for a
        weekend of mushroom hunting and feasting, but of course I brought my
        binoculars; from the deck of the chalet, the birds were often at eye
        level. Goshawks were our dramatic, local accipiter, and my friend
        Howard, also a mushrooming birder, saw both Blue Grouse and a Merlin.
        The Clark's Nutcracker's must be anticipating a hard winter.their crops
        were bulging grotesquely with nuts, to the point where one flying by
        almost had the profile of a folded-neck heron! The Steller's jays were
        in raucous voice, and beautiful, fresh plumage; I especially liked the
        pale electric blue streaks on their heads. Saturday night, a plain,
        little gray bird with a faint white eye-line (vireo or warbler, lousy
        light at night) appeared at the window of our main room. It had been
        migrating over, but was captivated by either the light or its own
        reflection. At any rate, we had to turn off all of our lights to get it
        to go back on its journey. After a few minutes of dark, it disappeared.
        Happy trails, little fella.

        Debbie Viess
        Oakland, CA


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