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Re: [CALBIRDS] Re: Nutmeg manakin

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  • Jennifer Rycenga
    There s been a persistent, if small, colony of NUTMEG MANNIKINS in San Jose for a few years. I too am interested in the reputed origin for these birds, which
    Message 1 of 7 , Sep 9, 2005
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      There's been a persistent, if small, colony of NUTMEG MANNIKINS in San Jose
      for a few years. I too am interested in the reputed origin for these birds,
      which I know from Hawai'i, where they are a common introduced species.

      Jennifer Rycenga
      gyrrlfalcon@...
      Half Moon Bay, CA

      on 9/9/05 12:07 PM, JONES,JENNIFER MARIE at jjones@... wrote:

      I had a bunch of nutmeg manakins at my feeder last winter. At least 4
      adults and 8-10 juveniles would mob the feeder and hold their own against
      house finches a third larger in size. Great-looking birds, but as you say
      they are exotics and appear to be increasing in numbers. I haven't seen
      them around (I live in L.A.) since early this year, but am actually
      hoping to see them return this fall/winter.
      I wondered at the time if anyone has done a population study in CA. From
      what I could tell, they are found all over the southern states and even
      in Northeastern states.

      Jennifer Jones
      jjones@...


      Quoting "Paul S. Highland" <paul-kim@...>:

      > > I was walking my dog this morning with my binocs and admiring an
      > Orange
      > > Bishop, and cutting back through the shortcut, exiting the bike
      > trail, I
      > > came across a flock of six to eight birds fitting that description.
      > I
      > > knew they weren't Black Phoebes so out came the binocs. They were
      > Nutmeg
      > > Mannikins and they definitely are colonizing my neighborhood by the
      > Santa Ana River.
      >
      > So how did these exotic birds get to California? Are they cage birds
      > being released illegally?
      >
      > === Paul H!









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    • Bill Bousman
      ... Smithson, W. S. 2000. Breeding biology of the Orange Bishop (Euplectes franciscanus) and Nutmeg Mannikin (Lonchura punctulata) in southern California.
      Message 2 of 7 , Sep 9, 2005
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        At 12:07 PM 9/9/05, JONES,JENNIFER MARIE wrote:
        >I wondered at the time if anyone has done a population study in CA. From
        >what I could tell, they are found all over the southern states and even
        >in Northeastern states.
        >
        >Jennifer Jones
        >jjones@...

        Smithson, W. S. 2000. Breeding biology of the Orange Bishop (Euplectes
        franciscanus) and Nutmeg Mannikin (Lonchura punctulata) in southern
        California. M.S. Thesis, Cal. State Univ. Long Beach.

        Bill Bousman
        Menlo Park
      • Kimball Garrett
        Birders, Of the various exotic finches established or often seen in the wild in California, the Nutmeg Mannikin is perhaps the best established (after House
        Message 3 of 7 , Sep 9, 2005
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          Birders,



          Of the various "exotic" finches established or often seen in the wild in
          California, the Nutmeg Mannikin is perhaps the best established (after
          House Sparrow, of course). Since there have been a few postings about
          manikins in recent days, I thought I would mention that the California
          Bird Records Committee continues to be interested in monitoring the
          status of this species and other non-natives. The CBRC has acknowledged
          some naturalized species by adding them to the official California state
          list (with an "I" symbol for "introduced") -- relatively recent
          additions include Eurasian Collared-Dove, Red-crowned Parrot and
          White-tailed Ptarmigan. While there is no current groundswell to add
          Nutmeg Mannikin, Orange Bishop, various other parrots, Mute Swans, etc.,
          to the state list, it is possible that some of these (and other) species
          will eventually meet our criteria. The relevant by-law is:



          VI. Bird Records

          B. Records Treated.

          (8) The Committee will also review records of breeding populations of
          introduced species not on the state list, but only if evidence is
          submitted that attempts to prove (a) the correct identification of the
          species and (b) the viability of the population. To be judged viable, a
          population must: (i) have bred in the state for fifteen (15) consecutive
          years, (ii) in general, be increasing or stabilized after an initial
          period of increase, (iii) be judged to have occupied all geographically
          contiguous suitable habitat to such a degree as to sustain the
          population and be thought unlikely to significantly diminish, and (iv)
          occupy an environment judged similar enough in ecological factors (e.g.,
          climate, vegetation, food, shelter, competitors, predators) to the
          species' natural habitat, or to other successful introductions, that
          permanent establishment seems likely.



          The sticking point is usually item "(iii)", since populations of most
          naturalized species occupy just a few widely separated areas and likely
          result from independent establishment events.



          Since it is impractical for us to gather all sightings of birds like
          Nutmeg Mannikins, we ask that birders in California carefully record
          their sightings of such species in their field notes (and ideally also
          submit them to eBird, which now "accepts" sightings of these exotics) so
          that when the time comes to collate all available information it will be
          available. I would imagine that most, or all, Sub-regional (County)
          Coordinators for the Southern California and Northern California regions
          of North American Birds are willing to compile such information on a
          county basis, so you might keep them informed of your sightings of
          manikins and other naturalized or naturalizing species.



          Many thanks to Bill Bousman for pointing out Scott Smithson's excellent
          MS thesis on bishops and mannikins; Scott's field work was conducted in
          LA and ORA counties but clearly there are populations of both species
          (and especially of mannikins) elsewhere in the state.



          Finally, somebody inquired as to how Nutmeg Mannikins became established
          in California. Yes, their establishment has been entirely due to
          released or escaped birds from the avicultural trade. Sadly, you can
          buy Nutmeg Mannikins in almost any chain pet store (and they're not even
          very expensive), but it is, of course, illegal to release them.
          Incidentally, the subspecies established in California (at least in
          LA/ORA) is nominate punctulata or something similar, and as such they
          resemble the adult pictured in the NGS guide more closely than the
          brown-scalloped bird depicted by Sibley.



          Kimball



          Kimball L. Garrett

          Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

          Los Angeles, CA

          kgarrett@...





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        • creagrus
          I am glad that Kimball pointed to the CBRC bylaw language on non-native introductions, and especially the requirement that non-native species be judged to
          Message 4 of 7 , Sep 9, 2005
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            I am glad that Kimball pointed to the CBRC bylaw language on non-native
            introductions, and especially the requirement that non-native species be

            "judged to have occupied all geographically contiguous suitable habitat
            to such a degree as to sustain the population and be thought unlikely to
            significantly diminish"

            before adding them to the State list. That is among the reasons there
            is no groundswell of opinion to add a bunch of urbanized exotics to the
            California list. It is desired that only permanent introductions be
            acknowledged with state-listed status (and 'countability').

            It is good to recall -- and for newer birders, to learn -- that there
            are several examples of non-native exotics that were once thought to be
            "establsihed" (there were populations of hundreds or thousands of birds)
            but that eventually died out. In the 1960s there were populations of
            European Goldfinch in the Northeast that everyone back then 'counted' on
            all lists; they died out in the 1970s (the birds, that is, not the
            listers). The ABA and AOU endorsed populations of Blue-gray Tanagers
            and Spot-breasted Orioles in Florida, and Black Francolin in Lousiana,
            that have died out. Most recently, the AOU and ABA had to take off
            Crested Myna from all lists, since the Vancouver population of
            introduced birds eventually died out -- although they were there for
            many decades and were chased and "counted" by many ABA listers. Thus the
            mere presence of "lots" (even thousands) of non-natives in a localized
            spot does not suggest that the introduction will be permanent.

            It was the over-eager push of wild-eyed listers to count all sorts of
            exotics in th 1970s that led to the "NIB" [no introduced birds] movement
            that is still with us [in county listing circles; this is not meant to
            start any discussion of the merits of that approach -- please do not
            continue such a thread here]. It was thus gratifying to see the CBRC
            adopt the much more reasonable Bylaw language that Kimball cites in the
            1980s, and the CBRC has been (mostly) appropriately conservative thereafter.

            I join Kimball in urging all observers to record their observations of
            non-native species and forward them to NAB county and regional compilers
            -- not for the purposes of adding these unwanted species to the State
            list, but for the value that is gained to ornithology in learning about
            and documenting the rise and fall of exotic populations.

            Don Roberson
            Pacific Grove, MTY, CA
          • Jim Greaves
            ... I suspect their numbers are propped up by various illegal and legal breeders. I found several large room-sized cages years ago full of exotic birds
            Message 5 of 7 , Sep 9, 2005
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              At 12:12 PM 9/9/2005, Jennifer Rycenga wrote:
              >There's been a persistent, if small, colony of NUTMEG MANNIKINS in San Jose
              >for a few years. I too am interested in the reputed origin for these birds,
              >which I know from Hawai'i, where they are a common introduced species.
              >
              >Jennifer Rycenga

              I suspect their numbers are propped up by various illegal and legal
              breeders. I found several large room-sized cages years ago full of
              exotic birds squirreled inside a tamarisk thicket in ag fields in
              Goleta. Both the fields and tamarisk are still present.... we have
              lots of sightings in Goleta as well ...... Jim Greaves, Santa Barbara CA

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