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YBMP in Davis

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  • jeff83180
    Hi Mary Beth and All, I live close to central Davis and have been noticing an almost complete lack of Yellow-billed Magpies in and around the town. In the last
    Message 1 of 8 , Oct 7, 2005
      Hi Mary Beth and All,

      I live close to central Davis and have been noticing an almost complete lack of Yellow-billed
      Magpies in and around the town. In the last month, I have observed less than 10 Yellow-
      billed Magpies around Davis (mostly in the ag fields south of town). There hasn't been much
      time for birding recently, but whenever I'm outside I'm looking. In the years that I was a
      student at Davis (2001-2003), it was common to see dozens of magpies or more flying into
      the trees to roost around sunset each night. I haven't seen or heard a single bird flying in to
      roost this whole month. I can't remember for sure, but I think they should have a strong
      presence this time of year. However, if somebody can correct me, I'd be grateful.

      Jeff Birek
      Davis, CA
    • Douglas Herr
      ... I think that careful systematic observation is important in the case of the YBMA. If I were to rely on my causal observations on my lunchtime runs through
      Message 2 of 8 , Oct 7, 2005
        jeff83180 <Jeff83180@...> wrote:

        > In the last month, I have observed less than 10 Yellow-
        > billed Magpies around Davis (mostly in the ag fields south of town).
        > ... In the years that I was a student at Davis (2001-2003), it was
        > common to see dozens of magpies or more flying into
        > the trees to roost around sunset each night. I haven't seen or heard
        > a single bird flying in to roost this whole month. I can't remember for
        > sure, but I think they should have a strong presence this time of year.

        I think that careful systematic observation is important in the case of the YBMA. If I were to rely on my causal observations on my lunchtime runs through Old Sacramento I'd come up with some skewed data depending on which day of the week I was there. Some days there were absolutely none present while on Tuesday this week there were at least a dozen along a 100-yard stretch of the boardwalk. Today they may have been across the river in West Sacramento.

        Doug Herr
        Sacramento
        http://www.wildlightphoto.com
      • Steve Hampton
        Magpies are very clumpy in where they hang out. I can t wait for the CBC s to happen and provide a clearer picture. We had all-time highs in several
        Message 3 of 8 , Oct 7, 2005
          Magpies are very "clumpy" in where they hang out. I can't wait for the CBC's to happen and provide a clearer picture. We had all-time highs in several corvids just a year or two ago on the Putah Creek CBC, so we're ready to spot any declining trends if they occur.



          Steve Hampton
          ________________
          Resource Economist
          Office of Spill Prevention and Response
          California Dept of Fish and Game
          PO Box 944209
          Sacramento, CA 94244-2090
          -----------------------------------
          (916) 323-4724 phone
          (916) 324-8829 fax
          >>> "jeff83180" <Jeff83180@...> 10/07/05 12:28 PM >>>
          Hi Mary Beth and All,

          I live close to central Davis and have been noticing an almost complete lack of Yellow-billed
          Magpies in and around the town. In the last month, I have observed less than 10 Yellow-
          billed Magpies around Davis (mostly in the ag fields south of town). There hasn't been much
          time for birding recently, but whenever I'm outside I'm looking. In the years that I was a
          student at Davis (2001-2003), it was common to see dozens of magpies or more flying into
          the trees to roost around sunset each night. I haven't seen or heard a single bird flying in to
          roost this whole month. I can't remember for sure, but I think they should have a strong
          presence this time of year. However, if somebody can correct me, I'd be grateful.

          Jeff Birek
          Davis, CA









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        • Michelle Burkey
          I am still seeing several flocks of anywhere from 50 to 100 of YBMP heading to roost every evening in Fairfield approximately 25 miles west of Davis. The
          Message 4 of 8 , Oct 7, 2005
            I am still seeing several flocks of anywhere from 50 to 100 of YBMP heading
            to roost every evening in Fairfield approximately 25 miles west of Davis.
            The numbers here seem to be remaining steady.

            Michelle

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Gary Zamzow
            Hi Michelle, That is encouraging news. Thanks for counting Magpies. Here in Davis I m still finding small groups of Magpies in several areas. But no big
            Message 5 of 8 , Oct 7, 2005
              Hi Michelle,

              That is encouraging news. Thanks for counting Magpies.
              Here in Davis I'm still finding small groups of Magpies in several
              areas.
              But no big evening flights.

              Here is a site for anybody who would like to count Magpies in their
              area.
              http://www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/wildlife/projects_BBB.html
              The site is in Davis, but the format can be used for wherever Magpies
              are located.

              Steve Hampton made a good point about comparing past Christmas Bird
              Counts
              with this years Christmas Bird Counts. I hope that the tally is in the
              Magpies favor.

              One thing that I have noticed about Magpies since I started counting
              them is how
              gentle and aloof they seem to be.
              They don't seem to like to associate with other bird species.
              I'm sort of reminded about what Bob Dylan said about some performers
              that had
              a look in their eye that said I know something that you don't know.
              To me, Magpies have that kind of look.

              Here is a site that has some good information about Magpies
              http://www.prbo.org/calpif/htmldocs/species/oak/ybmaacct.html

              Take care.
              Gary Zamzow
              Davis, CA






              On Oct 7, 2005, at 5:35 PM, Michelle Burkey wrote:

              > I am still seeing several flocks of anywhere from 50 to 100 of YBMP
              > heading
              > to roost every evening in Fairfield approximately 25 miles west of
              > Davis.
              > The numbers here seem to be remaining steady.
              >
              > Michelle


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Kenneth Burton
              Just to set the record straight, the correct code for Yellow-billed Magpie is YBMA, not YBMP. I think it s fine to get into the habit of using the codes, but
              Message 6 of 8 , Oct 8, 2005
                Just to set the record straight, the correct code for Yellow-billed Magpie is YBMA, not YBMP. I think it's fine to get into the habit of using the codes, but if they're not correct no one can search for them in the archives. If you would like to use codes but are unsure of what they are, they are listed at http://www.birdpop.org/AlphaCodes.htm.

                Ken Burton
                McKinleyville
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: jeff83180
                To: CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Friday, October 07, 2005 12:28 PM
                Subject: [CALBIRDS] YBMP in Davis


                Hi Mary Beth and All,

                I live close to central Davis and have been noticing an almost complete lack of Yellow-billed
                Magpies in and around the town. In the last month, I have observed less than 10 Yellow-
                billed Magpies around Davis (mostly in the ag fields south of town). There hasn't been much
                time for birding recently, but whenever I'm outside I'm looking. In the years that I was a
                student at Davis (2001-2003), it was common to see dozens of magpies or more flying into
                the trees to roost around sunset each night. I haven't seen or heard a single bird flying in to
                roost this whole month. I can't remember for sure, but I think they should have a strong
                presence this time of year. However, if somebody can correct me, I'd be grateful.

                Jeff Birek
                Davis, CA








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              • Jim Greaves
                When anyone lists a web site like that below for the Alpha Codes, PLEASE refrain from ending the sentence with an underlined period! URL s are touchy and the
                Message 7 of 8 , Oct 8, 2005
                  When anyone lists a web site like that below for the Alpha Codes,
                  PLEASE refrain from ending the sentence with an underlined period!
                  URL's are touchy and the web search engines try to find an "htm.",
                  rather than "htm"! Thanks.

                  At 05:08 PM 10/8/2005, Kenneth Burton wrote:
                  >Just to set the record straight, the correct code for Yellow-billed
                  >Magpie is YBMA, not YBMP. I think it's fine to get into the habit
                  >of using the codes, but if they're not correct no one can search for
                  >them in the archives. If you would like to use codes but are unsure
                  >of what they are, they are listed at
                  ><http://www.birdpop.org/AlphaCodes.htm.>http://www.birdpop.org/AlphaCodes.htm.
                  >
                  >Ken Burton
                  >McKinleyville
                  > ----- Original Message -----
                  > From: jeff83180
                  > To: CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com
                  > Sent: Friday, October 07, 2005 12:28 PM
                  > Subject: [CALBIRDS] YBMP in Davis
                  >
                  >
                  > Hi Mary Beth and All,
                  >
                  > I live close to central Davis and have been noticing an almost
                  > complete lack of Yellow-billed
                  > Magpies in and around the town. In the last month, I have
                  > observed less than 10 Yellow-
                  > billed Magpies around Davis (mostly in the ag fields south of
                  > town). There hasn't been much
                  > time for birding recently, but whenever I'm outside I'm looking.
                  > In the years that I was a
                  > student at Davis (2001-2003), it was common to see dozens of
                  > magpies or more flying into
                  > the trees to roost around sunset each night. I haven't seen or
                  > heard a single bird flying in to
                  > roost this whole month. I can't remember for sure, but I think
                  > they should have a strong
                  > presence this time of year. However, if somebody can correct me,
                  > I'd be grateful.
                  >
                  > Jeff Birek
                  > Davis, CA
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
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                • Debbie Viess
                  This weekend I was up at Yuba Pass for an SFSU mushroom foray, and couldn t resist a pass through the Sierra Valley to see what birds were still around.
                  Message 8 of 8 , Oct 11, 2005
                    This weekend I was up at Yuba Pass for an SFSU mushroom foray, and
                    couldn't resist a pass through the Sierra Valley to see what birds were
                    still around.
                    Although the birdlife was nowhere near the height of the summer
                    spectacle, there were still plenty of wildlife wonders to observe. Once
                    we started driving along the (newly?) wash-boarded dirt road, our
                    greeter birds were horned larks, perched attractively upon the
                    fence-posts. Meadowlarks flitted here and there. We saw two merlin flash
                    by, and then, a little ways along the road, a third, although perhaps it
                    was one of the original two. There were lots of huge, dark raptors, most
                    of which turned out to be redtails. One hulking hawk, on the ground and
                    close by the road, was an unmistakable, light-phase ferruginous hawk.
                    After a bit it flew off, and coursed slowly along, just a few feet off
                    of the ground. Sweet. But the best sighting, by far, was a loose flock
                    of 46+ sandhill cranes. There was one obvious family group (vigilant
                    male, and Mom and juvenile), but the rest appeared to be in their more
                    convivial winter flocking mode. Sierra Valley is not large enough to
                    support 15+ breeding pairs, so I imagine that most of these birds were
                    in transit to their wintering grounds. All of the birds were foraging in
                    a freshly mowed agricultural field.

                    The next day, we were combing the woods at Yuba Pass for our fungal
                    friends. It was a bit dry for mushrooms, but just dandy for birds. I was
                    surrounded by a splendid, mountain-flavored mixed species flock,
                    composed of evening grosbeaks, purple finches, mountain chickadees and a
                    handsome, male white-headed woodpecker, the crimson of his crown
                    contrasting nicely with the white of his head. Creepers, white-breasted
                    nuthatches and a couple of lingering yellow-rumped warblers completed
                    the mix.

                    As an addendum to the recent postings of yellow-billed magpies in the
                    Sacramento Valley, we saw six birds fly over the road as we drove past
                    Davis. Seems
                    like these dramatically beautiful corvids may be down, but not out.

                    Debbie Viess
                    Oakland, CA



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