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Re: [CALBIRDS] YBMP in Davis

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  • 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 1 of 8 , Oct 7, 2005
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      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 2 of 8 , Oct 7, 2005
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        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 3 of 8 , Oct 7, 2005
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          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 4 of 8 , Oct 7, 2005
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            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 5 of 8 , Oct 8, 2005
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              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 6 of 8 , Oct 8, 2005
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                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 7 of 8 , Oct 11, 2005
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                  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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