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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
      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
    • 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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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