Tricolored Blackbirds and absent vireos in the Prado Basin
- A large flock (likely a thousand or more) of Tricolored Blackbirds
descended recently upon a small marsh in the Prado Basin, Riverside
County. An adjacent cowbird trap had no blackbirds in it on Sunday,
but I had to release 111 Trikes from it on Monday. On Tuesday, it had
36 birds in it, of which 3 had bands (932-23518; 932-23607; 932-
23720). I've since reported the band numbers and blocked-off the top
of the trap. My assumption is that the birds are from the San Jacinto
Wildlife Area, but I haven't heard back from there. As this would be
a perfect opportunity for additional banding, someone with access to
official permission (ie USFWS) and permits should get in contact with
Of concern at Prado this year is the relative paucity of 'least'
Bell's Vireos. They arrived in the basin extraordinarily late, and
currently show no signs of coming close to last years total of 600
males. In fact, as only about 275 birds have been found to date, 400-
450 is the most reasonable guess for the final tally. It is my
understanding that other watersheds in southern California may be
experiencing similar declines.
On a lighter note, there's something going on with Common Poorwills
this spring. As there was only one previous hypothetical record for
the Prado Basin, we didn't expect to see four this spring, with most
of the birds being found by Dharm Pellegrini.