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reminder - seeking data on Bell’s Vireos

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  • Gjon_Hazard@fws.gov
    ... Sorry for any cross-postings, but to ensure a wide-distribution, please forward this request to appropriate regional lists or to observers that may not be
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 6, 2012
      I posted this last fall... a reminder as we head into nesting season:


      Sorry for any cross-postings, but to ensure a wide-distribution, please
      forward this request to appropriate regional lists or to observers that
      may not be on these lists -- especially those outside of California.


      Least Bell's Vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus) populations underwent a
      substantial crash in the mid-20th Century, resulting in a reduction in the
      range of the subspecies. Populations are now rebounding and the subspecies
      is re-colonizing areas within its former range. Researchers would like to
      document the change in distribution of Least Bell's Vireos over time.

      In general, at its nadir, the "core" of the Least Bell's Vireo population
      was coastal San Diego County, California. By the 1990s populations had
      spread such that the core could be considered to include Orange County and
      western Riverside County. Today, it is not surprising to find Least Bell's
      Vireos at quite a few sites outside that area; moreover, sightings in the
      far north, although still far from commonplace, are no longer shocking.

      Less is known about the status of the subspecies on the Baja California
      Peninsula, but records of observations there are on the increase, in part
      due to increased coverage and improved documentation/communication. Also,
      Bell's Vireo observations in the eastern (transmontane) desert areas of
      California and even western Nevada -- be they "Least" or "Arizona" Bell's
      Vireos -- appear to have been poorly documented in the past, though
      documentation appears to have improved recently.

      The Request

      We are asking willing field observers -- amateurs and professionals alike
      -- to document past and future observations of Bell's Vireos in California,
      the western edge of Nevada, and the Baja California Peninsula (unseasonal
      occurrences too). Please dig through your notes for older records.
      Additionally, many regional chroniclers of bird info have older records
      that are not in the literature or are in obscure, regional sources. And
      for those of you who did such things, please also consider submitting data
      from older, unpublished survey reports that may not have withstood the
      tests of time.

      Additionally, many Bell’s Vireos are banded with unique combinations of
      color bands. Please try to visually confirm your detections to see if
      there are bands. If you see bands, note the combination of colors (top to
      bottom, left leg and right leg [relative to the bird]). Please submit band
      observations to the Bird Banding Lab and Dr. Barbara Kus (see URLs below).

      Those of you who have been submitting survey data to Dr. Kus at USGS
      Western Ecological Research Center (WERC) -- thank you, and please continue
      to submit your data. There are also a number of ways for volunteers to
      memorialize incidental observations. The California Natural Diversity
      Database (CNDDB) is a long-standing resource with rigorous standards (see
      URLs, below, for additional info). The newer eBird database is an
      easy-to-use database with a geographical coverage that extends beyond
      California that allows for both current and historical records (using the
      "incidental" observation type). Also, please (continue to) submit current
      and future "extralimital" and unseasonal sightings of Bell's Vireos to the
      journal North American Birds. Please be as specific as possible when
      submitting information, regardless of venue.

      Useful webpage URLs:


      eBird Calif: http://ebird.org/content/ca

      eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/

      NAB Regional Eds (CA): http://fog.ccsf.cc.ca.us/jmorlan/afn.html

      NAB journal: http://www.aba.org/nab/

      USGS WERC: http://www.werc.usgs.gov/

      Dr. Kus (USGS): http://www.werc.usgs.gov/person.aspx?personID=18

      BBL: http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbl/

      Contact info for Dr. Barbara Kus

      San Diego Field Station
      4165 Spruance Road Suite 200
      San Diego, CA 92101
      Phone: (619) 225-6421
      Fax: (619) 225-6436
      Email: barbara_kus[at]usgs.gov

      Thank you for your assistance.


      Gjon C. Hazard
      Fish and Wildlife Biologist
      Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office
      6010 Hidden Valley Road, Suite 101
      Carlsbad, CA 92011 USA
      Voice: 760/431-9440x287
      FAX: 760/918-0638
      E-mail: Gjon_Hazard<.at.>fws.gov

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