Wednesday 4 May 2005 - I had the fortune to go out onto Mendocino Redwood
Company lands southwest of Philo. During the morning we heard probably
20 to 30 male blue grouse hooting. My sense from speaking with MRC
personnel is that the wild hog population really crashed about 10 years
ago... and the Blue Grouse numbers have apparently (casual observations ...
no actual transects or counts) increased during this last decade. My
theory is that after heavy timber harvesting in the county during the
1950's and 60's that the blue grouse population crashed ... and was
suppressed until the habitat began to recover. In combination with this,
I believe that the wild hogs predated nests quite heavily (since grouse
are ground nesters) in areas that had high wild feral pig
populations. Now that both the pig population is way down and the forests
are recovering I believe that blue grouse population in the west and
southern part of Mendocino County are bouncing back. In recent years I
have had several reports of single grouse in very out-of-character places
... which I think represents young individuals expanding or emigrating from
their "traditional "home population" area.
I also just learned of Blue Grouse in the extreme SE portion of Mendocino
County ... east of the Russian River and almost to the Sonoma County line.
Happy birding. Bob Keiffer
Robert J. Keiffer
Principal Supt. of Agriculture
UC Hopland Research & Extension Center
4070 University Road
Hopland, CA 95449
(707) 744-1424 FAX (707) 744-1040
HREC website: http://danrrec.ucdavis.edu/hopland/home_page.html
"It is not the critic who counts... not the one who points out how the
strong person stumbles... or where the doer of deeds could have done
better. The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the arena."
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