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Tricolored Blackbirds

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  • chaniot@pacific.net
    Sat, 02 Apr 2005 -- This morning there were about 50 TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS blackbirds at the end of Burris Lane in Potter Valley in mixed blackbird flocks
    Message 1 of 10 , Apr 3, 2005
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      Sat, 02 Apr 2005 -- This morning there were about 50 TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS
      blackbirds at the end of Burris Lane in Potter Valley in mixed blackbird
      flocks including Starlings, "Bicolored" Red-winged Blackbirds, and Brewer's
      Blackbirds. They were associating most closely with the starlings. Some
      were also flying toward the hidden pond closeby to the ENE on private
      property where several hundred nested last year. Today they were mostly
      foraging on the bare ground in the vineyards with the heavy legume
      covercrop. I have been checking these locations several times a week
      through the winter, but this is the first time I've seen "trikes" here
      since July.
      Western Kingbirds hit Potter Valley like gangbusters overnight.
      Today I saw a half-dozen birds in locations where I didn't see them
      yesterday. Bullock's Orioles appeared suddenly too.

      George Chaniot
      Potter Valley, MEN, CA
    • chaniot@pacific.net
      Fri, 08 Apr 2005 -- This evening at sunset there were many small parties of TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS flying over the grassland and vineyards at the end of Burris
      Message 2 of 10 , Apr 8, 2005
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        Fri, 08 Apr 2005 -- This evening at sunset there were many small parties of
        TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS flying over the grassland and vineyards at the end of
        Burris Lane in Potter Valley. Several hundred flew into the area of the
        hidden pond, and they are probably beginning breeding there. I have not
        seen any yet at the Christmas Star Vineyard pond on West Road where they
        also bred last year.
        I am going to be the Mendocino County coordinator for the statewide
        Tricolored Blackbird survey June 3-5. Please contact me if you would be
        interested in helping. Please also let me know of any sightings of
        Tricolored Blackbirds in Mendocino County between now and then. Are they
        being seen in Lake County?

        George Chaniot
        Potter Valley, MEN, CA
        chaniot@...
      • Jim Armstrong
        I had at least two male Tricolored Blackbirds at my seed feeder this morning, the first I can remember; probably from George s end-of-the- lane flock. They
        Message 3 of 10 , Apr 27, 2006
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          I had at least two male Tricolored Blackbirds at my seed feeder this
          morning, the first I can remember; probably from George's end-of-the-
          lane flock. They were mixed in with several Red-winged BB's, the
          males of which have been dancing like dervishes in their mating
          displays.
          I also have several Crows who are keeping the Red-shouldered Hawks
          from last year's successful nest.
        • chaniot@pacific.net
          Sat, 24 Mar 2007 -- This morning there was a group of 40 male TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS foraging on the ground in the vineyard at the end of Burris Lane, Potter
          Message 4 of 10 , Mar 24, 2007
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            Sat, 24 Mar 2007 -- This morning there was a group of 40 male TRICOLORED
            BLACKBIRDS foraging on the ground in the vineyard at the end of Burris
            Lane, Potter Valley. There were also groups of females of undetermined
            species collecting nesting material and carrying it toward the hidden pond
            to the east. It looks like trikes may be preparing to nest there for the
            fourth year.
            The BURROWING OWL had moved about 20 feet from its usual station,
            but it returned there later when a ground squirrel was running around too
            close.

            George Chaniot
            Potter Valley, MEN, CA
          • chaniot@pacific.net
            Mon, 31 Mar 2008 -- In the last week I have visited all of the locations in Lake and Mendocino Counties where I know Tricolored Blackbirds have nested in
            Message 5 of 10 , Apr 1, 2008
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              Mon, 31 Mar 2008 -- In the last week I have visited all of the locations in
              Lake and Mendocino Counties where I know Tricolored Blackbirds have nested
              in recent years, and I have discovered a new colony on Highland Springs
              Road. Tricolors are present at most of these areas and song, display, nest
              building, and copulation are under way already. Here's a summary of what
              I've found. All of the numbers estimates are preliminary and conservative.
              The best places for watching or photographing are probably the Adobe Creek
              and Highland Springs Road sites:

              MacGuire's Pond/Camp 19 on Route 20: At least 9 males displaying

              Wilson's Pond, Burris Lane, Potter Valley: At least 35 males.

              Christmas Star Vineyard, Potter Valley: None present. Blackberry hedge
              where they nested once has been nuked.

              Fetzer's Valley Oak Center pond: Males present, singing, displaying, no
              number estimate yet.

              Lyons Creek Wetland: None present.

              Adobe Creek Reservoir: At least 34 males in the NW corner, and another
              group of at least 21 males on the east side. Nest-building, copulation. 2
              Yellow-headed Blackbirds on territory in the NE corner.

              6495 Highland Springs Road: At least 95 males displaying in a blackberry
              patch right along the road near the driveway. Nest building, copulation.
              Foraging in the vineyards to the east.

              I am going to be the coordinator for Mendocino and Lake Counties of
              the statewide Tricolored Blackbird survey this spring. If you have any
              observations of tricolors in Lake and Mendocino between now and July please
              contact me - particularly nesting information.

              George Chaniot
              Potter Valley, MEN, CA
              chaniot@...
              707-743-1310
            • George Chaniot
              Mon, 16 Feb 2009 -- I went out this afternoon and poked around Potter Valley in the car in the drizzle. The most interesting finds were TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS
              Message 6 of 10 , Feb 16 6:19 PM
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                Mon, 16 Feb 2009 -- I went out this afternoon and poked around Potter Valley
                in the car in the drizzle. The most interesting finds were TRICOLORED
                BLACKBIRDS in mixed blackbird flocks in four different locations. They
                totaled up to 14 males and a bunch of possible females. These are my first
                Potter sightings for the month of February. At the end of the last breeding
                season I estimated that there might be 4500 Mendo/Lake tricolors out there,
                but these are the first I've seen since they disappeared from the breeding
                colonies in early July. I also found three MERLINS all of the taiga type.

                George Chaniot
                Potter Valley, CA
              • George Chaniot
                Wed, 08 Apr 2009 -- TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS are back in numbers at the location on East Road in Potter Valley where the bred last year. Today there was a
                Message 7 of 10 , Apr 9, 2009
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                  Wed, 08 Apr 2009 -- TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS are back in numbers at the
                  location on East Road in Potter Valley where the bred last year. Today
                  there was a minimum of 240 birds in the blackberry hedge on the south side
                  of the pond at mailbox 10707 East Road, and nest building is underway.
                  There are also tricolors present near the two other locations where they
                  have nested in Potter, but I have not been able to determine their status
                  yet.

                  George Chaniot
                  Potter Valley, MEN, CA
                • George Chaniot
                  Thu, 14 Apr 2011 -- TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS have been present at the breeding location on Eastside Road in Potter Valley since April 1st. They can be observed
                  Message 8 of 10 , Apr 14, 2011
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                    Thu, 14 Apr 2011 -- TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS have been present at the breeding
                    location on Eastside Road in Potter Valley since April 1st. They can be
                    observed and photographed easily from the car window at close range. There
                    has been some clearing of the blackberries in the heart of the breeding area
                    over the winter, and the number of birds appears to be lower than recent
                    years.
                    The location is beside a pond on the west side of Eastside Road. There
                    is a pullout by mailbox 10707 on the west side of the road. Please try not
                    to block access to the mailboxes.

                    Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (15th, 16th, 17th) is the triennial
                    Statewide Tricolored Blackbird Survey. I will be visiting all the
                    historical breeding sites in Lake and Mendocino counties and scouting other
                    areas of suitable habitat where they have never been found. I ask that
                    people report all sightings of Tricolors in this period to me at the address
                    below and particularly any evidence of nesting. Males doing the
                    "bag-o'-cats" chorusing is good presumptive evidence of nearby nesting.

                    Some nesting sites in recent years:
                    Mendocino County
                    McGuire's Pond on Route 20 west of Willits
                    "Wilson's Pond" (private property), Burris Lane, Potter Valley
                    Armstrong's Pasture (private property), Burris Lane, Potter Valley
                    Pond near 10707 Eastside Road, Potter Valley
                    Christmas Star Vineyard Pond, Westside Road, Potter Valley
                    (inactive?)
                    Fetzer Valley Oaks(formerly) Pond (private property), Hopland

                    Lake County
                    Lyons Creek
                    Highland Springs Road north of Bell Hill Road
                    Adobe Creek Reservoir

                    George Chaniot
                    Potter Valley, MEN, CA
                    chaniot@...
                  • George Chaniot
                    Sat, 10 Jan 2015 -- This morning Steve Stump and I saw at least 4 TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS and 12 BROWN-HEADED COWBIRDS on Pine Avenue in Potter Valley. They were
                    Message 9 of 10 , Jan 10, 2015
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                      Sat, 10 Jan 2015 -- This morning Steve Stump and I saw at least 4 TRICOLORED
                      BLACKBIRDS and 12 BROWN-HEADED COWBIRDS on Pine Avenue in Potter Valley.
                      They were in the flock of mixed blackbirds associating with cattle at a
                      feeding area about 3/4 miles from Eastside Road.

                      George Chaniot
                      Potter Valley, MEN, CA
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