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Re: [Mendobirds] Tricolored Blackbirds

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  • 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 1 of 13 , Apr 8 8:44 PM
      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 2 of 13 , Apr 27 1:22 PM
        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 3 of 13 , Mar 24, 2007
          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 4 of 13 , Apr 1 12:11 AM
            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 5 of 13 , Feb 16, 2009
              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 6 of 13 , Apr 9 11:45 PM
                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 7 of 13 , Apr 14 10:10 PM
                  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 8 of 13 , Jan 10, 2015
                    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
                  • gchaniot
                    Mon 18 Apr 2016 -- This morning I discovered a small colony of TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS at the pond at the end of Burris Lane in Potter Valley. They appear to be
                    Message 9 of 13 , Apr 18 7:53 PM
                      Mon 18 Apr 2016 -- This morning I discovered a small colony of TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS at the pond at the end of Burris Lane in Potter Valley. They appear to be nesting in a clump of blackberries on the south edge of the pond. At least 30 were in evidence, but there might be twice that number. I wasn't able to determine the stage of the nesting cycle yet.
                      George Chaniot
                      Potter Valley, MEN, CA
                    • George Chaniot
                      Tue, 4 Apr 2017 -- This afternoon there was a party of 41 TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS at the end of Burris Lane in Potter Valley near several locations where they
                      Message 10 of 13 , Apr 5 4:00 AM
                        Tue, 4 Apr 2017 -- This afternoon there was a party of 41 TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS at the end of Burris Lane in Potter Valley near several locations where they have nested in recent years. They were foraging on the ground among cattle, and in the vineyard, and chorusing in a nearby tree.
                        This weekend, 7-9 Apr, is the triennial statewide Tricolor survey - assuming it isn't weathered-out to a backup date. I hope people will keep their eyes open. Please forward any observations from Lake or Mendocino to me.

                        George Chaniot
                        chaniot@...
                      • Robert Keiffer
                        9 April 2017 - Ryan Keiffer & I discovered two small Tricolored Blackbird colonies in the Hopland area over the weekend.   Both are on private properties
                        Message 11 of 13 , Apr 10 10:11 AM
                          9 April 2017 - Ryan Keiffer & I discovered two small Tricolored Blackbird colonies in the Hopland area over the weekend.   Both are on private properties that are not close to any public viewing .... so the one that George Chaniot posted in Potter Valley is much better for public viewing.   However, I am posting this to make folks aware to look closely at any farm ponds in your area that have shore vegetation of blackberries, bulrushes, or cattails.    The males are rather vocal now at the colony nesting sites and they are usually heard before seen .... listen to online recordings if you are unsure of their call ...they sound like, to what my imagination would be, a goose being strangled.  Red-winged Blackbirds do not sound like this.   Even though the official California state TRBL survey weekend is over (last weekend), any new colony found is likely NOT to be a repeat of birds ... so please let George Chaniot know as to location and numbers.   I plan on checking a few more ponds in the Hopland/Sanel Valley area.    Good birding.   Bob Keiffer   rjkeiffer@...   Hopland MEN CA
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