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Tricolored Blackbirds

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  • 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 1 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 2 of 10 , Feb 16, 2009
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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 3 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 4 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 5 of 10 , Jan 10
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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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