New Tricolored Blackbird Colony
- Thu, 1 May 2008 -- Thanks to a visiting birder, Gary Deghi, from Half
Moon Bay for calling my attention to a TRICOLORED BLACKBIRD colony in
Potter Valley. The colony is along East(side) Road between Pine
Avenue and Mid-Mountain Road. Just north of milemarker 4.77 on the
west side of the road there is a vineyard pond behind an elevated berm
with cattails along the road and a swath of blackberries along the
south side. The birds can be observed easily at close range from the
road, but there is very little room to pull off. Look for a narrow
pullout by mailbox 10707.
The tricolors are nesting in the blackberries and are probably in
the fourth week of the breeding cycle. They are beginning to provision
young - "birds on a mission", and their comings and goings are very
conspicuous. I haven't made a careful estimate yet, but the numbers
are probably in the 400-600 range. This may be the same group that
nested several years ago on West(side) Road in a similar situation,
but where the blackberries have been killed with herbicides.
I'm am embarrased to say that I looked this new site over several
times in the last four weeks specifically looking for tricolors, but I
overlooked the conspicuous.
I should add that I checked the Lake County site on Lyons Creek on
27 Apr. and found a colony that I estimated at about 620. This is on
Whalen Road just beyond the Juvenile Detention Center and just inside
the white gate of the Lake County Sanitation District on the left-hand
side in cattails. With the window rolled down you can't miss them.