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Tricolored Blackbirds

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  • chaniot@pacific.net
    Wed, 14 Apr 2004 -- This afternoon there was a flock of about 20 TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS foraging on the ground in the vineyard at the end of Burris Lane, Potter
    Message 1 of 11 , Apr 15, 2004
      Wed, 14 Apr 2004 -- This afternoon there was a flock of about 20 TRICOLORED
      BLACKBIRDS foraging on the ground in the vineyard at the end of Burris
      Lane, Potter Valley. I only have a handful of records for Potter Valley,
      and this is by far the largest group.
      Elsewhere but nearby, the AMERICAN DIPPERS are now feeding young
      at the nest under the old bridge on Potter Valley Road and can be seen
      pretty easily on their comings and goings.

      George Chaniot
      Potter Valley, MEN, CA
    • 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 2 of 11 , Apr 3, 2005
        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 3 of 11 , Apr 8, 2005
          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 4 of 11 , Apr 27, 2006
            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 5 of 11 , Mar 24 11:28 AM
              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 6 of 11 , Apr 1, 2008
                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 7 of 11 , 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 8 of 11 , Apr 9, 2009
                    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 9 of 11 , Apr 14, 2011
                      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 10 of 11 , 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 11 of 11 , Apr 18, 2016
                          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
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