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More Tricolors in Potter Valley

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  • chaniot@pacific.net
    Fri, 30 Apr 2004 -- This evening I found a large flock of about 150 TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS at the end of Burris Lane in Potter Valley. This flock was rolling
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 30 10:25 PM
      Fri, 30 Apr 2004 -- This evening I found a large flock of about 150
      TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS at the end of Burris Lane in Potter Valley. This
      flock was rolling through the short grass pastures beyond the gate and the
      vineyards. The regular occurence of Tricolors here is a new phenomenon of
      the last several months. I suspect that they are breeding nearby -
      possibly at a pond on private property over the hill beyond the gate and
      which cannot be seen from public access. Some of the movement of Tricolors
      this evening seemed to be to and from that area. Several years ago I saw
      that pond and noted that it was heavily ringed with cattails - unlike the
      visible pond.

      George Chaniot
      Potter Valley, MEN, CA
    • chaniot@pacific.net
      Mon, 24 May 2004 -- Last Wednesday Jim Armstrong and I confirmed the nesting of several hundred TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS at a pond on private property in SE
      Message 2 of 2 , May 24, 2004
        Mon, 24 May 2004 -- Last Wednesday Jim Armstrong and I confirmed the
        nesting of several hundred TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS at a pond on private
        property in SE Potter Valley. This morning I saw several small parties of
        Tricolors in the hayfields west of West Road about 2.5 miles from that
        colony. Following up on their movements I discovered a second nesting
        colony near a vineyard pond 1/4 mile N of the cemetery. The birds were
        clustered in a hedge of Himayalan blackberries on the south edge of the
        pond which is right along West Road. I would guess a minimum number of 200
        birds here. Tricolors were drinking and gathering nesting material along
        the edges of the pond and foraging in the vineyards to the west and north.
        Males were noisily displaying in the blackberries and along the power cable
        right above. I saw at least a dozen females carrying nesting material into
        the blackberries. This colony appears to be in an earlier stage of nesting
        than the first colony, which is now busy feeding many juveniles. There may
        have been several independent juveniles at the second colony, suggesting
        that this group may have bred elsewhere this year. I pass this area several
        times a week, including last Wed, Thu, Sat, and Sun, and I don't think I
        would have missed them that many times.
        These Tricolors are easily seen from West Road, but there is no
        convenient parking place close by. I suggest parking at the cemetery and
        walking north on West Road about 1/4 mile to the pond. Be very careful with
        the traffic. I have previously been asked not to park near the vineyard
        gate to the north of the pond as it interferes with vineyard activities.
        All of the nest building activity I saw was in the first 50 yards of the
        blackberry hedge. There are some photo opportunities here, but I have read
        that Tricolor colonies may be vulnerable to disturbance at this stage. Be
        careful.

        George Chaniot
        Potter Valley, MEN, CA

        From Route 20 about 6 miles east of 101 turn north on Potter Valley Road.
        After about 2.25 miles turn left onto West(side) Road. The cemetery is
        about 2.5 miles further.
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