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8989Solitary Sandpiper, Brewer's Sparrow HCP ...information about OC exotics (long)

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  • Tom Ford-Hutchinson
    Sep 1, 2014
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      I was somewhat surprised to find the main lake bed at Huntington Central Park West completely dry and instead transformed into a set of arid grasslands. I found a group of several Savannah sparrows and managed to flush a BREWER’s SPARROW at one point along the south “shore”. I later refound this same bird with Jeff Bray among a flock of juv. Pin-tailed Whydah around the butterfly enclosure. The SOLITARY SANDPIPER continued on the banks of the remaining puddle of water West of the library.

      Full list with photos at ebird;

      Orange Bishops, Pin-tailed Whydah, and Scaly-breasted Munias (formerly Nutmeg Mannikin) were present in decent numbers. I encourage people to submit reports of local exotics to ebird, many of these birds have been present for many years and this ebird data can be used to publish articles on their current status in Southern California. Orange County breeding birds that may soon join the ranks of the munias of countable species under the ABA guidelines include Mitred Parakeet, Northern Red Bishop (formerly Orange Bishop), Pin-tailed Whydah, Egyptian Goose (already countable in Florida), Mandarin Duck (also present around Sonoma County), Lilac-crowned Parrot, and Japanese White-eye.

      Other birds of interest in surrounding counties that occur in OC include Indian Peafowl (a population has existed at Irvine Regional Park in OC since the 1920’s with about 50-75 birds, and also in the San Gabriel valley of Los Angeles), Rose-ringed Parakeet (rarely seen in OC), Nanday Parakeet (formerly Black-hooded, rarely seen in OC), Yellow-chevroned Parakeet (recently reported in OC by Trish), Red-lored Parrot (recently seen in OC and present since the 90’s) and Yellow-headed Parrot (population seems to have died out/not become established). Information about the identification of California parrots/parakeets can be found here; http://www.californiaparrotproject.org/id_guide.html . Other birds present in surrounding counties for some time include Red-Whiskered Bulbul (Los Angeles), White-collared Seedeater (San Diego), and Black-throated Magpie Jay (San Diego).

      There are 8 criteria the ABA uses to judge the establishment of exotics. They can be found here; http://listing.aba.org/criteria-determining-establishment-exotics/ . Note that some of the above birds fit all of these criteria except for the number 8; "A publication, ideally in a peer-reviewed journal or book, describes, how, when, and where the above seven criteria have been met."

      Tom Ford-Hutchinson
      Irvine, CA

      P.S. I received some reports through the grapevine (2nd, 3rd, 4th -hand) recently that included (accuracy not guaranteed);
      A male Indigo Bunting photographed this past summer in the Turtle Rock Development in Irvine, CA
      The continuing $$$ Oriental Pied Hornbill in San Juan Capistrano (story goes that this bird was one of a pair that escaped from a local aviary, the female was retrieved but the male was not -but only after the owner bought another pair and subsequently had to build another aviary for the first one).