Re: [OrangeCountyBirding] Pine Siskins
- Well, I will combine my own semi-educated opinion with what I've heard from
others to answer Nancy's questions about WHY all the mountain birds are
showing up places other than the mountins.
Theory 1: Lack of sufficient rain (dare I say drought) has caused a shortage
of food sources in the local mountains, forcing birds like chikadees,
siskins, and crossbills down into the coastal areas from the San Gabriel, San
Bernardino, San Jacinto and Santa Ana Mountains.
Theory 2: Extensive fires last summer in the Rockies and elsewhere in the
western portion of the United States have forced birds from those areas to
travel long distances to find sustainable winter food sources.
Theory 3: Both of the above.
Theory 4: None of the above.
For this reason, birds like snowy owls, chickadees, crossbills, etc., would
be most affected by these theories. Birds like curlew sandpiper, however,
which rarely but regularly show up along our coast from Siberia are probably
not a result of this phenomenon. If theory 2 is correct, we should be paying
special attention to determine whether or not any of the birds showing up are
of the Rocky Mtn subspecies.
These are just my random rambling theories. I would like to hear what anyone
else has to say about this.
- To Tom and anyone else with information on the subject:
The Snowy Owl was mentioned as a possible montane species showing up in
lower elevations this year. Does anyone know where I might find a Snowy?
This is a bird I have always wanted to see!!!!!!!!! Any reliable information
would be appreciated.
- At 11:54 PM 12/10/00, Nancy and Richard Kenyon wrote:
>The Snowy Owl was mentioned as a possible montane species showing up inNancy,
>lower elevations this year. Does anyone know where I might find a Snowy?
>This is a bird I have always wanted to see!!!!!!!!! Any reliable information
>would be appreciated.
Snowy Owl is not a montane species. It is a tundra species and prefers the
shoreline. Its primary diet is lemmings, and it disperses south when the
lemming population crashes. There are currently Snowy Owls along the New
England shore and I think there may be some in Washington and Oregon.
A nice article about Snowy Owls in general, and my sister finding one in
particular, is in the following article from the Hartford Courant.
Steve Sosensky, photographer www.sosensky.com
10834 Blix Street #213 818-508-4946
Toluca Lake, CA 91602 34*09'02" N, 118*22'47" W
Audubon in So. California www.SoCalAudubon.org/socal/
San Fernando Valley AS www.SanFernandoValleyAudubon.org/sfvas/