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Re: Eagle, Flicker, Thrush

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  • Jack Monteith
    One of my high school teachers said that he never saw a Magpie while he was growing up in Saskatoon during the 1930s. They were certainly a nuisance to
    Message 1 of 9 , Dec 31, 2010
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      One of my high school teachers said that he never saw a Magpie while he was growing up in Saskatoon during the 1930s. They were certainly a nuisance to livestock around here by the 1950s. Godfrey, Birds of Canada, 1986, says "It's breeding range has expanded eastward and northward within the past last century, and reports indicate more regular winter occurrence eastward and northward of the breeding range."
    • Kevin
      Spending 20 years in NS and 14 years in NF before moving to SK in 1989 I never saw magpies down east. Only when I was birding west of Ontario. However when I
      Message 2 of 9 , Jan 1, 2011
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        Spending 20 years in NS and 14 years in NF before moving to SK in 1989 I never saw magpies down east. Only when I was birding west of Ontario.

        However when I think of magpies historically I think of a painted image in the SK Museum in the First Nations gallery. It shows First Nations killing a number of bison on the plains and in the image there are many magpies feeding on the remains. That always struck me as natural and made me think of this species as a prairie species. Not surprised that Godfrey says it has spread east and north especially with the advent of human habitation and more logically the creator of many animal carcasses - the automobile.

        Kevin in Lumsden


        --- In Saskbirds@yahoogroups.com, "Geoffrey" <gturwin@...> wrote:
        >
        > While I was in Saskatoon this afternoon (December 30th, 2010) I swung by the Feeder at Avenue K & Holiday Park. We saw a beautiful male yellow shafted flicker with a bright red nape, monopolizing one of the suet cages, while a female Downy Woodpecker sat on the other. Nearby was a red breasted nuthatch waiting it's turn to get in on the action. There were several BC Chickadees, actually correction I think they were SASK Chickadees, and about 30 House Sparrows, along with a lonely little female House Finch. As I sat there adding carbon to the atmosphere in my idling SUV, and also warming the sparrows, that flew under my vehicle to warm themselves, in the -18C December afternoon, I caught sight of a 4 year adult bald eagle flapping it's wings as it searched the narrow stretch of as yet unfrozen South Saskatchewan River. It was headed south around 2:34 pm towards the QE II WTP. There was a sun dog (mini-rainbow)suspended in the surrounding ice crystals which seemed to be enveloping the sun which contributed to the magic of the moment. We figured that that was all we would, see, when around 3 pm an American Robin, no, make that a SASK Robin, flew off, and then shortly after that the Varied Thrush made an appearance and we had good looks at it as it alternated between the feeder on the bench and the ground. That was a lifer for my wife. Anyways, after that we saw about 4 magpies in the adjacent neighbourhood, as we headed out and saw 3 ravens going home and one on the way in. Not that many pigeons or anything else visible, unless you know where to look right?
        >
        > Here's a question for any folks who may be tuning in from parts east. I see on the Manitoba Birding page that you get Black Billed Magpies there. How far east does their range extend? We never had them in Eastern Ontario, where I grew up.
        >
        > Geoff Urwin,
        > Warman, SK
        >
      • Rob Parsons
        Hi all, I ve been following this thread with interest. I don t know if Stuart Houston is still alive or not, but many years ago he authored or co-authored a
        Message 3 of 9 , Jan 1, 2011
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          Hi all,

          I've been following this thread with interest. I don't know if Stuart
          Houston is still alive or not, but many years ago he authored or co-authored
          a most informative piece in your excellent provincial publication, the Blue
          Jay. (As an aside, I have subscribed to it for over 20 years.) The name of
          the paper was something like "The Changing Patterns of Corvidae in the
          Prairie Provinces" and it described the initial retreat of magpies to
          extreme western regions with the coming of Europeans & agriculture, followed
          by acclimatization and reclamation of the prairie provinces by magpies.

          As Geoff noted, they occur throughout all of Southern Manitoba. They
          are found regularly at least as far as extreme (north)western Ontario. Many
          Ontario birders go to the Rainy River area in order to see them and add it
          to their provincial lists. I'm guessing Kim's sightings in the Dryden area
          are probably as far east as they regularly get. Any magpies in Quebec would
          be escaped captives or their offspring/descendants. They do not occur there
          naturally.

          Cheers,

          Rob Parsons
          Winnipeg, MB
          CANADA
          parsons8@...
        • Alan Smith
          All: Stuart Houston is very much alive. Amongst many, many things he is marking and tracking Turkey Vultures, and coauthoring the upcoming ``Birds of
          Message 4 of 9 , Jan 1, 2011
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            All:

            Stuart Houston is very much alive. Amongst many, many things he is marking and tracking Turkey Vultures, and coauthoring the upcoming ``Birds of Saskatchewan``.

            Alan R. Smith
            Avonlea, SK

            --- In Saskbirds@yahoogroups.com, Rob Parsons <parsons8@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi all,
            >
            > I've been following this thread with interest. I don't know if Stuart
            > Houston is still alive or not, but many years ago he authored or co-authored
            > a most informative piece in your excellent provincial publication, the Blue
            > Jay. (As an aside, I have subscribed to it for over 20 years.) The name of
            > the paper was something like "The Changing Patterns of Corvidae in the
            > Prairie Provinces" and it described the initial retreat of magpies to
            > extreme western regions with the coming of Europeans & agriculture, followed
            > by acclimatization and reclamation of the prairie provinces by magpies.
            >
            > As Geoff noted, they occur throughout all of Southern Manitoba. They
            > are found regularly at least as far as extreme (north)western Ontario. Many
            > Ontario birders go to the Rainy River area in order to see them and add it
            > to their provincial lists. I'm guessing Kim's sightings in the Dryden area
            > are probably as far east as they regularly get. Any magpies in Quebec would
            > be escaped captives or their offspring/descendants. They do not occur there
            > naturally.
            >
            > Cheers,
            >
            > Rob Parsons
            > Winnipeg, MB
            > CANADA
            > parsons8@...
            >
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