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Re: [kerncobirding] Canebrake ER - 29 Jun 07

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  • yakimapark@aol.com
    Based on our regional biological survey work this year wildlife populations are going to be hurting. Bird populations will drop because of the drought. Like
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 29, 2007
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      Based on our regional biological survey work this year wildlife populations
      are going to be hurting. Bird populations will drop because of the drought.
      Like in 1991 when we had 1.5 inches of rain at Elk Hills, in the late summer
      and fall we started finding owls and hawks who had died from starvation
      (assumption based on no obvious other cause and keels with little "meat" on
      them.) I would expect something similar this fall. Only this year- apparently we
      also have impacts of losses from WNV.

      Annual vegetation barely grew and germinated at all this year in the
      southern San Joaquin Valley or in the Mojave. Very few annual forbs germinated at
      all- mostly weedy species except for plants that were in dips, draws, pockets
      that collect moisture and north facing slopes.

      North of Coalinga, it was a little wetter and more annual grass growth was
      evident. But south of there in many areas in the SJV, the standing crop is
      mostly from last year.

      East of Bakersfield, we already have started to see evidence of birds and
      squirrels pecking. digging deeply in the soil looking for seedbank seeds, as
      annual seeds and fruits are not available this year for the most part.

      Its going to be a tough year for birds. And now bears and other wildlife
      are fleeing into the desert from the Oak Creek Cyn fire. So that will be
      interesting!

      I saw a Swainson's thrush in Feb near Tehachapi, on one of our project sites
      and I have seen tri-colored black birds twice in areas I wouldn't expect
      them higher in the hills and away from water. Had Swainson's thrush in my
      backyard for several weeks and heard one singing again last week (some mt. bird?).
      Also had black headed phoebe hunting the sidewalk and water over my
      swimming pool and my neighbors pool as well- Have never in seven years seen that.
      There are fewer dragon and damsel flies this year and during blunt-nosed
      leopard lizard surveys, grasshopper populations were spotty and medium to low
      compared to two years ago,

      My resident mockingbird is also imitating the resident's robin alarm call??!
      I had never noticed that before. That probably has nothing to do with
      nothing.

      Good birding! Keep cool and start hydrating before you go into the field!!
      Marcia Wolfe



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