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  • larry arnold
    Jun 1, 2007
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      Sorry to go on and on about these birds, but some of you have a keen interest in this unfolding drama.  Thus...
      1. Rich Levad has volunteered to forward my posts to CObirds, so hopefully there will be no duplication of my yakking behavior.  Sincere thanks, Rich!
      2. Interesting information was emailed to me this morning by Gregg Goodrich, and Gregg I hope you don't mind if I share your timely note:
      Found these interesting facts on LAGO on Wikipedia.  Sounds like it [LAGO] does not hybridize very often. "The greatest eastward irruptions often occur in wet periods and are synchronized with irruptions of other seedeating birds such as the Red-breasted Nuthatch, the Red Crossbill, and the other North American goldfinches.  This species is remarkably homogeneous, with no subspecies, and according to one study, no genetic variation at the 23 loci tested."  (Davis 2001, citing Marten and Johnson 1986).  From Davis, Jeff N. (June 2001). "A Closer Look: Lawrence's Goldfinch". Birding 33 (3): 212-221.
      3. Our male LAGO just now showed up again at 1100 hrs today 01 June and was in view for 4.5 minutes.  He followed the female LEGO to our thistle feeder, and when she visited our water/drip feature he followed her there but did not use the water (NOTE: this is in agreement with field research reported by E.L. Coutlee, who notes that LAGO prefers pools of still water, not moving water or bird baths with drippers).  He then followed her back to the thistle, where they fed for a couple more minutes.  When she departed, he followed her to an elm tree and perched side by side about 15 ft away from me.  They then proceeded into "billing" behavior, or "rapid mandibulation", which is another step in the process of pair formation and bonding among the Cardueline finches .  After billing for 5-10 seconds, they departed with LAGO following LEGO northward over the top of our house.  My face is beginning to hurt again from all this smiling!!   =)
      I hope Tony Leukering and others having an interest in behavior stuff get to see this note.
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Friday, June 01, 2007 9:25 AM
      Subject: [wsbn] Re: LAGO returns!!

      I have not been home much this morning, but a visiting birder from Glenwood Springs recorded that LAGO was at our thistle feeders again twice, at 0820 hrs and 0823 hrs, for brief visits.
      HELP!  I know there are still front range peoples who would like to see this bird, but I am not on CObirds.  wondering if someone could be a designated forwarder of my updates to CObirds?  but if that person is not at their computer, how then can I quickly convey updates?
      Sincere thanks,


      p.s. Our back yard is still open to birders from dawn to dusk!
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Friday, June 01, 2007 6:49 AM
      Subject: LAGO returns!!

      Having not seen our male Lawrence's Goldfinch since 0620 hrs on May 29, the bird was back at our thistle feeders this morning Jun 01 at 0630 hrs!!  He was with a female LEGO and followed her (in typical "following flight" fashion) away from the feeders after two minutes of thistling (new word meaning dining on thistle seed).
      For those of you still wanting to see this bird, I can make no predictions as to if / when / or how frequently he might return.  During our best days last week, he was quite regular in his visits and coming every 30 to 60 minutes.