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Re: 79th Annual Yosemite Christmas Bird Count Dec 19th 2010

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DATE CHANGE 12-16-10 !! 79th Annual Yosemite Christmas Bird Count Dec 19th 2010
November 05, 2010 07:33PM
I might go to this, so I got the following email:

Dear Prospective Bird Counter:

The 79th annual Yosemite Christmas Bird Count is close at hand, and you are
invited to participate. This year's count will be held on Sunday, December
19. If you wish to attend, please contact Sarah Stock at (209) 379-1435 or
by email at sarah_stock@nps.gov so your name can be added to our list and
we can plan area assignments. These assignments will be made via phone and
email. It is important for you to contact me at least a few days before
December 19 to receive your assignment, but the sooner the better. Also,
please see if you can drum up additional participants from among your
friends and family, the more contacts I can add to the list, the better!
Last year, we had 47 participants who counted and identified 1,771 birds of
59 species across 7 zones in the park. Highlights included Williamson's
sapsucker along the Old Big Oak Flat Road Trail; an orange-crowned warbler
in East Yosemite Valley; three Cassin's finches up on Turtleback Dome; and
four wren species (canyon, Bewick's, house and winter), all in El Portal
except for the winter wren observed on the Old Big Oak Flat Road Trail.
Participants saw species missed the previous year, such as a great blue
heron, northern pygmy-owl, white-headed woodpecker, and cedar waxwing, but
missed the huge flocks of American robins and band-tailed pigeons typical
of other years.

The bird count is an all-day affair. We start shortly after dawn and
continue until around 5 p.m. Participants should dress warmly and wear
sturdy shoes, and be prepared for conditions that can vary greatly
(layering is the key). Bring binoculars, field guides, lunch, and water.
We'd like to have as many people as possible in the field for as long as
possible, but it isn't imperative that every person be out the entire day.
Arrangements can be made for participants who can only be out for part of
the day. If you are one of these people, it is preferable that you begin
at the normal start time for your area (usually as early as 7:00 a.m.) and
end early. A rendezvous with a group later in the day is sometimes
difficult to arrange.

At 5:30 p.m. on the day of the count, we’ll meet at the Girls Club (a.k.a.
the library) in Yosemite Valley for the compilation of results. The Girls
Club is located in Yosemite Village, near the Ranger Club, across the
street from the park's Administration Building, and next to the Yosemite
Institute office. Similar to last year, we will have a potluck style meal.
Please plan on bringing something to share with the group; there’s an
oven/stove at the Girl’s Club if needed. All count participants are
welcome to attend and share your bird observations with the group. When you
respond, please let me know if you’ll be attending the compilation.

As in past years, a participation fee of $5.00 is due from every counter.
Please pay this fee to your area leader on the count day. The fee helps
support the publication of count results in National Audubon Society Field
Note, which all counters will receive, and which will give the highlights
of the 2010 International CBC you will be a part of.

We'll hope for good weather, but we'll count birds on Sunday, December 19
come rain, snow, or shine. We look forward to your participation. I will
send subsequent reminders, but for now, please mark your calendars and let
me know if you're planning on joining us!

Sincerely,
Sarah Stock, Wildlife Biologist and Count Compiler

Sarah Stock, Wildlife Biologist
Resources Management and Science
Yosemite National Park
5083 Foresta Road, P.O. Box 700
El Portal, California 95318
phone: (209) 379-1435 fax: (209) 379- 1131



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/15/2010 01:47PM by hotrod4x5.
Re: 79th Annual Yosemite Christmas Bird Count Dec 19th 2010
November 09, 2010 12:17PM
Has anyone ever done this before?
Re: 79th Annual Yosemite Christmas Bird Count Dec 19th 2010
November 23, 2010 12:35PM
We have decided to participate in this, changed our arrival date so we could be there the night before. Anyone else doing this?
Re: 79th Annual Yosemite Christmas Bird Count Dec 19th 2010
December 06, 2010 07:56AM
It's not too late to sign up! If you come, you'll get to sample some of my GF's wonderful homemade soup. Yummy
avatar Re: 79th Annual Yosemite Christmas Bird Count Dec 19th 2010
December 07, 2010 07:14AM
I applaud you for doing this. Interesting that they continue until well after sunset.
(this time o year... I'm in my sleepy bag by then wink)

You can tell them you think you saw a
Chick-on is looking at you!

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: 79th Annual Yosemite Christmas Bird Count Dec 19th 2010
December 07, 2010 12:50PM
Thanks, I'll ask the leaders if they have ever seen a chick-on. I think they stop counting around 5, so right up to sunset.
Re: 79th Annual Yosemite Christmas Bird Count Dec 19th 2010
December 15, 2010 01:44PM
The date has been changed, and it is TOMORROW! I won't be able attend unfortunately. Oh well, next year maybe.

Hello Bird Lovers,

Because of the weather forecast, we've had to change course at the last
minute. In the extended forecast, there's one tiny window of dry weather,
and it's TOMORROW, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 16. Carpe diem for the birds! So
far, the weather is looking spectacular for tomorrow, and the birds are
sure to take advantage of it. All the same, it will be chilly, so please
be prepared with your winter-time attire, including fuzzy socks, gloves,
and hat. A thermos of hot beverage is always a good call.

After the day of birding, the Compilation Dinner will be at 5:30pm at my
house in Yosemite Valley (Girl's Club/Yosemite Valley Library is
unavailable). My address is 9005 Lost Arrow Road, which is located two
houses east of Yosemite Valley Elementary School and my home phone is
209-372-8966. Because of the short notice, we'll forego the potluck, and
instead I'll bring some pizza.

I have attached a Gate Pass for anyone coming in from outside the park.

Feel free to join any of the Leaders below in their respective locations
and times. Here is the revised schedule:

El Portal - Leader: Michael Ross
Meeting Time/Location: 0830 at EP Community Hall

Foresta - Leader: Andy Steele
Meeting Time/Location: 0730 & 0945 at Triangle, entrance to Big Meadow
(before red barn)

Yosemite Valley West - Leader: Jeff Davis
Meeting Time/Location: 0700 at Tunnel View

Yosemite Valley East - Leader: Sarah Stock
Meeting Time/Location: 0830 at Visitor's Center

Yosemite West/Badger Pass - Leader: Steve Thompson
Meeting Time/Location: 0830 at Chinquapin

Thanks for your patience everyone! If you are unable to attend this year,
then we'll look forward to you attending next year.

Looking forward to a whole day of celebrating birds in Yosemite,
Sarah, Wildlife Biologist and Count Compiler

(See attached file: Gate Pass for Yosemite Christmas Bird Count 2010.PDF)

Sarah Stock, Wildlife Biologist
Resources Management and Science
Yosemite National Park
5083 Foresta Road, P.O. Box 700
El Portal, California 95318
phone: (209) 379-1435 fax: (209) 379- 1131
avatar Re: DATE CHANGE 12-16-10 !! 79th Annual Yosemite Christmas Bird Count Dec 19th 2010
December 15, 2010 03:47PM
I could attend now, but it's going to rain too hard to make it worth it.

I was on a practice Mariposa bird count yesterday. I counted over 20 species of birds. I think the total species count was over 50. It would have been much higher total bird count if the weather was better. Most of the birds were hunkered down out of the rain and cold.

The peacocks I spotted did not count. Neither did the green bellied huey.

The Mariposa Audubon is doing the second day of their Raptor Run on Friday. We did the first day two weeks ago. We saw over 50 raptors of at least 10 species.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/15/2010 03:49PM by Dave.
avatar Re: DATE CHANGE 12-16-10 !! 79th Annual Yosemite Christmas Bird Count Dec 19th 2010
December 19, 2010 08:00AM
Davey,
You see any Pink Flamingos? Got a pict. of the Green Bellied Huey? wink
I applaud the bird watchers out there. I find it extremely difficult to ID some of the
birds out there. I keep telling myself I'm gonna bring some of my field guides
with me and find a nice place and watch the birdies instead of hiking around all
day... someday I'll do that...
I'm curious about the identification process, even here we had a discussion about
a turkey vulture and there was question about if it really was.
Can you give some more insight? I would think there is a lot of room for mis-ids.

The Old Dude mis-id'd this bird near GP earlier this year:
Had to tell him that it was a Blue Robin





Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: DATE CHANGE 12-16-10 !! 79th Annual Yosemite Christmas Bird Count Dec 19th 2010
December 20, 2010 09:55AM
Quote
chick-on
Davey,
You see any Pink Flamingos? Got a pict. of the Green Bellied Huey? wink
I applaud the bird watchers out there. I find it extremely difficult to ID some of the
birds out there. I keep telling myself I'm gonna bring some of my field guides
with me and find a nice place and watch the birdies instead of hiking around all
day... someday I'll do that...
I'm curious about the identification process, even here we had a discussion about
a turkey vulture and there was question about if it really was.
Can you give some more insight? I would think there is a lot of room for mis-ids.

The Old Dude mis-id'd this bird near GP earlier this year:
Had to tell him that it was a Blue Robin

Ok, I guess I'll ask again...

I'm curious about the identification process, even here we had a discussion about
a turkey vulture and there was question about if it really was.
Can you give some more insight? I would think there is a lot of room for mis-ids.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: DATE CHANGE 12-16-10 !! 79th Annual Yosemite Christmas Bird Count Dec 19th 2010
December 20, 2010 12:16PM
Quote
chick-on
Ok, I guess I'll ask again...

I'm curious about the identification process, even here we had a discussion about
a turkey vulture and there was question about if it really was.
Can you give some more insight? I would think there is a lot of room for mis-ids.

In one of these counts if you can positively ID a bird - by sight or call - you mark it down. These are most often social events and you are not alone. There is some discussion and when a consensus is reached, the bird is marked down. Usually they split into groups; an expert with some not so experts.

On the 14th when I went on the Mariposa Christmass Bird Count I and another non expert were alone. We positively many birds of several different species. We also counted over 150 "little brown birds" and the Green Belllied Huey (which was on it's way back from the rescue on El Capitan). We couldn't positively ID those little brown birds so we did not mark them down.

On that count we were given two sheeds of paper with bird names on them. Next to each name was a space to put a hash mark for each positive ID of that bird.

Here is what the instructions said about those sheets; "The tally sheets that are included with your package of material should make it easier to post your sightings. The bird species on both pages are listed in the same order that they appear in today’s standard field guides. The first page contains those bird species that you are most likely to see and/or hear (here in after, observe) in our count circle. The second page contains bird species that you might observe but are not as common in the area of our count circle. Having the bird species listed in this way should reduce your need to go back and forth between the pages."

No one is perfect and no one expects that every bird counted be debated to the Nth degree as to it's ID. No one expects EVERY bird in the area to be counted. It's a survey, a count, not something that must be so exact that no one has any fun. No one would mid ID a turkey vulture since they headed for warmer climates months ago.
avatar Re: DATE CHANGE 12-16-10 !! 79th Annual Yosemite Christmas Bird Count Dec 19th 2010
December 20, 2010 01:17PM
Thank you Dave.

w/r to the turkey vulture.. I was referring to this thread:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?1,5758,5758#msg-5758

(dang, time flies)



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: DATE CHANGE 12-16-10 !! 79th Annual Yosemite Christmas Bird Count Dec 19th 2010
December 20, 2010 02:20PM
Quote
chick-on
Thank you Dave.

w/r to the turkey vulture.. I was referring to this thread:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?1,5758,5758#msg-5758

(dang, time flies)

The problem with a single photo is that it's hard to gauge the size, it's flight pattern, other habits, and often the colors. What could be a light phase red tail hawk could be a dark phase with poor lighting.
avatar Re: DATE CHANGE 12-16-10 !! 79th Annual Yosemite Christmas Bird Count Dec 19th 2010
December 20, 2010 03:06PM
Chick-on would probably be better off if he worried more about spotting/identifying chicken hawks than agonizing over turkey vultures.
avatar Re: DATE CHANGE 12-16-10 !! 79th Annual Yosemite Christmas Bird Count Dec 19th 2010
December 20, 2010 04:31PM
Quote
szalkowski
Chick-on would probably be better off if he worried more about spotting/identifying chicken hawks than agonizing over turkey vultures.

Chicken hawks are easy to find. They are endemic to Washington D.C. but at certain times of the year migrate to all areas of the country.
avatar Re: DATE CHANGE 12-16-10 !! 79th Annual Yosemite Christmas Bird Count Dec 19th 2010
December 20, 2010 04:54PM
Quote
szalkowski
Chick-on would probably be better off if he worried more about spotting/identifying chicken hawks than agonizing over turkey vultures.

http://www.ske-art.com/skestuff9/B002OZB9MM
avatar Re: DATE CHANGE 12-16-10 !! 79th Annual Yosemite Christmas Bird Count Dec 19th 2010
December 20, 2010 11:52AM
Quote
chick-on
The Old Dude mis-id'd this bird near GP earlier this year:
Had to tell him that it was a Blue Robin
I'd say it's a Western Bluebird.
avatar Re: DATE CHANGE 12-16-10 !! 79th Annual Yosemite Christmas Bird Count Dec 19th 2010
December 20, 2010 12:44PM
Well Dave, we were actually in northern India so I'd say Billy was correct. It's a Blue Robin that has had its bill bobbed, it's chest dyed, and shrunk in someone's dryer.



Old Dude
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