Another good day

I must admit that I’ve been somewhat envious of the birds that people have been reporting lately, but today’s ride made up for it somewhat. There’s a set of “buggy” trees at Willow Lane athletic complex, and I’ve been finding some interesting birds mixed in with the Cedar Waxwings and the E. Starlings, including Cassin’s Finch,  Bullock’s Oriole, and Cassin’s Vireo. But today was a topper. The waxwings and starlings were there, but they were joined by Lazuli Buntings, and my FOY Western Tanager and Evening Grosbeak. But the real kicker was when I was tracking a bird flying from one tree to another and saw a trio of White Pelicans flying over the river. I’ve only seen White Pelicans a few times in all my bike rides along the river, so, needless to say, I was excited. My final tally was 45 species in 12 miles.

Tom McCabe, Boise

Chipping Sparrows

Bill & Larry’s recent posts re: numbers of birds was proven this evening. Old habits are hard to break, as I’m an old “Great Backyard Bird Count” observer & record highest numbers of a species seen at one time. This evening, was walking on the place & saw a bird fly up to the top of a sagebrush, a Chipping Sparrow, in full breeding plumage.

As I kept watching, saw 3-4 others. Then, took about 3 steps forward & the ground exploded with Chipping Sparrows flying up. Saw at least 30 in flight. If I had just counted what I saw initially, number would have been off by at least 25. 

Point of numbers is well taken. Remember reading a study from Cornell about Chickadees & it was found that for each one seen, there are at least 5 others. So, the 6 I usually spot, means at least 30 individuals are hitting the feeders. 

Brian Carrigan

Re: A Change, and default IBLE settings ??

I’m with you, Bill, on under-counts of feeder birds, because a) what we see at one time is just the minimum that are present, but it’s a start, b) mark/recapture estimates (e.g., banding) almost always reveal that there are more birds about, c) studies of energetics (food consumption minus losses to thieves) also supports a higher number…  but it’s a tricky thing to evaluate, re: locals vs. migrants….. for hums, various eggspurts (tisk) have proffered multiples of 3x – 10x over the years, where x is what you might see at any one time…  and the larger multiple represents a better estimate of numbers of birds present….so, is this perfectly ambiguous?  haha
NOW listening to screech-owl outside my office window, and our local “branchers” (fledged great-horned owls) have dispersed from their home tree, with loud incoherent begging calls nearby
good morning, all
Cliff, does our current listserv have a setting we can change?  when we hit “reply” many times we might be intending to reply offline to the sender, not to the group…..  RL and I have both done this recently, inadvertently reply to the group, whereas the old IBLE default was to the sender I believe.  Currently, we have to delete the group reply and enter the sender’s email…  otherwise the group will receive what is meant as “private offline replies” which might not be suitable reading by our IBLE audience…  does this make sense, or am i again being ambiguous?