Date   

Lerp Info...

Robert A. Hamilton <robbham@...>
 

Hi Jim & the rest of SB,

FYI here's a copy of what Kimball Garrett posted to Calbird on 3 Sept.
1999:

-Robb Hamilton

Calbird:
Most of you are aware of the extent to which birds in the coastal
regions of California exploit eucalyptus trees for nectar, particularly
in winter. Searching groves of flowering eucalyptus has become a
requisite modus operandi on Christmas Bird Counts, with the rewards
often being good counts of overwintering hummingbirds, orioles,
tanagers, grosbeaks, and wood-warblers. Given that eucalyptus are
among the dominant trees in many urban and suburban regions of
California, it is hard to imagine birding in the region before
(and after?) the establishment of these exotic trees.

You might have heard of a recent insect pest that is affecting
(and in some cases decimating) eucalyptus trees in southern
California. It is the Red Gum Psyllid, Glycaspis brimblecombei.
The larvae of these psyllids excrete a small conical "lerp" (made of
sticky, sugary "honeydew") that encapsulates the larva. An affected
eucalyptus is easy to spot because of the sticky lerps on the
leaves, a virtual "rain" of sticky honeydew from the tree, and,
ultimately, lots of dead leaves and even complete mortality.
Infestations grow fastest in the warmer months, and are
exacerbated by drought and other stresses. For example,
Elysian Park (near downtown Los Angeles, and so productive
last winter for orioles, tanagers, and warblers) has been
severely impacted, with hundreds of apparently dying
eucalyptus trees. Maintenance agencies will almost
certainly cut down affected trees rather than risk injury
to the public from falling branches, etc. Some eucalyptus
species are more susceptible to this pest than others;
impacted species include Red Gum Eucalyptus, sugar gum, blue
gum, and a few other.

For more information on this pest, see the Los Angeles County
Agricultural Commission's web site: http://acwm.co.la.ca.us

Where it gets interesting is that there are entire guilds of birds
in Australasia which exploit these lerps for food. Such feeding
habits are especially typical of honeyeaters and pardalotes.
I'm not suggesting that we import these birds, but it will be
very interesting to see if our native birds will exploit this
potentially abundant food source. So I urge all of you who bird
in a favorite park or other site with infested eucalyptus trees
to pay attention to this.

Furthermore, should this infestation result in widespread loss of
large numbers of "our" eucalyptus trees, then the ramifications
for overwintering hummingbirds, orioles, tanagers, and wood-warblers
are potentially severe (though one might view this as more of a
"readjustment" to pre-European conditions). These things are
hard to monitor, so birders this winter should pay close attention
to bird numbers in affected areas.

G'day,

Kimball Garrett


Re: LERPS

Jim Greaves <greaves@...>
 

Today's ebirding digest brought up an interesting point - from Robb
Hamilton, who expressed that it does not surprise him that birds are
slurpin the lerp...

Meaning no disrespect, I have a couple of questions and a comment on the
subject -

1. what is a lerp?

2. how does one know the trees are "infested"?

3. is it clear the birds are focusing their feeding "solely" on lerps and
not some other organism(s) (in addition to lerps)?

4. regarding Robb's lack of surprise, it surprises me- why? because ,
after all these years (the past 20+), up until last week, NO ONE EVER
MENTIONED LERPS, instead ALL the talk has been about eucalyptus nectar!

Happy daze!

Jim


Re: more lerping Yellow Warblers

Patrick McNulty
 

This evening about 6:45 at Stow House, the top 20 feet or so of
probably the same row of Eucalypts (between the parking lot and
the train tracks) contained at least 15 and maybe 20 Yellow
Warblers. Their movements were too rapid and erratic for an easy
count. Also a few tanagers and some House Finches, but mainly
Yellow Warblers. The grove had been very quiet at 6pm when I
arrived.

Patrick

"Robert A. Hamilton" wrote:


Hi All,

In a 3 September message to Calbird, Kimball Garrett asked people to
consider monitoring bird use of lerp-infested eucalyptus groves. In
Davis, Steve Hampton indicated heavy use of infested trees by Yellow
Warblers, House Sparrows, and various other species (migratory,
resident, and exotic). This past weekend, at Stow House in Goleta, I
noted about 8 Yellow Warblers foraging in a grove of infested eucs;
other migrants doing the same included 2+ Orange-crowned Warblers, a
Nashville Warbler, 2 Townsend's Warblers, a Hermit Warbler, two Wilson's
Warbler, five Western Tanagers, a Black-headed Grosbeak, a Lazuli
Bunting, and two Bullock's Orioles. A Virginia's Warbler was reported
there early last week, and undoubtedly many other species are slurping
lerps.

At Refugio State Beach (west of Goleta), an infested grove was being
used by at least four Yellow Warblers -- among a few other species
foraging in these trees I was a little surprised to see two House
Sparrows. I notice that Steve has seen 1-10 House Sparrows foraging in
his trees, so maybe it's not so surprising...

Regards,
Robb Hamilton
Trabuco Canyon
robbham@...

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Patrick McNulty W: (805) 893-4165
Santa Barbara. CA H: (805) 967-9900
mail: mcnulty@...


Re: [CALBIRD] eucs and lerps and birds

Robert A. Hamilton <robbham@...>
 

Hi All,

In a 3 September message to Calbird, Kimball Garrett asked people to
consider monitoring bird use of lerp-infested eucalyptus groves. In
Davis, Steve Hampton indicated heavy use of infested trees by Yellow
Warblers, House Sparrows, and various other species (migratory,
resident, and exotic). This past weekend, at Stow House in Goleta, I
noted about 8 Yellow Warblers foraging in a grove of infested eucs;
other migrants doing the same included 2+ Orange-crowned Warblers, a
Nashville Warbler, 2 Townsend's Warblers, a Hermit Warbler, two Wilson's
Warbler, five Western Tanagers, a Black-headed Grosbeak, a Lazuli
Bunting, and two Bullock's Orioles. A Virginia's Warbler was reported
there early last week, and undoubtedly many other species are slurping
lerps.

At Refugio State Beach (west of Goleta), an infested grove was being
used by at least four Yellow Warblers -- among a few other species
foraging in these trees I was a little surprised to see two House
Sparrows. I notice that Steve has seen 1-10 House Sparrows foraging in
his trees, so maybe it's not so surprising...

Regards,
Robb Hamilton
Trabuco Canyon
robbham@...


S.B's CBC

Joan E. Lentz <jelentz@...>
 

Hi Birders! Well, it's decided. After much agonizing on my part & with
input from as many people as possible & considering the availability of a
room for the compilation dinner at the Museum, we are holding the Santa
Barbara Christmas Bird Count on SUNDAY, JANUARY 2, 2000.
Please mark your calendars accordingly. I know this will be good news to
some of you & a real pain for others, but PLEASE WE NEED YOU for this
millenium effort! Thanks so much. Joan Lentz


Black and White at Carp

hugh ranson <urrf@...>
 

Sorry this is late getting on; I don't have e-mail at home. On Saturday evening I had a black and white warbler in the cottonwoods at 6th Street on Carpinteria Creek. There were many western migrants between 6th and 8th Street including two willow flys.

Hugh Ranson

______________________________________________________


monterey

Bill Murdoch
 

Hi,

I'm going to Asilomar next week and will have a car. Does anyone have
suggestions for good birding spots in the area, especially for species that
might not get down here?

Bill M


Lark Bunting

Joan E. Lentz <jelentz@...>
 

This a.m., Sunday, I had an (imm. female) Lark Bunting at the confluence of
Maria Ygnacio & Atascadero Crks. The bird was in the dead, twiggy stuff on
the north bank of Maria Ygnacio bet/ the bike bridge & the So. Patterson
Ave. bridge.


sunday at El Capitan State Beach

Patrick McNulty
 

This morning, Sunday, Bill and Joan Murdoch, George and Maxine
Roland, and I were at El Capitan. We arrived about 7:30 and
found two other birders at the amphitheatre who had just seen the
Prothonotory Warbler in the "Catalina Cherry" bush at its western
edge. It reappeared briefly there about 8 am but was seen by
only part of our group. We could not find it again until about 9
am, when we found it moving around between the trees opposite
campsite 27, the trees and shrubs surrounding campsite 28, and
the berry bush in front of the restrooms across from 28, when we
got several good looks.

There was also a brief appearance by a Virginia's warbler on the
hillside across from 27.

Many other warblers, tanagers, grosbeaks (only BH that we could
find), Warbling vireos, some White-crowned sparrows, and lots of
other bird activity.

--
Patrick McNulty W: (805) 893-4165
Santa Barbara. CA H: (805) 967-9900
mail: mcnulty@...


Atascadero Creek Sun.

Barbara Millett <millett@...>
 

Along Atascadero Creek this morning between Patterson and the check dam
were a Peregrine Falcon, Common Snipe, and other migrants such as Lazuli
Bunting, BH and Blue Grosbeaks, and Western Tanagers. Also 6-8 Black
Swifts were seen flying over the area.

Barb Millett
Santa Barbara, CA
millett@...


Hermit Thrush at El Cap.

GeorgeR244@...
 

Add Hermit Thrush to the Sunday morning list for El Capitan. Based on Paul
Lehman's book, isn't this quite early? ...george roland georger244@...


Sunday birds

brad hines <bkhnca@...>
 

Hi All,  I was able to spend some time birding the VAFB ponds this morning. No large flocks to report but I did see the following:  White-Winged Dove, Red-Eyed Vireo, Blackpoll Warbler, 1 calling  ?? Warbler, 2 Laz Buntings, and a Say's Phoebe. Two Bairds Sandpipers along with many peeps remained at Ocean Pk. }BRAD}}


Sunday in Goleta.........

Kathleen L. Whitney <kwhit@...>
 

Rob Hamilton and I birded the Glen Annie Golfcourse this morning and found
an Indigo Bunting. Winter birds are beginning to appear; Lincoln's Sparrow
and White-crowned Sparrow have both returned. We also had Say's Phoebe and
Cedar Waxwings.

The really happening spot was Lake Los Carneros - at
one point the trees near Stowe House were literally vibrating with birds,
mostly bushtits, Warbling Vireos, and Western Tanagers but also a Hermit
Warbler and at least one very interesting Dendroica warbler that got away.
This bird had a yellow belly (seemed more extensively yellow than
Townsend's) with heavy black streaking. The face of this elusive bird was
not seen. The dying eucs near the parking lot also had plenty of action -
Rob turned up a Nashville Warbler there. Good birding everyone!


Re: "white" shearwater

jcwings@pronet.net <jcwings@...>
 

I didn't have time to look this up before but I did find a notation on albinism in Sooty Shearwater in the National Audubon Society's Encyclopedia of North American Birds by John K. Terres:
 
    "A number of partial albinos reported; white most often on head and neck, although whole body may be pied"

There is no mention of albinism in Harrison's "Seabirds" nor is there an illustration of what a "pied" individual might look like. Rich Stallcup's "Ocean Birds of the Nearshore Pacific" mentions; "symmetrically leucistic birds occur rarely and have been mistaken for other species, even the flashy Cape Petrel (Daption capense). Although, the illustration of a Cape Petrel in "Seabirds" doesn't look at all like the bird we observed off the SMRE. It was certainly just an odd looking Sooty. Just wanted to share that.

I also forgot to mention that as we were looking for a lifer Tricolored Blackbird for Dave's friend from CO, we found a flock of mixed blackbirds near the intersection of Highway 1 and Black Road just east of Santa Maria which contained the Tri's and at least four female Yellow-headed Blackbirds.

Jamie


Re: Prothonotary Warbler

Kathleen L. Whitney <kwhit@...>
 

Dave Compton and I saw the Prothonotary Warbler again this morning at El
Capitan, this time it was west of the amphitheater with a small warbler
flock. It appears to be a female. We also found a Rose-breasted Grosbeak
- this one was just east of the amphitheater. The Tennessee Warbler did
not make an appearance but it remains very birdy there, especially around
the campground - lots of warblers, Yellow, Wilson's, Townsend's, and a
Black-throated Grey and other migrants as well (Western Wood Pewees and
Tanagers etc.) altogether worth the drive!

At 19:51 15.9.1999 -0700, you wrote:

Rebecca Coulter and I saw the Prothonotary Warbler at El Capitan Beach
State Park Wednesday afternoon. The bird was in a large, mixed warbler
flock near campsite 12.

Guy Tingos
Santa Barbara, CA
gtingos@...




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9/17 County Birds

jcwings@pronet.net <jcwings@...>
 

Hello all,

Some of you may remember Dave Quesenberry. Dave is visiting CA with a
birding friend this week in search of CA lifers. I decided to tag along
as they birded the south coast. We stopped at Gaviota, Refugio, and El
Cap today in search of migrants.

The only bird worth mentioning at Gaviota was a single Vaux's Swift.

Refugio had a few migrant warblers in the small willow growth near the
entrance to the campground. In a flock of blackbirds we found a
Bobolink.

At El Capitan we located a Tennessee Warbler in a mixed flock (Wilson's,
Yellows, Or-crowns) near the creek mouth. We also found the Prothonotary
Warbler feeding in a Catalina Cherry bush with Western Tanagers and
Black-headed Grosbeaks next to the amphitheater. Also spotted was a
(possible) Dusky Flycatcher in the lower campground area. Remember, your
entrance fee into any of these beaches will get you into all of the
others for the day.

Santa Maria River estuary had two Red Knots, and one Dunlin. Found
within the massive flock of Sooty Shearwaters just offshore was an
almost entirely white shearwater except for a black trailing edge to the
wing. There was a small amount of dark mottling on the neck too. We
suspected a partial albinistic Sooty (?). Has anyone else ever seen
something like this before? It vaguely looked like a Streaked Shearwater
but whiter. If a bird with albinism like this is possible, how many of
these are misidentified as something exceptionally rare?

Jamie Chavez
jcwings@...


Thursday birds

brad hines <bkhnca@...>
 

Good Evening All,     I  checked El Cap this morning for lingering Protho Warbler and other goodies. The flock was feeding in trees near campsite 9 and amphitheater. Protho was observed the entire time at site 9. Good close-up views from 7-7:30. Lots of migrants including: Nashville, Yellow, Wilsons Warblers,also WeTanagers, BH Grosbeaks. This evening a brief stop at Refugio yielded  Yellows, Wilsons and others feeding in euc's on west side of creek.  } } BRAD } }   hey Beckster


San Ysidro Dippers

D. Barton Johnson <chtodel@...>
 

Sept. 14. Immature begging dipper and adult at the previously designated swimming hole 1&1/2 miles up trail. About 11 am.
                    Fred Keller & Don Johnson


Prothonotary Warbler

Guy Tingos <gtingos@...>
 

Rebecca Coulter and I saw the Prothonotary Warbler at El Capitan Beach
State Park Wednesday afternoon. The bird was in a large, mixed warbler
flock near campsite 12.

Guy Tingos
Santa Barbara, CA
gtingos@...


Bobos & a Black-and-White

Joan E. Lentz <jelentz@...>
 

Hi Birders! Hope all of you are getting out & birding coastal creeks &
other migrant traps as this weather is perfect for fall vagrant chasing.
This a.m. on Atascadero Crk in Goleta I had 3 Bobolinks at the bend in the
creek (about 100 yds. east of where Walnut Ave. deadends into the bikepath)
& several Blue Grosbeaks, Laz Buntings, Savannah Sparrows & a Lincoln's.
About 50 yds. downcreek from the So. Patterson Ave. bridge over Atascadero
Crk, I had a Black-and-white Warbler in a large flocks of bushtits &
warblers. It's necessary to get in the creekbed to bird this stretch, but
there were several good bushtit/warbler flocks, altho I couldn't find
anything else. Joan Lentz