Re: [MBB] Crested Caracara in Marina, Monterey Co.

Jamie Chavez <jc.wings@...>


As some of you know, the discussion about the Crested Caracara has moved from Santa Barbara County to the sate list, CALBIRDS, and the Monterey County list MBB since a caracara has tuned up in Monterey. Although it is interesting to note the movement of this bird, for those of us who are subscribers to multiple lists, messages about the caracara to sbcobirding only duplicates this information.

For those of you wanting to follow this topic, see the CALBIRDS archive:

Join the Monterey Bay Birds list, or visit and follow the thread:

However, feel free to bring this subject up on sbcobirding should there be discussion about comparisons between the two sightings if it is relevant to this county or if you have new information to share about the VAFB sighting.


Jamie Chavez
Santa Maria
sbcobirding "moderator"

FW: [MBB] Crested Caracara in Marina, Monterey Co.

Mike Feighner <feinerVogel@...>

Forwarding the following post on behalf of Les Chibana as the attempt to
post it there did not make it successfully....

Mike Feighner, Livermore, CA, Alameda County

-----Original Message-----
From: []
On Behalf Of Les Chibana
Sent: Tuesday, August 13, 2002 3:40 PM
To: Monterey Bay Birds list; CalBirds; SBCO list
Subject: [MBB] Crested Caracara in Marina, Monterey Co.

I am truly sorry if you get more than one copy of this because of my

This morning at around 9:25a, I relocated the Crested Caracara that was
found on Sunday just north of Marina along Del Monte Blvd. This morning
the bird was perched on a fence post on the east side of the road near
a cypress about .2 mi. south of the north junction with Lapis Rd. I raced
down to the south junction of Lapis and Del Monte to inform Jim Danzenbaker,
Mike Mammoser, Bob Reiling, Frank Vanslager, and another birder. We got
back to the site and the bird was in the field to the east about 30 yds.
After a few seconds, it took off and flew west over Del Monte and landed
near Lapis Rd.

We went over to the area and found Peggy and Bill Don watching the area
where the bird landed. After a few minutes of searching, the bird flushed
from the east side of Lapis Rd. and circled the area. It eventually landed
west of the entrance to the RMS Pacific Materials plant on Lapis. The bird
was sitting on a fence post about 100 yards beyond the gate. The bird sat
here for nearly an hour (was it that long?), occasionally preening, showing
its tail, wing and body plumage in the process. Others were taking notes
and sketching, I got some distant photos, but probably no were as nice as
the ones Bill Hill posted to his web site. The bird was not spooked at all
by the truck traffic that passed very close to it. It did seem to be wary
of people standing outside of cars.

At about 10:30a, the bird took off and flew east, eventually landing atop
one of the tallest cypresses near the entrance to the landfill. Alan
Wolfchuck and his group got good views from Del Monte Blvd. As I drove
over to the north junction of Lapis and Del Monte, I saw the bird fly to
the north at approx. 10:40a. I relocated it sitting on a rock behind a
cyclone fence topped with several rows of barbed wire, all on a ridgetop
about .25 - .5 mi. NE of Del Monte and Lapis. At around 10:45a, it flew
north again, seemingly angling toward Hwy 1. I lost it when it flew behind
a building and didn't emerge on the other side.

From what we observed at Lapis Rd., most of the caracara's wing coverts,
back feathers, darker breast feathers, secondaries, and tips of the outer
rectrices (tail feathers) were a bleached light brown. The central pair
of rects seemed to be new as they were fairly dark brown to black tipped.
There were several scattered dark new feathers in the upper wing coverts.
The cap was blackish, the bare facial skin was pinkish, the bill bluish.
The legs were yellow.

I'm not sure why this bird has been aged as an adult, can Les Lieurance or
someone else explain? I think there are features that better fit first
The facial skin is pinkish not orange; according to Clark and Wheeler's
photo guide to raptors, subadults have yellow legs; the brownish plumage
would be more characteristic of a subadult. Is it the appearance of the
breast and upper back feathering? Judging from Bill Hill's excellent photos
these feathers look like new, dark adult plumage. Could this bird be in the
process of achieving adult plumage for the first time?

Scott Hein's photos
and Les Lieurance's video
<> or
are great image captures.

It's too bad that the Santa Barbara County email list reports of CRCA
from 10/9/01 thru 7/23/02 contain no descriptions of the bird(s) seen.
Apparently, Bob Hoban shot some video of it on 7/21/02. Maybe there's
some basis for comparison?

Karen Bridgers posted a link on the Santa Barbara Co. list to a PDF about
the Audubon's Crested Caracara in Florida. It has some interesting

Les Chibana
BirdNutz - Ornigasmic(TM) Birding Experiences
em <>
ph 650-949-4335
fx 650-949-4137

SR 2, Box 335
La Honda CA 94020

((To unsubscribe MBB, send the command UNSUBSCRIBE MBB <YOUR MBB EMAIL
ADDRESS> to <>.))

Santa Barbara/Monterey County Crested Caracaras?

sharkfin831 <feinerVogel@...>

Santa Barbara County Birders:

The last report of the Santa Barbara County Crested Caracara over
sbcobirding was from Mark Holmgren on 7-23-2002.

This morning I posted over CALBIRDS the following regarding the
Crested Caracara currently being reported from Northern Monterey

<<I wonder if this is the same or different bird reported earlier from
Santa Barbara County.

Any ideas on the status of the normal vagrancy of this particular
bird? There are currently no accepted records for Crested Caracara in

I got the following reply from Bill Hill, transcriber of the Monterey
Bay Area Bird Box:

<<Do you know of anyone who might have a photo of the Santa Barbara
Bird? I would love to compare them. Even someone I could talk to
that saw the bird well. I think with our photos we could make a good

Are there any photos of the Santa Barbara County bird? I don't see
any in photos section. There is a photo of the Monterey County bird
at CALBIRDS in the the files/photos/raptors folder.

Mike Feighner, Livermore, CA, Alameda County

Eurasian Collared-Dove

jlsanford2002 <jacksanford@...>

Hi Birders, My wife, Cathy spotted a Eurasian Collared-Dove at the
foot of our feeder a couple days ago.I finally saw it today eating
black oiled sunflower seeds that spilled from the feeder. According to
Sibley's book they are so what rare in this area so I thought I would
report it. I took some pictures with my digital camera to verify.
Good birding. Jack

Praire Falcon and Harriers at the Tajiguas Landfill


On Saturday, 10 Aug, I was at the Tajiguas Landfill doing my falconry work scaring off gulls with two Saker falcons. Around 1:00, I was sitting in my car at the edge of the trash pile when a tan/brown streak dove into the trash after some Red-winged Blackbirds. It missed, but when it took off I got a great look at the its blue/gray feet and black armpits. The large juv female Prairie Falcon then thermaled around the fill for a few minutes then took off to the east over the ridge. When I first saw the bird I assumed that it was just one of the Sakers chasing bird but quickly realized that the two sakers were sitting hooded in the back of my truck.
This is a very early record according to Lehman’s book. His only mid-summer Prairie Falcon observation is 2 birds @ Refugio on 17 Aug 1992.

I have also had numerous observations of adult male, adult female and immature Northern Harriers at the landfill since the 9th of July. Usually there are two or three observations a day. More recently, the adult males & adult females have cleared out. I have only been seeing juvs. Lehman’s book has only 6 mid-summer south coast Northern Harrier observations, the earliest of which ties my July 9th observation but the year was 1971 in Goleta.

I think a lot of things we believe to be true about the birds of the south coast may be a bit off base due to the lack a good birding coverage along the Gaviota Coast properties.

Happy Birding, Morgan

early MacGillivray's Warber

hugh ranson <urrf@...>

There was a MacGillivray's Warber in my yard this morning, August 12th. I live on Robbins Street on the "Westside" of Santa Barbara. According to Paul Lehman's book, the previous early fall record was 14th August, 1984, in Goleta.

Hugh R.

Chat with friends online, try MSN Messenger:

Myiarchus update

Paul Keller <wrentit@...>

I went back to the Butterfly kiosk on Devereux Rd this afternoon from 5 to
6:30 and had great full sun on scope views of the mystery Myiarchus
flycatcher. I heard no vocalizations, however. Once I had this bird and a
Hooded Oriole in the same view. The two birds appeared to be of similar
size. Also, the tail appeared not much worn, although another Myiarchus
Flycatcher with a very worn tail made an appearance in this area. Close
side views of the wing panel showed both primary and secondary edges to be
rufous. All these observations are consistent with a juvenal Ash-throated
Flycatcher ID. I did, however, get killer sunlit views of the mouth lining
four more times! The times were all before about 6:15 when the sunlight is
still white. Twice the bird had its mouth open for a few seconds as it
struggled to swallow a Myoporum fruit. I can report with confidence that
the mouth lining, in particular, that of the tongue and lower mandible
through out is not flesh colored but a rich orange color.
Owing both to my extensive observations of this bird together with my
limited expertise, I feel as though I can contribute no more to determining
what this bird is. Until I hear from someone with more expertise in this
matter, I will be content for now to presume that at least some juvenal
Ash-throated Flycatchers retain an orange mouth lining from their youth.
Paul Keller

Flycatcher update

Paul Keller <wrentit@...>

This morning I went to the butterfly kiosk at Devereux Slough but saw no
Myiarchus. Across the slough I saw a Myiarchus feeding in the pickelweed as
did the one I saw last evening. I walked over to find three Ash-throated
Flycatchers all feeding persistently in the pickleweed. Clearly this
feeding behavior that made me think of Nutting's Flycatcher means nothing.
What about the orange mouth lining? I wish I knew what the mouth lining of
a juvenal Ash-throated Flycatcher looks like. Most baby passerines have
brightly colored mouths which stimulates the parental feeding response.
Perhaps Myiarchus flycatchers have bright orange mouths which may persist in
juvenal Ash-throated Flycatchers and is a neotonus trait in adult Nutting's
Flycatchers. This explanation is pure speculation and hence unlikely to be
correct. Yet it (or some other explanation) seems to me to be still more
likely correct than that there really is a Nutting's Flycatcher in our area.
-- Paul Keller

Tri-colored Heron 8-10

Brad Schram

San Luis Obispo County's fourth record of TRI-COLORED HERON was found yesterday afternoon at Morro Bay, and is still there this morning. The bird was found, and recurred this morning at Sweet Springs, a small inlet of Morro Bay.

To reach Sweet Springs from Hwy. 101 turn off on Los Osos Valley Rd. just south of San Luis Obispo proper; go west toward the ocean (do you ever find yourself giving directions and debate whether to add a further descriptive phrase?). Ten or so miles later you come to the community of Los Osos. Continue on LOV Rd. through town, the stop light and stop signs, toward Montana de Oro State Park. About one-half mile west of town (the stop signs) turn right on Pine Street, landmarked by a church on the corner. Continue down Pine until the end at Ramona. Turn right on Ramona and park in front of the mobile home park (this is about .7 of a mile from Los Osos Valley Rd.). You will see the entrance to the Sweet Springs trail in the cypresses across from the mobile home park. Follow the trail to its end at the newly constructed observation platform at the edge of the Sweet Springs inlet. The bird has been working little channels and ponds edging--and at low tide in--the inlet near the platform.

It is an adult bird in transition toward non-breeding plumage, but still quite bright.


possible Dotterel near Coal Oil Poinr

Karen Bridgers

Hi all

I just got a call from Mark Holmgren. He said that Dave Hubbard saw at about
9 a.m. what he believes to be an immature Dotterel at Coal Oil Point. Mark
said he described the size, shape, and bill very well, but he had failed to
see the faint faint band on the breast.

The bird was just east of Coal Oil Point just after 9 a.m., near the
so-called "jailhouse". When last seen, it was flying west toward Devereux.

Updates would be appreciated.

Karen Bridgers

La Purisima Audubon's field trip August 17th

Becky Hoban

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Santa Maria River Estuary walk
that was scheduled for Saturday August 17th HAS BEEN CANCELLED. The 'powers
that be' are concerned that having 2 large groups of birders (us and the
Santa Barbara Audubon group) within a 2 week period of each other, might
negatively effect the nesting plovers, so they have chosen to cancel our
walk out there on the 17th. However, if you are interested in doing so, you
are more than welcome to join the SBAS group out there on Saturday August
31st. They are meeting at the estuary at 0830, as well as carpooling up
from Santa Barbara. For more information, visit their website at

(Sorry about the cross posting!)

Becky Hoban

Ocean Park Osprey

markbrown1848 <gavkbrown@...>

I met two No. County birders at Ocean Park this evening and the
conversation turned to the Caracara. We parted and not 5 minutes
after they left a large black and white hawk-like thing was
streaming down river towards the railroad bridge. My heart pounded
thinking it was the Caracara, but it was an adult Osprey. Lehman has
the earliest North County fall migration date on the coast as August
8. So this is early. I am not sure what that makes the Osprey seen
by a couple of folks last month in SB. This bird was motoring, Gavan
said he looked determined to make Japan as it headed out to sea.

Out to sea was thousands and thousands of Sooty Shearwaters who
streamed by the whole time we were there. They were close in and if
only we could have reached the shore I am sure we would have picked
out a Pink-footed or something. Even though we could not reach the
shore that did not stop two Coyotes from trying to sneak up on some
Caspian Terns and Curlews. Snowy Plover nest no longer a challenge
apparentally. The coyotes had neat electronic necklaces on. They did
manage to scare a little flock of Least Sandpipers up river who who
fed hungrily up in the Salicornia and driftwood. We also saw Kites,
Harriers and a Perigrine.
Mark Brown
Santa Maria

No more reports of Northern Caracara?

Patrick McNulty <mcnulty-p@...>


It's been two weeks since the last report I saw of the Caracara. I assume that it's no longer around that area, but just in case....

Has anyone seen the Caracara in the last two weeks, or looked for it extensively but failed to see it, and if so, when?

Thanks for any info.


Patrick McNulty Phone: (805) 893-4165
UC Santa Barbara E-Mail:

Patrick McNulty Phone: (805) 967-9900
Santa Barbara, CA E-Mail:

Deveruex slough butterfy list

Lethaby, Nick <nlethaby@...>


I've offered to try to put together a butterfly list for the Coal Oil Point
reserve over the next year. I have listed the species below I've recorded as
seeing. I would be grateful if anyone could add some additional sightings. I
missing many obvious ones like Painted Lady, Monarch, Red Admiral, etc.

Marine Blue
Western Pygmy Blue
Wandering Skipper
Sandhill Skipper
Fiery Skipper
Woodland Skipper
West Coast Lady
Gray Hairstreak
Cabbage White

Thanks, Nick


Paul Keller <wrentit@...>

A pair of CANADA GEESE flew east towards Goleta Beach over the UCSB Rec Cen
(near Area K) at just before 10am and at about 1pm a small (male?) immature
COOPER¹S HAWK made an appearance at Chase Palm Park.
Computers are great ... when they work. -- Paul K.


Nicholas Anthon Lethaby <nlethaby@...>


There were 6 (2 families) Least Terns at Devereux right by the spot the Snowy Plover warden sits. Most of the regular shorebirds are back. Only shorebirds of slight interest were 3 Black Turnstone and both species of dowitcher (1 LB and 2 SB as far as I could tell).


Santa Maria Sewage Plant 8-2

Brad Schram

The Santa Maria "waste water" plant remains excellent Mallard habitat. All but one tank (first on the left after going through the fence) is full or almost full, leaving little or no quality shorebird edge habitat. The first tank on the left is recently plowed and appears too fresh to provide much food for waders, even though water is oozing back in. Only three shorebirds were in it when I looked this morning. The sludge ponds on the left before entering the settling ponds area behind the fence had almost all the shorebirds seen, which was a pitifully small number. The small amount of suitable habitat plus the general lack of shorebirds caused me to give the plant little time. I could well have missed a few birds--but it was not encouraging.

Shorebirds seen:

Killdeer x
Black-necked Stilt a few
Am Avocet a few
Greater Yellowlegs 1
Western Sandpiper 2, 1 juv
Least Sandpiper 16, most adults

Brad Schram
Arroyo Grande

Sewage ponds

Lethaby, Nick <nlethaby@...>


Since no one else has updated, there were still 3 juv Semi-palmated
Sandpipers at the Goleta Sewage ponds at noon today:

W. Sandpiper 25
Semi-palmated Sandpiper 3
Least Sandpiper 48
Semi-palmated Plover 10
Long-billed Dowitcher 2
Short-billed Dowitcher 1
Spotted Sandpiper 1
Wilson's Phalarope 4
Black-necked Stilt 7

Nick Lethaby
DSP/BIOS Product Manager
Texas Instruments
805 562 5106

September pelagic

David Pereksta

Hi all

If anyone is interested in an outstanding fall pelagic please think of
signing up for LA Audubon's Sept 7 trip to the waters around the Channel
Islands. This trip is run annually and always finds a great variety of
birds. This is a great way to add to your Ventura and Santa Barbara County
lists. The Manx shearwater we saw in Ventura County waters on this trip in
1999 just got accepted by the CBRC as the first record in California south
of Point Conception. The wedge-tailed shearwater we saw in Santa Barbara
County waters in 1994 was never submitted due to the lack of a photo, but at
least 4 top-notch birders who saw the bird fly right past the boat (the only
4 to see it) agree to this day that it was clearly that. You never know
what we will see out there...

The trip is currently lacking participants and threatened with cancellation
so if you are interested please sign-up ASAP. I have included the contact
information below. You may want to call LA Audubon in advance of payment to
let them know you are interested.

You will not be disappointed if you go on this trip.

Bird till it hurts...

David Pereksta

This is the information on the trip from the LA Audubon website:

Saturday, September 7 - Northern Channel Islands Monument
Time: 0730 - 1930 (12 hrs.)
Port: Oxnard
Boat: M/V Vanguard
Price: $79
Spaces: xx
Food: Full galley on board
Leaders: Mitch Heindel and David Pereksta

Birds all the way highlight this beautiful passage between the islands.
Birds seen on prior trips:
Northern Fulmar, Pink-footed, Sooty, and Black-vented Shearwaters.
Black, Least and Ashy Storm-Petrels; cormorants (3 species); Sabine's Gull;
Arctic Terns: rocky shorebirds (up to 5 species); Common Murre; Craveri's
and Xantus's Murrelets, Cassin's Auklet. Rarities: Buller's (annual) and
Flesh-footed Shearwaters; South Polar Skua (annual) and Long-tailed Jaeger.
Sea mammals seen on prior trips:
Blue, Finback and Humpback Whales have been seen on this trip.

Reservations will be accepted ONLY if all the following information is

1. Trip desired
2. Names of people in your party
3. Phone numbers (a) usual and (b) evening before event, in case of
emergency cancellation
4. Separate check (no cash please) to LAAS for exact amount of each trip
5. Self-addressed stamped envelope for confirmation and associated trip
information for each trip

Send to:
LAAS Reservations, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90046-6694

If there is insufficient response, the trip will be cancelled four weeks
before the scheduled date, and you will be so notified and your fee
returned. Millie Newton is available at Audubon House (323 876-0202) on
Wednesdays from noon to 4 p.m. to answer questions about field trips. Our
office staff is also available Tuesday through Saturday for most reservation

Pelagic Trip announcement

Mike Stiles

The Morro Coast Audubon is sponsoring our annual Fall pelagic trip on
Saturday, September 21. This year we are sailing from Port San Luis near
Avila Beach in order to reach the Lucia Bank in a more timely manner
than from Morro Bay.

Cost is 45$. We will be out from 6am to approximately 2:30. Spaces are
available on a first come basis in the order in which we receive your
checks. Mail checks to:

PO Box 160
Morro Bay, CA 93443

Space is limited to 40 birders. We will keep a waiting list in case of

Thanks. Sorry for the cross post.

Mike Stiles
Los Osos, CA