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Update on the Santa Barbara Breeding Bird Study


Mark Holmgren
 

The Breeding Bird Study is almost ready to go public again.  We’re reaching out to users to test the system and to give us feedback.  Let us know if you are interested in assisting with this testing phase.  Also, we are preparing short videos to show how to use the ArcGIS software the database is mounted on.  We’re most grateful to CCBER at UCSB (co-collaborator with Santa Barbara Audubon Society) for all the support they’ve given us to pull this together.

 

We’ve received more contributions this year by this date than any other of the past 5 years.  Very happy about that and the 9300 records now assembled.  But there is so much information not making it to the Breeding Bird Study (BBS).  End of the season breeding records are especially important.  They form the outer time limit on the breeding period.  Knowing the duration of the breeding period for each species may be the most useful information for some users.  Typical late season breeding evidence comes from observations of begging fledglings or adults feeding fledglings, but some species still have birds in their nests.  It’s so easy to contribute.  First, find the coordinates of the breeding event, prepare your photo evidence if you have a photo, then submit at

https://santabarbaraaudubon.org/sb-breeding-bird-survey-data-submittal/

  

Here is one example of how BBS data inform us -- Nest Placement


Data on nest placement are available for nearly all species. Here are the choices made by just 4 species.  Before looking at the results for Red-shouldered Hawk, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Violet-green Swallow, and European Starling, form your best guesses for each: 

 

 

What tree species are used by Red-shouldered Hawks?

Of 71 breeding records, 46 records specify a nest tree.

Eucalyptus

16

palm

10

Western Sycamore

9

pine

5

Coast Live Oak

3

Ash

1

California Bay

1

Fremont Cottonwood

1

 

 Where are the cavities that Ash-throated Flycatchers choose for their nests?

Of 50 breeding records, 26 records specify a nest structure.

fence post, pipe, or pole

11

oak

6

Western Sycamore

5

cliff

1

cottonwood

1

Eucalyptus

1

pine

1

 

Where do Hooded Orioles place their nests?

Of 135 breeding records, 58 records specify nest placement.

palm

23

Eucalyptus

15

Bird-of-Paradise

5

Western Sycamore

4

Bunya Pine

3

banana tree

2

castor bean

1

Coast Live Oak

1

hanging basket

1

Liquidamber

1

Monterey Cypress

1

Toyon

1

 

Where are the cavities that European Starlings choose for their nests?

Of 217 breeding records, 120 records specify nest placement.

Western Sycamore

52

oak

16

building

12

utility or phone pole

10

Eucalyptus

7

palm

6

cottonwood

5

pine

5

car wash

2

Ash

1

Monterey Cypress

1

nest box

1

outhouse

1

unknown dead snag

1

 

Thanks to you many contributors!


Mark Holmgren and Adrian O'Loghlen

Santa Barbara