Bird Monitoring and Research: July 10-16, 2012

July 26, 2012 Posted by: Yosemite Bird Researchers and BW - Mather District Volunteer Interpretive Ranger

Birds are beginning to fledge at the middle elevations of Yosemite and most of the birds caught at Hodgdon Meadow and Crane Flat had recently hatched. This included twelve Anna's Hummingbirds and many Nashville Warblers and Orange-crowned Warblers. The meadows at higher elevations should begin to increase in activity soon. 

Interesting birds seen this period included the Oak Titmouse, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Black-throated Gray Flycatcher, and a Mountain Quail. These birds are rarely found in the researchers' nets. The most fascinating bird was the Northern Flicker (Intergrade). There are two color forms of the Northern Flicker, the "Yellow-shafted" of east of the Rocky Mountains and the "Red-shafted" of west of the Rockies. The most obvious difference is the flight feathers (wings and tail): Yellow-shafted have yellow shafts and undersides to these feathers, while the Red-shafted have red. A stable hybrid zone extends along the east slope of the Rockies from southern Alaska to the Texas panhandle. Here, these two forms freely interbreed. Resulting offspring can show a wide variety of traits, including a number of combinations of traits of either or both parents. Occasionally, one of these intergrades wanders out of that range and we were lucky to get to observe this one up close. 

List of species recorded from July 10-16:

Mountain Quail (Oreortyx pictus)

Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber)
Williamson's Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus thyroideus)
Northern Flicker (Intergrade) (Colaptes auratus)

Dusky Flycatcher (Empidonax oberholseri)
Hammond's Flycatcher (Empidonax hammondii)
Pacific-slope Flycatcher (Empidonax difficilis)

Cassin's Vireo (Vireo cassinii)

House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)

Black-throated Gray Warbler (Dendroica nigrescens)
Hermit Warbler (Dendroica occidentalis)
MacGillivray's Warbler (Oporornis tolmiei)
Nashville Warbler (Vermivora ruficapilla)
Orange-crowned Warbler (Vermivora celata)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's) (Dendroica coronate)

Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis)
Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca)
Lincoln's Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii)
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

Purple Finch (Carpodacus purpureus)

Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna)
Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Poecile gambeli)
Oak Titmouse (Baeolophus inornatus)
Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta Canadensis)
Brown Creeper (Certhia Americana)
Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa)
Lazuli Bunting (Passerina amoena)

Table 1. Birds Processed for the Period July 10 - July 16, 2012

 Station  New Bands   Recaptures
Big Meadow 48 3
Hodgdon (upper) 49 13
Hodgdon (lower) 71 20
Crane Flat 53 11
Gin Flat 40 7
White Wolf 12 8
Total Recorded 274 62

Table 2. Previous Year Comparison (number of birds processed)
for the past month (June 20 - July 16)
 Station  2011   2012
Big Meadow 113 133
Hodgdon (upper) 125 238
Hodgdon (lower) 120 176
Crane Flat 161 197
Gin Flat 81 118
White Wolf 71 77


Last updated: September 4, 2012

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