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August 7, 2012

Series on the Western Snowy Plover
I recently finished a 7-part series on Western Snowy Plovers, which is now posted on the Malibu (California) Patch blogsite.

It was written for a general audience, primarily to increase local awareness of the plover’s presence, and focuses on the plovers in Los Angeles County and Malibu Lagoon. However, it may be of interest to birders in general.
It contains a couple of typographical errors.
In any particular part, you should be able to directly access the other parts, but if you can’t, here they all are.
#1 The Snowy Plovers
#2 History and Problems
#3 Nesting and Wintering
#4 Population Fluctuations
#5 Back on the Beach
#6 The Plover Watchers
#7 The Future

If you’ve looked at our permanent page on the Malibu Lagoon Restoration Project, you know that we’ve been doing 10-year comparative censuses of the birds of the lagoon.  I recently put these figures into a Malibu Patch blog, with a bit more explanation for the general reader who might not know a raptor from a passerine. Bottom line: So far, the project is not having a significant effect on the birds.
The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology is a great outfit, well worth supporting if you have a few extra dollars rattling around. They also have a great website.  One of their useful features is All About Birds.  On various species it has photos, sounds, videos, facts of all sorts.  One useful feature, difficult to find elsewhere, is it shows the entire range of a species including its wintering range south of the border. So if you’re wondering about the Cerulean Warbler, for example,  a name-search will quickly show you that it breeds in the Eastern U.S., migrates through eastern Mexico and winters in South America from Venezuela to Bolivia.
[Chuck Almdale]

  1. August 8, 2012 7:31 am

    Cerulean Warbler is also a significant character in Jonathan Franzen’s “Freedom.” He’s a committed conservationist and it’s a great read.


    • Chukar permalink
      August 8, 2012 9:56 am

      Work is in progress to try to get protection for some of the areas in their South American wintering range. In some places they are so numerous that you begin to wonder if there are any birds around except Ceruleans.

      Americans have a skewed view of the migrant passerines. Many of them, especially warblers, tanagers, orioles, really ought to be viewed as tropical birds who spend a small portion of the year in the north to take advantage of the explosion in food sources (insects, mostly), then return to their homes in the south where they spend over half the year. So they’re not “our” birds leaving for the winter, they’re “their” birds dropping in for the summer.

      The AllAboutBirds total range maps are handy resources for seeing this.


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