Re: Bishop Creek Canal Woodpeckers and more - 1/26/00

From: Tom & Jo Heindel
Date: 2/22/00
Time: 8:32:21 AM
Remote Name:


Jerry has found a nice place to bird in Bishop, one of many. We'd like to comment on two of the species listed. Birds that look like Ladder-backed Woodpeckers that are found away from their preferred Joshua Tree habitat must be very closely scrutinized. There are 8 marks that separate two very similar look-alikes, Ladder-backed and Nuttall's, and in order for an out-of-range Nuttall's seen in the southeast of the county or an out-of-range Ladder-backed seen in northern Owens Valley to be considered at least 6-7 of the marks would need to be noted. Another kink is that we are in the region where hybrids are found, therefore one might notice that a bird has 4 marks for a Nuttall's and 4 for a Ladder-backed! Exciting, huh! The other species we want to discuss is the Eastern Phoebe. There are 14 records for the county with two in spring from 21-23 May, nine in fall from 7 Oct to 11 Nov and three in winter from 8 Jan to 30 Mar. All records are from the southeast, that is, Furnace Creek Ranch (8), Scotty's Castle (3), Tecopa (2), and Panamint Springs (1). Does that mean that Jerry did not have one? Absolutely not, but it does mean than detailed notes written during the viewing as well as confirmation by other birders is necessary for this to be considered as a scientific record. There was a possible sighting of one in the Owens Valley (in Bishop) of one in Aug that is undergoing review to determine its acceptance or rejection as the 15th county record.