Phainopeplas and Indigo Buntings near Big Pine

Observers: Tom & Jo Heindel
Email: tjheindelataoldotcom
Date: 05/26/2007
Time: 05:25 PM -0400

On 26 May there were 3 male & 1 female Phainopeplas at Baker Meadow; one male was feeding in the heavily laden large mulberry tree at the corral. These birds could have bred further south in the desert and then are moving north to breed again in woodlands (our riparian) OR they could be from a population further south who are now arriving at their primary breeding grounds in woodlands OR birds who failed to succeed as breeders in the desert and have moved to the woodlands to breed. They are known to bring off only one brood per year and are capable of breeding in the desert or in woodlands. Young tend to return to breed to the habitat in which they were born. It was long thought that they were double brooded (in the desert for the first brood and then same birds moved north to breed again) but the data are too few to determine this with any certainty and a few data seem to suggest other possibilities. Two singing males Indigo Buntings were along the riparian from the entrance of Baker Meadow to about two hundred yards west. They are rare but regular breeders in Inyo County. There was a second year, immature male, at our feeder last night.