Re: Phainopeplas and Indigo Buntings near Big Pine

Observers: Chris McCreedy
Email: cmccreedyatprbodotorg
Verification: MONO
Remote Name:
Date: 05/29/2007
Time: 06:48 PM -0400


Due to a second year of extreme drought in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, Phainopeplas virtually failed to breed at our sites in the Lower Colorado River Valley. Last season, it didn't rain all winter, and PHAI suffered pretty much complete breeding failure. This season, there was a little rain, and many nested, but the vast majority quickly abandoned. One interesting thing is that we had 20 or so color-banded, and these have shown up on their territories every season. But most of these were departed by late February in 2006, and by mid-March in 2007. You'd think they would try to breed somewhere else given that much time to relocate - but it's so dry everywhere that their opportunities may be limited.