Utah County Birders Newsletter
May 2004


Wednesday, May 19th.

Meet at 7:00 PM in the Bean Museum Auditorium on the BYU Campus.

Our speaker will be Bill Fennimore. He will speak on the number of birders and their impact on the economy. He will also cover other interesting topics about birding.


Tuesday, May18th.
7:00 am to 3:00 pm
Utah County Hotspots (Big Day).

Led by Dennis Shirley  - Visit Rocky Mountain Brushland and Pinion Juniper habitats. Birding opportunities include Green-tailed towhee, Lazuli Bunting, Black-headed Grosbeak, Bullock’s Oriole, Common Grackle, blue Grosbeak, Virginia’s Warbler, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Gray Flycatcher, Juniper Titmouse, Pinion Jay, and Common Bushtit.
Meet at Springville Dept. of Wildlife Resources, 1115 N. Main St., Springville.
(This trip is part of the Great Salt Lake Bird festival) No Fee.

Upcoming Bird Walks To Be Announced.

Reed’s Ramblings
by Reed Stone

My garden is doing well. So are a few other things. The robins that dwell in my plumb tree are very interesting. I no longer need to read the text to find that robins indeed share nesting duties. So far they appear to switch duties at the nest about each hour. I guess I will have to record the timing. The peas are nearly 3" tall, the spinach and carrots are doing well.

The downy woodpeckers have chosen a location in a dead tree somewhere in my neighbor’s yard but they still come to my feeder for the free handout. Mostly I see the male.

I am beginning to see some different behavior with the robins. When changing nesting duties they no longer snuggle down in the nest. They perch on the edge of the nest with the head over the nest and just hang around. Today I got my answer. The female robin was on the lawn and it had a very tiny earth worm in its beak. After tenderizing the worm it delivered the worm to the nest. It reached down toward the nest and then left in search of more worms. Now I know why there was a difference in the behavior. With all the interesting goings on I finally got most of the tomatoes planted and watered.

It is another day. There is always interesting activity going on. For five days now there has been a male northern flicker working on a big dead tree in the middle of my lawn. At first it seemed like he was sounding out a good resonating location to claim his territory. Later I thought he had found a supply of some type of larva. With further observation I discover his entire head was inside the shallow cavity.

Today, day five, I notice half of his body is inside the cavity. A couple of days ago I heard a shrill call. The female had come to check things out. Maybe, just maybe, the pair will set up house keeping. I will be anxiously waiting. I finally did finish getting my tomatoes all planted. Now come the peppers and other things.

At the head of the garden there is a large snag of a dead box elder tree. I have "preserved" it because so many birds like to perch in it. It is so old I fear it will tumble over one of these times. While taking a break and sitting in the shady side of this old tree I noticed the shadow of a small bird on the opposite side. I continued to watch and finally noticed the beak and the forepart of the head and one eye checking me out. It was a female house sparrow. It has set up house keeping in a cavity on the south side of the tree. As I sit here taking a "break" from all my garden work I notice it always plays peek-a-boo with me and will not enter the cavity unless it considers it safe. Safe for itself and safe from revealing its nest.

Today while crossing the lawn to go into the house I heard a distinct nasal tink, tink. wow. The black headed grosbeaks have returned. My special feeder is ready and later I notice they are using it.

This is a fairly accurate description of my day to day gardening. I really enjoy the work. This time I will start my vine crops such as cucumbers, cantaloupe and squash. Oops, I just remembered, I hear the call of a yellow warbler. With all this activity I guess the weeding won’t get too boring.

Field Trip Reports

Bird Walk at Skipper Bay. April 28th.
This morning 6 Utah County Birders including myself walked Skipper Bay trail and enjoyed a wonderful walk and company. We saw 45 species of birds along the walk and everyone saw some first for the year birds. Some highlights were a Great Egret that kept flying over the trail, several sparrows including Chipping and Brewer's Sparrow, what seemed to be an early Bullock's Oriole and a first for the year Yellow Warbler. Thanks for everyone that came...
KC Childs

Field Trip to River Lane & Lincoln beach. May 1st.
Nine Utah County Birders went on a field trip this morning to the areas around the south end of Utah Lake around Lincoln Beach. We were later joined by our president Reed Stone who was able to help us find a Snowy Plover at Lincoln Beach. Some of the highlights of the trip included the Snowy Plover at Lincoln Beach, then we were able to find two more at Lincoln Point with some Western Sandpipers. We saw nine Semipalmated Plovers on the beach at the end of River Lane. Other shorebirds we saw were Marbled Godwits at Benjamin Slough and a Long-billed Curlew that flew over. We saw several Cattle Egrets in the fields along the road to Lincoln Beach. There were some migrants at River Lane like Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Lark Sparrow and Chipping Sparrow. The group also saw a Barn Owl on River Lane. Today we tallied over 70 species of birds on our trip. It truly was a wonderful trip. I want to thank everyone that came along for the trip...
KC Childs

Southern Utah Field Trip. May 6th - 8th.
...13 intrepid UCB birders arrived in the Zion, St. George, Lytle areas...
We arrived at Zion National Park Thursday May 6. Under the expert guidance of Carol Jean we all got good looks at the Painted Redstart. For some it was a lifer. From there Carol Jean lead us to the Inca Doves. After dark we were once again led to a location where many were able to see the Lesser Nighthawk.
Next day, with Carol Jean leading, we went to Lytle where we saw the following; Common Blackhawk, Verdin, Hooded Oriole, White Winged Dove, Phainopepla, Summer Tanager, Brown Crested Flycatcher, Ladder Backed Woodpecker and some others.
On the road to Lytle we saw Cactus Wren, Black Throated Sparrow, and the Loggerhead Shrike. On Utah Hill we saw Black Chinned Sparrow, Grey Verio and the Scott's Oriole. At Gunlock Reservoir Costa's Hummingbird.
In ST. George area, Crissal Thrasher, Abert's Towhee and Vermillion Flycatcher. There were many others. I am going by memory and that is kind of dangerous. Many of us had a bird count of 70 plus species.
...we were all in agreement that it was one of the best tours ever. Thanks very much to Carol Jean for her expert guide service, and her generous hospitality.
Reed Stone