Utah County Birders Newsletter
Thursday, February 9th, 2017
Melissa Stamp, Project Coordinator with the Utah Reclamation Mitigation & Conservation Commission is going to present on a project that is currently in the planning stages to restore the Provo River Delta at the mouth of the Provo river at Utah Lake. They are looking for input on how to restore the delta in ways that incorporate improvements for birders and other recreational users. Please join us to find out more about this interesting project!
February 11th, 2017:
Gulls! Gulls! Gulls!
Meet at the American Fork Park and Ride.
We are going to go see the gulls at Lee Kay. We may make some other stops depending on what's being seen.
Utah County Birders
Captain’s Log: February
by Keeli Marvel
Greetings fellow UCBers!
I'm in Florida this week attending Natural Resource Management and Compliance training at Eglin AFB and loving the change in weather and scenery. I don't have a lot of extra time this week to go birding (or enjoy the sunshine) but I do have a few successful sightings to report.
I flew in on Sunday and drove straight to a park out along the coast and picked up a lifer Brown-headed Nuthatch. This morning I went for a walk around a nice wetland area that feeds in the Chocktawhatchee Bay on base before class and picked up a lifer Swamp Sparrow. My bird list also included some nice eastern specialities such as Brown Thrasher, Northern Cardinal, Eastern Bluebirds, Carolina Wren and Carolina Chickadees.
On our field trip as part of the training this afternoon we got to see some of the projects they're doing on Eglin that benefit natural resources and I picked up a lifer Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. I'm hoping for a glimpse later this afternoon of a Red-cockaded Woodpecker (RCW).
Eglin AFB is a success story for recovering the RCW, which were listed as Endangered under the Endangered Species Act. They have a very effective management program that protects RCW Critical Habitat (Long-leaf Pine forests) on Eglin Air Force Base and they have surpassed their restoration goals demonstrating that the military can effectively implement their mission while successfully conserving valuable habitat and protected species (sorry for the little promo there, but it's really nice to see successful natural resource management programs). It's a lot of fun for me to see how other installations are successfully managing their wildlife and it gives me hope for the future of the bird species in our country.
Hope ya'll are surviving the snow and the inversion and seeing some birds. Hope I can bring some of the sunshine home with me.
photo by Cliff Miles
Bird of the Month: by Machelle
Red-Shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)
Another winter in Utah with sightings of a rare Red-shouldered Hawk. This year we have had one in Utah County and in Tooele County. The first thing you notice about it is its beautiful coloring. This striking raptor is a common resident in the East and in western California, but not common in Utah, although it seems to travel through or stray into Utah now and then.
Adults are colorful hawks with dark-and-white checkered wings and warm reddish barring on the breast, and a prominent rusty slash on the shoulder that is evident when the bird is perched. The tail is black with narrow white bands. Immatures are brown above and white below streaked with brown. All ages show narrow, pale crescents near the wingtips in flight.
This hawk will usually perch below the canopy, on a sturdy limb, and often at the edge of a pond, stream, or swamp. It also hunts from perches along roadsides and forest edges. Pete Dunne writes, “It glides to capture prey or uses powered flight like an accipiter (particularly when attempting to capture birds). In winter, it also haunts feeders.”
In flight, note broad, rounded wings and medium-length tail that they fan out when soaring. They often glide or soar with their wingtips pushed slightly forward, as if reaching out to embrace something.
People around the county and state have been able to see this adult hawk and take some great photos of it. Thanks to all who are using ebird, utahbirds.org and the Utah County Birders facebook page to get the word out about the rarities that come through Utah.
References: allaboutbirds.org; Pete Dunne’s Essential Field Guide Companion.
If you would like to write an article for the Bird of the Month, please contact Machelle - [email protected]
Field Trip Report
East Bay Golf Course, Flow Serve, Salem Pond
by Keeli Marvel
Sixteen birders attended the UCB field trip yesterday (14 January 2017). We started our trip at East Bay Golf Course, with a visit to Heron Island, then headed south through the Springville fields to Flowserve, checked the Lewis' Woodpecker spot, birded around Salem pond, and then headed out to Payson fields to see the continuing Red-shouldered Hawk. Highlights from the field trip include a GREAT EGRET catching fish in one of the ponds at Flowserve, two Black-crowned Night Herons on Heron Island at East Bay, four SNOW GEESE keeping company with the Canada Geese in the Springville agricultural fields near Flowserve, and the continuing RED-SHOULDERED HAWK in west Payson. A notable miss were the Lewis' woodpecker which haven't been seen consistently in the usual spot for awhile. Thanks to all who joined us! Links to our ebird checklists are below.
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S33683538 Payson Fields
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S33662884 Salem Pond
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S33684168 East Bay Golf Course to Springville
Milt Moody - Provo
I've had two Yellow-rumped Warblers that wait patiently for their turn at the suit feeder.
Jack Binch - Sandy
A little easier pick last month. I had a Ruby-crowned Kinglet at my feeders. First one in a few years. (still here)
Eric Huish - Pleasant Grove
A Cooper's Hawk is still visiting regularly.
Carol Nelson - Provo
My yard list increased by four during January with the arrival of an Eared Grebe, a Canvasback, a Redhead and an American Pipit. My count is now 85. Yeh!!
Alton Thygerson - Provo
Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay - I get up to 6 by whistling and filling my peanut feeders. It's fun watching them glide onto the feeder. For those not knowing, the former Western Scrub-jay has been split--Woodhouse's and Pacific.
Report your favorite backyard bird each month to Eric Huish at 801-360-8777 or [email protected]
Printable Version of this UCB Newsletter