No. 187 BATON ROUGE, LASeptember 1999

LOS NEWS, Page 3

Table of Contents

Louisiana Birds- Spring Migration 1999
July Pelagic Report
LOS Pelagics
Deserving Young Birder
LA Black Skimmers
Calidris Sandpipers
Calidris Figure 1
Calidris Figure 2
Calidris Figure 3
Calidris Figure 4
Doug Pratt Award
The Botanical Birder
LOS NEWS, page 1
LOS NEWS, page 2
Birds After Birders
LA Green Violet-ear
1999 LOS Fall Meeting
Welcome New Members
LOS Sales
Sabine Pass Lighthouse
Autumn Hawkwatch
Trans-Gulf Migration Project
Swainson's Warbler Project
LOS Officers
Membership Form
LOS Homepage

Bird Predation on Birders

[Gleanings from LABIRD-L nominated as everyone's favorite post of the summer. Printed with permission.]
I can't take it anymore ... Crows killing my beloved Purple Martins, crows killing Pileated Woodpeckers, mockingbirds, and Night Herons,....ants devouring baby nuthatches........ sparrow decapitations...... Jeez' Louise!
My lighthearted reply to all this depressing reality is a True Story from this Memorial Day weekend. I have a sunflower seed tube-feeder about 12 feet off the ground suspended from a pulley. This weekend as I untied the rope to lower the feeder for refilling, I gave the rope a quick tug to unstick it from the pulley. The whole tree limb and feeder crashed down on top of me. My lightning reflexes enabled me to duck out of the way, but my foot was a little slow in getting the neural alert. I broke my toe. Ouch.
When I examined the tree limb, which was dead, I discovered it had been heavily worked by woodpeckers. Was this a fiendish plan to flatten a birder? All the available evidence says 'yes'!
So, I limp to the computer to type this warning: Beware! They're not satisfied with murdering each other. We're next, I tell ya'. Beware of Death From Above.
Nature, red in tooth and claw (and toe).
Dennis Demcheck
Thu, 3 Jun 1999, Baton Rouge
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Louisiana's First Green Violet-ear!

[Report from Humnet L, reprinted with permission]
15 Jul 1999
The Lafayette GRVE Invitational was a great success. At least for the 46 of 48 registered participants that could wait until 1 PM for the arrival of the guest of honor.
The dramatics were great. Paul Conover and I arrived about 8:30 and already a few members of the La Rare Bird Reactionary Task Force were assembling in parked cars along the quiet shaded street. We waved and said to give us a few minutes to set up and say hello to the hosts of the event. I taped off the two sides of the front yard blocking off any agent tempted to walk along side of the house and peek over the fence into the back yard. The only possibility for multiple sightings was to create a pill box bunker out of the sun porch, so cardboard was placed in the windows. Small slits were cut for squinting eyes. Should the guest of honor appear, he would find his quiet backyard undisturbed except for shadowy figures shuffling around behind small sits in the windows a few feet from his feeder.
Gail and Joe Andriano, the gracious hosts, finished their morning coffee and gave Paul, designated hummingbird Nazi, a few last minute instructions. Turning all of their earthly possessions over to his safe keeping they both left for work. The forces were building outside and the all-clear was given to enter. Now the wait began. Bill Fontenot and Gary Broussard were in contact with the homeowners of the only other yard known to play host to Senior Green. He was no where to be found. The breeze was out of the north with the passage of a weak front creating a most comfortable morning in the front yard, but tension was building. Ruby-throats buzzed in and out of the bush outside of the sun porch bunker causing momentary hushes in the Black-tailed Gull debates and other mission reports by the 10 to 15 agents crowded into the 12 by 12-foot room.
The living room and front yard handled the overflow as the number grew until some decided to walk the neighborhood, listening for his tic-tic, tic-tic, tic-tic. Others began discussing the need for food and at 1PM I left to pick up a few burgers so that no one needed to leave post. Returning at 1:30 I was overjoyed to see the front yard crowd with all binoculars pointed into the trees of the backyard. The mood had completely changed to smiles and high-fives as Senior Green had arrived. He made his first appearance as I had pulled away at 1 PM and returned again to the feeder 25 minutes later.
He continued through the afternoon on a regular schedule of feeding every 30 minutes at the feeder only 3 feet in front of everyone that came for the gathering. The whole event was great with everyone having his or her own story of the day. One memorable moment was when a well known Asst DA ushered in an excited young lady yelling "Make way, this young lady just flew in from New York and rented a car to get here!" She stepped up to the viewing board and there he was, 3 feet away.
By 5:30 the numbers were down to 10 or so, and Joe and Gail returned from another day at work. Gail was extremely excited and relieved that the hummingbird showed up. Paul and I tried to express how grateful we were for their hospitality. Removing cardboard and tape Paul and I converted the observatory back into a sun porch, and were treated to one last feeding in the evening light. After hugs and handshakes we pulled away leaving the shady neighborhood with Robins nesting in the front yards, and hummingbirds in the back.
Dave Patton
Lafayette, La
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Sabine Pass Lighthouse in Cameron, LA

At one of the LOS meetings in Cameron, La. a presentation was made regarding the 1856 Sabine Pass Lighthouse near Johnson Bayou. Some of you may be interested in visiting the site. It is not now open to the public but if plans go forward it will be open as a tourist attraction at some time in the future. "Lots" of different birds are reported to be there by people who are not birders.
On 10/23/99 an outing/family day is planned by the preservation committee at the lighthouse. Here are some of the details: Saturday, October 23, 1999 - 11 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., four mile hayride to Lighthouse Bayou. Hamburgers, hot dogs, cold drinks will be served. No ice chests and no alcoholic beverages allowed. Cost is $10 for individual and $20 for family. Reservations are required and can be made by sending name, address, phone number, and payment to Cameron Parish Library, P. O. Box 1130, Cameron, LA 70631. Call 318-775-5821 for more information.
Judy Fruge'
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Autumn Hawkwatch

Greetings to Louisiana birders and LOS members--
We thought you might like to know that the BirdSource Autumn Hawk Watch is up and running, and you're invited to check out the results: Look for the "special projects" banner, lower right corner.
Each year, more than 30 species of hawks, eagles, falcons, and vultures migrate within North America and across the continent into Central and South America. In autumn, this enormous passage begins in southern Canada, moves south across the United States from the Pacific to Atlantic oceans, and continues through Central and into South America.
This fall, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, located in Kempton, Pennsylvania, is joined by the Hawk Migration Association of North America. Together, we're using BirdSource web technology to collect and disseminate autumn hawk migration information reported from over 150 sanctioned hawk-watch sites located throughout the western hemisphere.
We invite you to view the results of this intercontinental project. First, select either a specific raptor or a particular hawk-watch site of interest. Then view the results as maps or tables. Most of our maps and tables are updated daily.
As always, thanks for your interest and participation in BirdSource projects!
Allison Wells
Cornell Lab of Ornithology & BirdSource
Ithaca, NY
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more grant $$ for trans-Gulf bird project

The LSUMNS has been funded by the Minerals Management Service to expand their study of trans-Gulf migration as viewed from oil platforms. This will allow them to extend the monitoring season by about a month and to monitor one platform year-round. It also doubling the number of platforms monitored, from 5 to 10; three of the new ones are in Texas waters and one is in Alabama waters. They will also be able to use pressure zone microphones to quantify nocturnal calling overhead.
Dr. Remsen reports that this fall's field crew includes veterans Brian Gibbons, Jon King, Rick Knight, Mac Myers, and Stacy Peterson, with Dave Patton doing spot duty, and 7 rookies: Karl Bardon (Minnesota), Jeff Birdsley (Michigan; now Florida State), Cameron Cox (Cape May etc.; has worked in LA for Bob Hamilton at LSU); Marshall Iliff (Maryland; regional editor for Field Notes for Middle Atlantic); Alan Wormington (Ontario); Mike Nelson (Washington), and Rick West (FL). They have had everyone deployed offshore by 4 August.
You can receive regular email reports of the offshore sitings by joining their mailing list. Find out how to join and see a map with locations of the platforms with observers by visiting the website: list. The Fall LOS meeting will feature a Saturday night presentation by Dr. Russell about the off-shore project. See the Fall meeting announcement for details.
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NOAS Supports Swainson's Warbler Project

The Orleans Audubon has made a contribution to the following research project: Breeding Biology and Habitat Requirements of Swainson's Warblers in Bottomland Hardwood Forests of Southern Louisiana being conducted by Donata Roome.
Owing to its small wintering range and specialized habitat requirements in tropical forests, Swainson's Warbler (Limnothlypis swainsonii) has been ranked among the Neotropical migrant wood-warblers most vulnerable to tropical deforestation. Simultaneously, the bottomland hardwoods that comprise its primary breeding grounds have undergone a long history of decline due to high agricultural and timber demands for the rich soils and vast forests of the southeastern floodplains. Factors contributing to population declines are effecting many species of Neotropical-Nearctic migrant birds on both their breeding and wintering grounds and have already caused the disappearance of several species from part or all of their range. Swainson's Warbler is identified as a species of "Priority Concern" by Partners In Flight, a "Vulnerable Species" by the American Bird Conservancy, and is on the National Audubon Society's WatchList.
Attempts to conserve species such as the Swainson's Warbler are complicated by how little is actually known about rudimentary aspects of their life history and habitat requirements. Their elusive and secretive habits, ventriloquistic song, and presence in dense understories add to the challenge of finding and observing them. Researching the local population of Swainson's Warblers could contribute fundamental information, progressive itinerary, and a better understanding of habitat selection strategies by a ground foraging specialist to the conservation of this and other migratory species.
Michael L. Crago

If you would like to join LOS, or perhaps send a gift membership to a friend on the verge, here is a printable membership form.
Dues are payable in January of each year; please check your mailing label for your dues status and renew promptly if you are in arrears.
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LOS News Editor: Carol Foil, 1180 Stanford Ave, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
(h & fax) 225.387.0368; (w) 225.346.3119;

posted 01June1999