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No. 190 BATON ROUGE, LAApril 2000

Newsletter of the Louisiana Ornithological Society

Table of Contents

198 Species for 1999 Yard List
Volunteers Needed
Remsen and Cornell Honor Ted Parker
LOS Sponsors Research
LOS Officers and Board Members (+)
New Members
LOS Pelagics (+)
Deserving Young Birder
LOS Spring Meeting (+)
Accomodations in Cameron (+)
Registration Form (+)
LOS Sales (+)
LOS Sponsors Grand Isle Migratory Bird Celebration Day
Membership Form (+)
(+) Denotes links to different pages on LOS website. Use your browser's back button to return to this page.
LOS Homepage

Cardiff & Dittmann Rack Up an incredible 198 species (plus two hybrid warblers!) This from their "estate" in Iberville Parish. The next closest runner-up was a fun submission, as it was not really anyone's yard, in the strictest sense, but an entire farm ... Jay Huner with the help of Mike Musmeche counted 184 species for the year on the USL Farm near Lafayette. Both of these beat the 1991 high of 172 from Remsen & Cummins, in Iberville Parish.
The grand total of species was also higher than what was listed by a greater number of participants in 1991. All yard watchers together found 261 species! And we missed some from 1991, when the grand total was 230, including Sanderling, Black Tern, Black Skinner, Groove-billed Ani, Clay-colored Sparrow, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Bell's Vireo, Virginia Rail, Willow Flycatcher, Black-bellied Plover, Brown-crested Flycatcher..... Well, you can't count on most of those, anyway. We added lots of Eurasian Collared Doves this year and a Monk Parakeet, to reflect some real changes in our avifauna, as well as a number of other interesting species.
Anyone who had a yard total over 100 was really on my Red-letter list. These folks were Ronnie Stein in Reserve (136!), Bedford Brown in Slidell (125!), Marty & Margaret Floyd in Cheneyville (122!), Olga & Walter Clifton in Abita Springs (119!), Bill Fontenot near Lafayette (114!), and Chris Brantley was oh, so close, with 97.
Actually, anyone who had more than I did was amazing, to me. I had 78 for the year in my yard near LSU campus in Baton Rouge. Those with more than 78 included Jeff & Jean Trahan in Shreveport (79), and Becky Hariu in Lafayette with 79 also. Other folks who entered nice yard lists include Nancy Newfield, who has often lamented the loss of habitat in her neighborhood. This was reflected in her 1999 total of 66 which was only a little more than half of what she tallied in 1991 112. Our youngest participant was from Baton Rouge, Walker Wilson, who hopes to build up his yard list when he actually owns a yard, some day! Karen Fay has a small beautifully planted yard in the midst of "lawn planet" in south Baton Rouge. She gave me a run by chalking up 72! Miriam Davey had an exclusive hummer in her Allen's and also tallied 9 warblers in suburban Baton Rouge and a total of 73 species. Beth Maniscalco and Sammy are new birders in Thibodaux, and they identified 61 in 1991. Jack and Catherine Wellborn live on Cross Lake in Shreveport and added a bunch of waterfowl to our total. They didn't keep careful count all year, but participated by sending a list of 59 with some exclusives for our grand tally. Ann & Marty Guidry are almost never home in daylight hours, but have a gorgeous yard on the outskirts of Baton Rouge. They managed to count 59 of the birds that visited their yard (and Marty only counts those actually on or over the yard, whereas most of us count anything seen from the yard). Barbara James was away much of the summer, and still managed to add a species (Monk Parakeet) to our tally. She is new at this and still counted up 28.
Thanks to everyone who participated. It was fun! Donna & Steve have set a very high mark for the next contest. They and Jay Huner have shown us the importance of managing property for habitat and species diversity. It was a great year! Now go out and discover something NEW!
Here is the list of species for 1999, with total yards recording the species after each entry. This is tallied from 19 yards. Exclusives are credited. Common Loon 1 (C&D), Pied-billed Grebe 2, Am. White Pelican 9, Neotropic Cormorant 1 (JH), Double-crested Cormorant 16, Anhinga 4, Am. Bittern 1 (JH), Least Bittern 1 (JH), Great Blue Heron 16, Great Egret 15, Snowy Egret 12, Little Blue Heron 9, Tricolored Heron 4, Cattle Egret 11, Green Heron 12, Black-crowned Night-heron 3, Yellow-crowned Night-heron 6, White Ibis 14, White-faced Ibis 4, Plegadis sp 2, Roseate Spoonbill 3, Wood Stork 2, Black Vulture 9, Turkey Vulture 13, Fulvous Whistling-duck 1 (JH), Gr. White-fronted Goose 5, Snow Goose 7, Ross's Goose 4, Canada Goose 3, Wood Duck 12, Gadwall 2, Am. Widgeon 1 (JH), Mallard 6, Mottled Duck 1 (JH), Blue-winged Teal 2, No. Shoveler 3, No. Pintail 3, Green-winged Teal 2, Canvasback 2, Redhead 1 (C&JW), Ring-necked Duck 2, Lesser Scaup 3, Bufflehead 2, Common Goldeneye 1 (C&JW), Hooded Merganser 2, Red-breasted Merganser 2, Ruddy Duck 1 (C&JW), Osprey 4, Swallow-tailed Kite 5, Mississippi Kite 13, Bald Eagle 7!, No. Harrier 6, Sharp-shinned Hawk 17, Cooper's Hawk 11, Red-shouldered Hawk 14, Broad-winged Hawk 10, Swainson's Hawk 1 (O&WC), Red-tailed Hawk 15, Am. Kestrel 10, Merlin 5, Peregrine 2, No. Bobwhite 3, Sora 1 (JH), Purple Gallinule 1 (JH), Common Moorhen 1 (JH), Am. Coot 2, Sandhill Crane 2!, Am. Golden Plover 1 (C&D), Semipalmated Plover 1, (JH), Killdeer 14, Black-necked Stilt 2, Am. Avocet 1 (JH), Greater Yellowlegs 2, L. Yellowlegs 4, Solitary Sand. 3, Willet 1 (JH), Spotted Sand. 2, Semipalmated Sand. 1 (JH), Western Sand. 1 (JH), Least Sand. 2, Baird's Sand. 1 (JH), Pectoral Sand. 2, Dunlin 1 (C&D), Stilt Sand. 1 (JH), Ruff! 1 (JH), Short-billed Dowitcher 1 (JH), Long-billed Dowitcher 1 (JH), Common Snipe 5, Am. Woodcock 7, Wilson's Phalarope 1 (JH), Laughing Gull 3, Bonaparte's Gull 5, Ring-billed Gull 10, Herring Gull 1 (C&D), Gull-billed Tern 1 (JH), Caspian Tern 1 (JH), Royal Tern 1 (JH), Common Tern 1 (JH) Forster's Tern 7, Least Tern 2, Rock Dove 10, Eurasian Collared Dove 7, White-winged Dove 4, Mourning Dove 18, Inca Dove 3, Common Ground-Dove 1 (JH), Monk Parakeet 1 (BJ), Black-billed Cuckoo 2, Yellow-billed Cuckoo 12, Barn Owl 1 (C&D), Ea. Screech-owl 7, Great Horned Owl 11, Barred Owl 9, Common Nighthawk 9, Chuck-will's-widow 3, Whip-poor-will 2, Chimney Swift 17, Buff-bellied Hummingbird 8!, Ruby-throated Hummingbird 18, Black-chinned Hummingbird 11, Calliope Hummingbird 4, Broad-tailed Hummingbird 3, Rufous Hummingbird 9, Allen's Hummingbird 1(MD), Belted Kingfisher 14, Red-headed Woodpecker 11, Red-bellied Woodpecker 18, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 18, Downy Woodpecker 18, Hairy Woodpecker 10, Red-cockaded Woodpecker 1 (BB), No. Flicker 19, Pileated Woodpecker 9, Olive-sided Flycatcher 1 (C&D), Eastern Wood-pewee 4, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 3, Acadian Flycatcher 7, Alder Flycatcher 2, Least Flycatcher 7, Empidonax sp 2, Eastern Phoebe 12, Great Crested Flycatcher 15, Eastern Kingbird 8, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 1 (J&JT), Loggerhead Shrike 11, White-eyed Vireo 12, Yellow-throated Vireo 8, Blue-headed Vireo 10, Warbling Vireo 2, Philadelphia Vireo 3, Red-eyed Vireo 9, Blue Jay 19, Am. Crow 18, Fish Crow 17, Purple Martin 17, Tree Swallow 14, No. Rough-winged Swallow 10, Bank Swallow 2, Cliff Swallow 4, Barn Swallow 12, Carolina Chickadee 18, Tufted Titmouse 15, Red-breasted Nuthatch 6, Brown-headed Nuthatch 4, Brown Creeper 2, Carolina Wren 18, House Wren 13, Winter Wren 6, Sedge Wren 1 (JH), Marsh Wren 2, Golden-crowned Kinglet 10, Ruby-crowned Kinglet 16, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 13, Eastern Bluebird 10, Veery 5, Gray-cheeked Thrush 5, Swainson's Thrush 5, Hermit Thrush 9, Wood Thrush 12, Am. Robin 17, Gray Catbird 12, No. Mockingbird 18, Brown Thrasher 17, Eur. Starling 16, Am. Pipit 5, Sprague's Pipit 1 (C&D), Cedar Waxwing 17, Blue-winged Warb. 6, Golden-winged Warb. 1 (C&D), Tennessee Warb. 8, Orange-crowned Warb. 18, Nashville Warb. 3, No. Parula 8, Yellow Warb. 8, Chestnut-sided Warb. 4, Magnolia Warb. 8, Black-throated Blue Warb. 1 (O&WC), Yellow-rumped Warb. 19, Black-throated Green Warb. 4, Blackburnian Warb. 1 (C&D), Yellow- throated Warb. 7, Pine Warb. 14, Prairie Warb. 1 (C&D), Palm Warbler 2, Bay-breasted Warb. 1 (C&D), Blackpoll Warb. (J&JT), Cerulean Warb. 2, Black-and-white Warb. 5, Am. Redstart 9, Prothonotary Warb. 8, Worm-eating Warb.3, Swainson's Warb. 3, Ovenbird 5, No. Waterthrush 4, Louisiana Waterthrush 1 (C&D), Kentucky Warb. 6, Mourning Warb. 1 (O&WC), Common Yellowthroat 14, Hooded Warb. 9, Wilson's Warb. 4, Canada Warb. 2, Yellow-breasted Chat 7, Summer Tanager 11, Scarlet Tanager 6, Western Tanager 1 (NN), Eastern Towhee 11, Chipping Sparr. 10, Field Sparr. 7, Vesper Sparr. 1 (JH), Lark Sparr. 1 (JH), Savannah Sparr. 5, Le Conte's Sparr. 1 (JH), Fox Sparrow 2, Song Sparr. 9, Lincoln's Sparr. 2, Swamp Sparr. 5, White-throated Sparr. 14, White-crowned Sparr. 5, Dark-eyed Junco 11, No. Cardinal 19, Rose-breasted Grosbeak 11, Blue Grosbeak 9, Indigo Bunting 12, Painted Bunting 4, Dickcissel 2, Bobolink 1 (C&D), Red-winged Blackbird 16, Eastern Meadowlark 5, Yellow-headed Blackbird 1 (M&MF), Rusty Blackbird 4, Brewer's Blackbird 4, Common Grackle 19, Boat-tailed Grackle 4, Great-tailed Grackle 1 (JH), Bronzed Cowbird 3, Brown-headed Cowbird 16, Orchard Oriole 12, Baltimore Oriole 9, Scott's Oriole 1(C&D), Purple Finch 1! (C&D), House Finch 18, Pine Siskin 7, Am. Goldfinch 17, House Sparrow 14.
There were 34 species of warblers seen in our yards in 1991 plus Brewsters and Lawrences! Thirty-one and the two hybrids were seen in one yard Cardiff and Dittmann's.
Carol Foil, LOS News Editor
Table of Contents

I wanted to share with you information about a very important bird conservation initiative you can volunteer for. It's called Birds in Forested Landscapes (BFL). BFL is working to determine the effects of disturbance from recreational development and forest fragmentation on the breeding success of Cooper's and Sharp-shinned hawks and on seven species of forest thrushes (Wood, Hermit, Swainson's, Bicknell's, Gray-cheeked, and Varied as well as Veery), several of which are experiencing population declines. You select your own study sites in a forest near you, then census birds on at least two visits. Results from a similar study, Project Tanager, have been written up as a publication now available from the Lab, called "Land Managers Guide to Improving Habitat for Scarlet Tanagers and Other Forest-Interior Birds."
BFL is a great way to gain "in the field" experience; for those of you who are already in the field, it can be easily included in field work you may already be conducting. We send you all research material at no charge. If you can help with either or both of these projects, please e-mail me, Allison Wells, at amw25@cornell.edu.
This is the fourth year of the study, and last year we had only a single participant in all of Louisiana. Although LA species in BFL include only Cooper's Hawk and Wood Thrush, we could sure use more data about both of these species from LA.
We would appreciate your sharing this note with anyone you think would be interested in helping. Thanks, as always, for your support of the Lab's work.
Allison Wells, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY 14850, http://birds.cornell.edu
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Remsen and Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology
Honor Ted Parker
March 6, 2000, marked a historic evening for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which those of you reading this newsletter will very much appreciate. The occasion was the Lab's inaugural Ted Parker Memorial Lecture, and it was given by one of those who knew Ted Parker best, J. Van Remsen, Jr. As director of the Lab, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Van for making this first lecture a very special one.
The Lab began the Parker Memorial Lecture to honor Ted's immeasurable gifts to Neotropical ornithology and to our institution. His life ended tragically, but his contributions to ornithological research and conservation live on -- in dozens of publications, in the lives of the many people he touched, and in his more than 1600 recordings archived in the Lab's Library of Natural Sounds, Ted's "second home." As curator of birds and professor of Biological Sciences for the Museum of Natural History at Ted's "first home," Louisiana State University, Van understands the significance of this to the Lab and to ornithology. He did a terrific job of sharing with our full-to-capacity audience just how remarkable a person and field ornithologist Ted Parker was. This was a difficult challenge for Van on several levels, as anyone who has lost a close friend can imagine.
Those of you who knew Ted know that, in addition to his astonishing abilities as a birder, he was engaging, energetic, and fun-loving. With great admiration and humor, Van shared with us the Ted Parker who enjoyed staying up all night with friends to discuss birds, politics, movie stars, and of course, LSU basketball. On behalf of the Lab, I express my deepest appreciation to Van for his invaluable contribution to Lab history. He reminded us all how great the loss of Ted Parker was for Neotropical ornithology, and to all of us who knew him as a friend.
John Fitzpatrick
Louis Agassiz Fuertes Director
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Ithaca, NY 14850
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LOS Supports Two Research Projects for 2000
The LOS Board has voted to fund an on-going study being conducted by Tulane graduate student Donata Roome. Her proposal is entitled "Breeding Biology and Habitat Requirements of Swainson's Warblers (Limnothlypis swainsonii) in Bottomland Hardwood Forests of Southern Louisiana." Donata plans to color band warblers as they arrive on the breeding grounds in Honey Island swamp, Sherburne WMA, and Bogue Chitto WMA. This should allow her to monitor the breeding activities of nesting birds. Donata requested and will receive $1000 from LOS.
The Board also voted to continue support for Tulane graduate student Jennifer Coulson on the population ecology of Swallow-tailed Kites. Jennifer's proposal is entitled, "The Population Ecology of Swallow-tailed Kites, Atchafalaya River Basin." We heard about Jennifer's plans to further her kites research at the winter LOS meeting.
Support of projects such as Jennifer's and Donata's is one of the most important functions of an organization such as LOS. If any member would be inspired to contribute to our Research Fund, he or she can be sure it will be put to excellent projects such as these.
Carol Foil
1180 Stanford Ave.
Baton Rouge , LA 70808
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New Members

Bob and Martha Sargent
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LOS Sponsors Grand Isle Migratory Bird Celebration Day
The Grand Isle Sanctuaries Group hosted the Third Annual Migratory Bird Celebration Day in Grand Isle, Louisiana on Saturday, April 15, 2000. This was the third annual celebration. The purpose of this event is to support the acquisition of land for migrants. The day as planned around several events highlighting birds and conservation. There were birding tours led by Terrebonne Bird Club and Crescent Bird Club and some 1-11/2 hours tours by The Nature Conservancy and Dennis Demcheck for families with children or new birders. Lunch at Landry House Bed & Breakfast was a feature and an award was presented to Exxon & Mobil for 30 acres they are having The Nature Conservancy plant with oak, mulberry and hackberry trees. Hope you all made this worthy event!
The Grand Isle Sanctuaries Group is a cooperative effort. Members include Orleans Audubon Society (founding member), The Nature Conservancy of Louisiana, Crescent Bird Club, Terrebonne Bird Club, Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program, Barataria Terrebonne Estuary Foundation, Louisiana Ornithology Society, Grand Isle State Park, Grand Isle Tourist Commission, The Chamber of Lafourche and the Bayou Region, and Gulf Coast Bird Observatory.
Live oaks on Grand Isle are recognized nationally as premier areas to view neotropical migratory birds. These woods give food and shelter to songbirds before and after their long journey across the Gulf of Mexico. The Sanctuaries Group is working with local landowners to insure long-term protection of these woodlands and provide green space for Grand Isle residents.
For more information: http://conzo.dnr.state.la.us/btnep/index.htm
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Deserving Young Birder Sought
An anonymous donor has reserved a space on the May 28th LOS pelagic trip for a "deserving young birder." Please send nominations as soon as possible to Donna L. Dittmann at: ddittma@unix1.sncc.lsu.edu. The definition of "deserving young birder" is rather vague, but would include any avid birder up to undergraduate and graduate level college students. Prior to submitting names, please confirm with your nominee that he or she is actually available and interested in going on a day-long ocean cruise.
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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 05April2000