We have done a lot this field season at BBI, working throughout southern California with a variety of species on a multitude of projects. Below is some wonderful footage of a typical day in the field. The view from a cherry picker after returning some recently banded Swainson's hawks to their nest. Thanks to Mike Kuehn for the video. Greg Tully and Pete Bloom pictured in photoRead More
Updates on BBI's current projects and news that relates to BBI's goals and interests.
BBI's Peter Bloom was recently featured in an article from the Wall Street Journal, examining the role of roadkill in biology and conservation efforts. There is a video as well, where Pete uses part of a musk deer to trap Turkey Vultures in an ongoing study effort to determine why their numbers have been "dwindling".Read More
Happy Holidays from BBIRead More
Allen Fish and the folks at the Golden Gate Raptor observatory just sent us this link to Pete's talk from the 49th Raptor Research Foundation conference hosted at the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory in November of last year.
Pete's presentation "Fifty Years of California Raptor Conservation — Success, Failure, Works in Progress, & Insights for Future Research" was wonderfully filmed and we are delighted to be able to share it!Read More
Here are photos of Turkey vulture trapping this past week with Jackie Catino and Peter Bloom.Read More
Swainson's hawk banding and other pictures from the field June 2016Read More
California High Speed Rail Authority just published their small business newsletter featuring a nice article about BBI's involvement in the project. We are currently out in the field surveying for Swainson's hawks, a threatened species in CA.Read More
BBI Is pleased to announce we are now a certified WBE - Women Business EnterpriseRead More
Biologist Jackie Catino shared photos from her recent trip to Thailand, where she captured many wonderful species.Read More
This Great Horned owl was photographed out in Kern County this week near the Cattani Ranch by BBI biologist Michael Kuehn. Spring is a busy time of year at BBI and we are currently in the field all over California and parts of Nevada.
Happy holidays and best wishes for a wonderful new year! We are pleased to have accomplished so much this year, and value the relationships with our clients and collaborators. We wish everyone a successful and productive 2016!Read More
At BBI we receive a lot of pictures of birds we have banded making appearances all over California. This year we have some turkey vultures and a Red-tailed Hawk. Thanks to Kat Avila, Joe Valley, and Devon Lang Pryor for the shotsRead More
Peterson Ranch has established the Land Veritas Mitigation Banks which will provide habitat for a number of important species. We were relatively peripheral to the creation of this land bank but our endorsement of it as credible Swainson’s Hawk habitat contributed to its acceptance.
More information here.....
PV/SB Audubon Chapter
Madrona Marsh Nature Center
3201 Plaza del Amo
Torrance, CA, 90503
7- 9 pm.
Title: Unusual Movements of Raptors Banded in Southern California
Description: Peter will speak about some of the results from his dissertation research that includes a hitherto undescribed migration of fledgling and young adult Red-tailed Hawks from southwestern California to northerly latitudes at least as far a Yellowstone NP in Montana, and another component that looks at vagrancy (basically lost) in Red-shouldered Hawks also banded in southwestern California.
Open to the public. Light refreshments are provided. Free! Donations are greatly appreciated. For more information please contact the Madrona Marsh Nature Center at 310-782-3989.
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve added a new species to the Big Year count. I think it’s getting to that point where I actually have to make a concerted effort to find new ones, primarily by chasing after species reported by others. While I’ve been birding for over 30 years all over the Americas, I’ve never been much of a chaser of species found by others. The reasons are pretty simple:
- Urban parks are not my thing. For some reason or another, it seems the majority of rarities show up in city parks, often in the middle of very urbanized areas, and not the type of places I enjoy spending my time in, such as more remote areas that you could call wilderness. I highly doubt that there are actually more rarities in those places. They are just more likely to be found. There is an argument, however, for a verdant spot in the middle of a city being like an island oasis in the middle of an ocean.
- I hate waiting and wondering. It is commonplace when you chase after a bird for that bird to not be immediately evident upon your arrival. So, you wait. You wonder. You wander. You poke around in the places where others have reported seeing it. If you don’t find the bird relatively quickly, you begin to wonder if you are going to be the first person to miss it. How long should I wait? Am I wasting my time? I guarantee someone will find it right after I leave.
- I hate it when someone finds a bird I missed. That I specifically sought. Immediately after I gave up and left the place it was previously found. It happens to all who chase birds regularly. “Birds have wings and they do things…” is a quote often attributed to Roger Tory Peterson. Whether he said it or not, it’s accurate, and the thing they do quite often is avoid detection when you are looking for them.
So, given all of the above, I chased an immature Yellow-crowned Night-Heron on Thursday. The bird had been seen in a variety of places centered around the Ballona Channel in Marina del Rey. It was just my luck that I had to do a short nesting bird survey on a rather small property about two miles away. After completing the survey, I went straight to the parking lot at Del Rey Lagoon, got out of my Jeep, and there was the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron feeding on the narrow mud flat right in front me. There was no effort on my part. I got out of my Jeep, set up my camera, and snapped pictures until someone walked by with their dog and it flew to the other side.
Why can’t they all be that easy?
As a reminder of my points above, and their general applicability outside of my own experience, I subsequently walked north to bird the Ballona Channel wherein I met another birder.
Other birder (chewing on a sandwich): “Did you see it?”
Me: “You mean the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron?”
Other birder (chewing on a sandwich): “Yes.”
Me: “Yep. I just came from there. It was feeding on the southwest shore.”
Other birder (putting away sandwich): “Really? I didn’t see it. Guess I’m heading back over there.”
I never saw him again, and I do not know if he ever saw it, but I do know the bird has been seen daily through today. In some sense, though, I also became that birder (chewing on a sandwich) when it came to the rest of my day. I still do not have Common Tern or Black Skimmer for Los Angeles County for the year. Birders have observed both species recently, repeatedly, at the Ballona Channel. Once again, on yet another visit there, I come up empty. I continued my day a little further inland at the Ballona Freshwater Marsh. My primary goal bird there was a Rose-breasted Grosbeak that had been reported the previous few days in an elderberry above the road on the south side. I spent about a half hour there, by the elderberry, agonizing whether to stay or go. I decided to leave. When I reached the north side of the marsh and my Jeep, I looked back at the elderberry far away and saw some birders looking up at it. I later got an ebird report in my email stating it had been observed in the elderberry at just about that time.
Dr. Peter Bloom along with Dr. Robert Fisher and Dr. Jeff Tracy of the U.S. Geological Survey, seen here placing radio telemetry units on Golden Eagles in southwestern California. Dr. Robert Fisher releases an adult female.Read More