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Shipman's field notes, Sep 1978

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1978-09-02: CA: Palo Alto: 3101 Middlefield

@day: Palo Alto: 3101 Middlefield
I've been throwing peanuts onto the roof outside my apartment window for some time. There seem to be two groups of jays coming to retrieve them. The ones from what I call the “home team” are quite blasé, taking their sweet time, finding the heaviest ones to take first. The ones from the “away team” are furtive and quick. My theory is that the roof is just inside the home team's territory.
Today I observed a quite remarkable sequence of complex behaviors involving two jays (one from each team) and a couple of California Towhees. The Away Jay was caught in the act of stealing a nut by one of the Home Jays. They squared off a few inches apart and went through a sequence of different postures. I'm not sure of the exact sequence, but there were roughly four phases.
One jay stretched up vertically, pointing its bill up, and leaned back slightly. I thought I saw the tip of its tail actually projecting forward between its legs. Then the other jay mimicked this posture.
One jay leaned very far forward, its bill nearly touching the gravel roof, and stretching its tail straight up. The other jay mimicked this posture after a slight delay.
The denouement happened very rapidly. I think it started when both birds leaped up, as if each wanted to be on top during the wrestling phase. They fell back down, possibly grappling or pushing with their feet, probably trying to peck each other. Somewhere around this point one of the towhees that had been watching from a foot or two away darted in and started pecking the jays. Quickly a second towhee jumped in from the opposite side and started pecking too. That was apparently too much for the jays, who broke off and each chased a towhee.
The entire incident took maybe ten or twenty seconds. I watched it all from about ten yards away and was left with my jaw hanging slack, trying to remember the exact sequence for the notes. This should be fairly accurate.
scrub-jay sp. @Palo Alto: 3101 Middlefield
Towhee, California @Palo Alto: 3101 Middlefield

1978-09-02: CA: Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth

@day: Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Scoter, Surf @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Merganser, Red-breasted @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Loon, Red-throated @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Loon, Pacific @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Loon, Common @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Grebe, Pied-billed @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Cormorant, Brandt's @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Cormorant, Pelagic @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Pelican, Brown @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Heron, Great Blue @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Egret, Snowy @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Hawk, Red-tailed @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Kestrel, American @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Merlin @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Coot, American @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Plover, Black-bellied @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Plover, Snowy @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Stilt, Black-necked @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Avocet, American @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Yellowlegs, Greater @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Willet @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Whimbrel @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Curlew, Long-billed @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Godwit, Marbled @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Turnstone, Ruddy @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Turnstone, Black @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Sanderling @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Sandpiper, Least @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Dowitcher, Short-billed @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Dowitcher, Long-billed @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Phalarope, Northern @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Gull, Heermann's @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Gull, Ring-billed @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Gull, Western @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Gull, California @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Gull, Glaucous-winged @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Tern, Caspian @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Tern, Forster's @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Tern, Elegant @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Murre, Common @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Dove, Rock @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Dove, Mourning @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Hummingbird, Anna's @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Kingfisher, Belted @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Shrike, Loggerhead @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Jay, Steller's @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
scrub-jay sp. @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Crow, Common @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Swallow, Barn @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Starling, European @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Sparrow, Savannah @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Sparrow, Song @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Sparrow, White-crowned @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Meadowlark, Western @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Blackbird, Brewer's @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Finch, House @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth
Sparrow, House @Pescadero; Moss Landing; Pajaro R mouth

1978-09-05: CA: Stevens Creek

@day: Stevens Creek
Quail, California @Stevens Creek
Hawk, Red-tailed @Stevens Creek
Dove, Rock @Stevens Creek
Dove, Mourning @Stevens Creek
Kingfisher, Belted @Stevens Creek
Woodpecker, Acorn @Stevens Creek
Flicker, Common @Stevens Creek
Jay, Steller's @Stevens Creek
scrub-jay sp. @Stevens Creek
Chickadee, Chestnut-backed @Stevens Creek
Bushtit, Common @Stevens Creek
Wren, Bewick's @Stevens Creek
Wrentit @Stevens Creek
Towhee, Rufous-sided @Stevens Creek
Towhee, California @Stevens Creek
Sparrow, Song @Stevens Creek
Finch, House @Stevens Creek
Goldfinch, Lesser @Stevens Creek
Goldfinch, American @Stevens Creek

1978-09-07: CA: Stevens Creek

@day: Stevens Creek
Quail, California @Stevens Creek
Hawk, Red-tailed @Stevens Creek
Tern, Caspian @Stevens Creek
Dove, Rock @Stevens Creek
Dove, Mourning @Stevens Creek
Hummingbird, Anna's @Stevens Creek
Kingfisher, Belted @Stevens Creek
Woodpecker, Acorn @Stevens Creek
Flicker, Red-shafted @Stevens Creek
1978-09-07a0042
Phoebe, Black @Stevens Creek
Jay, Steller's @Stevens Creek
scrub-jay sp. @Stevens Creek
Swallow, Violet-green @Stevens Creek
Chickadee, Chestnut-backed @Stevens Creek
Titmouse, Oak @Stevens Creek
Bushtit, Common @Stevens Creek
Creeper, Brown @Stevens Creek
Wren, Bewick's @Stevens Creek
Wrentit @Stevens Creek
Starling, European @Stevens Creek
Towhee, Rufous-sided @Stevens Creek
Towhee, California @Stevens Creek
Sparrow, Song @Stevens Creek
Junco, Oregon @Stevens Creek
Blackbird, Brewer's @Stevens Creek
Goldfinch, Lesser @Stevens Creek
Goldfinch, American @Stevens Creek

1978-09-08: CA: Pt Reyes (bobcat)

@PRL: Point Reyes: Barracks above lighthouse
@day: Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Mallard @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Quail, California @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Grebe, Pied-billed @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Cormorant, Brandt's @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Cormorant, Pelagic @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Pelican, Brown @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Heron, Great Blue @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Egret, Great @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Egret, Snowy @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Hawk, Marsh @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Hawk, Red-shouldered @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Hawk, Red-tailed @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Kestrel, American @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Plover, Semipalmated @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Killdeer @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Avocet, American @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Yellowlegs, Greater @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Willet @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Whimbrel @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Curlew, Long-billed @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Godwit, Marbled @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Sandpiper, Western @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Sandpiper, Least @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Sandpiper, Baird's @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Gull, Heermann's @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Gull, Ring-billed @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Gull, Western @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Gull, Glaucous-winged @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Tern, Caspian @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Tern, Forster's @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Murre, Common @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Dove, Rock @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Dove, Mourning @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Kingfisher, Belted @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Shrike, Loggerhead @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Jay, Steller's @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
scrub-jay sp. @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Crow, Common @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Raven, Common @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Lark, Horned @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Tomales Point Trail.
1978-09-08b0018
Swallow, Cliff @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Swallow, Barn @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Bushtit, Common @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Wren, Rock @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
1978-09-08a0004
Robin, American @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Starling, European @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Towhee, California @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Sparrow, Savannah @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Sparrow, Song @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Sparrow, White-crowned @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Junco, Oregon @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Blackbird, Red-winged @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Meadowlark, Western @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Blackbird, Brewer's @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Finch, House @Pt Reyes (bobcat)
Sparrow, House @Pt Reyes (bobcat)

1978-09-16: CA: Pt Reyes (Chandik)

@FD: Point Reyes: Fish Docks
@day: Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Mallard @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Scoter, Surf @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Quail, California @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Loon, Common @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Cormorant, Brandt's @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Cormorant, Double-crested @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Cormorant, Pelagic @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Pelican, White @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Heron, Great Blue @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Egret, Great @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Egret, Snowy @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Night-Heron, Black-crowned @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Vulture, Turkey @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Hawk, Marsh @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Hawk, Red-shouldered @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Hawk, Red-tailed @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Kestrel, American @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Coot, American @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Plover, Black-bellied @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Killdeer @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Willet @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Whimbrel @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Godwit, Marbled @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Sandpiper, Pectoral @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Gull, Heermann's @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Gull, Western @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Gull, Glaucous-winged @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Jaeger, Pomarine @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Murre, Common @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Dove, Rock @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Dove, Mourning @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Owl, Great Horned @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Hummingbird, Anna's @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Phoebe, Black @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Phoebe, Say's @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Jay, Steller's @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
scrub-jay sp. @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Crow, Common @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Raven, Common @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Lark, Horned @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Swallow, Barn @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Bushtit, Common @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Wren, Bewick's @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Wrentit @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Bluebird, Western @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Starling, European @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Waxwing, Cedar @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Warbler, Yellow @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Warbler, Audubon's @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Warbler, Black-throated Gray @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
1978-09-16-0010
Warbler, Blackpoll @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
1978-09-16a00201978-09-16a0017
The photos may not be diagnostic, but our fearless leader Ted Chandik ID'd it for us.
Towhee, California @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Sparrow, Chipping @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Sparrow, Savannah @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Sparrow, Song @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Sparrow, White-crowned @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Junco, Oregon @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Grosbeak, Black-headed @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Blackbird, Red-winged @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Blackbird, Tricolored @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Meadowlark, Western @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Blackbird, Yellow-headed @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Blackbird, Brewer's @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Cowbird, Brown-headed @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Finch, House @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Siskin, Pine @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Goldfinch, Lesser @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Goldfinch, American @Pt Reyes (Chandik)
Sparrow, House @Pt Reyes (Chandik)

1978-09-17: CA: Monterey pelagic (GGAud)

@day: Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Mallard @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Scoter, Surf @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Albatross, Black-footed @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Shearwater, Pink-footed @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Shearwater, Flesh-footed @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Shearwater, Buller's @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Shearwater, Sooty @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Storm-Petrel, Ashy @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Storm-Petrel, Black @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Cormorant, Brandt's @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Cormorant, Pelagic @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Pelican, Brown @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Night-Heron, Black-crowned @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Vulture, Turkey @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Coot, American @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Killdeer @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Willet @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Sanderling @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Phalarope, Northern @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Phalarope, Red @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Kittiwake, Black-legged @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Gull, Heermann's @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Gull, Western @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Gull, California @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Gull, Glaucous-winged @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Tern, Elegant @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Jaeger, Pomarine @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Jaeger, Parasitic @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Murre, Common @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Guillemot, Pigeon @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Auklet, Cassin's @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Dove, Rock @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Dove, Mourning @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Owl, Great Horned @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Kingfisher, Belted @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
scrub-jay sp. @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Crow, Common @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Starling, European @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Blackbird, Red-winged @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Blackbird, Brewer's @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)
Sparrow, House @Monterey pelagic (GGAud)

1978-09-21: CA: GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP

@HM: GGNRA: Hawk Mountain (Hill 129)
@day: GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Wigeon, American @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Mallard @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Shoveler, Northern @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Vulture, Turkey @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Hawk, Sharp-shinned @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
1978-09-21b0005
Hawk, Cooper's @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Hawk, Red-tailed @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Kestrel, American @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Coot, American @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Killdeer @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Gull, Western @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Gull, California @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Gull, Glaucous-winged @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Dove, Rock @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Dove, Mourning @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Swift, Vaux's @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
1978-09-21a0034
Hummingbird, Anna's @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Kingfisher, Belted @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Flicker, Common @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
scrub-jay sp. @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Swallow, Barn @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Chickadee, Chestnut-backed @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Bushtit, Common @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Wren, Winter @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Wrentit @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Warbler, Orange-crowned @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Towhee, California @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Sparrow, Fox @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Sparrow, Song @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Junco, Oregon @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Blackbird, Red-winged @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Blackbird, Brewer's @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Finch, House @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP
Sparrow, House @GGNRA: Hawk Mt; GGP

1978-09-24: CA: Palo Alto

@PAB: Palo Alto Baylands
@day: Palo Alto
@home: Palo Alto: 3101 Middlefield Road
Partial notes.
Mockingbird @Palo Alto
Blackbird, Brewer's ♀ @Palo Alto
1978-09-24-0027
Questar 700mm f/8 with donuts.
Goldfinch, American @Palo Alto
1978-09-24-00061978-09-24-00121978-09-24-0014
Questar 700mm f/8, showing characteristic donuts.

1978-09-27: CA: Palo Alto

@PAB: Palo Alto Baylands
@day: Palo Alto
@home: Palo Alto: 3101 Middlefield Road
Cormorant, Double-crested @Palo Alto
1978-09-27b0016
scrub-jay sp. @Palo Alto
I had left the window open 1.75" and jays were coming and going freely to sort through the peanuts I left on the inner windowsill.

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Last updated: 2011-05-23 20:06 MDT