[Tweeters] Not Global Warming??

David Hutchinson flora.fauna at live.com
Fri Jan 25 16:40:42 PST 2013

Every year urban birders, at least on the western side of Washington State can encounter something of the following phenomenon. This week in Seattle's Discovery Park, as early as January 21, several snags were occupied by male Anna's Hummingbirds on territory. This is a reliable indicator of the beginning of their species' breeding season - their hormones are telling them so. The same is happening in the Bay Area and even earlier in Southern California. Not to say that they are successfully mating. I personally do not know what triggers female breeding activity, certainly their own hormones are part of it, but does it also involve male "song" activity, the habitat quality they defend and floristic resources available. Discovery Park has wild, "natural" habitat and native plant resources that other urban and suburban localities do not access. There are some ornamental plants, like my white Sasanqua Camellia in bloom and visited regularly by both sexes of Anna's Hummingbird. Have seen nothing native blooming in the park, not even Indian Plum, the true harbinger of Spring.

What got me thinking about global warming is that along with the hummingbirds in the park, I have also noted small flocks of Pine Siskin, Red Crossbill, Pine Grosbeak, plus other flocking winter birds such as Golden-crowned Kinglet,Dark-eyed Junco and Chestnut-backed Chickadee, which tell us that it is really cold somewhere, along with those large snow levels in the Cascades. Actually I don't think this is any true evidence of g.w., but in my thirty years of monitoring birds in Discovery, this is the most extreme juxtaposition of these species and of Winter colliding with early Spring. Good birding, Dave.

David Hutchinson, Owner
Flora & Fauna: Nature Books
Discovery Gardens: Native Plants
3706 Corliss Ave North

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