[Tweeters] seabirds down?

Hal Michael ucd880 at comcast.net
Mon Mar 16 18:26:26 PDT 2015

My observations are mostly with local landbirds. I have had nestboxes for 20 years and have been monitoring them the whole time. Number of boxes used and success of nests is declining at least the last couple of years. Further, I have been banding local passerines. While in 2012 and 2013 I had around 200 in 2014 I had to scratch to break 100 and 2015 is starting slower.

I know that over the 25 years we have been here that there have been changes in habitat that affect species compositions but something has happened in recent years that is definitely different that previous.

Hal Michael
Olympia WA
360-459-4005 (H)
360-791-7702 (C)
ucd880 at comcast.net

----- Original Message -----

Hello, tweets.

I’ve been going out just about every week to some high-quality birding area in the Puget Sound region, as I’ve had friends visiting who wanted to go out and was actually able to score some sunny weekend days. But everywhere I go I have the feeling there are fewer seabirds than usual.

I was appalled at the low numbers of birds in general (except of course Double-crested Cormorant) when visiting Blaine/Semiahmoo two weekends in a row. I was shocked at how few birds were visible in an hour spent at Point Wilson in Port Townsend (of course my memories go back 45 years). I have scarcely seen a Red-necked Grebe all winter, and they are usually common at Edmonds.

With unusually high temperatures to the north of us, I was wondering if a lot of birds just aren’t coming south, and I thought it would be worth getting the opinions of others. It will be interesting to see what the Christmas Bird Counts tell us.

Has anyone had similar thoughts? Best that you have been birding actively in the area for 10 years or more, so you have some perspective. I’ve been doing it for 46 years.

Dennis Paulson
Seattle, WA

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