[Tweeters] Re: status of Black-capped Chickadee in the San Juan Islands

Dennis Paulson dennispaulson at comcast.net
Tue Mar 27 09:23:32 PDT 2012


The San Juans are actually very interesting from the standpoint of biogeography. Many mainland animals are lacking out there, especially of non-flying groups. Some of them are found only on Orcas or are common on Orcas but scarce or absent from the other islands. I too have always thought Black-capped Chickadees were absent, and I would expect their first occurrences would be on Orcas. Steller's Jays are common on Orcas but I think less common on or absent from the other islands.

Hardly any of the WA carnivores are out there; Raccoons and River Otters are present, Red Foxes are introduced, and I have heard that Coyotes were introduced, but I don't recall the source of that.

There are no rabbits except for the introduced European Rabbit. Moles are lacking, and there is only one shrew species. Chipmunks and Douglas Squirrels have made it out there, but not flying squirrels. Many common rodents are missing, but there are Townsend's Voles and Deer Mice, the most common mice in western WA. Beavers and Muskrats have both made it there, perhaps because they may swim across saltwater gaps. Bats are fairly diverse, not surprising.

Only two of the five common lowland salamanders are out there, although just about all the common lowland frogs and reptiles are there.


On Mar 26, 2012, at 10:21 PM, Charlie Wright wrote:

> Hi Charles,

> Thanks for starting this discussion about chickadees, the San Juans, and eBird.


> Black-capped Chickadee is certainly rare out there on the islands, but

> not completely unheard of. That said, it is likely that visiting

> birders sometimes hear chickadees and assume "Black-capped" without a

> second thought. We're now going back and e-mailing those birders

> (that's right, including Kenn Kaufman!) to see if they can help with

> details. Incidentally, we've just finished a brand new filter for San

> Juan County (it had previously been on a coastal filter) that should

> be in place later this week, and will flag Black-capped Chickadee

> reports for reviewal from now on.


> The spate of Black-cap reports on Orcas Island (including the CBC

> reports Barb mentioned) might indicate a small population there, but

> only time will tell. It will be interesting to see if they ever do get

> a toehold out there, and if so how rapidly they'll increase.


> Cheers,

> Charlie Wright

> Puyallup, Washington


> Charles Swift wrote:


> Interestingly there is an old Black-capped Chickadee record for San Juan

> Island in eBird from one Kenn Kauffman! But in response to my email I have

> received no first hand reports of Black-capped Chickadee for the islands

> although I did get an intriguing second-hand report of BC Chickadees

> regularly coming to a feeder outside of Friday Harbor. If this is the case

> it should be possible to document them relatively easily and I have passed

> that report along to a resident birder on San Juan Island. There are

> additional recent eBird records around Friday Harbor so it is possible

> there is small population here but this needs to be confirmed. Like others

> I assumed based on the reference mentioned and limited personal experience

> that BCCH are not present in the islands.


> It does appear that the San Juan County eBird filter for BC Chickadee is

> set so that records can be submitted without confirmation. There are in

> fact a good number of BCCH records in eBird for San Juan county - I counted

> about 30 pins and some of those pins represent multiple records. So

> probably these records need to be reviewed by the WA eBird folks (in case

> they are reading). I did look at southern Vancouver Island in eBird and

> there are no BCCH records there.


> thanks, Charles.

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Dennis Paulson
1724 NE 98 St.
Seattle, WA 98115
dennispaulson at comcast.net

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