[Tweeters] more Olive-sided commentary

Mark Egger m.egger at comcast.net
Mon Jul 11 14:41:08 PDT 2016

Having lived just N of Matthews Beach for about 35 years now, the decline of both locally resident birds and migratory birds has been conspicuous and interesting (mostly in a bad way). One good aspect is that House Sparrows were common in the area when I first moved here, but they simply disappeared over 20 years ago, and I haven’t seen a single one in the local neighborhood since. I heard Great-horned Owls in the park a few times in the early years, but they have disappeared. In the last 5-6 years, Barred Owls have become regular. I’d never heard them here before that. Olived-sided Flycatchers used to be regular, as were Band-tailed Pigeons, but both are irregular now. For instance, I heard one Olive-sided singing about a month ago, but nothing since — likely a migrant, whereas I believe they nested here previously. The most striking change, however, is the decline of passerines on migration. The first few years I would regularly hear Black-throated Gray, Wilson’s, and even Yellow Warblers, along with Pacific-slope Flycatchers, Solitary Vireos, and Warbling Vireos during the spring migration. I haven’t heard any of these species for 15 years or more in the neighborhood. Other birds are still around at times but decidedly less common, including Townsend’s Warbler, Hutton’s Vireo, and Western Wood Peewee. Of course, these trends are from one small, suburban neighborhood, and many variables might be involved, but it is certainly suggestive of a pattern that’s been noted in many other places as well.


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