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  • Kite Tales

    Volume 53, Number 8 April 2018

    Yellow-breasted Chat, Santa Rosa Creek Trail

    Courtesy of David A. Hofmann

    Next RROS General Meeting

    April 11th, 7 pm

  • Kite Tales Page 2 April 2018

    Monthly Meeting: Weds, April 11th, 2018, 7pm. Program: The Greater Sage-grouse will be the star of the presentation, focusing on threats and conservation strategies. Our speaker will be Wendell Gilgert, the Working Lands Program Director stationed in the Chico office of Point Blue Conservation Science; he leads the Rangeland Watershed Initiative. Youre invited to join us for dinner at 5:30pm at Marys Pizza, 535 Summerfield, in back room. Details on RROS web site. Save the date: Weds, May 9th, 2018, 7pm. Annual Spring Potluck: Likely will be at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park at 5:30 pm. Look for details in May Kite Tales. Note: We will vote on the following slate of 2018-2019 officers at the April meeting:

    President: Anne ODonnell

    Vice-President: Gene Hunn

    Secretary: Rita Bevans

    Treasurer: Rob ODonnell

    UPCOMING RROS FIELD TRIPS & EVENTS Saturday, April 14th, Bodega Bay. Leader, Monica Schwalbenberg-Pea ([email protected]) and anyone else who shows up. High tide is around noon, so meet at Porto Bodega at 8:30 and well see who is out there in breeding plumage before they fly north. Well go to Bodega Head and Doran Regional Park (fee) and possibly walk the Bird Walk. Bring lunch and fluids. Bathrooms at the Tides Restaurant, Doran Park,and the Head (no joke!), heavy rain cancels. Saturday, April 28th, Pine Flat Rd. Leader, Will Anderson ([email protected]) Meet at 8am at the bridge at the bottom of Pine Flat Rd accessed from Hwy 128, stay straight past Jimtown Store. Take Alexander Valley exit from Hwy 101 north of Healdsburg; follow signs for Hwy 128. Possibilities: Mt Quail, Northern Pygmy-owl, Purple Martin, Bells Sparrow. Bring lunch, fluids, layered clothing. Please note that there are no bathrooms. This is a narrow winding road, so please carpool as much as possible & watch for bicyclists. Heavy rain cancels. Saturday, May 12th, King Ridge Rd. Leader, Bill Doyle ([email protected]) Meet at 8:00am at the bakery in Duncans Mills. Bring lunch, layers, fluids and folding chairs. No bathrooms once we leave Duncans Mills. Heavy rain cancels. Saturday, June 9th, Laguna de Santa Rosa. Leader, Bill Doyle ([email protected]) Meet at 8:00 am, in the parking lot behind Hydro Depot and Sebastopol Bike, at the intersection of Hwy 12 and Morris Rd, Sebastopol. This is the first stoplight as you enter Sebastopol from Santa Rosa. Turn left at the light. We will explore the other Laguna Trail, which is crowded with singing and nest building birds in early June. Heavy rain cancels.

    RROS is proud to support conservation organizations and members approved these donations during the March general meeting: 1) Two members, Bill Bevins and Mario Balitbit, spoke of the Bird Rescue Center of Sonoma County's need to relocate in the near future. We voted to donate $500 to the Bird Rescue Centers Capital Fund for relocation expenses. We sent our best wishes in their search for a new home. 2) Dr. Benjamin D. Mike Parmeter, spoke about the work done at the Palomarin Field Station, and praised the leadership of Diana Humple, Avian Ecologist & Banding Coordinator. We voted to donate $500 to the Point Blue bird banding program at the Palomarin Field Station. We sent our best wishes for the continuing success of their program.

    If you have ideas of trips that you would like to lead or trips that youd like to take, please

    provide those to Monica at [email protected]

    mailto:[email protected]:[email protected]

  • Kite Tales Page 3 April 2018

    Observations Feb 21 to Mar 20, 2018 Compiled by David A. Hofmann

    Species Dates Location Cty # Observer(s)

    Ross's Goose 02/25 Rainsville Rd at Wiggins Ck

    SON 1 AlW

    Ross's Goose 03/14-17 Ellis Creek Ponds SON 2 EuH, Je&EvV WiG Tundra Swan 03/10-17 Valley Ford wetlands SON 1 Mof, StL, DeH, JaD,

    SuG, ChN, Te&MiT, TiE, DoK, WiG, HeK, BiD, mob, photos

    Mandarin Duck 03/17 Sonoma 4th St bridge SON 2 Marc Simmel Blue-winged Teal 03/03-18 Willowbrook Court pond SON 4 RoO, Te&MiT, YvM Blue-winged Teal 03/11 Valley Ford wetlands SON 2 DeH White-winged Scoter 03/15 Bodega Head State Park SON 1 RoO Black Scoter 03/04 Gualala Point Reg Pk SON 2 RuW, mob Northern Fulmar 03/04 Bodega Head State Park SON 20 MaB, photos Swainson's Hawk 03/11 Hudemann Slough SON 1 KuN Ferruginous Hawk 03/04 Sea Ranch SON 1 Te&MiT, photo Rough-legged Hawk 03/03 San Pablo Bay NWR SON 1 SeP, mob Prairie Falcon 02/25 Laguna Trail SON 1 YvM Prairie Falcon 03/03 Skagg's Island SON 1 MuB, BDP, CaH,

    mob Rock Sandpiper 02/27-

    03/19 Bodega Head State Park SON 1 DeH, BrO, DAH,

    Te&MiT, RuW, MaL, NoO, LiH, Mof, DoK, HeK, BiD, RoS, mob

    Lesser Black-backed Gull


    Shollenberger Park SON 1 NoA, Lu&MaS

    Glaucous Gull 02/21-03 Shollenberger Park SON 1 ViK, Je&EvV, GaT, ScS, NoA, JaD, Lu&MaS, ToB, JeM, Te&MiT, DoK, HeK, mob

    Black-legged Kittiwake

    03/14 Bodega Head SP SON 1 ToB

    Marbled Murrelet 02/22 Bodega Head SP SON 4 ViK Yellow-billed Cuckoo 03/10 El Verano yard SON 2 BoM, fly-by Western Screech-Owl 02/27 El Verano yard SON 1 WiG, photo Northern Pygmy-Owl 02/26 Rio Nido yard SON 1 JeM Burrowing Owl 03/03 Skagg's Island SON 2 MuB, BDP, mob Burrowing Owl 03/06 Bodega Head SON 1 LiH, DAH, PeM,

    photos Burrowing Owl 03/11-14 Coleman Vly Rd, upper SON 1 Te&MiT Barred Owl 02/25 Salt Point State Park SON 2 ChS, heard only Short-eared Owl 03/04-19 Skagg's Island Road SON 1 CaH, DoK, mob Short-eared Owl 03/11 Tolay Regional Park SON 1 PeD Short-eared Owl 03/18 Goat Rock Road SON 1 Te&MiT Northern Saw-whet Owl

    03/09 Salmon Creek Road SON 1 WiA

    Northern Saw-whet Owl

    03/10 3124 Sonoma Mountain Road

    SON 1 AnF

    White-throated Swift 03/03 Hudeman Slough SON 3 WiG, mob

  • Kite Tales Page 4 April 2018

    White-throated Swift 03/13 Spring Lake Reg Park SON 1 Je&EvV Lewis's Woodpecker 03/09-19 General Vallejo's Home SON 1 FrS, DaF Rock Wren 03/06 Milt Brandt Visitor Ctr SON 1 WiG, photo Harris's Sparrow 03/16-17 Salmon Ck /Bean Ave SON 1 LiH, JoS, RoS, HeK,

    BiD, mob, photos Tricolored Blackbird 02/22 5797-5861 Coast Hwy SON 5 Te&MiT

    Observer/s for this period: Will Anderson, Noah Arthur, Mario Balitbit, Murray Berner, Tony Briggs, Jared Dawson, Peter Dellavalle, Bill Doyle, Megan Elrod, Tiffany Erickson, Andrew Ford, Dawna Foreman, Mookie Fudemberg, Will German, Sue Gragg, Carol Hasenick, Denise Herzberg, David A. Hofmann, Lisa Hug, Eugene Hunn, Don Kirker, Helen Kochenderfer, Vincent Koczurik, Matthew Lau, Steven Long, Bob McLean, Jeff Miller, Yvonne Motherwell, Peggy Mundy, Christian Naventi, Kurt Niznik, Brook & Orion Oconnor, Rob O'Donnell, Benjamin D. Parmeter, Sean Peterson, Fred Safier, Chris Shuck, Marc Simmel, Scott Sorby, Lucas & Mark Stephenson, John Sterling, Ron Storey, Gabriel Tarantino, Teresa & Miles Tuffli, Jeff & Eva Valfer, Rudyard Wallen, Alan Wight.

    ------- ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ PISHING WITH PARMETER

    CHIAPAS, 11/27 to 12/4/1970

    I visited Chiapas and the famed Mayan ruins at Palenque with Jack Guggolz as my traveling companion.

    Palenque is a major study area for Mayan culture. There were 22 buildings uncovered, and, wherever I went

    in the rainforest, there were more sites that had not yet been excavated. It is truly a major Maya ruin. We

    landed at Villahermosa airport on 11/26. Birded for a day in that area. Birds seen include Little Blue Heron,

    Snail Kite (Everglade), American Jacana, Ruddy Ground Dove, Aztec Parakeet, Groove-billed Ani, Lesser Nighthawk, Ringed Kingfisher, Amazon Kingfisher, Band-backed Wren, Clay-colored Robin, Lichtensteins

    Oriole, and Melodious Blackbird.

    That afternoon we rode in the civilian bus to the city of Palenque (70 miles). Got a couple of lifers on the way

    down: Laughing Falcon and Fork-tailed Flycatcher. The city of Palenque is an old Spanish colonial town with cobbled streets and a large central plaza where we stayed at the Palenque Hotel. Immediately we found 2 life

    birds: Bluegray Tanager and White-tipped Brown Jay. We spent the remainder of the afternoon at the ruins.

    There are extensive stone buildings, a city, with very large structures. Added a few birds to the trip list: Pale-

    billed Woodpecker, Social Flycatcher, Wood Thrush, Black-throated Green Warbler, Baltimore Oriole, and

    Montezuma Oropendola.

    The following day (29th) we were back at the ruins at 6:15 a.m. Great birding! Squirrel Cuckoo, Long-tailed

    Hermit (hummer), White-bellied Emerald (hummer), Violaceous Trogon, Collared Aracari, Keel-billed Trogon,

    Smoky-brown Woodpecker, Strong-billed Woodcreeper. Ivory-billed Woodcreeper, Plain Xenops, Dot-winged

    Antwren, Scaled Antpitta (a funny looking bird!), Cinnamon Becard, Rose-throated Becard, Plain-tipped Jay,

    and Gray-headed Greenlet. Several NA warblers wintering here: Blue-backed Euphonia, Masked Tanager, Yellow-winged Tanager, Scarlet-rumped Tanager, Crimson-collared Tanager, Red-throated Ant-tanager,

    Orange-billed Sparrow, and Barred Antshrike. We were really getting good looks at the neotropical avifauna.

    11/30, back to the ruins: Bat Falcon, White-crowned Parrot, Little Hermit, Wedge-tailed Sabrewing (hummer),

    Rufous-tailed Hummer, Citroline Trogon, Golden-olive Woodpecker, Boat-billed Flycatcher, Long-billed

    Gnatwren, and Black-cowled Oriole.

    12/1 A gentleman had promised to take us to a nearby birding spot, but he never showed up. Thus, birded

    around the city: Roadside Hawk, Red-lored Parrot, White-collared Swift, Blue-winged Warbler, White-collared

    Seedeater, and Blue-black Grassquit. In the p.m., we got back to the ruins: White-collared Manakin,

    Bananaquit, Yellow-billed Cacique, Buff-throated Saltator, and Yellow-billed Euphonia.

    12/2 We climbed up the steps of the Temple of the Inscriptions, and then down into the center of the building

    via a narrow staircase. It was a strenuous climb! The steps ended in a burial chamber housing an important

    person. This was a most elaborate room with very large stone cover over the tomb, all intricately carved.

    Climbing back out, my legs felt a bit wobbly. Birds added: Tawny-winged Woodcreeper, Olivaceous Flycatcher,

    Sulphur-rumped Flycatcher, Northern Royal Flycatcher (which showed its fancy crest to us), White-throated

  • Kite Tales Page 5 April 2018

    Spade-bill (flycatcher), White-breasted Woodwren, Green Honeycreeper, Red-crowned Ant-tanager, and Blue-

    black Grosbeak.

    12/3 Arrived at the ruins at 7 a.m.: Black-crowned Motmot, White-whiskered Puffbird, Olivaceous

    Woodcreeper, Barred Woodcreeper, Golden-crowned Warbler, Black-throated Shrike-Tanager, and Melodious


    Walked back to the city of Palenque, 6 or 7 miles, mainly through pasture land with cows. Some cultivated

    fields as well. Birds noted: Black Vulture, Olive-throated Parakeet, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Acorn

    Woodpecker, Rose-throated Becard, Kiskadee, Vermillion Flycatcher, Orchard Oriole, and Painted Bunting.

    12/4 Back at the ruins. Ticked a few more birds: Pheasant Cuckoo (this bird responded to our whistle of its

    call and came quite close), Bright-rumped Attila, and Green Honeycreeper. Returned to town and caught the bus back to Villahermosa to head home. A wonderful trip which served as a great introduction to tropical

    families and species.

    ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----

    Supporting Conservation in Oaxaca, Mexico, and January 2019 RROS Trip Gene Hunn has been working with Tierra de Aves in Mexico, a Oaxaca NGO that supports their MAPS

    banding operation. RROS contributed $400 to their program.

    Gene spoke about a Oaxaca tour for next January led by Manuel Grosselet and Gene, to include a visit to the

    banding stations at the Santo Domingo ex-convent ethnobotanical garden. Planned itinerary is below.

    Contact Gene to enroll or for more info.

    Day 0: arriving installation. Hotel Posada mi Rosita.

    Day 1: Teotitlan del Valle. Birding around pounds and arid scrubs. Bridled Sparrow, Pileated Flycatcher,

    Elegant Eufonia, Black-vented Oriole. Mid-day food in Teotitlan and visit of a rugs fabric. On the return we

    will make a stop to see the Tule tree. Night in Oaxaca.

    Day 2: Birding towards Arroyo Guacamayas. Birding on route from 4800 to 9000 ft. Food in a small village, Arroyo Guacamayas. Birding around and get back in afternoon in Oaxaca. Dwarf Jay, Mountain Trogon, Red

    Warbler, Crescent-chested Warbler, Russet Nightingale Thrush, etc.

    Day 3: Monte alban. Birding and visit to the ruins. Slaty Vireo, Ocellated Thrasher, Boucards Wren.

    Food in Oaxaca. Moving towards Cerro Machin. Night in rustic, confortable cabins out of Oaxaca. Around 3

    hour drive.

    Day 4: Morning birding from Cerro Machin to Valle Nacional. Food in Valle Nacional. Road back to Oaxaca, Night in Oaxaca. Around 4 hour drive. Tropical Species from Cloud Forest to tropical lowlands.

    Day 5: Banding in Oaxaca Botanical garden. Participants could participate in banding activity, like

    extraction, banding, and age sex determination, under review of the banders in charge. Midday food in

    Oaxaca. Afternoon free. Visiting, markets.

    Day 6: Flight back home, or extend time in the region on your own

    The price includes everything from Oaxaca airport to Oaxaca airport: entrance, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 6

    lunches and 6 dinners, local transport from/to Oaxaca Airport, transport during the 6 days, gas, snacks. The

    cost per participant will cover the guide, the local co-leader, funds to help Conservation project through Tierra

    de Aves A.C, housing in double occupancy (220 USD per person for single room). Not included: airfare,

    alcoholic beverages, personal items, tax at airport, tips. Minimum of 4 participants and maximum of 8.


    * For 4 or 5 persons: 1560 USD per person for RROS members; 1750 USD for non-members

    * For 6 to 8 persons: 1230 USD. per person for RROS members; 1390 USD for non-members.

    To RROS Photographers: Please submit images to Bob H for inclusion in the Gallery, using common file formats with file size between 350KB and 5MB. Please ID species.

    Also, send your rarities to Ron Storey to be shared on:

    New Kite Tails Editor: RROS is very pleased to announce that Eva Valfer will become the Kite Tails editor starting with the September 2018 issue. Those attending the March meeting had a chance to meet Eva and her family.

  • Kite Tales Page 6 April 2018

    History of YAMS (Young Ancient Murrelets)

    Our new YAMS logo, designed by Danielle Dube

    A few years ago, I received a request from an adult student at Petaluma Adult School to allow her 14-year-old

    daughter to join the class. This is how I met mother and daughter Beverly and Danielle Dube. All the other

    class members and I fell in love with 14-year-old Danielle immediately. Her love of birds and her expressive

    drawings of birds impressed us all.

    This inspired me to start a birding club for youth. So, I went on a search for young people with birding

    interests. It didnt take me long to find Mario Balitbit, birding with his dad and Rob ODonnell at Bodega Bay.

    I ran the idea by him, and I couldnt get a more enthusiastic response. Bill Doyle recommended Luke

    Campbell, who regularly came to RROS field trips, notebook in hand, writing down all observations with his

    grandfather, Glenn.

    So, during September, 2014, we had our first youth group birding field trip at the Laguna de Santa Rosa

    Trail. I was a member of the Point Blue Bird-a-thon Committee at the time. I decided that Point Blue needed

    more youth teams and I invited Mike Parmeter to co-lead this youth team. I wanted to connect the birding

    generations. I also drafted Nicole Bardon to help out as she does a fantastic job through the environmental education program at Pepperwood Preserve.

    We did our first Bird-a-thon as the Sonoma County Youth Team on October 25, 2014. We had 3 youth

    Mario, Luke and Danielle and several adults. We had a blast that day. We saw 121 species, and raised

    about $500 for Point Blue Conservation Science. We were all beaming at the end of the day. One of the

    highlights of the day was finding Gabriel Tarantino on Bodega Head, birding with his family friend Scott Sorby. The instant we met, I wanted to just throw Gabe in the car and have him join us the rest of the day. I

    got his contact information instead.

    On our next field trip, we added Will Anderson (recommended by Sonoma County naturalist Dave Barry) to

    the group. We went to Bodega Bay. While we were on Bodega Head, we all observed Ancient Murrelets. It was a life bird for all of the youth members. As we were having lunch that day, we brainstormed different

    names to call ourselves. Names like Sonoma County Youth Birders and Passerine Penetrators were tossed

    around. Then, we all settled on Young Ancient Murrelets. It was perfect. And YAMS was born.

    Not long after, we added Lucas Stephenson. I met Mark (Lucas dad) and Lucas at Ellis Creek one day while I

    was teaching an adult birding class. Lucas was timid at first, but curiosity overpowered his shyness and he was soon asking dozens of questions about birds, and he just had to be invited into the group.

    Since then, we have added Morganna, Beatrice, Aiden, Junco, and our newest members Nolan and Clayton .

    Of course, the downside of forming a youth group is that youth dont stay youth forever. Its hard to let go of YAMS members as they grow out of our group. But I am so proud of each one of them. Stay tuned in the

    future to meet our YAMS individually.

    Lisa Hug, YAMS Coordinator

  • Kite Tales Page 7 April 2018

    Photo Gallery by Tom Reynolds, Spring Lake

    Bewicks Wren

    American Bittern Spotted Twohee

    Bald Eagle

  • Kite Tales Page 8 April 2018

    Photo Gallery by David A. Hofmann

    Northern Harriers Short-billed Dowitcher Hole in the Head Doran Regional Park

    Common Merganser Mourning Dove Pair

    Santa Rosa Creek Trail

    Annas Hummingbird Virginia Opossum Diekmans Store Sebastopol Community Ctr

  • Kite Tales Page 9 April 2018

    Photo Gallery by Rob ODonnell, Costa Rica

    Fiery-throated Hummingbird Lesser Violetear

    Collared Trogon Boat-billed Heron

    Spangle-cheeked Tanager Rufous-collared Sparrow

  • Kite Tales Page 10 April 2018

    Redwood Region Ornithological Society ( was organized in 1962 to encourage the study and conservation of birds, other wildlife, and their natural habitat. Meetings are held the second

    Wednesday of each month October through April, at 7 pm at the First United Methodist Church, 1515

    Montgomery Dr, Santa Rosa. Sept & May meetings are outside at 5:30pm. Annual dues are $20 per

    individual, $25 per family, and $5 per student. Send dues to RROS Treas. Rob O'Donnell, 421 St. Mary Place, Santa Rosa, CA 95409

    RROS Staff

    Role Name Address E-mail Phone



    President Ruth Rudesill POB 371, Kenwood 95452

    [email protected] 833-6026

    Vice Pres Will Anderson 4724 Hillsboro Circle,

    Santa Rosa 95405

    [email protected] 889-4724

    Secretary Rita Bevans 237 Deanna Pl,

    Windsor 95492

    [email protected] 484-3704

    Treasurer Rob O'Donnell 421 St. Mary Place,

    Santa Rosa 95409

    [email protected] 694-9776



    tee C



    Field Trips Monica Schwal-

    benberg - Pea

    6136 Batesole Dr

    Santa Rosa 95404

    [email protected] 542-8107

    Observations David Hofmann 2021 Pioneer Wy #47,

    Santa Rosa 95403

    [email protected] 546-0325

    Christmas Bird Count

    Bill Doyle 86 Westgate Circle, Santa Rosa 95401

    [email protected] 483-8773

    Kite Tales Bob Hasenick Santa Rosa [email protected] 486-0055

    YAMS Coord Lisa Hug Sebastopol [email protected] 535-9370

    Membership Rob O'Donnell 421 St. Mary Place,

    Santa Rosa 95409

    [email protected] 694-9776

    Hospitality Linda Hammer [email protected] 823-4389

    Kite Tales Deadline is the 20th: Submit observations to David Hofmann and other items to Bob Hasenick.

    KITE TALES 421 St. Mary Place Santa Rosa, CA 95409[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]/May%202017%20Issue/[email protected]