Posted by: atowhee | August 8, 2011


There are indications that Black Skimmers are disappearing from much of coastal Texas.  Apparently the humans in Texas have no qualms about intruding on the skimmers nesting grounds.  After all, who pays the taxes around here anyway?  It seems nobody yet has asked Gov. Perry to pray for the skimmers.

These Skimmer pics were taken at Bolsa Chica reserve in Orange County, CA.  NO question there, humans are fenced out of the areas where Snowy Plover, Skimmer, Royal, Caspian,  Elegant and Forster’s and Least Tern breed.   See comment below for fuller explanation.                  In the Bay Area there’s an increasingly large colony centered around Palo Alto Baylands.  With global warming it may not be long before the Skimmers colonize further north.  On the Atlantic Coast they are found in large numbers as far north as New Jersey.  It seems Oregon would be a far more attractive homeland than Jersey, or Texas, of course.


Also Texas has even more bad news for birds.  The drought there has reduced the amount of food that greet southbound migrants in the next ten weeks as they head to the tropics.  It can be hard to fly two hundred miles in one night and then wake up to NO BREAKFAST.


A new report describes the slaughter of birds and bats by the increasing number of behemoth wind turbines across the planet.  Perhaps a little passive solar makes some sense for bird and human alike?


  1. Can I correct your statement about the species nesting at Bolsa Chica? My info is not up to the minute but I worked in the seabird colonies in southern CA for 30 years (until 1998), focused on the California Least Tern. It didn’t make your list, but it was nevertheless the reason why the rest got protection, as it was the only one that was an endangered species. Its numbers have increased astoundingly with help from a dedicated batch of researchers and all the agencies that found they were inadvertantly hosting their breeding colonies.
    Royal Terns are rare north of San Diego County in any season, and nesting has not been reported since 1982 (1 pair only at the S.D. saltworks). But Caspians nest at Bolsa Chica along with the Elegants and Forster’s.

    Probably no other readers will take notice, but I couldn’t let it go; terns are too large a part of my ornithological life.

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