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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wildlife Wednesday: Christmas Bird Count Results



Tejon Ranch Conservancy staff and 28 other guests spread out across Tejon Ranch on Friday, December 20th for our 6th Annual Christmas Bird Count.  Among the 5 teams, we found a record high 120 species.  Seven species were new the Tejon Ranch Christmas Bird Count list and 2 of those were also new to the Tejon Ranch species list.

Birders in their natural habitat. Photo courtesy of Andrea Jones
Species new to the Christmas Bird Count list were: peregrine falcon, blue-gray gnatcatcher, American dipper, nutmeg mannikin, turkey vulture, California gull and Cassin’s finch.  This was the first time the American dipper and nutmeg mannikin were observed on the Ranch.

Bald eagle at Reservoir 2. Photo courtesy of Laura Pavliscak
The main highlight of the count was the 295 long-billed curlews found in the grasslands of the San Joaquin Valley.  Also in this area was a pesky merlin that one team watched relentlessly harass a northern harrier and three red-tailed hawks that eventually gave up, landed on the ground and hunkered down hoping that the crazy falcon would just leave them alone.  They stayed ground for the entire 30 minutes the team spent counting the long-billed curlews.

Thanks again for the help from our volunteers!  We would not be able to do this without you!

-- Phoebe


Classic Tehachapi sunrise over Tejon Ranch. Photo courtesy of Andrea Jones