See below for email message from noted bird guide artisit, birder, and
naturalist John Schmitt re Red-shouldered Hawk 80 to 90 percent
territory abandonment in SoCal.
I think it would be good to learn through our observations if a decline
is taking place elsewhere in California as well.
Serving as the messenger for John Schmitt,
Bob Barnes, Ridgecrest, Kern County, California
03MAY17 from John Schmitt...
I learned of some troubling news about Red-shouldered Hawks; I was
in San Luis Obispo County (Morro Bay, Montana de Oro, San Luis Obispo,
Santa Margarita Valley/ Santa Margarita Lake-all prime Red-shouldered
Hawk localities) on 26 APR leading some friends of mine on a short
birdwatching tour (with a strong emphasis on raptors). We completely
failed to either see or hear a single bird. I mentioned this to Peter
Bloom (a well known long time raptor researcher) and his response was:
"I'm not surprised". He went on to relate that there has been a severe
population decline in Orange, Los Angeles, and San Diego Counties (80 to
90 percent territory abandonment in some localities). Cause is
uncertain, but Pete mentioned that some thought agrichemicals or West
Nile Virus may be involved. So I will be taking special note of when
and where I see/hear Red-shouldered here in the (Kern River) valley and
I alert you to perhaps do the same and maybe pass the news on to others.
Good chatting with you.
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