Happening at Old Woman Creek?
Phoebe Van Zoest
Education Specialist at Old Woman Creek
May 1, Sandy Ridge Nature Center, 7:00 PM
(Note the change in
Many scientists conduct research at this national
estuarine sanctuary and state nature preserve. In the last several
years Old Woman Creek has gained a new director and a renovated
building. Phoebe will guide us through this vibrant facility.
(Our Annual Meeting will follow the
Tuesday, May 29, Oberlin Depot, 6:30 PM
Election of officers and appointment of committee
Augusta-Anne Olsen State Nature
Saturday, April 28, 9:00 AM
Meet at the parking area.
The Nature Preserve is located about 1 mile north of Wakeman on
West River Road in Huron County. West River Road
intersects Route 20 at the Shell Station (Subway Restaurant) on the
west side of Wakeman. Steve Harvey, ranger, will be our
Saturday May 5, 8:00 AM
Meet at the far end of the boardwalk.
Saturday, May 26, 9:00 AM
Two miles west of Toledo Express Airport on Route
2, turn south on Route 295, continuing south on Wilkins Road. Follow
map to Mallard Lake Area parking at Buehner Center. Bob Jacksy, who
did an outstanding job last year, will lead the hike.
Shreve Lake, Brown's
Saturday, June 2, 9:30 AM
Meet at Shreve Lake parking lot.
Summer Tureen Hikes
Saturday, August 11, 9:30 AM
Meet at far parking lot.
Saturday, August 25, 9:00 AM
Meet at parking lot off Parson's Road
By Carol Leininger
Scutella are horny scales arranged like shingles on a bird's
tarsus (often called leg) and along its toes. The tarsi of starlings
and tanagers (B) are scutellate
(shingled); the tarsi of robins and thrushes (A)
are booted (smooth); the tarsi of eagles (D) are reticulate
(plated); and the tarsi of the woodcock (C) are scutellate in front
and reticulate in back. The tarsi and toes of birds are very
important indicators of how they use their feet and how the birds
Special Field-Trip Report
John Pogacnik led ten birders on a special visit to
Lorain Harbor. He described the birding in the following words:
"Conditions were miserable with a strong wind out of the north that
made conditions for gull and duck watching excellent. There was a
nice variety of ducks in the harbor. The best bird was a male COMMON
GOLDENEYExHOODED MERGANSER hybrid. It was grouped with goldeneyes
just east of the sewage treatment plant. There were quite a few
gulls around. The best variety was sitting on the ice just south of
the lighthouse. Again the best birds were hybrids. There were two
GREAT BLACK-BACKEDxHERRING GULL hybrids, a 2nd year bird
and an adult. Other gulls of note were at least 3 GLAUCOUS GULLS,
and at least 5 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS."
Species identified: Canada Goose, Mallard,
Green-winged Teal, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Greater
Scaup, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser,
Common Merganser, Red-breasted Merganser, Ruddy Duck, Pied-billed
Grebe, Horned Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant, American Coot,
Bonaparte's gull, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser
Black-backed Gull, Glaucous Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, American
Crow, Red-winged Blackbird.
Reservoir Field-Trip Report
Oberlin Reservoir, Caley Reservation (west ponds),
Wellington Upground Reservoir
With the temperature at about 50 degrees Fahrenheit,
twenty-two birders peered through early morning haze at Oberlin
Reservoir, braved a few rain drops at Caley, and enjoyed sunny
weather at Wellington. We identified the following species (O for
Oberlin, C for Caley, and W for Wellington):
Snow Goose, C; Canada Goose, O, C, W; Mute Swan, O;
Gadwall, W; Canvasback, C, W; Redhead, W; Ring-necked Duck, C, W;
Greater Scaup, O; Lesser Scaup, O, C, W; Bufflehead, W; Hooded
Merganser, O; Red-breasted Merganser, O; Ruddy Duck, O; Common Loon,
W; Pied-billed Grebe, W; Horned Grebe, O, W; Eared Grebe, W; Great
Blue Heron, O, C; Turkey Vulture, W; Bald Eagle, W; American
Kestrel, roadside; American Coot, O, W; Killdeer, O, C; Ring-billed
Gull, O, W; Mourning Dove, O, C; Blue Jay, C; American Crow, C;
Eastern Bluebird, C; American Robin, O, C, W; European Starling, O;
Song Sparrow, C; Northern Cardinal, O, C; Red-winged Blackbird, C;
Eastern Meadowlark C; Common Grackle, C; House Sparrow, O.
Some of the group proceeded to Chatham for pancake
Board Meeting Report
March 27, Oberlin Depot
The following are some of the items
Treasurer's Report: A somewhat detailed
Treasurer's Report was presented. For restricted funds (Audubon
Adventures, Conservation, Scholarship, and Speakers co-sponsored
with Metro Parks), the amounts budgeted for the current year, the
balance on hand at the end of 2006, the estimated income for the
first three months of 2007, and the expenses for the first three
months of 2007 were listed.
Only the Audubon Adventures account has been
overspent, surprisingly an encouraging finding. Largely because of
Education Chair Dick Lee's efforts, the demand by schools and home
schoolers has set a new record for the Chapter. He has convinced
many teachers of the efficacy of the Audubon Adventure kits for use
in classrooms. A key factor to the new popularity of the kits has
been the addition by National Audubon of a key showing which
sections of the kits help with which sections of the state-mandated
testing requirements. The funds needed to pay for the extra kits are
available from non-budgeted, unrestricted income.
All General Expense categories showed a positive
Bluebird Trail: Jack Smith reported that
some sixty nesting boxes have been constructed and will be installed
soon, thirty each in Findley State Park and Wellington Reservation.
Two new Audubon members have volunteered to monitor the new
Healthy Yard Campaign: This is a National
Audubon project to influence homeowners to convert their yards into
nature-friendly spaces. As a local part of that project, Harriet
Alger showed the Powerpoint material that she has organized during
the last few weeks. Already she has three presentations scheduled:
Cascade Park, April 21 at 7 PM; Grafton Public Library, April 26 at
7-8 PM; and Mill Hollow, July 19, time TBA. (See Bird-Friendly
Backyard Habitat article.)
Young birders: Harriet outlined the plans
for helping young people to become more nature-aware. She plans
cooperative field trips with local schools in conjunction with
Lorain County Metro Parks. Black River Audubon has ordered five
pairs of young-person-friendly binoculars.
Welcoming letter: Harriet displayed the
newly designed letter to be sent to each new member, whether
National Audubon or Local Chapter member.
Appointments: The Board approved Harriet's
recommendations for the Nominating Committee (Dorothy Hagerling,
Dick Lee, and Harry Spencer) and Program Co-chair (Martin
Great Lakes Compact status: Marnie Urso,
Audubon Ohio, reported on the current status of the Compact (see
below). It is intended to govern the US portion of the documents
which control future water use in the Great Lakes basin. The
governments of eight states, including Ohio, are involved. Ohio has
not ratified the Compact. Marnie urged Black River Audubon members
to write to their state representatives and senators about the need
to vote in favor of Compact ratification.
The Great Lakes Basin Water Resources Compact
limits withdrawal and diversion of water from the Great
Lakes, protects against export and overuse of Great Lakes water,
requires water conservation plans throughout the Great Lakes basin,
and specifies how each Great Lakes state will act to protect Great
Lakes water quality.
(National Audubon Society news release)
New York, NY, March 29, 2007.
All across North America, one of the sure signs
that spring is here is the return of migratory birds to our woods,
meadows, and parks. Another is the return of gardeners and
landscapers to their backyards. This year the National Audubon
Society is asking people to keep birds and wildlife in mind as they
begin their spring planting.
There are many ways to help make backyards,
gardens, and parks into healthy habitat for birds and other
wildlife. By ensuring that the necessities for survival - food,
water, nesting areas, and shelter - are available, people can temper
the habitat loss caused by urban and suburban expansion.
To learn more about how to help ensure a successful
spring migration and provide safe habitat for our feathered friends,
as well as other wildlife, please visit
By Jack Smith
In the early part of February, a few male redwings
may be observed back from their wintering grounds in the southern
With its raucous rattling call and its flashing red
shoulder epaulets, this familiar male bird begins to establish his
territory by defending it vigorously against intrusion from other
males. He uses various visual and raucous displays that Stokes calls
"Song Spread, Bill Tilt, Song Flight, Tail Flick, Crouch, and Wing
Flick" (Guide to Bird Behavior, Volume I).
I enjoy observing these interesting displays.
The females in their drab checkered plumage arrive
several weeks later. Because the females resemble the males very
little, beginning birders often mistake the two as separate species.
Courtship and nest building starts in April followed by raising of
young from late April through early July. Then the birds flock in
the marshes and molt. In September the birds join large flocks of
other black birds such as grackles and cowbirds and begin migrating
to southern states.
Male red-wings are polygamous, and several females
may nest within his territory. Females build the nests, preferably
in cattail marshes, but also in bushes, saplings, and dense grass in
fields. The nest is a bulky open cup attached to standing vegetation
and is constructed usually 3 or 4 feet above the ground. She lays 3
or 4 eggs, pale blue-green at one end with black-brown-purple at the
larger diameter end. She incubates the eggs for 10 to 13 days. Both
parents feed the young. After 11 to 14 days the chicks fledge. Both
parents continue feeding the young for another week or so with the
male adult assuming a greater role.
In the meantime, the male may take up feeding
duties of the young from a second female's brood.
The different plumage of the male and female
reflects their different roles in propagating the species. The male
sits above the reeds and vegetation defending the territory with
various flashing displays of his red epaulets, while the female in
her camouflaged suit builds the nest and incubates the eggs at a
site unlikely to attract predators.
The breeding range of red-wings extends from coast
to coast in the Northern US northward throughout most of the boreal
region and into Western Canada. A few red-wings now winter in Ohio
and other northern states, which may be evidence of global warming.
Champion Long Distance
By Jack Smith
By the time you read this article, male Bobolinks
may have arrived back at the grass fields located at the northeast
corner of Lorain County Community College. Since leaving their
winter quarters in southern Brazil, Paraguay, or northern Argentina,
they will have traveled some 5000 or more miles. This round trip
flight is the longest of any North American songbird (passerine).
Attired in their breeding-plumage as portrayed on
the back cover of this WINGTIPS issue, they soon begin to establish
territories in which to receive the females arriving a week or two
The males establish their claims through visual and
auditory displays. The latter can be described as a bubbling,
tinkling sound. Stokes (Guide to Bird Behavior, Volume III)
describes the visual displays as "Song Spread, Song Flight,
Bill-Flip, Tail Wing Flick, Wing Lift, and Dropping Down". The
territorial claims will have been settled in a week or two, when the
older females arrive in their drab brown-streaked attire.
Bobolinks have strong site-fidelity and return
within 150 feet of their previous yearís breeding area. When the
courtship begins, the male performs its Song Flight, Wing Lift, and
Dropping Down maneuvers. Mating occurs after intense courtship.
The female builds her nest on the ground in the
open grass field. With a diameter of 2.5 inches and depth of 1 to 2
inches, it is well hidden among dense grass and weeds in a shallow
She will lay 5 or 6 eggs, cinnamon colored,
blotched in brown. She incubates the eggs for about 12 days. The
male, at least for his first female, shares in feeding and brooding
the young for about four days.
The adults do not carry away fecal sacs for the
first few days. Thereafter they drop them 50 or more feet from the
After four days the adults cease brooding and stay
at nest sites only long enough to drop off food. The young birds
fledge after about 11 days, when they begin giving a buzzy call,
which helps the parent locate the young for feeding. Insects,
spiders, millipedes, and snails are important food for the
After the breeding season, flocks of Bobolinks move
to marshy areas where, between mid-July through August, they undergo
their second molt of the year. Although the female will not change
colors, the male will end up looking like the female. Even the
male's bill will change from black to a clay color. During this
molting period, the birds eat more grains, seedlings, and berries.
In the south, the birds are known as "Rice Birds" because the flocks
of birds damage rice fields.
After flocking and molting, seasonal movement
begins, and the birds begin to migrate at night to their South
American winter quarters.
In the last 50 to 100 years, Bobolink populations
have been declining precipitously enough that the species may assume
threatened status. A major cause of this population decline is the
destruction of breeding habitat, such as grasslands. Restoration of
grassland habitat such as at Lorain County Community College, Sandy
Ridge Reservation, Carlisle Reservation, and other Lorain County
Metro Parks is critically important for maintaining and increasing
our nesting populations of Bobolinks.
References: Lives of North American
Birds by Kenn Kaufman; Guide to Bird Behavior, Volumes I
and III, Donald and Lillian Stokes.
Black River Audubon Ebird Site
Species Identified: December2006, January and
Sites with 12 or more checklists (number of
checklists): Avon Power Plant (23), Black River Reservation
(18), Carlisle Reservation (45), French Creek Reservation (13),
Lorain Harbor (71), Sandy Ridge Reservation (12), Wellington
Upground Reservoir (16)
Percentage ranges of checklists reporting a
particular species: 50% to 100% (A), 10% to 49% (B), less than
10% (C), identified only once (C1).
Snow Goose (C), Canada Goose (A), Mute Swan (C),
Trumpeter Swan (C), Tundra Swan (C), Gadwall (C), American Widgeon
(C), American Black Duck (C), Mallard (B), Northern Shoveler (C),
Northern Pintail (C), Green-winged Teal (C1),
Canvasback (C), Redhead (C), Ring-necked Duck (C), Greater Scaup
(C), Lesser Scaup (C), Harlequin Duck (C), Long-tailed Duck (C1),
Bufflehead (C), Common Goldeneye (C), Hooded Merganser (C), Common
Merganser (C), Red-breasted Merganser (B), Ruddy Duck (B),
Common Loon (C), Pied-billed Grebe (B), Horned
Grebe (C), Double-crested Cormorant (C), Great Blue Heron (C),
Bald Eagle (C), Northern Harrier (C1), Cooper's
Hawk (C), Red-shouldered Hawk (C), Red-tailed Hawk (C), American
Kestrel (C), Peregrine Falcon (C1),
American Coot (B), Sandhill Crane (C),
Bonaparte's Gull (C), Ring-billed Gull (A), Herring
Gull (B), Lesser Black-backed Gull (B), Great Black-backed Gull
Rock Pigeon (B), Mourning Dove (B), Great Horned Owl
(C), Belted Kingfisher (C),
Red-bellied Woodpecker (B), Downy Woodpecker (B),
Hairy Woodpecker (B), Northern Flicker (C), Pileated Woodpecker
Blue Jay (A), American Crow (B), Black-capped
Chickadee (B), Tufted Titmouse (B), Red-breasted Nuthatch (B),
White-breasted Nuthatch (B), Brown Creeper (C),
Carolina Wren (B), Winter Wren (C1), Golden-crowned
Kinglet (C), Ruby-crowned Kinglet (C1), Eastern Bluebird (B),
American Robin (B), European Starling (B), Yellow-rumped Warbler
American Tree Sparrow (B), Song Sparrow (B), Swamp
Sparrow (C), White-throated Sparrow (B), White-crowned Sparrow (C),
Dark-eyed Junco (B),
Northern Cardinal (B), Red-winged Blackbird (C),
Common Grackle (C), Brown-headed Cowbird (C1), House Finch (B),
American Goldfinch (A), House Sparrow (B).
Florida Birding Trip
March 23 Ė 30, 2007
by Erik Bruder
I was fortunate enough to spend a week birding in
Florida. The weather was picture perfect every day with daytime
temperatures in the mid 80ís and just a few puffy clouds in the
clear blue skies. The slight breeze did a nice job moderating the
mild humidity. Since it is the dry season, there were almost no
biting insects. I probably saw 3 mosquitoes on the whole trip.
I spent the trip visiting various sites along the
Gulf Coast between Sarasota and Naples and then over to Miami and
the Everglades. Sites visited include Longboat Key and Beer Can
Island, the Sarasota Celery Fields, Oscar Scherer and Myakka River
state parks, Jelks Preserve in Venice, Babcock Webb WMA, Corkscrew
Swamp Sanctuary, J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Big
Cypress Swamp, and the Everglades National Park.
Highlight species include Magnificent Frigatebird,
10 species of herons and egrets, Wood Stork, White and Glossy Ibis,
Roseate Spoonbill, Swallow-tailed Kite, Snail Kite, Short-tailed
Hawk, Crested Caracara, Limpkin, Black Skimmer, Monk Parakeet,
Mangrove Cuckoo, Burrowing Owl, Red-cockaded Woodpecker,
Red-whiskered Bulbul, Florida Scrub-jay, Bachmanís Sparrow, Painted
Bunting, and Spot-breasted Oriole.
A key item to my successful trip was the excellent
guidebook A Birderís Guide to Florida by Bill Pranty. This
book, updated in 2005, is part of the ABA/Lane Birding Guide series
available from the American Birding Association. The book was very
useful for putting me right on top of several species. I would not
have found Burrowing Owls, a Mangrove Cuckoo, or Red-whiskered
Bulbuls and Spot-breasted Orioles without the guide. It is very
strange to have a book tell you where to look for a bird and then to
find the bird at that exact spot.
For two nights I stayed at a friendís house in
Venice. Their backyard abuts a nature preserve with a pond at the
edge of their property. It was nice each night to fall asleep to the
chatter of Common Moorhens and the chirps of baby alligators. Of
course, the shriek of the Limpkin was a little unsettling at first.
My friends have also spotted bobcat and the very rare Florida
panther from their yard. Unfortunately I spotted nothing fiercer
than an armadillo. I was able to ID 28 species while enjoying a cold
beverage on their patio.
Ding Darling was an interesting experience. I was thrilled with
the number and variety of wading birds I was seeing, more than I had
ever seen in one spot, until one of the volunteers commented to a
nearby friend about the awful bird numbers. I was intrigued so I
asked them for more information. They shared that over the last year
there have been numerous algae blooms and that the bird numbers were
down dramatically due to the number of fish and invertebrates that
had been killed.
After Hurricane Wilma in October 2005, the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers released water from Lake Okeechobee into the
Caloosahatchee River to prevent flooding of sugar cane fields. This
release of water flushed a significant amount of agricultural
fertilizer and pesticide into the waters around Sanibel Island
causing the algae blooms. A slow recovery has begun. I guess Iíll
have to go back in a few years to see Ding Darling in all its glory.
Anhinga Trail in the Everglades was another nice
stop. Anhinga, Black Vulture, and Fish Crow were all very tame and
allowed for extensive close-up study. While on the boardwalk, I had
fun watching the families oohing and aahing over the large
alligators. The gators were nice but what caught my attention were
the half dozen Green Herons calling to one another from the tops of
various mangrove trees. I own several recordings of Green Herons but
none of the tapes matches the intensity and volume of the call when
heard at less than 20 feet.
For the trip I managed to identify 118 species with
The Bobolinks are
By Harriet Alger
Several years ago, Black River Audubon, with the
support and cooperation of Lorain County Community College,
established and now maintains two demonstration natural-preservation
projects on the LCCC campus. A grassy area in the northeast corner
of the campus has become an important meadow preserve for
meadow-nesting birds, especially Bobolinks, Eastern Meadowlarks, and
The disappearance of tall grass areas in the county
has threatened the existence of these beautiful birds, as housing
development, malls, and suburban lawns have replaced their nesting
areas. The College agreed not to mow this area during nesting season
from April to October. The result has been an active nesting area
offering great opportunities to see and hear these birds. Male
Bobolinks are especially accomplished singers, dramatic in their
behavior while courting, and colorful in breeding plumage (See the
article titled Champion Long Distance Migrator: Bobolink).
Weather cooperating, we should begin seeing them in May. Also,
we installed Nesting boxes for Eastern Bluebirds and Tree Swallows
around the perimeter of this area.
A second Black River Audubon nature-project at LCCC
is the Flora Interpretive Trail in a small wooded area just off the
parking lot in the northeast area of the campus. An impressive
variety of trees, shrubs, plants, and wildflowers are identified
along this trail. Numbered markers are placed alongside examples of
each species, and both numbered and alphabetical lists are available
at each end of the walk.
The Nominating Committee (Dorothy Hagerling, Dick
Lee, and Harry Spencer) nominates Betty Lake, Jean Sorton, Wayne
Shipman, and John Koscinski as candidates for Board membership.
Betty, Jean, and Wayne are running for re-election. John is running
to replace Carol Leininger, who for personal reasons declined to run
again. Additional nominations can be made at our Annual Meeting
following the formal program on May 1.
From President Harriet Alger
Thanks to all the people who have made this a
very good year for Black River Audubon
--Dave Bragg for his excellent work on our
--Harry Spencer and Jack Smith for
the much acclaimed new format for WINGTIPS with the help of John
Koscinski's beautiful bird pictures
--Carol Leininger for providing consistently
interesting, varied programs at our monthly meetings
--Betty Lake and Bernie Pluchinsky and all
those who helped to make visitors and new members welcome
--Ken Austin and Joann Wagner who planned
our varied and exciting field trips
--Dick Lee who steadily expanded the number
of school-classes using Audubon Adventures, opening the world of
birds to many more 3rd through 6th
--Joe Strong and Jack Smith who helped us
balance the budget
--Jack Smith, Wayne Shipman, and all of the
volunteers who monitored the bluebird boxes
--Jean Sorton and Jenny Austin who
coordinated our social hours and furnished many of the goodies
--Dorothy Hagerling, Joe Strong, and Wayne
Shipman for the attention and care they give to our nature
preserves at LCCC
--Dane Adams for his work in organizing such
successful Wing Watch weekends last year and this year
--John Dunn and all who shared
bird-sightings at our meetings
--Lorain County Metro Parks for their
support and LCMP naturalists who guided some of our field
trips and helped with many of our activities
--All of you who joined us for field trips
By Nancy Shipman
For the past three years, our winter home has been
a primitive campground in the middle of a mature pine and southern
oak forest with the Santa Fe River running through it. We delighted
in watching the woodpeckers, Pileated, Red-bellied, Hairy, and Downy
that are common. By day, we would hear the Red-shouldered Hawk
calling and at night, the Barred Owls sang us to sleep. But we were
disappointed that we neither saw nor heard many songbirds, except
cardinals and crows. Putting out our bird feeder only attracted one
or two cardinals.
Perhaps due to warmer temperatures and drought
conditions, this year is different. The Santa Fe River is lazily
flowing several feet below normal, exposing rock, vegetation and
shoreline that we have not seen before. Now we see Great Blue Heron,
Great Egrets, Wood Stork, Anhinga, and White Ibis feeding along the
banks. Robins and Carolina Wrens have joined the cardinals and crows
in the campground. We moved our bird feeder and added a make-shift
birdbath. Robins bathing, Tufted Titmouse, Yellow-rumped Warblers,
chickadees, and Hermit Thrush taking food and drink now entertain
us, while Red-eyed Vireos sing from the treetops.
One day we had a pair of Blue Jays visiting. The
cardinals were not pleased. They promptly chased the jays away from
the feeder. The jays waited patiently nearby for their turn. After
repeatedly ousting the jays, the cardinal finally perched on the
feeder roof, daring any other birds to invade his territory. In
relating this tale to locals, I learned that indeed the cardinals
are the feisty ones in this area. What a contrast to Lorain
The Carolina Wrens love our campsite. They are
constantly chitting and flitting around. They fearlessly feed on
tree trunks, under our camper and picnic table. They perch on our
steps and woodpile to serenade us and clean our leaves from tree
crevasses, all within a few feet of us. One day we watched them
busily peck, tug, and remove straw from our broom. What fun they are
to watch. I can hardly wait to see what next year will bring.
Regretfully, this is the final Snowbird Report.
By Harry Spencer
When I write a species identification in my field
notebook, I imagine all the species flitting by during the time of
writing. But I find, as have many other birders, the four-letter
Alpha code to be a rapid and simple way to minimize the recording
time. (Alpha stands for Alphabet.)
The code that I use is based on the species common
names, readily available in any field guide. The designation of each
species consists of four letters. The basic rules for determining
the four-letter designations of most species follow some simple
If the common name is one word, the code is the
first four letters, example, BUFF for Bufflehead. A two-word name is
abbreviated with the first two letters each word, example, AMGO for
American Goldfinch. The abbreviation of a three-word name is the
first letter of the two words and the first two letters of the third
word, example, WBNU, for White-breasted Nuthatch. A four-word name
is abbreviated with the first letter of each word, example, BAWW,
for Black-and-white Warbler.
The use of these simple rules leads to some
conflicts in four-letter identifications, examples, those for Tree
Swallow and Trumpeter Swan, and those of Cerulean Warbler and Cedar
Waxwing. The codes for these four species are TRES, TRUS, CERW, and
What does a birder do if an ambiguous pair of codes
is encountered? I think the birder has two choices. Since the code
often is a shorthand notation for the birders private use, a best
guess at the code can be used. Or if the birder wants to be
accurate, the accepted code can be obtained at www.birdpop.org by clicking on
Alpha Code. Any guess made in the field can be corrected.
Next WINGTIPS issue: September