Death Valley Birds

From: Tom & Jo Heindel
Remote Name:
Date: 05/01/02
Time: 09:59:53 AM


At Scotty's Castle on 29 April was a Western Scrub-Jay of the Great Basin race (nevadae)as well as a lawn filled with Lazuli Buntings and one adult male Blue Grosbeak. Wilson's Warblers and Brewer's Sparrows were flooding the areas along with 8 species of flycatchers and 16 Cassin's Vireos, many singing. At the motel unit at Furnace Creek Ranch were 2 Ruddy Ground-Doves, a male and female. The following day we found 6 Gambel's Quail just above the Inn in an unnamed canyon that flows into Furnace Creek Wash. This was a surprise as those introduced at Furnace Creek Ranch (from Resting Springs) prior to 1891 have pretty much disappeared. One to 20 were reported on almost all Christmas Bird Counts from 1972 to 1982 and then none until 2-3 were seen in 1998. Everything was quite dry and consecutive drought years have a very negative impact on quail as well as other species. It remains to be seen if this quail can survive in the Furnace Creek area.