Saturday, December 16, 2006

FCC drops Morse code requirement for ham licenses

Morse code will no longer block anyone interested in getting an amateur radio license from doing so. The FCC has ruled that requiring Morse code testing is an "unnecessary regulatory burden."

In its report on this news the ARRL notes:
The question of whether or not to drop the Morse requirement altogether has been the subject of often-heated debate over the past several years, but the handwriting has been on the wall.


The decision is against my minority view, expressed to the FCC more than a year ago during the public comment period, that went beyond ARRL recommendations to keep a code requirement for extra class licensing. But the ruling itself will not change my preferred mode for radio communication, and I expect plenty of company in the (shrinking) CW bands as long as I'm on the air.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sen. Obama in NH 12/06

Senator Barack Obama is introduced in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, by RiverRun Bookstore owner Tom Holbrook. Photo by CMTR.

Obama personable, poised

In his Primary Source blog at boston.com, James Pindell writes of today's New Hampshire visit by not-yet-candidate Barack Obama, "The atmosphere around Obama accounted for more of the discussion than what he actually said."

At the Portsmouth book signing, we were happy to have a chance to hear the man speak, but didn't find a lot to get charged up about. Well, it is a book tour, after all.

In fact, even though Obama "received two standing ovations before he uttered a public word in New Hampshire" (Pindell again), the rounds of applause for bookstore owner Tom Holbrook and Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand were equally spirited and lengthy.

Health care, energy, how our politicians behave, and Iraq were Obama's first four topics after his introductory remarks, referring to them as the reasons that the 2006 elections meant so much to so many.

He attracted 750 people to Portsmouth and 1,500 more to Manchester, turnouts that ought to hint to him that a portion of our populace is ready "to renew, to reinvigorate" its dedication to our nation's governance.

We must wait a month to learn whether Obama will rally us as a candidate for President.

UPDATE 2006-12-12: Missed the analysis on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on the 11th, but got the audio via PBS (attached below till I gain the courage to get Drupal's audio module up and running). Wish they had video; we might have been on national television!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

SoftRock Lite: Contrasts in Radio

Ordered an 80m SoftRock Lite from Tony KB9YIG last night after discovering the $10 kit. SMT etc. Sheesh. Do we have a soundcard that can sample at 48 kHz?

Update: Yes. Onboard the Asus M2NPV is SoundMAX. Their FAQ #4 says "up to 48kHz sampling rate."

The contrast? Googling softrock lite brings up radio alright, but instead of SWLing on the low end of 80 meters it's sap between 92 and 107 MHz. Yuck.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Tracking Shows

Music Seen and Heard


February 24, 2017: Hunter and the Gatherers (Hunter Burgamy, Benjamin Cousins, Colescott Rubin, Volt Jingit, Kan Yanabe, Malwina Masternak), Boston

September 2016: Cory Husic, Seagrass, Laurel Martin and Jim Prendergast

February 29, 2016: Christian McBride Trio (Christian Sands, Jerome Jennings), Durham

December 10, 2015: Mosaic, North Berwick

September 2015: Joyce Andersen and Harvey Reid, The Gather Rounders, Susie Burke and Melissa Bragdon, Highland Soles, Wells

September 2014: BYOC, The Gather Rounders, Shana Aisenberg and Friends, Mari Black and Neil Pearlman, Wells

September 2013: Matt Loosigian; Ellen Carlson and Todd Thurlow; Ryan McKasson, Neil Pearlman, and Emerald Rae, Wells

September 22, 2012: John Terczyak, Sammie Haynes, Deep Hole Road, Salt River, Wells

September 9, 2012: Gary Wittner, Wells

September 2011: Laura Cortese Trio, Gordon Bok, Ellie and Andy Buckland, Wells

December 2011: Childsplay, Lexington

September 25, 2010: Paul Wells and Sally Sommers Smith, David Surette and Isa Burke, Erica Brown and Matt Shipman, Robert Sylvain and Pip Walter, Wells

September 26, 2009: Joyce Andersen, Lilly Pearlman & Family, Hope Hoffman & Jim Tolles, Wells

March 14, 2009: A Celtic Sojourn, Boston

September 27, 2008: Hope Hoffman & Kittlish, Erica Brown & The Bluegrass Connection, Jackson Gillman, Wells

September 21, 2008: Keith Murphy, David Surrette, and Sarah Blair, West Springfield

October 22, 2006: Fiddleicious, Portland

September 17, 2006: Susie Burke, David Surrette, and Joyce Andersen, Limington

September 9, 2006: Chief Noda, Wells

February 25, 2006: Jake Shimabukuro, Waimea

November 19, 2005: Liz Carroll and John Doyle, Portland

October 9, 2005: High Range, Nightingale, Cluck Old Hen, Wells

September 24: J.P. Cormier, High Range, North Star, South Hiram

August 2005: Angel Band, Dave Rowe Trio, Dover

October 9, 2004: Danu; Rodney Miller, David Surette, and Susie Burke; Jerks of Grass, Wells

September 2004: Chief Noda, Wells

September 2-5, 2004: King Wilkie, Del McCoury Band, Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, The Atkinson Family, Jerks of Grass, White Mountain Bluegrass (RIP Karen), Brunswick

August 21, 2004: Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum, Hood River

July 25 (?), 2004: Bedlam, Lebanon

May 28, 2004: The Fogg Brothers, Bar Mills

May 8, 2004: Niamh Parsons and Andy Irvine, Lexington

December 5, 2003: Childsplay, Portland review

October 11, 2003: Halali, Joyce Andersen and Harvey Reid, Brendan Carey Block and Rich Block, Wells

July 2003: The Schankman Twins, Dry Branch Fire Squad, Jennifer Roland, The Kruger Brothers, Joyce Andersen and Harvey Reid, Cornish

July 12, 2003: Kaiulani Lee (A Sense of Wonder), Kennebunk

May 4, 2003: Three Generations of Maine Fiddlers, featuring Lissa Schneckenburger, Greg Boardman, Don Roy, and Ben, Danny, and Stephen Guillemette, Brunswick

February 15, 2003: The Maine Fiddle Camp Concert (2nd Annual), with Don and Cindy Roy, Greg Boardman, John and Ellen Gawler, Lissa Schneckenburger, John Pranio, Carter and Kaity Newell, Jeff McKeen, Doug Protsik, Steve Muise, Hank Washburn, Sharon Pyne, and Pam Weeks Bath

August 29 to September 1, 2002: Mountain Heart, Quicksilver (w/o Doyle Lawson), Doc Watson (w/ J. Lawrence and R. Watson), Seldom Scene, Karl Shiflett & The Big Country Show, Valerie Smith & Rick Lang, The Abram Family, Canadian Grass Unit, Leroy Troy, Liberty Pike, Gopher Broke, Schankman Twins, White Mountain Bluegrasss, Brunswick

July 31, 2002: Hackmatack Players "Into the Woods", Berwick

October 12, 2001: Iris DeMent, Portsmouth

Fall 2001: Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Sara Cox, Portland

April 19, 2001: Drekka, The Iditarod, In Gowan Ring, Stone Breath, Durham

April 6, 2001: Asleep at the Wheel, Rochester

October 14, 2000: Doc Watson, Portland

Natalie MacMaster, Rochester

April 21, 2000: City Theater (Grease), Biddeford

April 15, 2000: Patty Larkin, Rochester

March 24, 2000: Cherish the Ladies, Rochester

January 22, 2000: Black Eagle Jazz Band, Rochester

October 16, 1999: The Amazing Kreskin, Rochester

April 16, 1999: Battlefield Band, Tacoma

July 15, 1999: YoYo A GoGo, Olympia

January 29, 1999: Hal Holbrook, Tacoma

Natalie MacMaster, Seattle

Natalie MacMaster, Olympia

November 20, 1998: David Sedaris, Olympia

July 16, 1998: Frank Black, Frequency db, Olympia

January 23, 1998: George Kahumoku, Cyril Pahinui, Dennis Kamakahi, Seattle (King Cat Theater)


December 1997: Cirque Ingenieux, Seattle

December 14, 1997: Portishead, Seattle

July 5, 1997: Lilith Fair (Suzanne Vega, Paula Cole, Jewel, Tracy Chapman, Sarah McLachlan) George (The Gorge)

May 19, 1997: Freedy Johnston, Seattle

Austin Lounge Lizards, Olympia

November 8, 1996: The Palladian Ensemble, Seattle

March 3, 1995: Masters of the Folk Violin (Claude Williams with Rob Thomas and John Stewart, Brendan Mulvihill with Donna Long, Michael Doucet with David Doucet and Mitchell Reed), Olympia (info)

July 17, 1994?: Raymond Kane, Olympia

July 16, 1994: Jad Fair, Kicking Giant, Georgia & Ira, Codeine, Olympia

February 5, 1993: Carlos Nakai and William Eaton, Olympia

Jonestown, Olympia

Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, Olympia

Alice Donut, Olympia

Bikini Kill, Olympia

Dub Narcotic Sound System, Olympia

Mecca Normal, Olympia

L7, Olympia

December 5, 1991: Nutcracker, Seattle

November 10, 1990: Nirvana, Some Velvet Sidewalk, Olympia info

1989: Impacttestdummy, Olympia

1989: X, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Seattle

November 11, 1988: Sonic Youth, Mudhoney, Screaming Trees, Seattle

1987, 1988, 1996: Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Jonathan Richman, John Mayall, Miles Davis, Barenaked Ladies, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Ry Cooder and David Lindley, Nana Vasconcelos, Trilok Gurtu, Odo Addy and Kukrudu, Michelle Shocked, Stanley Jordan, Robert Cray Band, Seattle

1987: Green Pajamas, Seattle

August 23, 1987: Bo Diddley, Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey, Portland

The Cure, Seattle

198x: Willem Breuker Kollektief, Seattle

October 7, 1985: Dire Straits, Portland

1984/85: Joan Armatrading, Cook Da Books, Portland

1983: Talking Heads, Portland

Jethro Tull, Hartford

Yes, Springfield

Jethro Tull, Springfield

Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Springfield

1977: Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, Springfield

Electric Light Orchestra, Springfield

February 3, 1977: Queen, Thin Lizzy, Springfield

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Common Myna at Midway Atoll: Review and Status

OVERVIEW

BACKGROUND

BREEDING

HISTORY OF MYNAS AT MIDWAY

OBSERVATIONS AT THE LANDFILL

BREEDING ACTIVITY

TRANSECTS

MANAGEMENT

ESTIMATE AND SPECULATION

REFERENCES

TRIP REPORTS CHECKED FOR MYNA RECORDS

OVERVIEW



Common Mynas have received scant attention since they were first recorded on Midway more than twenty years ago. Concern over this species' deleterious effects on seabirds may lead to consideration of control measures. This
paper provides reference material necessary for monitoring the myna population, including general background, breeding biology, historical records, and indexing methods. An estimated 500 individuals comprise the April 1992 population.



BACKGROUND



Common Mynas are indigenous to south Asia, but have been introduced to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific islands (Pizzey 1980). They were brought to the main islands of Hawaii in 1865 (Eddinger 1967).

Throughout their range mynas are closely associated with human habitation. Because they are adaptable, opportunistic, and do not specialize they often become common enough to be considered a nuisance.

An advantageous aspect of myna presence is their appetite for insect pests, but this benefit is tempered on the Leeward Hawaiian Islands by their damage to crops. On islands supporting seabird colonies, mynas are known to prey upon eggs and chicks.

Myna predation on Wedge-tailed Shearwater eggs has been documented at Kauai (Byrd 1979) and attacks on nestling and incubating adult White Terns has been observed at Midway (Tyler 1988). Mynas also have been observed pecking open the eggs of Sooty Terns and noddies (Fisher 1948).

Return to top



BREEDING (From Eddinger's 1967 Oahu study)



Nest site selection generally begins in March; both adults build the nest. Eggs are laid one per day until completion of a 2-5 egg clutch. Egg dates occur March through July. Incubation is shared and lasts 13 days (cp. 16-18 days in India). Fledging occurs at age 29-35. Whether more than one successful brood is raised per year is uncertain. During July and August flocks begin to form, and mynas continue to flock through the non-breeding season. Yellow eye skin characteristic of adults begins to show at about 125 days and birds may breed in their first year.

Return to top



HISTORY OF MYNAS AT MIDWAY



I found no record for the introduction of mynas to Midway. Therefore I could not determine whether the pioneers were assisted by humans or if myna presence is the result of natural immigration from the leeward islands.

R. L. Pyle (pers. comm., April 1992) recalled rumors of low myna numbers (i.e. 1 or 2 individuals; perhaps up to 5) at Midway in the 1960s. In July 1974, C. P. Sekora searched for and saw 6 mynas (Sincock et al. 1974), for the first USFWS verified record. In their report, Sincock et al. (1974) stated, "presence of the mynah bird at Midway was first reported two years ago." Berger (1981) considered mynas established by 1974, probably based on Sekora's record.

The first attempts to quantify the myna population after its expansion were by Byrd (1979, 1980). He estimated 150-200 individuals on Sand Island and none on Eastern. He counted mynas visible along certain streets to provide a population index (Table 1).







































TABLE 1. Counts of Common Mynas along certain streets on Sand Island. See Appendix for references.

StreetByrd 1979Byrd 1980
Decatur162
Halsey291
Radford33
Morrell282
Commodore132
Henderson03
Kramer04
Bauer0-


Clapp's (1980) reference to Hill Mynahs must be a mistaken reference to Common Mynas. He stated the "population has increased explosively since the summer of 1978." Although he admitted to having "no certain idea" of population size, he considered it "unlikely...the island population is under 250 birds."

Following his May visit, Fefer (1982) commented that myna numbers and distribution "seem to be expanding."

P. Pyle (1982) estimated 200 mynas during his stay in the autumn of 1982, and recorded a high count of 128 individuals at the landfill dump.

In February 1983 Joe Jayasinghe, BSI Wildlife Manager, estimated 600-800 mynas at Midway (Fefer 1983a).

Several years passed before the next estimate was made by Tyler (1988); his broad estimate of 750-1500 individuals was made after spending six months at Midway. He is the only observer to have recorded the use of Eastern Island by mynas.

McDermond (1989a) noted in the spring of 1989 a "definite increase since September", but I found no record for a September McDermond trip. McDermond (1989b) returned seven months later and remarked that the increase in myna numbers had continued.

Neither McDermond (1989b) nor Rowland (1990) saw mynas at Eastern Island, while the latter stated simply that mynas were "common" on Sand Island.

The Natural Resources Management Plan for Naval Air Facility Midway Islands
(USFWS 1991) indicated the population to be 500-1000 birds and increasing.

Return to top

 

1992 OBSERVATIONS AT THE LANDFILL



It is difficult to obtain an accurate estimate of the population size of Common Mynas at Midway, but opportunities exist to establish population indexes. I used two methods: site counts and transect counts.

The landfill dump south of the harbor has a long history of attracting large numbers of foraging and roosting mynas. I estimated myna abundance at the dump on eleven occasions (Table 2). I approached the flocks on foot, pausing frequently to count visible birds. Eventually most of the flock would flush simultaneously, at which time I would estimate abundance by tens before the birds dispersed and landed in trees. In the afternoon of 10 January, I made a ground count followed by a flush estimate and determined that ground counts reveal only about two-thirds of birds present when individuals are scattered across the open area. Also, when mynas are concentrated on dump piles many individuals are hidden.

It is likely that most of Midway's mynas can be found at the dump at certain times. When my dump counts were high I found very few mynas over the remainder of the eastern half of Sand Island. Similarly, when I observed widespread dispersal, the dump counts were predictably low. The largest flocks seemed to occur when dump piles contained exposed waste from the galley, whether or not the piles were burning or smoldering, but available material did not guarantee heavy myna use.



















































TABLE 2. Record of myna counts at the landfill dump during
the winter of 1991-1992. NR=not recorded.

DATETIMEDUMP COUNT
22 DecNR~100
4 Jan1725< 12 *
6 Jan1725> 100 *
10 Jan0945280
10 Jan1610190
22 Jan1650< 300
23 Jan0825< 100
23 Jan0910110
25 Jan170075
28 Feb125517
29 Feb134035

* On two occasions I counted mynas flying over the SW corner of the harbor
from the direction of the dump. On 4 January between 1710 and 1720 I

counted 138. On 6 January between 1703 and 1721, I counted 6.

Return to top



1992 BREEDING ACTIVITY



I began to see mynas gathering nest material (cellophane, plastic bags) on 1 March. I monitored one cavity for five weeks beginning 3 March but saw no eggs, despite regularly finding new material on the nest. Air conditioners appear to be favorite nest sites, as do openings on buildings. Old stick nests were found in Area 7 [2006 comment: These stick nests were more likely Brown Noddy than myna].



TRANSECTS



Transects were developed at the end of March (Figure 1--not yet online). Transect 1 began at the Fuel Farm gate, proceeded south to the end of Nimitz,
and continued on the same line across the field to the wood edge. Transect
2 began at the Power Plant, proceeded west on Brannon, and continued north
on Morrell to Halsey. Transect 3 began at the corner of Halsey and Commodore,
proceeded north on Commodore, and curved south to the school flagpole.

Each transect was walked between 0800 and 0900 on the mostly clear and
calm mornings of 27 and 30 March and 1 April (Table 3). I noted the position
(on ground, perched, in flight) of each myna when first seen and also noted
birds heard but not seen. I walked steadily and used no binoculars. I defined
pairs by association and behavior.

Mynas on the ground and in flight were seen easily. Those perched in
trees generally were not visible, but some could be detected by voice.




























































































TABLE 3. Myna sightings for three transects.

Date

27 March30 March1 April

Transect

123123123

No. of mynas

On ground58916121715915
Perched415001200
In flight205000000
Heard503002100
Total16922161218191015
Total 1 + 2 + 3474644
Pairs244728845



Return to top



MANAGEMENT



The Common Myna is of questionable worth to the avian community at Midway
Atoll. The species' proclivity for disruption and destruction of seabird
nesting efforts prompted Harrison et al. (1984) to suggest it be exterminated.

On Oahu, Eddinger (1967:2) remarked, "The myna is a wary bird, and
although man may be able to check its increase, extermination is practically
impossible." Compared to mynas on Oahu, Midway's population is relatively
small, less dispersed, and highly accessible.

Although elimination of this alien predator of seabird eggs and chicks
is conceivable, justification for the action is subject to question. A quantitative
measure of damage to seabird nesting efforts at Midway is lacking, although
there is little doubt they destroy eggs or chicks of at least two species.
And it is possible that mynas play some role in improving nesting conditions
for seabirds (e.g., consumption of insect pests, clean up of broken eggs
to reduce rat fodder). It is unlikely that the beneficial aspects of myna
presence at Midway outweigh their negative impacts, and continued expansion
of the population may pose greater risk of irreversible damage.

Natural attrition is difficult to quantify, but some hint may be gleaned
from rat control records (Table 4). Also, as Midway's human population continues
to decrease there will probably be an appreciable change in myna distribution
for nesting and foraging. Whether the loss of the dump piles will exact
a toll on the population or cause the birds to become more aggressive predators
is open to speculation.
























TABLE 4. Annual counts of dead mynas picked up by the rat
control crew. Effort expended is highly variable. N/C=not counted.

YearNumber of dead mynas
1987N/C
1988N/C
198986
199047
199125
199212*


* Through 31 March.

When it becomes desirable to remove all or some of the mynas, some
alternatives are available. Poisoning probably is not realistic due to effects on non-target species; curlews, tattlers, golden-plovers, and turnstones all share the mynas' preferred foraging areas, including the landfill dump. A shotgun blast into a dense flock at the dump would kill many birds, and this method could reduce numbers. Stone (1989:93) suggests that the social nature of mynas may make them susceptible to decoy trapping.

Mynas are intelligent, so any control method probably would diminish
in effectiveness over time.

Return to top



ESTIMATE AND SPECULATION



I estimate 500 mynas were at Midway this winter, based on general observations made through the period and specific observations of pocket distribution.

Repeat counts at the landfill dump probably will provide the most reliable
index of abundance, while repeat transects (and additional transects) may
shed light on carrying capacity for specific areas.

Historical estimates and future impressions of myna abundance should
be interpreted with awareness of seasonal behavior changes. During the breeding season low numbers may be widely distributed, while flock sizes will increase through the winter.

It is obvious the population has undergone rapid expansion during the
two decades or so since its arrival at Midway, and it is likely some control
measures will be necessary in the future. At this time, many residents find
in the myna a reminder of their distant home, so the determination of the
birds' fate should be made with consideration for the community's loss.

After such a recent introduction the mynas at Midway offer a wealth of
research opportunities which might shed light on many of the uncertainties
outlined above.



REFERENCES CITED



References to Trip Reports are in the Appendix.

Berger, A. J. 1981. Common Myna. Pages 202-204 in Hawaiian Birdlife,
2d edition. University Press of Hawaii, Honolulu.

Byrd, G. V. 1979. Common Myna predation on Wedge-tailed Shearwater eggs.
`Elepaio 39:69-70.

Eddinger, C. R. 1967. A study of the breeding behavior of the mynah (Acridotheres tristis L.). `Elepaio 28:1-5, 11-18.

Grant, G. S. 1982. Wildlife on Midway Atoll during the winter and spring
of 1980-1981. `Elepaio 43:1-4.

Harrison, C. S., M. B. Naughton, and S. I. Fefer. 1984. The status and
conservation of seabirds in the Hawaiian Archipelago and Johnston Atoll.
Pages 513-526 in R. W. Grigg and K. Y. Tanoue, editors. Proceedings
of the second symposium on resource investigations in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, vol. 1. University of Hawaii Sea Grant Miscellaneous Report, Honolulu.

Pizzey, G. 1980. A field guide to the birds of Australia. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.

Stone, C. P. 1989. Non-native land vertebrates. In C. P. Stone
and D. B. Stone, editors. Biological diversity in Hawaii. University of
Hawaii Press, Honolulu.

Tyler, W. B. 1988. Trip report. Unpublished report, U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, Honolulu, Hawaii.



APPENDIX



USFWS trip report authors, year and dates of trips. All reports found
in Honolulu or Midway files were checked for references to mynas.

TRIP REPORTS FOR MIDWAY ONLY


  • Anonymous. 1983. 26-27 May
  • Byrd, G. V. 1979. 27-30 October
  • Byrd, G. V. 1980. 12-15 January
  • Clapp, R. B. 1980. 21-26 November
  • Fefer, S. I. 1982. 26-30 January
  • Fefer, S. I. 1982. 18-19 May
  • Fefer, S. I. 1982. 24-27 July
  • Fefer, S. I. 1983a. 4-10 February
  • Fefer, S. I. 1983b. 15-28 March
  • Fefer, S. I. 1985. 21-27 March
  • Fefer, S. I. 1988. 19-25 May
  • Gettman, A. 1983. 31 March-7 April
  • Hansen, W. and L. Sileo. 1983. 29 March-8 April
  • McDermond, D. K. 1986. 20 November-4 December
  • McDermond, D. K. 1987. 22-31 January
  • McDermond, D. K. 1987. 1-11 December
  • McDermond, D. K. 1989a. 4-7 May
  • McDermond, D. K. 1989b. 7-19 December
  • Naughton, M. B. 1981. 24-27 October
  • Naughton, M. B. 1982. 26-30 January
  • Naughton, M. B. 1983. 31 March-7 April
  • Naughton, M. B. and S. I. Fefer. 1984. 14-15 March
  • Pyle, P. 1982. 21 September-21 October
  • Rowland, C. M. 1990. 8-15 March
  • Sincock, J. L., E. Kridler, and C. P. Sekora. 1974. 11-15 July
  • Tyler, W. B. 1988. 31 March-8 September
  • Woodby, D. 1987. 2-16 April


TRIP REPORTS FOR MIDWAY VISIT COMBINED WITH OTHER ISLANDS


  • Amerson, B. and F. Sibley. 1963. 4-28 June
  • Amerson, A. B., Jr. and G. S. Wislocki. 1964. 5-22 March
  • Anonymous. 1969. 9-11 November
  • Clapp, R. B. 1980. 3-27 November
  • Conant, S. 1983. 14 July-11 August
  • Delong, R. L. 1976. 17 March-10 April
  • Fefer, S. I. 1983. 14 July-11 August
  • Fefer, S. I. 1984. 19 June-19 July
  • Giezentanner, J. B. 1977. 6-26 April
  • Hu, D. 1985. 15 May-13 June
  • Hu, D. 1986. 15 May-12 June
  • Kenyon, K. W. 1966. 5-30 September
  • Kramer, R. J. 1963. 1-16 February
  • Kridler, E. 1964. 14-28 September
  • Kridler, E. 1965. 11-23 March
  • Kridler, E. 1966. 21 March-2 April
  • Kridler, E. 1966. 8-28 September
  • Kridler, E. 1967. 6 March-1 April
  • Kridler, E. 1967. 10 September-1 October
  • Kridler, E. 1968. 6-30 March
  • Kridler, E. 1969. 19 March-6 April
  • Kridler, E. 1971. 2-17 September
  • Kridler, E. 1972. 3-17 September
  • Kridler, E. 1973. 27 May-2 June
  • McDermond, D. K. 1985. 20-28 November
  • McDermond, D. K. 1988. 5 June-7 July
  • Norris, K. S. 1971. 2-17 September
  • Olsen, D. L. 1969. 28 May-11 June
  • Olsen, D. L. 1973. 22 July-1 August
  • Pyle, R. L. 1968. 1 April-31 July
  • Sekora, C. P. 1975. 4-16 August
  • Sekora, C. P. and J. B. Giezentanner. 1976. 17-28 August
  • Sincock, J. L. 1974. 13 July-14 August
  • Smithsonian Institute. 1963. 23 January-3 April


Midway trip reports not found in FWS Honolulu or Midway files


  • Cain, S. A. 1965. 31 March-11 April
  • Naughton, M. B. and S. I. Fefer. 1983. 31 May-7 June
  • Sileo, L. 1983. 12 July-10 August


Submitted to the refuge biologist at Midway Atoll NWR in October 1992. Revised and posted to http://www.halcyon.com/salix/myna.htm in February
1997. Posted to http://www.aves-specta.com/myna.htm in August 2001. All rights reserved.

Latest revision: March 1997, with comments added 2006.

Return to top.

Further Developments

The gonadal cycle is controlled by daylength and humidity. http://www.swets.nl/sps/journals/brr2702.html#anchor555558

Paul and Helen Baker estimate population at 800 in February 1996, but I doubt it.

Prey of Ferruginous Hawks Breeding in Washington

Scott A. Richardson, Ann E. Potter, Karin L. Lehmkuhl, Rosemary Mazaika, Mary E. McFadzen, Rick Estes. 2001. Northwestern Naturalist 82:58-64.

Abstract (corrected)

We collected and analyzed pellets and prey remains from 39 ferruginous hawk (Buteo regalis) breeding territories in the Columbia Basin of Washington between 1992 and 1995. Among 4402 identified items were remains of 12 mammal species, primarily northern pocket gophers (Thomomys talpoides). Orthopterans, primarily Tettigoniidae, outnumbered all other identified prey items. Birds and snakes were difficult to count accurately, but contributed significantly to diets at some territories. Prey items of ferruginous hawks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation were almost exclusively pocket gophers and insects. Hawks elsewhere in Washington often had more varied diets incorporating small mammal species, primarily Great Basin pocket mice (Perognathus parvus). At the 4 territories where prey were quantified each yr (all at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation), the relative contribution of insect prey varied. Few lagomorphs were encountered, suggesting a dietary shift since the 1920's for ferruginous hawks nesting in Washington.

Published by the Society for Northwestern Vertebrate Biology

Some effects of a major oil spill on wintering shorebirds at Grays Harbor, Washington

Eric M. Larsen and Scott A. Richardson. 1990. Northwestern Naturalist 71:88-92.

Abstract

Shorebirds wintering at Grays Harbor, Washington, were oiled when No. 6 fuel oil spilled from the barge Nestucca on 22 December 1988. Counts and observations on eight days during the ensuing two months provided information on the effects of oiling on black-bellied plover (Pluvialis squatarola), semipalmated plover (Charadrius semipalmatus), sanderling (Calidris alba), western sandpiper (C. mauri), and dunlin (C. alpina). Initially, 31% of shorebirds we observed roosting on ocean beaches were oiled; 10 days later this dropped to 5%. A harbor rate of 34% oiled shorebirds occurred after the ocean beach rate declined, then percentages of oiled shorebirds at each locality declined to insignificance. We report on behavioral changes observed in oiled dunlins and discuss three alternate hypotheses to explain the disappearance of over 3500 oiled shorebirds: self-cleaning, emigration, and mortality.

Published by the Society for Northwestern Vertebrate Biology

Citations

A nearly comprehensive list of publications (updated November 2001; partially updated October 2013)

PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS

Richardson SA, Potter AE, Lehmkuhl KL, Mazaika R, McFadzen ME, Estes R. 2001. Prey of Ferruginous Hawks breeding in Washington. Northwestern Naturalist 82:58-64. [ Abstract ]

Richardson SA, Doran PJ, Michaelis WA, Sundstrom-Bagley C, Anthony JA, Zahn HM. 2000. A new Snowy Plover nesting area in Washington: Midway Beach, Pacific County. Washington Birds 7:25-35.

Richardson S. 1999. Intermediate Egret at Midway Atoll. North American Birds 53:441-443. But see entry in Pyle and Pyle 2009 (PDF).

Larsen EM, Richardson SA. 1990. Some effects of a major oil spill on wintering shorebirds at Grays Harbor, Washington. Northwestern Naturalist 71:88-92. [ Abstract ]


BOOKS

Richardson S, editor. 2008. Coastal Fish of Southern Maine and New Hampshire. Wells Reserve & Laudholm Trust, Wells, Maine. 72pp.

Wahl TR, Tweit B, Mlodinow S, editors. 2005. Birds of Washington: Status and Distribution. University of Oregon Press, Corvallis. 436pp. (Contributed accounts for Ferruginous Hawk, Snowy Plover, and Belted Kingfisher.)

Richardson S. 1997. East Bay Bird Guide. Black Hills Audubon Society, Olympia, Washington. 96pp.

OTHER TECHNICAL PUBLICATIONS

Richardson S. 1996. Prospects for Snowy Plover nesting in Washington (abstract). WOSNews 45:4-5.

Richardson SA. 1995. Colonization of newly-created habitat by two albatross species at Midway Atoll (abstract). Pacific Seabirds 22(1):41-42.

McAllister K, Richardson S. 1995. State-listed birds of interior Washington (abstract). WOSNews 38:8-9.

Richardson SA. 1994. Status of the Short-tailed Albatross on Midway Atoll. `Elepaio 54:35-37. [Also: Response to Tickell WLN. 1996. Short-tailed Albatrosses at Midway Atoll. `Elepaio 56:46-47.]

STATE RECOVERY PLANS AND STATUS REPORTS

Richardson S, Hays D, Spencer R, Stofel J. 2000. Washington State Status Report for the Common Loon. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia. 53pp.

Richardson S. 2000. Washington State Recovery Plan for the Sea Otter: Draft. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia.

Hays DW, McAllister KR, Richardson S, Stinson DW. 1999. Washington State Recovery Plan for Western Pond Turtle. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia. 66pp.

Richardson S. 1999. Washington Lynx Update. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia. 22pp + appendices.

Potter AE, Fleckenstein J, Richardson S, Hays D. 1999. Washington State Status Report for the Mardon Skipper. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia. 39pp.

Richardson S. 1997. Washington State Status Report for the Gray Whale. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia. 20pp.

Richardson S. 1997. Washington State Status Report for the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia. 14pp.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. 1996. Washington State Recovery Plan for the Ferruginous Hawk. Olympia. 63pp.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. 1995. Washington State Recovery Plan for the Snowy Plover. Olympia. 87pp.

TECHNICAL REPORTS

Dobler FC, Eby J, Perry C, Richardson S, Vander Haegen M. 1996. Status of Washington's shrub-steppe ecosystem: Extent, ownership, and wildlife/vegetation relationships. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia.

Richardson S, Potter A. 1996. Prey of Ferruginous Hawks in Washington. Unpublished report. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia.

Kloempken D, Richardson S. 1995. Snowy Plovers and human activity at Leadbetter Point in April 1995. Unpublished report. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Montesano.

Richardson S. 1994. A century of bird observations at Eastern Island, Midway Atoll: Draft. Internal report. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Midway Atoll.

Richardson SA. 1992. The Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) at Midway Atoll: Review and status. Internal report. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Midway Atoll. [ Read it. ]

Richardson SA. 1992. Albatross recolonization study, second year report. Internal report. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Midway Atoll.

Richardson S, Pretare J. 1992. Late-winter distribution and abundance of breeding Black Noddies at Midway Atoll. Internal report. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Midway Atoll.

Richardson SA. 1991. The Jenny Island tern restoration project 1991 field season report. Unpublished report. National Audubon Society, Ithaca, New York.

O'Daniel D, Richardson S. 1990. Bird and mammal observations at Nizki and Alaid islands, Aleutian Islands, Alaska--spring and summer 1990. Internal report. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Adak, Alaska. 70pp.

O'Daniel D, Richardson S. 1990. Nesting survey for Aleutian Canada Geese at Nizki-Alaid in 1990. Internal report. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Adak, Alaska.

POPULAR ARTICLES

"Birding locally: Rochester's Hanson Pines" New Hampshire Bird Records 18(3):43,45. Fall 1999.

"Geese" Echo. 1999.

"Belted Kingfishers in Washington: Part One—Inklings." WOSNews 55:3,7. June/July 1998.

"Birding East Bay." Echo 24(3):5. Olympia, Washington. May/June 1996.

"Rare longspur draws cyber attention." WOSNews 42:1. Seattle, Washington. April 1996.

"Breeding Bird Atlas goes to press this year." WOSNews 42:1. Seattle, Washington. April 1996.

"Civic falcons enhance downtowns nationwide." WOSNews 37:1. Seattle, Washington. June 1995.

"Olympia's East Bay Wildlife." Echo 22(5):8. Olympia, Washington. September/October 1994.

Untitled. Pinto 6:26. Olympia, Washington. 1994.

"Midway Islands DXpedition." The DX Magazine, Fulton, California. August 1992: 4-9.

"Morning with murrelet." Echo 20(6):4. Olympia, Washington. November/December 1992.

"Folks in Cundy's Harbor help terns gain a foothold." The Times-Record, Brunswick, Maine. August 9, 1991.

"Superficial Depression." Evergreen Natural History Journal 2:6-7. Olympia, Washington. Winter 1991.

"Under the Evergreens." Series of 17 weekly articles. The Cooper Point Journal, volume 21. Olympia, Washington. 1990-1991.

"Wren and Bluebird." Evergreen Natural History Journal 1:11-13. Olympia, Washington. Winter 1990.

"What's in a Name?" Earthcare Northwest, Seattle, Washington. September/October 1989.

TRIP REPORT

Richardson SA. 1994. Midway Atoll NWR Trip Report, 29 October 1993 to 11 January 1994. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Midway Atoll. 13pp.


META NAME="CreateDate" CONTENT="2000/08/01"

Satrupa Classic Manas

Some new tea

[acidfree:85 align=right size=250]Taking the afternoon off made it possible to ride across the bridge to the Portsmouth Tea Company for a minor restocking of the tea shelf. Cash on hand was limited, so I got small tins of Miami Ice (for A-) and Satrupa (for me).

It was my third time up the ancient circular stairs to the second floor of the old mill building, and again a warming experience. A higher-end tea vendor is not what I would have expected in Somersworth, but I'm sure glad it's here.

The satrupa looks like the one shown here, "Classic Manas," from the Satrupa Tea Estate in northeast Assam, as carried by Tfactor teas. Of the five single-estate assams at Portsmouth Tea Company, this one had the most inviting aroma. After one try, I'm a bit concerned that the aroma might its most favorable characteristic.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Email client loop

In an effort to escape the clutches of Microsoft email, I spent the last 10 days testing other possibilities. Looks like I'll be ending up back with Outlook Express.

First stop was Opera Mail, which was too integrated with the browser for my comfort level and not riveting enough otherwise to keep my attention. Next up was Eudora. It looks great, but free versions lack the ability to create multiple "accounts" and I'm reluctant to pay $50 to gain that ability. Conceptually, Pegasus, my penultimate stop, appeared ideal, but coherently managing users, identities, and network connections for several email addresses made my head spin. Support and manuals cost a bit less than Eudora, and even though it's more tempting to send money to a guy in New Zealand, I want to be able to make an email client work before paying for it.

What a discouraging pleasure to open OE and have it do what it does so well, with a minimum of fuss and no learning curve.

Until I get some advice on Pegasus, I'm sticking with the familiar. What do you know about the flying horse?

UPDATE 15 OCT

A Eudora-Thunderbird alliance code-named Penelope, which will presumably lead to an open-source email client with strong characteristics, might just provide that avenue away from Outlook, but it'll be some time before it's ready. On the other hand, my Thunderbird experience, like Netscape's email client, left me cold; maybe synergy with Eudora will defrustrify the product.

A suddenly appealing alternative is to move to Eudora now that Qualcomm has cut its price to $19.99.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

BTW, Happy Anniversary

My third flurry of copy-paste entries into this blog from Blogger blogID 15168267 brought me back to its beginning, "It's always best to start at the beginning," which coincidentally was posted one year ago today.

That was a Saturday afternoon and this is a Sunday evening. Wonder where this'll all be a year from "tomorrow" night.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Somethin' fishy's goin' on aroun' here

I feel like I'm missing a post or two. A week or so ago, I couldn't reach blogger at all. Next time I look, I'm back in the middle May. I can't remember what I might have written, but feel like there must have been something.

Meanwhile, semi-abandonment of Textpattern and tentative adoption of Drupal draw me back to Aves Specta. I could wrestle xots.blogspot.com into an import filter, but feel like it'll be easier to move these few posts by cut and paste.

Dunno if I'll quit blogger. If I do, chances are you'll find me here.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

When Wireless Fails

What a shock, to lose Internet access suddenly and unexpectedly. Our faithful Netgear wireless router seems to have a scrambled brain. Repeated hard resets can bring it back to reality for a little while, but it's looking grim for FM114P.

Adding insult to injury: None of our computers have ethernet jacks, so we can't even connect our cable modem directly. So it looks like we're in the 802.11g market now. At least prices have come down significantly since our entry into the wifi world.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Drupal Steps Up

It's now Drupal at cms.aves-specta.com.

Remind me to tell you about the error 1064 and the cgi-system quirk. Other than that, here we are. Let's get going...

Saturday, June 10, 2006

NEQP

The New England QSO Party has been running since 2002. I haven’t missed one yet.

Year QSOs SPC Score Status
2002 58 24 2784 5th New England, 1st Maine Single Op QRP
2003 43 21 1806 1st Maine Single Op QRP
2004 13 6 156 1st Maine Single Op QRP
2005 32 14 896 2nd Maine, 1st York County Single Op QRP
2006 37 17 1332 4th Maine, 1st York County Single Op QRP
2007 2 2 8 last New England, 1st York County Single Op QRP
2008 56 25 2800 1st York County Single Op QRP
2009 63 23 2898 1st York County Single Op QRP
2010 139 40 11,120 2nd Maine, 1st York County Single Op QRP
2011 6 4 48
2012 129 37 9546 2nd New England, 1st Maine Single Op QRP
2013 51 20 2040 2nd Maine, 1st York County Single Op QRP
2014 73 28 4088 3rd Maine, 1st York County Single Op QRP
2015 6 6 72 Last QRP, Last Maine
2016 57 23 2622 3rd New England, 1st Maine Single Op QRP
2017 3 3 18 claimed score

The 2010 score approached the total of all scores for my previous 8 NEQP entries (12,680). It was the median score for the 11 QRP entries from New England.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Mother's Day Flood of 2006

Berwick-Somersworth bridge, 15 May 2006

The week of rain, according to the electronic rain gauge in our yard, went like this:
  • May 10-11 = 1 inch
  • May 12 = 0.5 inch
  • May 13 = 4.7 inches
  • May 14 = 2.5 inches
  • May 15 = 2.1 inches
  • May 16 = 0.8 inches

Not quite a foot, but the monthly total is close to 14 inches and we have more on the way.

Home impacts have been minimal. Work has been disrupted for both of us, but is approaching normalcy.

C&A walked to the (closed) bridge on Monday to see the Salmon Falls River way higher than we've seen it.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Bird Migration Under Way in Earnest

What a difference a day makes.

Wood Thrush, Nashville Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and Ovenbird were great to hear this morning in Berwick. My five stolen minutes were just enough to whet my appetite for more. Looking skyward, I saw many birds moving, not as high as I usually see migrants, but when a heron flew over low and against the grain I knew I was seeing today's bonus bird.

It wasn't a great blue. It was a smaller one. I'm inclined to think it was a bittern, but it could have been a large green. How often is either one of those a flyover? In my experience, almost never. Just a reminder to review the books before the mystery bird appears. No matter what, it's hard to be prepared for every interesting thing migration might throw at you.

More advice: Never set your binoculars aside just moments before a mystery bird is going to wing past.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Pee Wee Russell and Who?


On Friday the 13th of January 1950, Dad was sketching jazzmen at the Central Plaza in NYC. This is his Pee Wee Russell.

He did another caricature in the same style, but didn't get it signed. Who it is is a mystery.

The post card advertising the event listed these other musicians:
Wingy Manone • photo here
Buster Bailey
Benny Morton
Sam Price
Wilmer Jones
Max Kaminsky
Pee Wee Russell
Sandy Williams
James P. Johnson
Kansas Fields
& the guest of honor
Chauncey Morehouse

Quite a collection. But a Google Images search across the field turned up no hot leads. Without the other illustration in front of me, Wingy Manone seems a possibility.

That post card, by the way, has Dad's address as 422 E 11TH ST APT 14.
422. Nothing about 5/8.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

ARRLWeb: RadiosOnline -- Ads

off-stby-opr-cal
Put up my first ARRLWeb classified last night:
[29-Mar-2006] COLLINS 75S-1 #3069 FOR SALE: $250 plus shipping. Worked great when last used for several years pre-1980. Powered up once about 5 years ago, but not tested. Always stored indoors in smoke-free environments. Knobs/ feet/ power cord original. No known modifications. No crystals for top end of 10m. No manual. Needs a good cleaning. Sold as is. Sentimental value waning... needs a new life. Email N1AIA [at] ARRL [dot] NET.

First response within the hour.
End of an era.
Update: First "buyer" backs out (you did read the ad, didn't you?). Second buyer steps up, steps back. Third buyer makes an offer I can refuse. Fourth buyer whisks the deal along. Era ends. 4/15.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Milbert's Tortoiseshell in York County, Maine


Today — yes, during the last week of March — I saw my first butterfly of 2006 while walking up the trail from Laudholm Beach at the Wells Reserve. As I climbed the incline through a patch of woods, I spotted it flitting between cobbles on the wide path. I was able to approach it closely as it held its wings out in a patch of full sun.

It looked like no butterfly I had seen before. Its most striking feature was a rich orange U-shaped band forming a wingtip-to-wingtip semicircle against wings of deep velvet brown. On the leading edge of each forewing were four patches. The innermost two were squares of the same orange, the next was a similar hue but washed out, and the last was whitish. The outer two patches merged somewhat with the band.

Milbert's Tortoiseshell, Ottawa
By D. Gordon E. Robertson [CC-BY-SA-3.0] via Wikimedia Commons
It had a sturdy-looking brown body, alert antennae, and a glossiness that shone like armor. I figured it was just about 2 inches across, maybe slightly more. Its flights were brisk and brief; it skipped purposefully ahead of me, moving from rock to rock, as I attempted to pass.

After several yards, it landed trailside among grass and downed twigs and I went ahead to the farmhouse. No bookshelf references showed me what I was looking for, so I went to the web. Once, again, the USGS NPWRC Butterflies of North America site, or more specifically its Butterflies of Maine listing, was a terrific resource.

Scrolling down the list of names, it was easy to reject most, but I linked to a few to "ground" myself. I went to the Mourning Cloak account half expecting to find my animal there, but no: That was not it. I was looking for orange, not yellow, and a smaller insect. I've seen Mourning Cloaks and this didn't look like one.

But maybe it was a close relative. I went to Compton Tortoiseshell — not a chance. Then I went to Milbert's Tortoiseshell and found my match.

But the map shows no records for York County, confirmed, unconfirmed, or dubious.

I grabbed the camera and went back out, but of course the nymph was gone. That makes this an unconfirmed or, egad, a dubious report.

Great way to start spring, though!

Edit 2012-05-09: Removed links to NPWRC pages, which have migrated to here. Removed copyrighted image and added copyleft image.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Not intermediate, but cattle?


I've just found the Editors' Notebook from a 2004 issue of North American Birds, where Edward S. Brinkley writes:
We intend to revisit an older article on Intermediate Egret on Midway Atoll, Hawaii (N. A. B. 53: 441-443), which may pertain to an "Eastern Cattle-Egret" rather than an Intermediate Egret (have we piqued the reader's interest?).

As the author of the article in question, I am eager to see the clarification, which is apparently approaching a draft stage now. Ever since I was informed that the American Ornithologists' Union check-list committee passed over the "intermediate" egret report in its 45th supplement, I have hoped to read a well documented alternative view. I expect to be presumed mistaken and am comfortable with that. It's just hard to be wrong so publicly.

It happens, though; I am not alone. After recounting a handful of other questioned identifications recorded in NAB, Brinkley goes on to write:

It is remarkable, and very humbling to one's own grasp of bird identification, to receive opposing opinions from experts in their fields!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Genealogy Online

To the phpgedview question: Yes.

It was a smooth install and the learning curve has been pretty shallow, so it's up and running with data exported from the on-again-off-again Family Tree Maker file. Here's hoping it lives up to its potential.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

A test article, just for fun

This would be the fun. Fun is so fun you can't believe just how fun it is. Fun could hardly be funner.

Thanks for all the fun.

Have fun!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Newsweek Interactive: The Autism Quotient

Prompted again by admit-one, I've determined my Autism Spectrum Quotient is 31. That's "above average," with 32 being "very high." I'm not reading much into the results, even though most men score about 17 and most people with Asperger Syndrome or high functioning autism score 35. Want to try it? See if Newsweek Interactive: The Autism Quotient is still a live link.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Elusive Subja Seed


Why am I so captivated by the idea of drinking tasteless, slippery, crunchy-kerneled seeds? Because subja seeds sound like fun. I first learned of them by browsing The Indian Spice Kitchen, where Monisha Bharadwaj describes them, but Osimum basilicum seeds seem impossible to find.

I made a special trip to Seattle's Uwajimaya to track them down, but came up empty. I stopped at Market Spice at Pike Street, where they hadn't heard of them (but they suggested another shop down the street). I went into Souk, where the gentleman understood what I was looking for only after I described it; he knew the seeds by a different name, which he couldn't remember, and said his sister gets them at a shop (the name not in his memory) on Roosevelt Avenue. But I was out of time in the city and couldn't follow up. (But before I took more than a few steps out Souk's door, the proprietor called me back in, because he had asked his arriving friend what those seeds were called. Tukmaria, he said. Tukmaria.)

I'll try falooda and raat ki rani one day, but as my online searches supplied only frustration it may be a while. Sometime, somewhere around Boston, I assume I'll find a spot for subja seeds. And maybe they'll have candied anise, too.