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Notes from Death Valley, California

Gordon L. Bolander
Publication Information
2 (March-April)
From Field and Study

Notes from Death Valley, California.-On January 3 and 4, 1947, my father, L. P. Bolander, Edwin H. McClintock and I were in Death Valley, California. Among the twenty-five species of birds noted, there were four of more than passing interest.

Harris Sparrows (Zonotrichia querzda) were first recorded in the valley by the late M. F. Gilman on November 10, 1936 (Condor, 39, 1937:90). At the time of our visit this species was present on and about Furnace Creek Ranch in sufficient numbers to be classed as common. At haspfifteen individuals were seen at close range and no doubt there were others that escaped our attention. Each of us had excellent views of the birds and noted that all were seemingly immature. Only two were seen that closely approached the full adult pattern.

Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) were twice seen by McClintock and myself on January 3 at the Furnace Creek Ranch. Two were first seen feeding with a group of Western Meadowlarks until a Cooper Hawk routed the gathering. Later a flock of eleven was seen just as dusk was descending. They flew over on a northward course, but we were not successful in our attempt to locate their roosting spot.

The Wilson Snipe (Capella delicata) and the Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola) were noted. These two water-loving species certainly seemed out of place in the barren surroundings even though they occurred along the irrigation ditches of the ranch.-GORDON L. BOLANDEE, San Francisco, California, January 15, 1947

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