I am blown away right now!
Last night, we headed down to Moab, for a vacation with friends. On the way down, we tried for the Curve-Billed Thrasher that was reported in Castle Valley just outside of Moab. We had no luck with the Thrasher, but did see a Spotted Towhee, Dark-eyed Juncos, Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser & Great Blue Heron. The Thrasher was reported at a feeder in Castle Valley; birdlife was sparse at the feeder because a Kit Fox was hanging out below it. I was honestly more excited about the Kit Fox than I would have been for the Thrasher.
Tonight we were shopping around town and I dragged everyone into my favorite bookstore, "Back of Beyond Books." I found a bird checklist from the year 1874: "Annotated List of Birds of Utah (1874)." I'm totally stoked about this checklist!!! Tonight I've been looking through it & I think it's so neat to see what birds were reported as common & uncommon in the year 1872 (the year they took the data for the checklist). It's also really interesting to try and figure out the names of the birds from 140 years ago. Some of them I can figure out, like "Long Crested Jay. Common. Found only in the mountains. Resident," which I'm sure is a Stellar's Jay. Some I'm not sure of, like, "Yellow Bird. Common. Permanent resident," which was found with the finches, sparrows, buntings, etc. It's also interesting to note that "Cow Bunting," which I believe is a Brown Cowbird was not very common in the state in 1874; probably because cows weren't that prevalent. Lark Buntings were also "Abundant. Everywhere on plains and benches."
What an awesome find. I might scan it & send an eCopy to people that want to take a look at it. Let me know if you'd like to check it out.
Labels: checklist, history, listing