Home > Energy, environment > Rare bird sighting on Bear River Ridge

Rare bird sighting on Bear River Ridge

The Times-Standard headline reads Rare bird spotted in Humboldt today for the first time ever:

A sparrow-like bird called a Smith’s longspur was spotted today in Humboldt County, making it the first of its type to ever be recorded in the area.

Biologist Robert Hewitt said it’s not only the first bird of its kind to be recorded in the area, but that it’s the first one ever to be found during springtime in California.

”The birders are loving it,” Hewitt said.. ”It’s right here on the flat open prairies of Bear River ridge.”

Bear River Ridge has also been in the news lately as the place where mega oil corporation Shell wants to develop a wind farm with 25 turbines.

[Image source. More images of the Smith’s Longspur (not in Humboldt) here.]

  1. Anonymous
    April 19, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    There have been many sitings of rare birds in recent years, fish that don’t belong in our ocean, disease-caring insects and pests moving in…year-round mosquito infestations…all from changing climates that no longer make the “news”.

    If the U.S. cancer, poverty, suicide, crime, foreclosure, bankruptcy, unemployment, and homeless pandemics are any indication, we won’t be reading about it in the newspaper anytime soon.

  2. SNaFU
    April 19, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    ….and here’s the GOOD NEWS___I bet this tweedy bird (sautéed w/Colonel Sanders special recipe) tastes a lot like the marbled murrelet & the spotted owl…..  mmmm-mmm-good!

  3. Anonymous
    April 20, 2012 at 5:50 am

    Screw that green power.

  4. Ponder z
    April 20, 2012 at 6:35 am

    If the pic is correct, that bird is common in this area. I have seen this bird all my life.

    If, in fact, it is new, then should we not eradicate it so it doesn’t overtake indigenous species? Could this supposed expanded migration be caused by human influence on the environment? We may need a new tax to cover the cost of migration credits.

  5. April 20, 2012 at 6:46 am

    I saw an Oregon Junco (Snowbird) in my back yard yesterday. They used to be very common but I don’t recall seeing any for a while.

  6. Bird Lover
    April 20, 2012 at 7:10 am

    25 units in a remote location are a tax dodge, not a wind farm.

  7. 1st District Voter
    April 20, 2012 at 7:43 am

    This will be a great weekend for birders – Happy Godwit Days!

  8. Anonymous
    April 20, 2012 at 7:44 am

    You know if for all the NIMBYs, if you can’t find a rare bird, a rare frog or tick or flea is all you need to stop progress. Countless EIRs and sympathetic green “biologists:” will unearth any number of soon to be extinct critters.

  9. Anonymous
    April 20, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Cute bird, looks a little like a chickadee and a gold finch…so relax you hard asses and just enjoy an occassional peaceful moment watching nature….and, it’s ok if D.O. posted this, we all know he is a regular contributor. tx for this one.

  10. April 20, 2012 at 8:55 am

    we all know…

    The collective oracle foils me again.

  11. Anonymous
    April 20, 2012 at 8:58 am

    thought that would get a rise

  12. Giggles
    April 20, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Pretty bird, lovely photo… Avian tourism is on the rise in Humboldt County!!

  13. Eleanor
    April 20, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Since all of the land on Bear River Ridge is private, I really hope this was sighted from the road..
    PS..there is no such thing as invasive species.

  14. Giggles
    April 20, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Eleanor: as part of Godwit days there were scheduled field trips up there with permission, led by Rob Hewitt. There are other nifty “closed” areas that the Godwit field trips have permission to go to, e.g. Lanphere Dunes.

  15. Anonymous
    April 20, 2012 at 10:50 am

    The road is public and a favorite of hikers and cyclists. As long as it stays wind-turbine-free.

    Wind Turbines Fail

  16. Eleanor
    April 21, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Hikers? Really? Please, where do they park their car? There’s no parking on the county road, and you can’t leave the pavement..

    In all of the years that I have lived out there I have never seen a hiker nor a bicyclist on Bear River Ridge.. That is private open range land and not really suitable for biking. Just because there’s no fence doesn’t mean you can walk on it; keep your feet on the road!

    And if the turbines will get rid of these tresspassers, that’s another plus to us..

  17. Revolution
    April 21, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Eleanor, which Indians did you steal “your land” from?

  18. Eleanor
    April 22, 2012 at 9:32 am

    No one stole any land, it’s all still right where it’s always been…

  19. Revolution
    April 23, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Except you built fences to keep out the original owners and everyone else from your “private open range land.”

  20. Enjoy_the_Scenery
    April 25, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Bikers and Hikers on the road and/or nearby for school and pleasure, bird watching, etc. Also scenic drives. The whole ridge isn’t just private land and the wind turbine installations would be monstrosities effecting a greater area than their immediate footprint.

    It’s a shared planet, ya’ll!

    ebeltz.net has taken students there obn field trips
    trails dot come has the ridge featured
    californiatraveldreams lists it under ferndale attractions
    birdingonthenet recommends birding at the ridge
    4x4books dot com lists the site
    trailsticker dot com offers a momento for hikers who complete the road
    krebcyleproducts features the ridge
    northcoastbikeriders blog features the ridge
    backcountrybyways recommends the drive
    sterlingbirds birdwatches there also

    “landowners” want to benifit from public roads, but not share the scenery, wildlife, watershed or airshed, hmmm……that doesn’t seem very fair.

    It’s a shared planet, ya’ll!

  21. runthatbymeagain
    April 25, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Um, just cause someone “owns” the rights to a tiny plot of land, does that mean they have the “rights” to put something on that land which will harm the rest of the earth?

  22. May 2, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    We saw this bird a couple of days ago in our maple tree. We live across the Eel River from Bear River Ridge. What a beautiful bird..

  23. BatLover
    May 7, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Saw in the paper recently a senior hike along the road. Sounds like a shared space.

    Carol, Thanks for sharing your sighting of the bird. May you enjoy the beauty of the area always.

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