Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Bird of the Day: Sage Thrasher at Mono Lake

The fun thing about being a rank amateur is that you still get the thrill of discovery on a regular basis. I was out visiting the tufa towers along the south shore of Mono Lake when I saw this bird running down flies near the lake shoreline. It turned out to be a Sage Thrasher (Oreoscoptes montanus), and it's the first one I've ever seen (that doesn't mean rare, it's just I haven't been at this long).

If sagebrush is a good environment for Sage Thrashers, Mono Lake is an excellent place to be finding them. The Mono Lake basin has hundreds of square miles of sagebrush, as well as Mono Lake itself, a huge salty lake filled with fairy shrimp and brine flies. It is an important stop on the migratory routes of millions of birds. The lake environment was threatened by the diversion of its feeder streams into the Los Angeles Aqueduct in the 1940, but a 1994 legal agreement means that the situation has stabilized, with a new goal of establishing a lake level 25 feet higher than its 1982 low point.

No comments:

Post a Comment