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CDFW monitoring band-tail pigeon mortality

01/30/15 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is closely monitoring the population of band-tailed pigeons for mortality this winter. Band-tailed pigeons are California’s only native pigeon. They spend their winter from central to Southern California primarily inhabiting oak woodland and conifer forests. In late winter into early spring, band-tailed pigeons will migrate north into northern California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. Band-tailed pigeons are a different species than rock pigeons (also called city, urban or barn pigeons), which were introduced into North America from Europe.

Band-tailed pigeon, photo courtesy of CDFW
Band-tail pigeon, courtesy of CDFW

Large flocks of band-tailed pigeons, sometimes up to 200 birds, have been observed in numerous coastal locations from the San Francisco Bay Area south into Santa Barbara County and in the San Bernardino Mountains. Increased mortality has been reported in several of these areas since mid-December. CDFW’s Wildlife Investigations Laboratory has evaluated carcasses from these locations and determined the cause of mortality to be Avian Trichomonosis.

Avian Trichomonosis is a disease caused by a single-celled microscopic protozoan parasite, typically Trichomonas gallinae, which only infects birds. The parasite lives in the mouth and throat of infected birds, causing caseous (“cheese-like”) lesions in the birds’ mouth or esophagus. The lesions eventually block the passage of food, causing the bird to become weak and emaciated. Infected birds die from starvation or suffocation if the lesions block the airway. Non-native rock pigeons are thought to be the source of infection for native bird species.

The CDFW’s Wildlife Investigations Lab is asking residents to be on the lookout for band-tailed pigeons this winter and to report any sick or dead pigeons. This information helps CDFW determine how many pigeons die during these mortality events and consequently, how these events may impact the overall population. Mortality can be reported by clicking here, or by phone at (916) 358-2790.

If sick birds are observed, please contact a local wildlife rehabilitation center for advice. The list of CDFW licensed centers can be found here.

Additionally, residents can help reduce transmission of the disease by removing artificial sources of food and water (bird baths and fountains). Bird feeders and artificial water sources may increase disease transmission between individual band-tailed pigeons, and possibly other bird species, because it brings the birds into closer contact than is normal.

More Hunting News

Conservation Key to Future of Hunting

11/14/16 -- At its core, conservation seeks sustainability of wildlife and wild places. Ethical hunters want wild animals to flourish in their natural habitat as much as possible, and will act on their behalf in order to protect and conserve... Full Story

​I Was an Indoor (Outdoor) Slave

Don Webster, author badge, myoutdoorbuddy.com
04/07/16 -- I wish to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to all those kind folks who sent me "get well" cards and flowers during my recent, self-imposed stay at the Broken Antlers Rehabilitation Clinic. I'm especially indebted... Full Story

Nash Buckingham

Don Webster, author badge, myoutdoorbuddy.com
Theophilus Nash Buckingham (1880-1971) was an American author and conservationist from Tennessee. He is known for being an avid shotgunner and wingshot, and a best-loved outdoor writer of his time... Full Story

How much venison do hunters harvest?

Venison Bourguignon (Venison Stew), photo by Daniel Bledsoe, Food.com
06/17/15 -- The Dallas Safari Club (DSC) intends to find out. A study launching in 2015 will measure the actual amounts of venison and other wild protein harvested annually in North America. Researchers will assess the nutritional... Full Story

Pups & Partridges on the Calapooia Prairie

Liesl, 11 month old pudelpointer, photo by Gary Lewis
By Gary Lewis
02/18/15 -- They say a great pointing dog only comes along once or twice in a hunter's lifetime. Some dogs don't have the heart or the desire. Others don't seem to have the nose or the brain. We brought home our pudelpointer in... Full Story

DSC convention goers raise $1M in 1 minute

01/19/15 -- Responding to a heartfelt appeal for youth outdoor education, DSC convention goers on Saturday night raised $1 million in about 60 seconds. The fast flurry of fundraising was a highlight of the 2015 DSC convention and expo... Full Story

It’s Not over Till the Lady Sings

mountain lion on rocky edge, photo courtesy of UDWR and Carrie Wilson, CA DFW
By Gary Lewis
01/19/15 -- If you want to avoid being attacked by a mountain lion, conventional wisdom says, you should travel in groups. If you encounter a mountain lion by yourself or with children, stop and make yourself look as big as possible... Full Story

The buck we didn’t get and two we did

Tyler Low with his 3x4 buck shot at 100 yards with a Weatherby Vanguard .300 Winchester Magnum. Photo by Kyler Olson
By Tyler Low
08/10/14 -- “Can you see him? He is just below the sky line to the left of the big live oak.” The respectable three-point stood only 500 yards away, but my hunting partner, Kyler Olson, couldn’t quite get an eye on him... Full Story

Where Are All the Pheasants?

Sacramento Valley Pheasant, Steven T. Callan, Where Have All the Pheasants Gone
On Patrol by Steven T. Callan
The other day a neighbor stopped by my house after two days of hunting pheasants in the Orland area. He said that he and his golden retriever, Milo, had probably walked ten miles and only flushed three birds. Knowingthat I had grown up... Full Story

Ham on the Hoof

Article and photos by Gary Lewis
12/17/13 -- We were climbing a steep gravel ranch road in Charlie’s Toyota when we saw it, as big as a full-grown bear and on a dead run. Charlie hit the brakes and switched off the engine. There was no time to load the rifle. The shaggy, gray... Full Story

Never say never

Never say never, rifle buk, Francisco Garcia, MyOutdoorBuddy.com
By Francisco Garcia
Most of you have heard the saying, patience is a virtue, and I would say persistence is a virtue. If you want to fill your deer tag each season you have to put your time in. If you don’t give in and hunt hard you should be... Full Story

Hunting trip gone bad

Deer holding tight in cover during times of heavy hunting pressure as I was about to find out. Francisco Garcia hunting story. MyOutdoorBuddy.com
By Francisco Garcia
If you asked me what I’d rather be doing, most of the time I would emphatically say, deer hunting. For me nothing gets the juices flowing and the imagination spinning like the arrival of bow or rifle season for deer. When... Full Story

 

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