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Below, I am forwaing the text of a private email to me from Ann Johnson of 
the Iowa list. (I get Mail Delivery Subsystem notices when I try to post 
text of substantial length by reply or, in this case, by forwarding. Yet 
some of these messages also seem to get through some of the time. Please 
forgive the system if you see the same message more than once).


Bob --

Just a little perspective from a northern neighbor:

Iowa has always had two distinct populations of Blue Grosbeak.  The
western population has been pretty stable all along the Missouri River
counties and is presumably the eastern edge of the ones that breed in
South Dakota, Nebraska, etc. Occasionally they will be found inland
maybe 50 to 75 miles from the river but are probably just eastern
outlyers of this group.  On the other hand, the southern population,
which up until recently had only been recorded in the far southeast
corner of the state near the Mississippi, appears to be expanding to
the north.  There have been more records in eastern Iowa than anytime
in my memory.  We in the central part of the state seldom see one.
Steve lives about 100 miles straight south of me so it will be
interesting to see if that changes.

Western Kingbird is kind of an enigma here.  Fairly common along the
Missouri plus a pretty stable population on the state capitol grounds.
Other than that I don't know that we've seen much change.
Scissor-tailed records are pretty much unchanged as well - just
sporadic sightings.

There are a few other interesting notes regarding southern warbler
species.  We had our first breeding record of Pine Warbler last year
and there have been more reports of Yellow-throated and Prairie in
recent years.  We could also throw in an unprecendented number of
White-eyed Vireo reports from this year.  Of course the unanswerable
question is are the birds moving north or are there just more birders
out looking in the right habitats?

You're right on with Carolina Wrens.  There has always been an ebb and
flow with these guys depending upon the severity of the previous
winter.  The thing is, it has been a long time since we had such a
severe winter that there was a population crash.  Now they are found
clear up in northern Iowa and think even into Minnesota.




Bob Fisher
Independence, Missouri
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