June 21, 2011

Happy Solstice to all

It's summer! I've been chasing, and just chillaxing. Heard a Flammulated Owl last night, at the Mission Springs Trail Camp south of Heart Bar — and saw a Western Tanager, male, gorgeous, at the cabin this morning. A first visit by my heart bird to the place I love most, how cool is that.

Our local mammals [lightweight division] include Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels, Merriam's Chipmunks, Lodgepole Chipmunks, and a rare visitor: the San Bernardino Flying Squirrel. That's Rocket J. himself checking out a suet feeder in the photo above.

The San Bernardino Flying Squirrel is a California Species of Special Concern, "included on the Special Concern list because of its occurrence in restricted, disjunct populations, a lack of information on the two smallest populations, comparatively low densities of individuals in populations that have been studied, and ongoing habitat fragmentation as a result of development and forest practices within the species range." [Source] Can't tell you how good it is to catch a glimpse of one of these little guys in the forest around the cabin.

For some excellent reading and informative graphics on our flying squirrel, check out the following:

San Bernardino flying squirrel [from Terrestrial Mammal Species of Special Concern in California] [pdf]
Climate change threatens flying squirrels
Petition to list the San Bernardino Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus californicus) as threatened or endangered under the United States Endangered Species Act [pdf]

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