Ralph Hoffmann on Southern California Birds:
"From Field And Study"

Compiled and Edited by
Robert Jan "Roy" van de Hoek

Ballona Institute & Wetlands Action Network
322 Culver Blvd., Suite 317
Playa del Rey, California 90293

(310) 821-9045

Condor, volume 29, number 3, page 171. May-June, 1927
Cassiar Junco Wintering in Southern Santa Barbara County, California.
-On January 27, 1927, I collected a male Cassiar Junco (Junco hyemalia connectens) in Carpinteria, California. The identification has been confirmed by Mr. H. S. Swarth. The bird was feeding in a walnut orchard in company with a small flock of Sierra Juncos (J. oreganus thurberi). The only published record of this subspecies in California, that I know of, is of a specimen taken by Major Brooks near Colusa, in March, 1923 (Condor, XXV, 1923, p. 176).
-RALPH HOFFMANN, Carpinteria, California, February 10, 1927.

Robert Jan "Roy" van de Hoek


Ralph Hoffmann made this observation about three-fourths of a century ago in 1927, about 8 years after moving here from the eastern United States. As headmaster of a private boys school in Carpinteria, he still found time to do birding with his field glass and make an observation of Juncos in winter.

I was attracted to Hoffmann's comment about a Walnut orchard in Carpinteria, which I presume no longer exists, but interestingly, there is a agricultural history of tree orchards near the coastal wetlands of the Carpinteria estuary. What effect would this orchard have on the environment of the estuary and coastal wetlands?