October 14, 2016

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Bill Maynard, a botanist and former high school biology teacher, has worked for various government agencies from Alaska to South Florida and for The American Birding Association. He discovered the 87,000 acre Chico Basin Ranch to be the perfect natural laboratory to study and photograph birds, dragonflies, grasshoppers and other insects. Chico Basin Ranch Natural History Resources : BIRDING CHECKLIST // BIRDING MAP // DRAGONFLY & DAMSELFLY CHECKLIST //

Bird grasshoppers like this Spotted Bird Grasshopper (Schistocerca lineata) are large (2.5 inches) and can fly a long way which might be why they are referred to as “bird grasshoppers”.  They are still alive even after a couple cold nights and are easily found in the fields behind the banding station where the Russian olives have been hydroaxed but apparently not found in Chico native grassland habitats.  There are 10 species in the U.S. but the common one in Asia, Europe, and Africa, Desert Locust (Schistocerca gregaria), is more well known because unlike the U.S. species, that species form huge flocks and causes major damage to crops giving rise to the term a plague of locusts.  Locust is a name given to the young of swarms of grasshoppers.