Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Now that I know what to look for I'm seeing fledging songbirds just about everywhere, including my own front yard where a pair of Oak titmice (Baeolophus inornatus) have been bringing their two offspring for fast food at the feeder. At Howarth Park I spotted two young dark-eyed juncos (Junco hyemalis) wandering about the underbrush and watched the mother come and feed one of them.
A little farther along the trail an Oak titmouse fluttered it's wings and whined (bird style) repeatedly from a low branch until one of it's parents brought some food and stuffed it in. And the day before a wild gang of oak titmouse youngsters careened around in some oaks while I ate lunch and sketched. One was apparently as curious about me as I was about her and landed in a manzanita shrub about four feet away from me, checking me out carefully before zooming crazily back to the rest of the birds.
In the same area, a group of White-breasted nuthatches roamed through blue oak and when they left there was one young bird still sitting, very still, on a branch high up for about ten minutes. The only time it moved was when a Turkey vulture (Cathartes aura) flew over, causing the nuthatch to slither (that's the only way I can describe the apparently effortless movement) to the lower surface of the branch, until the vulture had passed. Several minutes later the nuthatch walked up to the higher part of the tree and I lost track of it.