Sunday, January 17, 2021
always seen from hundreds of feet away. I knew roughly where to look, but had no luck in three or four attempts. But as we rolled up to the parking area for the Bittern Marsh Trail, the bird literally flew right in front of our car and landed in the tree next to us. That led to a few moments of pandemonium as we grabbed cameras and tried to locate the bird in the thick brush. What happened next was a scene probably familiar to most birders: snapping a series of totally unfocused shots just to have some kind of confirmation that we had indeed seen the bird.
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Want a real challenge? Try and capture why they are called "Ruby-crowned" Kinglets. The males have a red patch on their head, and if they are really upset about something, it can be raised, but that happens rarely in my experiences so far. But today I managed to catch a couple of shots so you'll know what to look for on your own attempts!
Monday, January 11, 2021
I don't know why this bird is still hanging around. They have a diverse diet of bugs, fruits, nuts, and seeds, and maybe this bird has a secure food source, perhaps some neighborhood bird feeders. Maybe it was injured in some way and wasn't able to make the journey with the others. There have been other winter stragglers in this area...last year it was a Hooded Oriole pair that spent the winter along the trail.
Monday, December 28, 2020
|Source: Vermilion Flycatcher Range Map, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology|
Postscript: Make that eight Vermilion Flycatchers in Merced County. Ralph Baker saw one at the San Luis NWR on November 1!
Saturday, December 19, 2020
Friday, December 4, 2020
The little owls sometimes dig their own burrows, but most of the time they take over the abandoned burrows of other creatures like badgers or ground squirrels. They hunt and consume a huge variety of small mammals, reptiles, and large insects, and hunt day and night. Almond orchards don't really provide that kind of habitat or food resource, so the birds get pushed east into the foothills.
Saturday, November 28, 2020
According to Ebird, they are most closely related to the Cedar Waxwings.