Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Western Kingbirds arriving in California: San Luis National Wildlife Refuge

One can tell when spring is coming around here in California's Great Valley. There's the greenery, of course, but (sorry, snowbound friends) it tends to be green most of the winter, the grass anyway. The real signs of spring are the comings and goings of the migratory birds. The geese and cranes are getting ready to start their long flights north to the Arctic while other birds, the tropical species, start moving in to spend the summer here.

One of the tropical birds is the Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis). They spend the winter in southern Mexico and Central America, but spend the summers in western North America, with a few going as far as southern Canada.

Our excursion to the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge a week ago included several sightings of  Kingbirds. The sun was on the wrong side for sharp pictures, but I was pleased with the backlit shot above of one taking off. I'm sure we'll have several more opportunities this summer!

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