Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Violet-Green Swallow near Table Mountain in the Sierra Nevada

I took a hike to the top of Table Mountain in the Sierra Nevada Mother Lode today. It wasn't a birding trip, but there were a few of them about, including some swallows that were moving very fast over the grassy meadows. One of them finally sat still long enough for a couple of pictures, and I was able to see the green coloring of the Violet-green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina). I've seen them before in the Mono Lake area, but this was the first I've identified on this side of the mountain (due more to my lack of attention than any kind of rarity on their part). These birds, like their cousins the Tree Swallows, are residents of western North America, ranging from Central America and Mexico to northern Alaska, depending on the time of year. They prefer open woodlands, which is just where I found them.

Table Mountain is a unique geologic and biologic environment. You can read more about this strange place over at Geotripper (click here).

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