Thursday, April 29, 2010


It was cold in the park and very windy. That set the tempo for the day. Yes, the prothonotary warbler was seen by many up near the Castle, but I wanted to watch bird behavior on a frigid April day.
The only group I didn't see eating on the ground was the flock of cedar waxwings. They came down to the stream for a sip of water, at least twenty of them, in silence,- sip, and depart silently.

And while the oven bird strutted around mostly in the leaves for one brief bit he rested on a branch. Photo op time.

The jays were actively observing and diving into leaves for grub.

Because of the wind a lot of seed pods were thrown to the ground. I knew the birds would pick at the seeds, but never expected to see the squirrels dining on them as well.

The overall observation was that everyone was eating stuff that had blown down. Pretty finch dining near Wagner Cove.

Finch picking at food. Robin picking at nesting materials several feet away.

Final picker-plucker.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Wander around and things get noticed. This partially albino house sparrow is a resident neat 81st street, seen several times.

There are far fewer hermit thrushes now, down from hundreds to maybe 50.

The last time I stopped at this spot and redbelly woodpeckers were home-drilling, pestered by starlings. Now the flicker is doing the same, also pestered by starlings. There's no way to tell who will move in and nest successfully.

One black-and-white warbler.

Lots of noise in the bushes. Finally action on the path. Male sparrow courting female. She would have nothing to do with him. Total brush-off. Poor chap.

Very big clue on the path. Broken eggs. It's not Halloween, so smashed eggs could only come from one place. Above.

Probably a sparrow's nest judging by the location and size. Other sparrow nests in vicinity. Problematic "basement" construction. Splat.

Home building....

And a sure clue that there are children at home.

Got to fill those gaping mouths.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Construction business

First it's necessary to built up one's energy and body mass.

There's hard work ahead, home construction and then family raising.

She shapes the cup of the nest with her rear end, .. back and forth till the mud is nice and smooth.

Mama is now incubating.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Low down

Last week the robins devoured a chocolate-nut bar. This time I saw the male dash to something in the grass. As first I couldn't make out what all the excitement was about. Tall grass. Finally I could see. Banana. Obviously someone had dropped a chunk. Robin delight.

After male had enough, the female took over and polished off the banana.

At one point the robin's beak was mushy, so stalk of grass was used to clear beak, swiped. Think green dental floss. When the banana chunk was all eaten the robins still searched the ground for more. No more banana. Back to proteins.

It's raining today. Around here the worms are squiggling down West End Avenue. No robins.