Sunday, April 26, 2009

April Bird Banding

It was an great morning of banding. We started at 6.11 a.m. and it was pleasantly cool in the canyon.
We got another Red-shafted Flicker. The person who brought it back from the net kindly handed it off to me to process. Perhaps I have made my great affection for Flickers clear?
Look how he uses his tail to brace against Walter's hand. That's what they do on trees, so he's just doing this behavior on a person for stability.
We also saw a pretty large Pacific Gopher Snake

Most birds are in breeding condition. The first bird I got was a Spotted Towhee female, who was about to lay an egg.I could tell because when I looked at her cloaca, I could see an egg-shaped bulge under the skin. As soon as I realized this I finished up with her quickly and let her go so she could make some more Towhees.

Some birds already had nestlings. Walter found these Bewick's Wren babies and showed us them:
We quickly took a peak and he put them back in the nest.

We also had a male and female Black-chinned Hummingbird, and a male and female Black-headed Grosbeak. Click on the links to look at the size of the beak. They use it. I have never been so abused by a bird. They are very good at getting tiny pieces of your finger skin in their beaks and they just clamp down. Ouch!

We also had another treat; this is an unusual bird to get in Zuma Canyon. It is quite beautiful.

Male Lazuli Bunting.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Our Very Own Birds

Two chickens and an (unexpected) quail. The quail chirps rather loudly for such a small creature. The chickens peep.

We're going to have fresh green/blue eggs in a few months!