The burrowing owls have returned to Cesar Chavez park in Berkeley again this year. According to Audubon docents/researchers that were onsite the other evening, this first one arrived about a week and a half ago – earlier than usual. The females migrate from Idaho and surrounding areas to escape the harsh winters … males migrate shorter distances, presumably to be able to return to their territories faster in the spring to defend them. Last year they said there were six total that over-wintered in the park.
I’ve been seeing and hearing lots of great-horned owls lately as well, always breathtaking to see these giants glide silently out of the trees. They remind of cats with wings, the way they stare at you with their intense eyes.
Earlier this week we saw a little beak protruding up from the Anna’s hummingbird nest that I shared a couple of weeks ago …
This lone hatchling seems strong and is getting big quickly – they only stay in the nest for 20 days!
This little fella (lady?) was confused by all the commotion beneath its roosting tree today at Tilden Regional Park … as evidence by the disapproving “scowl” caught in the second pic below.
Ok, maybe it wasn’t a scowl. Just a sleepy bird.
Many thanks to Anthony Fisher of East Bay Regional Parks who led us on this adventure!
While helping work on a construction project in Berkeley, this hummingbird was doing some construction of its own! I noticed on the first day I was there that a hummingbird kept landing on one particular branch. The next morning, I inspected closer and realized the foundation of a nest had been built since I left the night before.
The bird would come back with feathers and other small bits of vegetation to add to the nest, and a number of times I saw it fly to the window panes around the house to gather silk cobwebs. Amazing.
white-tailed kite / Elanus leucurus
There’s something other-worldly about these birds … an ethereal white body like an angel combined with coal-rimmed eyes of deep shining red, they float and dance in the air like a flower petal caught in the wind moving from one invisible island to the next. To get so close to one perched was exciting.
Lot’s o dark morphs lately! Delicious.
The rains have passed and the light was perfect for a few more shots of the intermediate/dark morph in Berkeley …