June 20, 2012

Go to your hole

In the last week or two nest searching has become increasing difficult. Likely as a result of the low amount of snow in the area this winter and spring the birds are fledging earlier than expected. As a result, I've spent up to an hour searching for a nest, only to discover that food carried by adults is going directly to the gaping mouths of baby birds that have already left their cozy little holes. Curses.

Juncos are nesting in huge numbers this year (on the ground, per usual), hopefully making up for last year when snow covered the ground in some areas well into July.

Insane mouthful of worms for the young.

A fat-lipped junco, fresh out of the nest. These guys still trip me up for a second when I first see them...then I look at the tail.

Hairy Woodpeckers have noticeably been the most commonly fledged nests thus far, making finding an actually nest nearly impossible. The nice thing about working in burns is that it makes it very easy to tell an adult Hairy from a freshly fledged bird. The young have a crisp clean white to them, whereas the adults white is covered in soot.

This guy is ready to go!

This is a crappy photo, but it shows the result of about an hour of searching for a Western Bluebird nest...a needy fledgling.

It might be better if you just ignore this photo entirely, but it is the fruits of my labor for the day. Though I did find two Hairy families, happy barfing into each others mouths out of the nest, I was glad to actually find some babies where they belonged. But I only had my binoculars and a point and shoot.

Two Pileated Woodpecker nestlings, noisily demanding their next meal.

With only a couple more days of nest searching left I'm hoping to complete my list of species' nests found by adding Red-breasted Sapsucker and Lewis's Woodpecker to it, but I just don't see it happening. So far I've found nests for: Western Bluebird, Mountain Bluebird, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, White-headed Woodpecker, Black-backed Woodpecker, Wiliamson's Sapsucker, Pileated Woodpecker, and American Kestrel. I've also happened upon nests for Mountain Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch and Northern Flying Squirrel, all of which we don't care about for the purposes of our project.

No comments:

Post a Comment