Two Sapsuckers

Red-breasted Sapsucker
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; JAN 2021

In recent weeks, a Red-breasted Sapsucker has allowed me to photograph it. I have wanted this opportunity for a couple of years. Two years ago, I saw one but had already packed up my camera gear and lost the opportunity. So, I was excited to finally see one.

A year ago, I was in Florida and was given the opportunity to photograph a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. That was special also.

The images I captured shows a signature behavior of sapsuckers. They peck to create a round hole from which the suck the sap. They get the sap from one hole then create another. In doing so they create horizontal ring around the tree. They may create many of these rings. If you see a tree with rows of holes, in horizontal rings, you may have a favorite tree to watch for sapsuckers.

According to All About Birds from Cornell Labs, the Rufous Hummingbird may follow a sapsucker and finish any sap left in a fresh hole.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Six Mile Cypress Preserve, Fort Meyers, FL; FEB 2020
Red-breasted Sapsucker; Sailor Bar
American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; JAN 2021

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Some Songbirds

Pine Siskin
Orangevale, CA; DEC 2020

I am sharing a few songbirds that we see here in the Sacramento area. I’m especially excited about the Pine Siskin. This winter is the first we’ve had them visit our feeder, or at least the first time I’ve recognized one.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Savannah Sparrow
Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, Davis, CA; DEC 2020
Dark-eyed Junco – Oregon Subspecies
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; JAN 2020
Hermit Thrush
Mississippi Bar
American River Parkway, Orangevale, CA; DEC 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Birds Along the Water’s Edge

Herring Gull
American River Parkway, Rancho Cordova, CA; NOV 2020

Today’s post features some birds that I found along the edge of the American River. The Kingfisher and Sandpipers are here, in the Sacramento area, much of the year but not always easy to find. The Herring Gull is a migrater found in large numbers during the Salmon Run.

The Herring Gull was fun to watch. I picked him up right after he caught the crayfish and got to watch as it positioned and swallowed the crayfish. It swallowed the crayfish whole, claw, and all. I think that is amazing.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Least Sandpiper
Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, Davis, CA; DEC 2020
Female Belted Kingfisher
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; JUL 2020
Spotted Sandpiper
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; NOV 2020
Least Sandpiper
Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, Davis, CA; DEC 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Wandering Around Effie Yeaw Nature Center

Crepuscular Rays at Sunrise
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; NOV 2020

I am a volunteer at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center (sacnaturecenter.net) in the Carmichael section of Sacramento, CA.  The center is a nature study area along the American River Parkway that provides nature classes for children and adults alike. It was named for Effie Yeaw, a teacher, conservationist and environmental educator who led natural and cultural history walks in an area known as Deterding Woods, located along the American River in Carmichael. It spans 100 acres replete with trails through a riparian woodland and along the American River. Black-tailed Mule Deer, Wild Turkeys, Acorn Woodpeckers, Fox Squirrels and California Ground Squirrels are often an attraction when wandering through the center. But watching closely, you’ll see many species of birds and sometimes a coyote.

I am a Trail Steward. My job is to walk the trails, report any issues, pick up litter and answer questions from visitors. But, most of all, I get to hike and to photograph what I see, while providing this labor of love. I even get to write a blog and share my photography. It is a dream job.

This blog is based on one I wrote for the Nature center. I am sharing it so all my friends and followers can see one of my favorite places. This will be the first. I will share more over the next few months. Meanwhile, you can see many more photos of Effie Yeaw Nature Center at https://larryklink.smugmug.com/EYNC/. Better yet, if you live in the Sacramento Region, make a visit, bring the kids and grandkids.

Female Acorn Woodpecker Building It’s Larder
Chipping away, the Acorn Woodpecker prepares another hole in which it will store an acorn. Note the flying wood chips.
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; NOV 2020

This is an Acorn Woodpecker. The Acorn Woodpecker uses its beak to drill holes where it stores acorns. Once the hole is ready, it will pound in an acorn for later use.  In this picture, the woodpecker was drilling a hole. If you look closely, you can see wood chips in the air. Also note that some of the existing holes are empty and others have acorns.

Oak with Moss at Sunrise
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; NOV 2020
The Contenders – Wild Turkeys
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; DEC 2020
Sunrise along Meadow Trail
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; NOV 2020
The Pointer – California Ground Squirrel
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; NOV 2020
The Pond
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; NOV 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Some Raptors

Red-tailed Hawk
Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, Willows, CA; NOV 2020

I am sharing images of 3 raptors, i.e., birds of prey. Take note of the image of the White-tailed Kite in the air. It was kiting, its characteristic behavior of hovering over potential prey before it drops down to catch it.

Please click on caption to see images at higher resolution.

Red-tailed Hawk
Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, Willows, CA; NOV 2020
White-tailed Kite
Davis, CA; APR 2019
White-tailed Kite
Mather Park, Sacramento, CA; JUN 2019
1st Year Juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; JAN 2020
1st Year Juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; JAN 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

A Few Songbirds

Orange-crowned Warbler
Orangevale, Ca; OCT 2020

I am sharing a few songbirds that I have photographed over the past few months.

Please click on caption to see images at higher resolution.

Savannah Sparrow
Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, Willows, CA; NOV 2020
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Rollingwood Bluffs, Orangevale, CA; NOV 2020
Oak Titmouse
Sailor Bar American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; NOV 2020
Lesser Goldfinch
Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, Willows, CA; NOV 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Some Shore and Wading Birds

American Coot
Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, Willows, CA; NOV 2020

Today I am sharing some birds we find foraging around the shore of our lakes, ponds, rivers, and sloughs. Some of these birds can be found here in the Sacramento region year-round but most are much more prevalent from late autumn to early spring.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Spotted Sandpiper, Juvenile or Non-breeding Adult
Wm B Pond Park, American River Parkway, Sacramento, CA; NOV 2020
Sora
Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, Willows, CA; NOV 2020
Greater Yellowlegs
Wm B Pond Park, American River Parkway, Sacramento, CA; NOV 2020
Black-necked Stilt
Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, Willows, CA; NOV 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Wild White Geese

Snow Geese
Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, Willows, CA; NOV 2020

The wildlife refuges in Northern California are one of the wintering over spots  for our two varieties of wild white geese: The Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens) and the Ross’s Goose (Chen rossii). They are 2 species that look almost alike and hang around together. In fact they do inter-breed so hybridized geese can be found. There is also a darker morph of both species which can sometimes be found in the flock. The darker or “blue morph” of the Snow Goose is sometimes called a Blue Goose. The head of the Ross’s Goose is smaller and more rounded than the that of the Snow Goose. The Ross’s Goose has a gray patch at the base of its bill. The Snow Goose has dark smile lines on the side of its bill that, I think, look like teeth.

It is amazing site to see these birds lift into the air. Entire fields full of geese will take off at one time making it look like a blizzard of white. On the day we observed them we were treated to an air show by many flocks. Thousands of birds were flying in large “V” formations as far as you could see in all directions. It was amazing!

Please click on caption to se images at higher resolution!

Ross’s Goose, Northern Shoveler
Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, Willows, CA; NOV 2020
Snow Geese
Colusa National Wildlife Refuge, DEC 2016
Ross’s Geese
Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, Willows, CA; NOV 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes
North Staten Island Road, Thornton, CA; NOV 2020

Last week we made the first of our pilgrimages to a spot where Sandhill Cranes winter over. It is still early in the migration and there seemed to be fewer there this year. I caught these images just as the last rays of the sun were setting over Mt Diablo.

Please click on the caption to see image at higher resolution.

Sandhill Cranes
North Staten Island Road, Thornton, CA; NOV 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Cackling Geese

Cackling Geese
North Staten Island Road, Thornton, CA; NOV 2020

Living along the Pacific Flyway provides a treat; many birds pass through or winter over around here. Our most well known and popular of the winter visitors is the Sandhill Crane. But, in this post, I am going to present another visitor, one less known, the Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii).

The Cackling Goose and the Canada Goose look nearly identical and they are related. Until recently they were considered 2 subspecies of a single species. The Cackling Goose is smaller and makes a distinctive cackle instead of the Canada Goose’s honk. One of the field marks I use to identify them is a white band at the base of the black neck; its not a perfect identifier but it is very good.

While the Canada Goose is ubiquitous year around, I have only seen the Cackling Geese, reliably, in a limited area and only in Late October and November. One birder told me that we get the Aleutian Subspecies; there are several other subspecies.

Please click on caption to see imaes at higher resolution.

Cackling Geese
North Staten Island Road, Thornton, CA; NOV 2020
Cackling Geese
North Staten Island Road, Thornton, CA; NOV 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.