Acorn Woodpeckers

Acorn Woodpeckers
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021

Acorn Woodpeckers are the most common woodpecker species that we see in the Sacramento, CA area. They are very active, industrious, and highly social birds. They live in family groups in a single nesting cavity, they manage a large acorn granary stored in holes they drill in dead trees, and they are very territorial.

One of the California Naturalists at Effie Yeaw Nature Center, wrote a short, interesting article about them. The article was published in “The Acorn” summer newsletter from Effie Yeaw Nature Center. (2021acornsummer.pdf (capitoltechsolutions.com)). It is a fascinating read sure to increase your appreciation of the interesting birds.

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Acorn Woodpeckers
Female is on left, Male on Right. Note the white band above the male’s beak.
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021
Acorn Woodpeckers
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021
Acorn Woodpecker and European Starling; River Bend Park
American River Parkway, Sacramento, CA; APR 2021
The cavity is a Starling nest. The Acorn Woodpecker came to investigate the nest. It was chased away by the Starling.
Images and discussion of the Acorn Woodpecker
Acorn Woodpeckers
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021

If anyone would like a copy of almost any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

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.

The Nerd Jumps Into Action

Red-tailed Hawk (The Nerd)
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; APR 2021

When I saw this Red-tailed Hawk I immediately thought of a stodgy, nerdy, middle-aged human male just hanging around. It made me chuckle. But, very quickly, it showed me its true nature as it jumped into action.

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Red-tailed Hawk (The Nerd Jumps Into Action)
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; APR 2021
Red-tailed Hawk (The Nerd Jumps Into Action)
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; APR 2021

If anyone would like a copy of almost any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

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 Random Birds

Oak Titmouse Near Nest Cavity
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021

Here are a few bird images that I haven’t collected into a theme. Regardless, they are beautiful in their own right. I hope you enjoy them.

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Female Bushtit Collecting Nesting Materials from Spider Web
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021
Lark Sparrow
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; JAN 2021
Great-tailed Grackle
Mather Lake Regional Park, Sacramento, CA; JUN 2020
Female Great-tailed Grackle
Furnace Creek, Death Valley National Park; OCT 2019

If anyone would like a copy of almost any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

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.

Mating Hawks

Mating Red-shouldered Hawks – P1
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021

I had an interesting encounter with a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks. As I was walking a trail, I heard a Red-shouldered hawk call. I found it on a low branch about 50 yards away. I set up to photograph the bird when I heard another call and a second one arrived. I got their picture and then continued as they mated right in front of me. This was truly a wonderful experience. I thanked them before I left.

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Mating Red-shouldered Hawks – P2
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021
Mating Red-shouldered Hawks – P3
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021
Mating Red-shouldered Hawks – P4
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021
Mating Red-shouldered Hawks – P5
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021

If anyone would like a copy of almost any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

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

American Kestrel
Davis, CA; FEB 2021

Over the last few weeks, some raptors allowed me to photograph them. So, today I thought I would share them with you.

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Merlin
Mississippi Bar, American River Parkway, Orangevale, CA; FEB 2021
Red-tailed Hawk
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021
Merlin
Mississippi Bar, American River Parkway, Orangevale, CA; FEB 2021
American Kestrel
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021
Red-tailed Hawk
Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, Davis, CA; FEB 2021
Red-tailed Hawk
Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, Davis, CA; FEB 2021

If anyone would like a copy of any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

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.

American Bushtit

Bushtit
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; JAN 2021

I am featuring one of my favorite little birds, the American Bushtit (Psaltriparus Minimus). At about 4 ½ inches long and weighing in at about 0.2 Ounces, these energetic little birds are fun to watch. They are, however, a challenge to photograph; they never sit still. They perch for a few seconds looking for insects or spiders then are off to the next branch. I guess if I were snack size, I probably would not stay in one place very long either.

These birds are found in the mountainous areas of the western US and Mexico. But we also see them year-round in the Sacramento area. We have the Pacific sub-group in our area. There is also an Interior or Black-eared variety in other areas; according to Sibley[1], they are more common in Texas and Mexico. I’ve never seen one.

As you are walking, look for them. Small flocks will move from tree to tree while foraging. While on the tree, they flit from branch to branch at a frenetic pace making them fun to watch. The male has a black eye while the female has a yellow eye.

Information gleaned from Cornell Labs, All About Birds[2] and Wikipedia[3].


[1] The Sibley Guide to Birds, Second Edition. Copyright 2014 by David Allen Sibley.

[2] Bushtit Overview, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

[3] American bushtit – Wikipedia

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Female Bushtit
Willow Creek State Recreation Area, American River Parkway, Folsom, CA; FEB 2021
Female Bushtit
Willow Creek State Recreation Area, American River Parkway, Folsom, CA; FEB 2021
Bushtit
Mississippi Bar, American River Parkway, Orangevale, CA; MAY 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 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.

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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.

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.

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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.

Not Just A Duck

Four images of various specise of ducks.
Female Mallard Duck
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; SEP 2019

In a blog I follow and enjoy, Peace of Life Today, the author shared the post “Just A Duck” which contained some beautiful photos of a female Mallard. Until a few years ago, that is what they were to me. I could identify a white domestic duck and a male Mallard. I have heard people talk about a variety of ducks, but they were just some abstract concept. Then I met some new friends who were wildlife photographers. They taught me that we live in the Pacific Flyway, a migration route and wintering ground for many species of waterfowl. They, along with other birding friends, taught me about Mergansers, Golden Eye’s, Teals, and many more. The diversity and beauty of these creatures is astounding. For me, there is no such thing as just a duck anymore and I am better for it.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Wood Duck Inspecting Possible Nest
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2019
Common Merganser
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; JUL 2020 #Photography
Female and 2 Male Barrows Goldeneyes
Lake Natomas, American River Parkway, Gold River, CA; NOV 2019

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.

Errata: In my original post, I misidentified the Goldeneyes. They are Barrows Goldeneyes, not Common Goldeneyes.