Red-winged Blackbirds

Red-winged Blackbird Calling and Flashing Eapaulets
Look closely and you will see his breath condensing in the air while he calls.
Sailor Bar
American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; MAR 2021

Its spring and male birds are displaying their most beautiful plumage and serenading with their most beautiful calls. To me, none is more beautiful than the Red-winged Blackbird. I’ve included a link to a video which I am sharing, not because I want you to see it but because I want you listen to it. It is from my favorite spring nesting spot; my favorite because of the song of these birds.

Link to Red-winged Blackbird video: Red-Winged Blackbird Melody – YouTube.

Please click on caption to se images at higher resolution.

Female Red-winged Blackbird
Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, Davis, CA; MAY 2020
Red-winged Blackbird Flashing Epaulets
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, 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.

A Few Songbirds

Western Bluebird
Mississippi Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; FEB 2021

Here are a few songbirds that I photographed over the past couple of months.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Willow Creek State Recreation Area, American River Parkway, Folsom, CA; FEB 2021
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Willow Creek State Recreation Area, American River Parkway, Folsom, CA; FEB 2021
Western Bluebird
Mississippi Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; FEB 2021
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Willow Creek State Recreation Area, American River Parkway, Folsom, CA; FEB 2021
Hermit Thrush
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; JAN 2021
Song Sparrow
Mississippi Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; FEB 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.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution!

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.

Beavers

Image of a North American Beaver on land.
North American Beaver
Mather Lake Regional Park, Rancho Cordova, CA; FEB 2021

I recently visited Mather Lake Regional Park, a county park in the Sacramento Area, where I received a wonderful surprise. A North American Beaver allowed me to photograph it. Beavers are mostly nocturnal or crepuscular, out in the dawn or dusk hours. So, I was surprised to see this one in daylight.

Please click on caption to see images at higher resolution.

North American Beaver
Mather Lake Regional Park, Rancho Cordova, CA; FEB 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.

A Visit to the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area

American Pipit
Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, Davis, CA; FEB 2021

We visited the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area in Davis, CA. Like many of the wildlife refuges in the Sacramento Valley, it is agricultural land where rice is grown. The fields are flooded over the winter to help decompose the stubble before planting the next spring. Waterfowl and shorebirds migrate to these wetlands to feed over the winter.

Here are a few examples.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Long-billed Curlew
Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, Davis, CA; DEC 2020
Black-bellied Plover
Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, Davis, CA; FEB 2021
Least Sandpiper
Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, Davis, CA; FEB 2021
Wilson’s Snipe
Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, Davis, CA; FEB 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.

Ring-billed Gulls

Ring-billed Gull
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; JAN 2021

The Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) is a common gull throughout North America. During breeding season, they live in Canada and far Northern United States while in Non-breeding season they live along the coastal regions of the United States. Here in California’s central valley, we see them during the Salmon and Steelhead run where they migrate to feed on the plentiful supply of fish carcasses.

I had the privilege of photographing a small flock of them along the American River a few weeks ago.

Please click on caption to see images at higher resolution.

Ring-billed Gull, Spotted Sandpiper
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; JAN 2021
Ring-billed Gull with Ruffled Head Feathers
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; JAN 2021
Ring-billed Gull
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.

Irruption

Our Pine Siskin Mini Irruption
Pine Siskins and a White Crowned Sparrow
Orangevale, CA; JAN 2021

I spoke with a friend who is a birding expert, about seeing Pine Siskins (Carduelis pinus) at our feeder. In that context, he introduced me to term “irruption”. In general terms, an irruption is a sudden, violent invasion. In ecological terms, an irruption is “a sudden sharp increase in the relative numbers of a natural population usually associated with favorable alteration of the environment”[1]. I.e.: there isn’t enough food at home, so they go somewhere else to find some.

Pine Siskins spend most of their time in Canada and in the mountains of the Western US. But every other year, they irrupt, erratically, in places throughout the rest of the US., apparently driven by the availability of conifer seeds in their normal range.[2]  So, I feel lucky that our feeder has been chosen as one of their alternate food sources this year.

Red-breasted Nuthatches, Red Crossbills, Evening Grosbeak, and Bohemian Waxwings also exhibit irruptive behavior.


[1] Irruption | Definition of Irruption by Merriam-Webster (merriam-webster.com)

[2] Pine Siskin Range Map, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Pine Siskin
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.

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.