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.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

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.

Young Birds

Female Mallard Duck with Ducklings
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; MAY 2021

I am sharing pictures of some of this year’s crop of baby birds.

Please note that the young Mallards from several weeks apart may be the same family. The images were all taken in the vicinity of the nest site where I first found them.

Also, concerning the image of the Female Mallard Duck with Ducklings: Common Mergansers are diving ducks; they swim fully submerged when foraging for food. This mother was watching 2 ducklings. One was swimming with its head submerged. I watched the mother push this duckling’s head under the water. I wonder if I observed a foraging lesson.

Please click on caption to see images at higher resolution.

Female Common Merganser with Duckling
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; MAY 2021
Common Merganser Duckling
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; MAY 2021
Male and Female Mallard with Ducklings
Common Merganser; Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; APR 2021
Juvenile Great Horned Owls; River Bend Park
American River Parkway, Sacramento, CA; APR 2021
Juvenile Great Horned Owls
River Bend Park, American River Parkway, 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.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

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.

At the River’s Edge

Snowy Egret
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; FEB 2021

Here are a few shots taken along the American River this spring.

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American Crow
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; MAR 2021
Double-crested Cormorant with Crest Displayed
Willow Creek State Recreation Area, American River Parkway, Folsom, CA; FEB 2021
Greater Yellowlegs, Snowy Egret
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; MAR 2021
American Crow
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; MAR 2021
Snowy Egret
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Birds and a Palm in Infrared

Female House Finch and Female Lesser Goldfinch in False Color Infrared
Orangevale, CA; SEP 2020

I’ve produced my first set of images in false color infrared. Most infrared pictures I see are in black and white. But my camera can also capture some visible light; not all, just some. So, I can get some interesting effects. I still haven’t fully grasped what it means to shoot heat as well as light. A goldfinch facing the sun will give me some yellow in its breast but facing away from the sun, I lose the yellow.  A red car became bright orange. A blue car became darker. So, still much to learn.

I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Female House Finch in False Color Infrared
Orangevale, CA; SEP 2020
Female House Finch in False Color Infrared
Orangevale, CA; SEP 2020
Palm in False Color Infrared
Orangevale, CA; SEP 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.