Thursday, June 29, 2017

Eating caterpillars and strawberries

juvenile Chipping Sparrow Spizella passerine
juvenile Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
Black-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus erythropthalmus
Black-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus erythropthalmus
Eastern Grey Squirrel Sciurus carolinensis
Painted Lady Vanessa cardui
Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta
Tawny Crescent Phyciodes batesii (I think!)
  I spent an enjoyable 40 minutes watching a Black-billed Cuckoo in the drizzle today. Sitting in the grass amongst the pea-sized (but tasty) wild strawberries, I got great views as it caught and ate caterpillars for several minutes at a time before moving surreptitiously through the treetops to a new branch, superbly camouflaged. A very charismatic bird.
  Still plenty of juvies out and about, and I came across what I’m calling a ‘nursery’. Juvenile birds of several passerine species (Red-eyed Vireo, Black-capped Chickadee, Indigo Bunting, and Chipping Sparrow) were flopping about and giving flying a try in a small patch of detached woods, under the supervision of vocal adult birds above. 

  I witnessed a similar scene in Suncheon in September of 2015: “On September 8th, a female Yellow-rumped Flycatcher was spotted in a small ‘nursery’ woods next to a reservoir near Suncheon. Young Black-naped Orioles, Brown-eared Bulbuls, Azure-winged and Eurasian Magpies tested their wings under the watchful eye of several perched adult birds nearby.”

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