Jewel Lake at Tilden: Pygmy Nuthatch, Swainson's Thrush, and Warbling Vireo

Lee Friedman

There are three different sightings mentioned briefly here, all at Jewel Lake.

1. Alan Kaplan led another excellent GGAS walk yesterday, which led to some terrific views of Pygmy Nuthatches. Here are two photos, one showing a Pygmy with a Ladybug for food that it dug out of the cone on a pine tree (to be submitted to Doug Tallamy’s project “What do birds eat”):

Pygmy Nuthatch:

Pygmy Nuthatch with Ladybug:

1. Anyone who has been to Jewel Lake during the past two months has heard the magnificent ethereal singing of the Swainson’s Thrush (still ongoing). Below is a photo of one singing, and a short 17 second video of it:

Swainson’s Thrush photo:

Swainson’s Thrush singing in video:

1. Finally, I observed a Warbling Vireo nest at Jewel Lake. I discovered it on June 5, when a parent was incubating the eggs:

Warbling Vireo incubating on nest:

By June 18, there were nestlings. I could see the begging open beaks of two, although there may have been other siblings that I could not see. I observed them being fed yellow and green caterpillars, and an insect that I think was a bee (also for Doug Tallamy’s project). Both parents fed the nestlings (sometimes at the same time). Here is a photo of one parent bringing the green caterpillar down into the nest:

Warbling Vireo on nest with green caterpillar:

When I returned on July 5, the nest was vacant.

Good birding all,

Lee Friedman

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