Date   

Junco thread closed

Aaron Maizlish
 

HI All,

I’m going to close down this thread in the spirit of moving on to the next sightings.  Yes, there are lots of juncos out there, and they seem to be spreading everywhere in urban parks and in mature suburban neighborhoods.

Alia - that was funny.  I assure you that there are lots of men and women out there with magical powers.  It turns out that hearing Juncos is not one of those powers.

Keep the bird posts coming!

Aaron Maizlish
Moderator

On Jul 4, 2020, at 3:52 PM, Christina Tarr <christina.tarr@...> wrote:

I think I'm seeing more than usual, too -- in fact, for the first time I've noticed, they're regularly in my backyard. I'm also seeing a lot of baby juncos. (I'm in central/North Berkeley)


On Sat, Jul 4, 2020 at 8:21 AM Alia.S. <ealiasalim@...> wrote:
I'm a newbie and can't make informed comparisons to previous years, but—junco story:

Before I started trying to recognize birds myself, I used to mountain bike with a guy who had a habit of stopping in the trail, staring intently off into the trees, and then declaring "dark-eyed junco" with the sort of solemnity you'd use for a medical diagnosis. At the time I thought this was totally charming and extremely impressive, but I've now realized 1) juncos are not that hard to identify and 2) they're *everywhere*!

Now juncos are my personal reminder that men do not have magic powers and I can probably learn to do whatever charming thing they're doing for myself if I make an effort. If there are enough juncos around this year, maybe I'll learn to work on my own car! :D



--
Christina Tarr
510-375-0520



locked Re: Banner Year for Juncos? Or watchers?

Christina Tarr
 

I think I'm seeing more than usual, too -- in fact, for the first time I've noticed, they're regularly in my backyard. I'm also seeing a lot of baby juncos. (I'm in central/North Berkeley)


On Sat, Jul 4, 2020 at 8:21 AM Alia.S. <ealiasalim@...> wrote:
I'm a newbie and can't make informed comparisons to previous years, but—junco story:

Before I started trying to recognize birds myself, I used to mountain bike with a guy who had a habit of stopping in the trail, staring intently off into the trees, and then declaring "dark-eyed junco" with the sort of solemnity you'd use for a medical diagnosis. At the time I thought this was totally charming and extremely impressive, but I've now realized 1) juncos are not that hard to identify and 2) they're *everywhere*!

Now juncos are my personal reminder that men do not have magic powers and I can probably learn to do whatever charming thing they're doing for myself if I make an effort. If there are enough juncos around this year, maybe I'll learn to work on my own car! :D



--
Christina Tarr
510-375-0520


locked Re: Banner Year for Juncos? Or watchers?

Alia.S.
 
Edited

I'm a newbie and can't make informed comparisons to previous years, but—junco story:

Before I started trying to recognize birds myself, I used to mountain bike with a guy who had a habit of stopping in the trail, staring intently off into the trees, and then declaring "dark-eyed junco" with the sort of solemnity you'd use for a medical diagnosis. At the time I thought this was totally charming and extremely impressive, but I've now realized 1) juncos are not that hard to identify and 2) they're *everywhere*!

Now juncos are my personal reminder that men do not have magic powers and I can probably learn to do whatever charming thing they're doing for myself if I make an effort. If there are enough juncos around this year, maybe I'll learn to work on my own car! :D

(P.S. Moderator(s), let me know if I have wandered too far off topic; I'm learning the rules!)


Red-wing blackbirds

wespey
 

Friday July 3 I saw a flock of several hundred red-wing blackbirds in the Wilder real estate development in Orinda. They were at the intersection of Fiddleneck Way and Bigleaf Road. The time was approximately 2:30 pm.

Bill Espey


locked Re: Banner Year for Juncos? Or watchers?

Phila Rogers
 

Hello:

Though I still get EBB postings because I lived most of my life in Berkeley, I'm now in Santa Barbara Where the big talk here among the birders is the unusual amount of juncos of all ages.  It appears some of the adults are now on their third nests.  Do they know something we don't know?  Phila Rogers


On Fri, Jul 3, 2020 at 12:45 PM Rosemary Johnson <compasros@...> wrote:
I'm seeing what I think is an unusually large number in all the parks I visit: Tilden, Briones, Pt. Pinole, Sibley, Fernandez Ranch.

Rosemary Johnson
Hercules
On 07/03/2020 11:14 AM Robert Firehock <rafirehock@...> wrote:


Are others seeing a lot more Juncos this year? I have and I wonder if it is just because I'm spending more time birding on local walks in my North Oakland neighborhood, including my backyard, or are there a lot more this year? I've had several 'family' cycles already around my feeder, as opposed to one or none observed in past years, and I find them singing away a lot more on my daily local walks, too (around Claremont and College Avenues). Or are all the birds more 'present' due to the more benign conditions in this urban habitat under shelter in place? Thanks for any perspective.

And while on Juncos, I observed one interesting behavior. An adult was feeding at my platform feeder in mid-afternoon, when most of the seeds were already eaten. Suddenly it began hopping up 2-3" and flapping its wings in a low hover for 1-2 seconds. It repeated this 6-8 times. There were no other birds on the feeder, or discernible threats in the yard. I don't want to ascribe intention, but the outcome of this behavior was that empty seed hulls were blown off the feeder, leaving those that were still intact more easily visible. Between most 'hovers' the Junco would continue its hunt and peck feeding.

Meanwhile, please all enjoy the 'local' urban birding while we can, the daily noise seems to be creeping back.

Robert







locked Re: Banner Year for Juncos? Or watchers?

Rosemary Johnson
 

I'm seeing what I think is an unusually large number in all the parks I visit: Tilden, Briones, Pt. Pinole, Sibley, Fernandez Ranch.

Rosemary Johnson
Hercules

On 07/03/2020 11:14 AM Robert Firehock <rafirehock@...> wrote:


Are others seeing a lot more Juncos this year? I have and I wonder if it is just because I'm spending more time birding on local walks in my North Oakland neighborhood, including my backyard, or are there a lot more this year? I've had several 'family' cycles already around my feeder, as opposed to one or none observed in past years, and I find them singing away a lot more on my daily local walks, too (around Claremont and College Avenues). Or are all the birds more 'present' due to the more benign conditions in this urban habitat under shelter in place? Thanks for any perspective.

And while on Juncos, I observed one interesting behavior. An adult was feeding at my platform feeder in mid-afternoon, when most of the seeds were already eaten. Suddenly it began hopping up 2-3" and flapping its wings in a low hover for 1-2 seconds. It repeated this 6-8 times. There were no other birds on the feeder, or discernible threats in the yard. I don't want to ascribe intention, but the outcome of this behavior was that empty seed hulls were blown off the feeder, leaving those that were still intact more easily visible. Between most 'hovers' the Junco would continue its hunt and peck feeding.

Meanwhile, please all enjoy the 'local' urban birding while we can, the daily noise seems to be creeping back.

Robert






Chickadees

Gina Wheat <ginawheat1@...>
 

Chickadees have taken over our hummingbird feeder. Has anyone else seen this behavior? Thanks
Melinda (gina) Wheat in El Sobrante ( below the dam)


locked Banner Year for Juncos? Or watchers?

Robert Firehock
 

Are others seeing a lot more Juncos this year? I have and I wonder if it is just because I'm spending more time birding on local walks in my North Oakland neighborhood, including my backyard, or are there a lot more this year? I've had several 'family' cycles already around my feeder, as opposed to one or none observed in past years, and I find them singing away a lot more on my daily local walks, too (around Claremont and College Avenues). Or are all the birds more 'present' due to the more benign conditions in this urban habitat under shelter in place? Thanks for any perspective.

And while on Juncos, I observed one interesting behavior. An adult was feeding at my platform feeder in mid-afternoon, when most of the seeds were already eaten. Suddenly it began hopping up 2-3" and flapping its wings in a low hover for 1-2 seconds. It repeated this 6-8 times. There were no other birds on the feeder, or discernible threats in the yard. I don't want to ascribe intention, but the outcome of this behavior was that empty seed hulls were blown off the feeder, leaving those that were still intact more easily visible. Between most 'hovers' the Junco would continue its hunt and peck feeding.

Meanwhile, please all enjoy the 'local' urban birding while we can, the daily noise seems to be creeping back.

Robert





Re: American Avocet family at Albany Mudflats

Donrsimonson@...
 

Found one American Avocet chick ,with two adults nearby,at noon today directly opposite viewing deck. The chick was swimming and feeding a bit like a phalarope.
At Berkeley Aquatic Park, south end, I observed 5 Black-necked Stilts and 35 American White Pelicans,actively feeding in three separate groups, the latter a beautiful surprise.
Good birding!
Don Simonson
Berkeley


Re: Common Murre

Melani King
 

I wonder if it's the same one I saw on June 25 in Pt. Richmond. Here's my ebird checklist with photos. https://ebird.org/checklist/S70828565

Melani King
Pt. Richmond


Common Murre

Aaron Maizlish
 

Forwarded post from Ed Vine.   Thanks, Aaron


Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2020 17:00:10 -0700

Subject: Common Murre
I saw a Common Murre at Albany Bowl this morning (11AM). It was about 12 feet from the "new path" that was recently opened. Just walk South from the restrooms, go by the beach with the dogs in the surf, and before the path slowly rises, look to your right, not far from the beach.

According to E-bird Hotspot, Common Murres are typically seen in late August and early September. So this is an early one!

Happy Birding and Stay Well,

Ed


Thanks, Ed

-- 
Ed Vine


Thursday morning in Heather Farm

rosita94598
 

Tracy and I found each other in the park today, and walked together for a while.  He had a Junco south of the equestrian rings, which I did not see.  I had a Mockingbird on the power pole next to the private Seven Hills School, which he did not see.  Together we had the Red-shouldered Hawk u the slope from the owl box.  Then, while we were at the wooden railing and solving the problems of Covid, eBird and the rest of the world, Tracy noticed a female Great-tailed Grackle which had just silently flown in and landed above us.  We were almost to the point of winning a Nobel Peace Prize, when we noticed the Grackle had just as silently slipped away.  So did the prize.

A male Kingfisher was on the island across from us, and also visible were a Black-crowned Night-Heron and a Green Heron.  I saw the Killdeer family on the north ball fields.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Rufous-crowned Sparrow

Jim Yurchenco
 

Today, June 30, we first heard and then found an agitated Rufous-crowned Sparrow next to the trail that connects the Upper Jordan Fire Trail with grizzly Peak Blvd in the Ecological Study Area just south of Tilden Park. After watching the bird for a bit, we observed it disappear into the brush carrying food, and thus confirmed it is nesting in the area.

A little further on the same trail, we heard and then observed a Blue-grey Gnatcatcher return to and sit in a beautiful nest it had built on a tree branch overhanging the trail. The nest was decorated with small lichens exactly matching those on the branch, rendering almost perfectly camouflaged.

James Yurchenco
Amy Lauterbach

Palo Alto, CA


Tuesday in Heather Farm Park Walnut Creek

rosita94598
 

The sprinklers were going on part of the north ball fields, but that did not slow the Killdeer family.  Though the kids are now maybe 2-1/2 weeks old, the parents seem to know how to keep them fairly safe.  They started out with three little ones, but during the past week they lost one.  I thought maybe they had lost a second one over the weekend, but they seem to have two strong, healthy adolescents as of this morning. 

Despite all the signs at the entry gates, some dog owners continue to take their dogs off-leash onto the ball fields.  It happened again at least once yesterday.  The Killdeers also contend with the soccer camps, individual runners/joggers and softball/baseball.  It is amazing how they are able to keep the young birds safe.

In the large, mostly natural pond today, it was Mallards and Canada Geese.  Another morning person told me about a Canada Goose with fish line hanging from its bill, but I could not find it.  Perhaps another woman who was trying to help it was successful before I arrived.

Just 7 and 8 days ago, I saw two small Pied-billed Grebe babies.  They have not been around since, and there has been no sign of an adult for almost a week.

We do have lots of predators in the park, and I know this is part of the game.  The Green Heron, Great Egret, Black-crowned Night-Herons and sometimes a Great Blue Heron are around the big pond.  A Mallard duckling or a Grebe chick would be a perfect way to start the morning, I am sure.  The River Otters must be around somewhere, though they have not been obvious lately.  And who knows what a Bull Frog or Racoon might be interested in eating during the night?

A Red-shouldered Hawk, and sometimes a second bird, have once again taken to sitting in the trees along the slope of the big hill.  The power poles bringing wires to the private Seven Hills School will have Red-tailed Hawks sometimes.  Yesterday it was two, today it was none.

Lately, the Western bluebirds seem to be hanging out in the trees to the north of the preschool next to the north ball fields.  They can be seen on the grass and fences.

Swallows still fly in several places, the ball fields, the grass near the parking lot and wooden railing, and the grassy area between the big pond and the equestrian rings.  It looks like mostly Violet-green, Barn and sometimes Rough-winged Swallows.  I wonder, though, if some of those Rough-winged Swallows might be young Violet-greens.  They fly pretty fast and it is hard for my binoculars to keep up with them.

That's about it--time to read the newspaper and maybe take a nap.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Re: Leucistic Finch #SIPBIP

Jillian Taylor Aguilar
 

Your pictures are better than mine. I posted them on birding California and several people said they thought it was a canary, but couldn’t tell me how they would tell the difference. It definitely has started circling the neighborhood with a group of gold finches. It comes to my house on 62nd and Shattuck, then to my sisters on Poirier the other side of Shattuck. I think it’s a leucistic lesser gold finch, buy would love info if someone feels it’sa canary and can tell me why? 
Thank you!


On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 1:01 PM Alan Howe <adhowe@...> wrote:
My initial reaction to your photo, Elizabeth, is that I'm looking @ a canary. (I'm not saying you misidentified.) But they're related to finches, aren't they? Certainly house finch songs remind me of the canary my sister had when growing up.

Thanks for sharing the photo. I live nearby, so may come looking for this bird.

Alan Howe
North Oakland / Bushrod

On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 11:18 AM <elizabetholinm@...> wrote:
This is my first post and I'm happy to have something to contribute to this conversation.

Regarding the leucistic finch, I also have a leucistic Lesser Goldfinch at my feeder in the Bushrod area. It might be the same individual. See picture at: www.flickr.com/photos/138649017@N06/50042024608/in/dateposted-public/

I posted this picture to Fremont Birding Circle and there was some discussion as to whether it was an escaped pet canary. I saw this bird being fed by an adult LEGO and it had the same two-note call as the other LEGO young. So I reasoned that it was a leucistic Lesser Goldfinch despite it's unusually bright yellow colored back and white wings.

Happy Birding!

Elizabeth Olin
Oakland, CA



Re: Leucistic Finch #SIPBIP

Alan Howe
 

My initial reaction to your photo, Elizabeth, is that I'm looking @ a canary. (I'm not saying you misidentified.) But they're related to finches, aren't they? Certainly house finch songs remind me of the canary my sister had when growing up.

Thanks for sharing the photo. I live nearby, so may come looking for this bird.

Alan Howe
North Oakland / Bushrod

On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 11:18 AM <elizabetholinm@...> wrote:
This is my first post and I'm happy to have something to contribute to this conversation.

Regarding the leucistic finch, I also have a leucistic Lesser Goldfinch at my feeder in the Bushrod area. It might be the same individual. See picture at: www.flickr.com/photos/138649017@N06/50042024608/in/dateposted-public/

I posted this picture to Fremont Birding Circle and there was some discussion as to whether it was an escaped pet canary. I saw this bird being fed by an adult LEGO and it had the same two-note call as the other LEGO young. So I reasoned that it was a leucistic Lesser Goldfinch despite it's unusually bright yellow colored back and white wings.

Happy Birding!

Elizabeth Olin
Oakland, CA


Re: Leucistic Finch #SIPBIP

Elizabeth Olin
 

This is my first post and I'm happy to have something to contribute to this conversation.

Regarding the leucistic finch, I also have a leucistic Lesser Goldfinch at my feeder in the Bushrod area. It might be the same individual. See picture at: www.flickr.com/photos/138649017@N06/50042024608/in/dateposted-public/

I posted this picture to Fremont Birding Circle and there was some discussion as to whether it was an escaped pet canary. I saw this bird being fed by an adult LEGO and it had the same two-note call as the other LEGO young. So I reasoned that it was a leucistic Lesser Goldfinch despite it's unusually bright yellow colored back and white wings.

Happy Birding!

Elizabeth Olin
Oakland, CA


Re: Flycatcher in a pickle

Christopher Bragg
 

Your point about this being a Western Kingbird is a good one. I noticed when I held the bird that it's beak was not flat and triangular like a flycatcher's and had a slight hook at the tip. I though,"this doesn't seem like a flycathcer", but left it at that.

So more likely a Kingbird.

Chris Bragg


Greater White-fronted Goose at MLK (and the Brant is still there)

Susan Greef
 

Hello,

Today, while viewing the Brant at MLK (with Canada Geese by boat launch), we saw a Greater White-fronted Goose also hanging with the flock. Photos will accompany my ebird checklist which I’ll submit tonight or tomorrow. Identified by white around the bill and speckling on the belly.

Susan Greef and Chris Carmichael


Flycatcher in a pickle

Christopher Bragg
 

This is not exactly a rare bird sighting but it is an interesting bird predicament. I saw this flycatcher about a week ago on Bethal Island Rd. What caught my attention was it's unusual posture. It took me a moment to figure out that this bird was entangled in some nylon netting and was hanging by it's neck. I am happy to report that I was able to grab hold of the bird and after considerable pecking of the hand that freed it, the bird was disentangled. Upon being launched into the air it flew away apparently no worse for the ware.

You can see a photo of the hanging bird at this site. It is in the 2020-06-26 folder and is labeled.

https://chrisbirdlist.shutterfly.com/pictures/838

Chris Bragg
Rockridge, Oakland

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