GGAS Special First Friday Birdwalk- Dawn Chorus, May 5, 2017

Alan Kaplan


Tilden Regional Park, Contra Costa, California, US
May 5, 2017 5:30 AM - 7:45 AM

Golden Gate Audubon Society First Friday Special Dawn Chorus Bird Walk (our 6th annual), May 5, 2017.
We met at the foot of Canon Drive, by Big Leaf Picnic Area in Tilden Regional Park, and walked around in the nearby Meadows Playfield and then walked up to Blue Gum Gate and back. 
Serenades by Pacific Wren at the play field and House Wren in the eucalyptus near Blue Gum Gate were the highlights of the early morning.
This is the weekend for International Dawn Chorus Sunday, but we always do it on the First Friday walk of May. We read Dawn Chorus poems (Emily Dickinson's #723, Sarah Dugsdale's Dawn Chorus, and Kathe Jordan read her own).

Male birds are singing to say: I've survived the night, I'm on my territory, I'm well fed and full of stamina, what about you, I'm talk'n to you! Females are paying attention to length of song, consistency and accuracy of performance, presence in a previously-known location (birds do know one from another). Female social partners have been known to use the dark of early day to seek an "intimate encounter" with another male as a (brief) biological partner before returning to the nest territory. Birds with larger pupils sing earliest. It may still be too dark to see their insect prey, and that prey may still be relatively immobile from the night's cold, so the birds sing.

Here are the 31 species seen by 16 “early birds”, including the GGAS Board Treasurer Bill H., fellow trip leader Maureen L., and our Meet-up manager, Tajalli. Thanks to all!

White-tailed Kite  
Red-tailed Hawk  
Band-tailed Pigeon  
Mourning Dove 
Great Horned Owl  
Anna's Hummingbird 
Nuttall's Woodpecker  
Pacific-slope Flycatcher  
Black Phoebe  
Ash-throated Flycatcher  
Hutton's Vireo  
Warbling Vireo 
Steller's Jay 
California Scrub-Jay  
Common Raven  
Tree Swallow  
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  
Brown Creeper  
House Wren 
American Robin 
Orange-crowned Warbler  
Wilson's Warbler 
Dark-eyed Junco  
Song Sparrow 
California Towhee 
Spotted Towhee  
Western Tanager  
Black-headed Grosbeak  

Best of Boids!

Alan Kaplan

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Alan Kaplan