Hooded Orioles in Berkeley, Livermore + White-crown thoughts

Jaan Lepson <lepson@...>

On Friday, Hooded Orioles were calling at the UC Berkeley botanical
garden, my FOS. This is a great time to visit the gardens as the South
African hillside is awash in blooming annuals. Really impressive.

This morning a Hooded Oriole has been calling near my house in Livermore.
I was working outside most of yesterday and heard no trace, so I am sure
it has just arrived.

White-crowns are still about and becoming a bit more obvious. They had
virtually disappeared in March - not sure if they left or were just quiet.
Now they are singing again and showing themselves. The same happened last
year. I am wondering if our winter birds left and now we have migrants
from farther south passing through or if our wintering birds just became
less conspicuous while getting ready for their journey.

While driving to Berkeley on Friday, I saw at least 6 flocks of waxwings
flying over the freeway - seemed to be 20-50 birds each.

Finally, there is a pair of crows nesting at the top of the neighbor's
redwood. If you think crows are "melodious" in their everyday
vocalizations, you should hear the mate-feeding. Sounds like they are
being strangled!

good birding,

Jaan Lepson