They're popping out

Richard Bradus

Well, I know quite a few of you are not too happy about sheltering, prohibited from traveling to promising areas, and the relative dearth of migrants in SF lately (and - dang - I missed Oscar's Golden Eagle as I was preparing lunch). But our year-round residents are quietly bringing a new generation into this world, and our new arrivals will soon be following suit.

Over the past couple of weeks I have been happy to see that at least two of our resident pairs of White-crowned Sparrows at Alta Plaza Park have fledged young - and the House Sparrows (yeah, whatever) and House Finches are nesting under eaves or in trees, along with Juncos and, hopefully, the Brewer's Blackbirds that seem to have declined drastically in number. The swallows will be starting soon, if not already.

Today I wandered around the Golden Gate Park Golf Course, an area I have circled around in the past but never had the chance to explore - it was a revelation (way better than the heavily visited Presidio Golf Course, also now open for walkers). Not only a good species diversity, but lots of breeding activity to observe. By far the best experience (even better than sighting a Rufous hummer breaking off from skirmishing Allen's) was an entire family (!) of Pacific Wrens. Both parents were working frantically to feed two recent fledglings, with mom wisely ducking into cover whenever possible and dad flying up every once in a while to perch and sing a bit. The youngsters, of course, didn't know when (or how) to be quiet, but the parents were doing their best to keep them happy. Other nesters or soon-to-be parents included Juncos, Robins, Pygmy Nuthatches, Finches, a pair of Red-tails, Tree Swallows and maybe Siskins and others.

Take a look - and listen - around your areas or stretch your legs (at the proper spacing) in our local parks. Note, and marvel at the breadth of breeding activity even in this densely populated city. The birds are carrying on (maybe even better now that human activity is curtailed), showing the resilience of nature and giving us all hope.

Richard Bradus
San Francisco

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