Fort Mason Bluebirds

Richard Bradus

Hi all

While I whiffed on the White-breasted Nuthatch that David reported this morning, there was some interesting breeding activity at Ft. Mason, with a number of species either courting/displaying, carrying food, feeding young or with recent fledglings. The most interesting was group of Western Bluebirds that I believe were exhibiting cooperative breeding behavior, with immature "helpers" foraging and at the nest. I included commentary and some photos with my eBird checklist:

Cooperative breeding is quite common (probably the rule) with Acorn Woodpeckers, as I have seen at Lafayette Park and other places around the Bay Area, but is also described in up to 14% of Bluebird nesting, something of which I was not aware. Another reason to stop and really observe our local nesters, as there is still a lot to be discovered and enjoyed.

And there are the failures too - the poor Mockingbird in the Community Garden is still singing away with a repertoire heavy on robin variations, but no mate as far as I can tell. Any way to get him some counseling on learning some new tunes?


Richard Bradus
San Francisco

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