Sweet Springs hybrid and other

Marie Goeritz

A brief update from visiting Sweet Springs over the last few days:

The Dark-eyed Junco x White-crowned Sparrow hybrid keeps hanging out in its usual spots in the entrance area, mostly foraging, but often together with another Dark-eyed Junco (see third photo). I have a very hard time telling male and female apart unless they are next to each other, but I think this other might be a male, and its beak is remarkably dark or dirty.
Other highlights were an Allen's hummingbird nest that I thought had failed, but today I saw her sitting on it again, so there's hope (picture from last week). 

Finally I am puzzled by this bird: I heard a lot of ruckus from many small birds and saw a big bird sitting high up in an Eucalyptus tree. I remembered the fledgling Red-Tailed Hawks that have started to leave the nest, and I didn't give it another thought. At home I looked at the only (crappy and partial) picture of that bird, and something about the pattern of the feathers on the back and belly/legs has me wondering if it was actually a Great Horned Owl that I saw. Any input welcome!

Marie Goeritz,
Los Osos

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