Posted by: atowhee | April 12, 2010

Idiocy of April

"April
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers..."
                    --Edna St. Vincent Millay

Sure, the crabapple and trillium insist on blooming despite cold and gray days.  Our spring crop of morels has been luscious and delicious.  And there seems to be idiocy in the insistent northward press of migrating insectivores, driven by freezing nights to find insects on the underside of a leaf or the surface of a pond.  But nature, in the dress of April, knows her own imperatives.  One is that birds must be in place and breed more of the same.

Male Spotted Towhee surveying his realm as his mate fed in bushes below.  They nest annually in the roadside bushes next to our garden fence.  He’ll get secretive once the nest has eggs in it.

These Band-tailed Pigeons will pair off and then nest in the tall pine and Doug-firs of upper Ashland Creek Canyon.  In late summer they will be here on our feeder with their youngsters, more slender and lacking the white neck stripe.

I think this lone Song Sparrow is a bird of passage and will be nesting elsewhere.

Contemplate the beauty of the turkey’s feathers.  I think the pair in our garden are young siblings, born last year.  Doubt they are a nesting pair.  Neither has the requisite chest medallion, or “beard.”  The Wild Turkeys would nest further upslope away from barking dogs.

Location:     243 Granite Street, Ashland
Observation date:     4/11/10
Number of species:     15

Wild Turkey     2
Band-tailed Pigeon     7
Mourning Dove     4
Belted Kingfisher     1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)     2
Steller’s Jay     8
Western Scrub-Jay     2
Black-capped Chickadee     1
Bushtit     2
White-breasted Nuthatch     1
American Robin     1
Spotted Towhee     2
Song Sparrow     1
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)     10
Lesser Goldfinch     8


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