Posted by: atowhee | September 2, 2013


Thomas Nuttall was a Brit but he became one of the United States’ most important naturalists in the first half of the 19th Century. He was an autodidact who discovered more new plant species in North America than any other person, before or since. He wrote the first guide to American trees. He ran the arboretum at Harvard and taught natural history there. He then quit that job to become one of the first scientists to walk across the continent on foot, in the 1830s. And in his spare time he wrote the first field guide to American birds. So it is appropriate that one of his protégés, the young Dr. William Gambel would name a bird after Nuttall, a small striped woodpecker that Gambel discovered in California.
And today I discovered that same bird in the oak forest of Rockville Hills Park, just west of Fairfield.NUTTLL WRKS1


nutt from side

NUTT LEANS1 (1280x1280)

NUTT SIDE VU (1280x1280)

NUTT THIRSTY (1280x936)NUTT IN TNK1 (1280x1280)These last two images show a Nuttall’s peeking out from inside a cement water tank that is kept full for the wildlife in this dryland park. While I was there a California ground squirrel and an Oak Titmouse also came down for a drink. The tank supports a small population of small fish as well as a quantity of algae.

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