Morning Birding at Rock Bottom Ranch 11/16/21
Tuesday, November 16, 2021, 8am-11am
Weather: Mostly sunny
Location: Rock Bottom Ranch
A mild start to winter has kept the ground dry in the mid valley and habitats seem to be well-stocked with natural foods such as fruits on trees and shrubs, seed heads, and acorns. Wild turkeys foraged in the grassy pastures at RBR and at neighboring properties, scratching backward with one foot occasionally to move the leaf litter and reveal foods. A small flock of evening grosbeaks passed overhead, and chickadees were vocal as they moved about in small flocks. We had excellent views of a kingfisher and a couple of great blue herons in the riparian cottonwoods. A highlight was a shrike in the willows near the main pond; we didn't see it well enough to identify it to species before starlings chased it away. Woodpeckers were heard in the cottonwood gallery, but were out of sight for our group. We checked on the nest that the pair of bald eagles was working on last month, and while the birds were not seen today, the nest looked impressive and we noted several good lines of sight for observing it discreetly from a distance behind willows and other vegetation. Today's mini lesson introduced d-bird, a data collection website for citizens to report dead birds. This system gathers important data for scientists studying causes of bird mortality. Results are informing policies such as lighting and window design standards in cities and communities, toward reducing bird strikes and other impacts on avian populations. New York City recently adopted a bird-friendly design regulation that sets a new precedent in the US. This guide provides ideas for making windows safer for birds. Join us for our next birding outing!
Great Blue Heron
~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide
Photo credit of Wild Turkey.