Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dawson Creek Visit

The landscapers at my apartment seemed to have turned their leaf blowers up to super-loud yesterday, so I took a walk around Dawson Creek Corporate Park. One year ago to the day, Sarah and watched a pair of bushtits begin construction on a nest in a grove of lichen-crusted, ornamental cherryish trees.

I did not hear the bushtit pair when I arrived, so I moved on to a patch of maples and found a red-breasted sapsucker hard at work bleeding the trees.

The sap is sweet to the taste and attracts hummingbirds and insects. The park sapsuckers, adapted to drinking from native trees, must be riding a great sugar high.

Down the trail, I found about 250 cackling geese loudly floating in a pond.

I checked on the great horned owl nest and spotted the adult in usual position. The nest is in the broken tree with large branches.

I returned to the lichen trees and this time heard the quiet calls of the bushtit pair. Each was carrying tiny bit of lichen to their future nest site, a few meters away from last year’s nest!

The nest is above the trunk and to the right. The Birder's Handbook reports that, if their nests are disturbed, bushtit pairs will abandon the nest, divorce, and re-pair. It is therefore important to view nests from a safe distance to prevent domestic strife!


JP said...

Max: nice blog! I'm enjoying your pictures and observations... It's making me terribly homesick, though.

Birdnerd said...

Your blog is great and I enjoy reading about a part of the greater Portland area that I know nearly nothing about. Lead another field trip soon!!