Greenish bycatch

I just noticed that I forgot to post the last bycatch of the season. Whoops! Here it is—only about three months late.

Adult Green-tailed Towhee

2013_bycatch4_adtowhee2When I saw my first Green-tailed Towhee, I had only just moved to California and was not at all familiar with western birds. I remember looking through my binoculars at the bird singing from the top of a tuft of sagebrush, memorizing traits in order to look it up in my bird guide, and thinking “No way am I going to find this. This is going to be one of those birds that I’m seeing in a weird light so that I’ll never be able to ID it, and I’ll tell people, ‘I swear it was green with a red cap!’ and they’ll never believe me.” But then there it was in my Sibley’s: green with a red cap. I love these birds.

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Little creeper and creeping bycatch

It’s fledgling season, and not just for juncos. The other week we ran into this guy:

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Fledgling Brown Creeper

In fact we nearly stepped on him. We picked him up to put him in a nearby bush, where he might be safer, but he had other plans: he hopped right back to the ground.

2013_creeper2He then fluttered and scrambled his way over sticks and even a fallen log to the base of a tree, which he crept up like the Brown Creeper he was—although much more slowly than an adult. Still, it was an impressive thing to watch from such a young bird.

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