Sunday, May 22, 2011


Weather this morning was cool, breezy and overcast. Singing deep in the willows of Islay Creek were Wilson's Warbler and Swainson's Thrush. Saw a few Quail but no little ones, yet.

In the creek also saw a Brown-headed Cowbird - the third this month. I had never seen a Cowbird in this area until a few weeks ago.

The Brown-headed Cowbird is a brood parasite. It lays its eggs in the nests of other small perching birds, particularly those that build cup-like nests. Brown-headed Cowbird eggs have been documented in nests of at least 220 host species. The young cowbird is fed by the host parents at the expense of their own young. Brown-headed Cowbird females can lay 36 eggs in a season. In a nutshell, the Wilson's Warbler and the Swainson's Thrush, may be raising the much larger and aggressive Cowbirds instead their own nestlings.

Pigeon Guillemots (see photo) were flying between their nests in the cliff and the water - delightful to observe. Seven Black Oystercatcher's on the big rock formation where the Pelagic Cormorants hang out.

Spent some time in the Native Plant Garden taking photos for the MdO plant book. Click on the link for a few plant photos. Flowering Plants of Montana de Oro State Park

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