|Adult Pacific-Slope Flycatcher|
Now, of course, you also must really want to appreciate them in this vein - with an up close and personal, oft-single (or absent)-minded effort. Not study them so much as admire them. Not split feathers over lineage and genes, but to avoid the trap of "finding and booking it, lest life should have nothing more to show you" (Emerson to Thoreau).
|Flycatcher inspecting her nest under stairwell|
Thank goodness (say hundreds of thousands of birds) for the forested, creek-fed parks of Berkeley and attractive gardens and backyard stands of tall trees offering bounty and shelter for our avian amigos who go about their daily business largely unnoticed and ignored by most. And thank goodness (say a hundred thousand residents) for Berkeley's advocacy of the “City Beautiful Movement” in 1914 to create "nature parks," urban sanctuaries protecting what's left of what was once wide-spread wilderness in coastal bay hills. Steelhead running streams. Redwood forests. Canyon waterfalls. Bay shoreline. Microcosms of grandiose nature, right here in Berkeley.
|Tongue aflicker, a beautiful hummingbird|
|Inspiration for BerkeleyBackYardBirdBlog|
|Fledgling Flycatcher in bush|
Rufous finally zips off - but I have a feeling not for long, so I rush up to fetch my camera and rush back down, certain he's not finished with his posturing and nectar-gathering. I'm lucky and right, catching him darting in and out of the Chinese Lanterns, and finally landing on a wire strip of fence for some great looks, but with a different angle of light, his gorget is not quite as incandescently brilliant. Still. Amazing.
|Rufous sucking nectar|
Earlier in the week, I notice a Pacific-slope Flycatcher bumping up against the side of the house, then landing in a nearby bush, only to flip straight up, with a worm firmly gripped in beak, to a nest constructed beneath a stairwell! It looks like a sloppy stringy piece of work, but must be serving its purpose efficiently, as Mama seems quite comfortably ensconced raising her brood or protecting the prospects. I can't tell if it's just eggs at this point or if there are hungry little ones. She keeps flying in and out, back 'n forth, on endless forays returning with bits of food, so maybe there are nestlings, after all.
|Anna's with tongue flickering|
My next door neighbor noticed a nest constructed in the jasmine of her trellis. I peek through the foliage, on my tip-toes, and see an upright wren-looking tail. Must belong to Ms. Bewick, for a few minutes earlier I watched a pair feeding on the ground nearby. For sure, it's not the House Finches, who are making their residence in deep crevices of roof top pipes.
|Fledgling made it to branch|
Read about the small forest hawks who visited the backyard for half a day @