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Archive for the 'nesting' Category

Hawk peeks over top of nest while incubating eggs

Swainson’s hawk in nest. Photo by Dave Harper, Oakley, CA
1swainsonsnest dave harper oakley

I get many requests from readers wanting to know what hawk nests look like.

Check out the Swainson’s hawk nest above. Note mama hawk just peeking over the top of the nest while she’s incubating her eggs. Red-tailed hawks, similar in size to the Swainson’s, construct their nests out of an identical-size mix of sticks, leaves, grass, etc. /Gary

Posted on Monday, May 23rd, 2011
Under: Bird nests, Hawks, nesting, Red-tailed hawk | No Comments »

Great horned owl nest in tree, with chick and adult owl

Great horned owl nest, chick and adult. Photo by Dave Harper, Oakley, CA.
1ghowlnest dave harper oakley

I get a lot of requests from readers, asking what great horned owl nests look like. These photos by Dave Harper of Oakley, California, are a perfect example. It’s usually a large stick nest, high in a tree. Above you can see an approximately 3-month-old owl chick on the left sitting on the nest, staring at the camera. One of the adult great horned owls is perched on a branch on the right. Below is the same photo showing the owls and nest from a further distance away so you can get a better idea of how high up in the tree it is.

Hope this answers your questions. Thanks for the great photo, Dave! /Gary

Great horned owl nest and owls. Photo by Dave Harper, Oakley, CA
1ghowlnest dave harper oakley

Posted on Tuesday, May 17th, 2011
Under: great horned owl, nesting, Owls | 4 Comments »

Checkout this 2-story, double-decker hummingbird nest

Double-decker hummingbird nest. Photo by Carol Edson, Livermore, CA
1double hum nest carol edson livermore


The last few years an Anna’s hummer I call Iki has nested on our back porch. She has used both vines and our clothes line for her nest location. During the winter, last year’s nest ended up hanging upside down on the line. She returned this spring, perhaps to reuse it, and decided it now needed some modification. When I looked out today, she was adding material to what is now a new nest, built on the bottom of the old one. I guess she really likes this location!
Carol Edson, Livermore, California

WOW! This is the first 2-story, double-decker hummingbird nest I’ve ever seen! Pretty amazing. /Gary

Posted on Tuesday, April 5th, 2011
Under: hummingbirds, nesting | No Comments »

Hummingbirds nest in the strangest places

Mobile hummingbird. Photo by Larry Johnson, Walnut Creek, CA
humm nest 2 larry johnson wc

Our hummer is at it again.  Last year she used the fan light for her nest.  This year we denied her that spot because of the mess it made … so she chose the fish mobile, and just sits there enjoying the ride.  I wonder if her babies will  be dizzy birds?
Larry Johnson, Walnut Creek, Calif.

All hummingbirds tend to be dizzy little characters, if you know what I mean and I think you do.

Kind of reminds me of the mama hummingbird who constructed her tiny nest inside a glass porch light, right up next to the light bulb. I wonder if her babies had a tan? Hummers. You gotta love ’em. /Gary

Mobile hummingbird and nest. Photo by Larry Johnson, Walnut Creek, CA
humm nest1 larry johnson wc

Posted on Thursday, February 24th, 2011
Under: Bird nests, hummingbirds, nesting | No Comments »

Robins: Check out this special robin spot at the Presidio in S.F.

Robin nesting material. Photo by Heather Van Rykn, Walnut Creek, CA.
robin heather van rykn wc

Hi Gary:
Found these while playing at the Presidio in San Francisco: Winged Wisdom – 3 sites that describe robin behavior. Each letter is framed with a steel armature and mesh netting and is filled with straw, providing nesting material for the American robin.

I love living in the Bay Area!
Heather Van Rykn, Walnut Creek, Calif.

Photo by Heather Van Rykn, Walnut Creek, CA
robin2 heather van rykn wc

Hi Heather:
You’re right! You never know what you’re going to find lurking around the next corner! (I’ll bet a lot of other bird species will be taking advantage of all this free nesting material.) /Gary

Resolve conflict with song. Photo by Heather Van Rykn, Walnut Creek, CA
robin3 heather van rykn wc

Posted on Monday, December 13th, 2010
Under: Birds, nesting, Robins | 1 Comment »

Great Blue Heron Rookery — where these big, beautiful herons nest

Great blue heron by Joe Oliver, Walnut Creek, Calif.

The other day someone wrote your column about seeing the many great blue herons together.

Have I got a treat for you!

A great blue heron rookery exists in the eucalyptus trees at EBMUD Watershed Headquarters in Orinda, Calif. I checked it out the past 2 years in the spring and it is amazing!
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, April 24th, 2009
Under: Birds, Great blue herons, nesting | 3 Comments »

Mother Goose: A final word and photos of the goslings by a pond

The Mother Goose family by Dan Rosenstrauch/Staff
Mother Goose3

I thought you’d all like to have some closure on this little adventure.

Here are some photos of Mother and Dad Goose and their 7 goslings feeding at a nearby pond in the Verizon building complex next door to the Contra Costa Times on Wednesday. They will stay here for the next month or so until the goslings are old enough to fly, and then all will take off to who-knows-where.
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Posted on Thursday, March 26th, 2009
Under: Mother Goose, Mother Nature, nesting | No Comments »

Canada goose nesting on our roof

Last year a Canada goose decided to build her nest on the roof of the Contra Costa Times. There’s a small 25-foot by 25-foot section of rooftop in one corner of the building, just above the guard shack in the parking lot. It’s protected on two sides by walls and windows and on a third side by some redwood trees. Dried needles and tiny twigs fall from the redwoods and litter the roof and the goose scooped them together into a nest. It was a perfect little sheltered nook for the goose, with just one direction to fly in and out.

Surprise, mama goose has returned again this year. On Thursday one of our editors spotted a Canada goose sitting in the parking lot and thought it might be injured. We went out and checked and the goose looked fine. I think it was just resting and the pavement was comfortably warm from the sun. Something made me turn around and look up at the little roof nook and there she was. I could see the goose’s upper body, long neck and head sticking up from the same spot where she had her nest last year.

Somebody put a small stool in the second floor hallway next to the window that looks out over the nest. Maybe we should charge admission?

I’ll probably be writing something in the Times next week about all this. I’ll check with the Photo staff. Maybe we can get a picture of our goose for you to see.

Posted on Friday, March 17th, 2006
Under: Canada Goose, nesting, wild birds | 4 Comments »

Falling asleep to the sound of “hoo hoohoo hoo hoo”

Right after Lois and I went to bed last night a great horned owl that was perched in the top of the redwood tree just outside our bedroom window started to hoot. It was so loud it felt like it was sitting right next to me on my pillow.

I knew it was a male owl because of the frequency and combination of his hoots. It was a low pitched, evenly paced "hoo hoo hoo."

After about five minutes of hooting around, a female suddenly answered him from across the canyon with some higher pitched hooting: "hoo hoohoo hoo hoo."

It’s kind of neat lying in the darkness in bed and listening to all this going on in my yard. We were almost perched right up there in the top of the tree with that great horned owl, listening to him trying to convince the lady owl from across the canyon to fly over so they can go perch outside someone’s front window and snuggle up and watch television together.

Great horned owls do their courting in the winter months, usually November and December. They build their nests sometime in December, lay eggs and compete with the tiny hummingbirds to see who hatches the earliest babies of the year. Curious that one of the largest of our birds of prey and the smallest of the nectar drinkers would both nest and raise their chicks while the wintery winds are ruffling their feathers and the freezing rains are still soaking the grass.

As Mother Nature would say, size has nothing to do with toughness in the wild world.

"hoo hoo hoo."

"hoo hoohoo hoo hoo."

That’s a nice sound to fall asleep to.

Posted on Thursday, November 3rd, 2005
Under: Animals, breeding, great horned owl, nesting, wild birds, Wildlife | 2 Comments »