Summer Scenes of Critters at the Pond

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A couple of weeks ago I kept hearing a simple, three pitched call from the yard. I went out to investigate and it was the Black-headed Grosbeak fledgling calling to be fed. Click on photos for full sized images.

Black-headed Grosbeak Male Feeding Fledgling

Black-headed Grosbeak Male Feeding Fledgling

It was a familiar song but I hadn’t heard it since last year and it is quite different from the adult’s calls when they come through on their way to their breeding grounds.

Black-headed Grosbeak Fledgling

If you hadn’t seen this bird actually being fed by the adult, you can tell it is a fledgling by the pinkish bare skin at the commissural point, at the base of the bird’s bill where the upper and lower mandibles come together. You can still see it in this photo where the adult male and the fledgling are at the tray feeder two weeks later, along with one male and two female House Finches (Carpodacus mexicanus).

Black-headed Grosbeaks and House Finches at the Tray Feeder

They enjoyed their time at the feeder until the Western Gray (Sciurus griseus) showed up.

Western Gray Squirrel

Even more interesting than watching the Gray Squirrels playing in the trees was the young male (Melanerpes carolinus) figuring out how to eat out of the tube feeder. He seemed quite adept at using his tail as a prop under the bottom of the feeder and grabbing the perch with a foot.

Acorn Woodpecker at Tube Feeder

The Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura) were cleaning up the spillage under the feeders…

Mourning Dove

with some help from the (Callipepla californica) which usually come around in the early morning and late afternoon. I caught this male scurrying across the open yard to get to the relative safety under the trees.

California Quail Male

Focusing my attention on the pond, hoping the young Black-headed Grosbeak would come over and give me some photo ops, I noticed an American Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) lurking among the water lilies.

American Bullfrog

Not knowing much about the bullfrog, I looked it up and found some interesting information. They are voracious feeders!

There were damselflies…

and a Flame Skimmer (Libellula saturata) looking out from various perches.

Flame Skimmer

A Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) fledgling was also perched nearby. Notice the bare pink skin at the base of its bill also.

Western Scrub-Jay Fledgling

This female Anna’s Hummingbird () was getting a drink of water as they often do during the heat of the summer. In hot weather, water is as important to the hummingbirds as sugar and they need a fresh water source for drinking and bathing.

Anna’s Hummingbird Female at Waterfall

One of the many House Finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) that come to the sunflower feeders also enjoy the waterfall. This is a female that just came over for a drink…

Female

and a fledgling that was all fluffed up after taking a very enjoyable bath.

House Finch Fledgling

A female () was waiting her turn in the overhanging eucalyptus…

Lesser Female

while the fledgling Western Scrub-Jay approached from below in its brilliant new blue suit.

Western Scrub-Jay Juvenile

To see more cool bird photos, make sure you get on over to Stewart’s Wild Bird Wednesday and Anni’s The Bird Depot and maybe share some of your own bird photos!

Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan

is an avid birder and amateur photographer living on the Pacific Flyway near the Central Valley of Northern California. He is a board member of his local Audubon Society and is a bird and wildlife conservationist. Larry contributes to several wildlife conservation organizations and is a BirdLife International "Species Champion." He is also Habitat Manager for the Burrowing Owl Conservation Network, an organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Western Burrowing Owl population in the United States. Larry has been blogging about birds since September of 2007 at TheBirdersReport.com

Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan is an avid birder and amateur photographer living on the Pacific Flyway near the Central Valley of Northern California. He is a board member of his local Audubon Society and is a bird and wildlife conservationist. Larry contributes to several wildlife conservation organizations and is a BirdLife International "Species Champion." He is also Habitat Manager for the Burrowing Owl Conservation Network, an organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Western Burrowing Owl population in the United States. Larry has been blogging about birds since September of 2007 at TheBirdersReport.com

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