28 February 2024

Excavators

Sunday, April 17th, 2022
Chickadee excavation techniques, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 17 April 2022.
Chickadee excavation techniques.

On the chilly morning of a warm day, dog and I had a lovely hike up in the foothills. Some nice sightings of bird species doing interesting things. (E.g., a Chukar calling from high on a ridge.) A few decent photos, too. A lot of spring things for Jack to smell.

Interesting to me was watching a pair of chickadees excavating a nest about halfway up the gully trail. We we got to their nest cavity, I didn’t see or hear the birds at all—which I attributed was due to a Cooper’s Hawk nearby—and sure enough a Cooper’s took wing, calling, and then the chickadees showed up, taking turns entering the hole and exiting with mouthfuls of chipped wood. (While in there, I could hear their excavations.)

Lots of birds at home, too. For possibly the first day this season, there was no trace of deep-seated doubt that spring is here.

Grandeur Peak Area List
At 7:58 a.m., sun time, I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Eurasian Collared-dove
2. Pine Siskin**
3. American Robin*
4. Spotted Towhee
5. Black-capped Chickadee
6. House Finch*
7. Song Sparrow* (v)
8. Northern Flicker*
9. Cooper’s Hawk
10. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
11. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
12. Chukar
13. California Quail* (v)
14. Hairy Woodpecker
15. Turkey Vulture

Elsewhere

16. Lesser Goldfinch
17. House Sparrow
18. European Starling

Mammals

Mule Deer
Red Squirrel

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**Voice only elsewhere

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Bird Report is a (sometimes intermittent) record of the birds I encounter while hiking, see while driving, or spy outside my window. —Brian Willson



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