Something happened that I have been wishing to happen for as long as I have done this whole experiment. As you know I have been “stalking” a certain Cardinal teen, but he was not cooperating the way I wanted. Well, that ended today, and I present you him in all his polka dotted teenage glory. 😍 A White-throated Sparrow and several Juncos have also checked out the same area today, so I will place a camera there again tomorrow. But I am so happy to see his beauty up close finally! Young Cardinals are camouflaged and only start to get more color as they age. The beak turns to the characteristic orange-red when they are one year old. In the meantime, the plumage will pick up more and more red with the males. So there is only a certain time when they look like this. I love him!
October 7, 2021 - Dusky Warbler (Phylloscopus fuscatus)
Breeding in northern Asia, these leaf warblers winter in South and Southeast Asia and have been seen far from their usual range in parts of Europe and even the United States. They feed mostly on insects and other invertebrates, plucking prey from leaves and branches and foraging on the ground. Females build spherical nests on the ground or in low shrubs from bark, grass, leaves, plant fibers, moss, and plant down and incubate clutches of four to six eggs.
Band-tailed pigeons (Patagioenas fasciata) occasionally visit the park during migrations in the spring and fall. This large flock was filmed in the Longmire Meadow in late August, 2021. Band-tailed pigeons are vegetarians, eating a diet of seeds, berries, nuts, and flowers. They will also visit mineral springs like the ones found in the Longmire Meadow to drink the water and peck at the travertine soil to supplement their mineral intake.
NPS Video. Description: A flock of pigeons flies over tall green cattail reeds filling a meadow and land on several dead tree trunks. The pigeons perch on branches, one almost falling off, before settling. ~kl