As soon as I typed “breakfast burrito” into the search bar, that’s when the magic happened.
Let me back up.
Some time passed since I last visited Shillapoo National Wildlife Refuge so I decided to give it another go. Part of what makes birding fun is visiting regular haunts and seeing different birds each time. Indeed, I saw some newbies this trip.
Like this Lazuli Bunting.
And from blue head to the Brown-headed Cowbird. A bizarre thing I read about these birds is they lay eggs in other bird’s nests instead of making their own. A strategy known as “brood parasitism.” Some birds, like the Yellow Warbler, evolved to recognize the imposter eggs, but because the bird is too small to remove the eggs it builds a new nest on top, hoping the cowbird doesn’t return. It’s a tough nesting world out there.
Another competitive nester and loud vocalist I saw this day, the House Wren.
I was entertained for while by this Anna’s Humbingbird. So much so, I took a video. I love that flashy face.
Also fun was watching the Common Yellowthroat twitter around in the cattails.
The park was alive with yellow birds, like these American Goldfinch.
How many do you see?
I’ll be honest, there was one yellow bird I had hoped to find this day, the Yellow Warbler. There are lots of yellow warblers, but there is only one Yellow Warbler. I thought I might see one at Shillapoo, but no luck, so I headed to nearby Frenchman’s Bar Park since I saw a sighting posted on E-bird the day prior. I headed out.
I saw a couple of tricky birds I had to look up.
Broken eye ring, greyish head, drab-yellow underneath = Orange-crowned Warbler
Drab olive head, dusky grey back, light wing bars = female Western Tanager
Also noteworthy at this sight is the Osprey nest visible from the beach.
A few other birds I saw.
This brings me back to my burrito. By this point it was getting late in the morning and I was thinking of leaving. Though I’d seen so much, I was sort of bummed to miss out on the Yellow Warbler. While second-breakfast was on my mind, I glanced up from my phone, and this happened.
I did a double-take. It’s not yellow, but it’s a bright orange bird! I’ll take it! Squee! My heart raced as I watched and followed the Bullock’s Oriole pair around the park. It was such a great sighting I had trouble pulling myself away. What burrito?
Tweets and chirps,