Nesting Asilomar Birds

I am so lucky that I get to witness these astonishing bird interactions and activities just in passing. I can’t imagine what it would be like to monitor these birds all day long. The drama! I love Violet-green Swallows as they are very beautiful and graceful in the air but also tenacious at the nest: moms don’t leave if the box gets opened, they are scrappy when fighting with the Western Bluebirds for a home, the juveniles return to the boxes when they’re bored of foraging on their own. Just immense personality. And really understudied compared to the Tree Swallows, which have a wider range. I’d like to conduct more research on the VGSW and figure out why they have years of total nest failure and other years are successful. Someday, when I have more time. There are other images of some of my favorite park residents, which include the Western Bluebirds, Pygmy Nuthatches, and Northern Flickers. All are amazing individuals who I love.

Breeding photos

Apart from the Black Crown Night Heron nest on a rock just off shore, these are nest box pictures of four cavity nesting species.

Pygmy Nuthatch

This pair of Pygmy Nuthatchs were checking out my bird house and were very interested in it.

Pygmy Nuthatch Hidden in Spring

I love the way the grey/blue of the Pygmy Nuthatch magically camouflages it amid the greens and browns of Spring

Pygmy Nuthatch

First time I’ve had these little birds nest in my yard. I love watching them and hearing their chatter. They are very tentative to their nest and to each other.

Pygmy Nuthatch Bringing a Grub to Its Chicks

Both parents constantly brought grubs and spiders to their hungry chicks in a cavity in an old dead tree (snag). Photographed at Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz, CA.

Pygmy Nuthatch feeding nestling

Pygmy Nuthatch feeding hungry nestling at its nest cavity in a ponderosa pine snag.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Cornell Lab of Ornithology