Guadalupe Oak Grove Park

Thursday, September 06, 2007

nesting birds

Each year I happen upon many active bird nests while birding. This year was no exception, with 49 nests seen in various parks this spring. The noisy nestling's alert me to their presence, and I stay to watch the adults feed their young. My favorite find was a Northern Mockingbird nest on the Guadalupe River trail in downtown San Jose. I was serving jury duty and walked to the nearby trail to have my lunch. A mockingbird perched nearby, eventually flew and settled on its nest in a Sycamore tree over my picnic table. It was the first and only Northern Mockingbird nest I've found. Although this bird is common, its nest had eluded me.

My husband Lee has 100 nest boxes in various Almaden Valley Parks, with many in GOG. We haven't had Western Screech Owls nest in a nest box for several years but I found two fledglings sitting side by side in a big Valley Oak tree recently. Lee has two Ash throated Flycatcher pairs nesting and five Western Bluebird pairs nesting in his nest boxes the park.

About ten years ago Lee gave me my first pair of binoculars. I knew nothing about birds, but went to GOG park one May morning. With beginners luck, I happened upon Northern Flickers nesting in a tree cavity. I sat on a log and watched the pair feed two nestling's for over an hour. That's what got me hooked on birding.

A photographer friend Alan Walther, found Northern Flickers nesting in Guadalupe Oak Grove Park this spring and shared their location. It's rare to find this bird nesting on the valley floor. It was a thrill to see the adults feeding their offspring.

(Northern Flicker photo by Alan Walther)