Chicks Gone

Say bye-bye!

 On Saturday afternoon the Pacific Slope Flycatcher chicks were flapping their wings, while both parents were encouraging the chicks to try flying.  Near sunset however both chicks settled back down into the nest and Lady Flycatcher fed them several times as darkness fell. 

Sunday morning the practice flapping and parental encouraging continued.  Both parents took a break and flew off, so I got the camera and got on the ladder and got the last picture of the chicks (above).  The parents suddenly returned and peeped, and both chicks just as suddenly flew out of the nest, and into adulthood.  They had no trouble at all flying, moving fast, straight and unhesitating.  The parents looked around for a while, and then they too flew away. 
 I spent a couple of hours cleaning up the patio.  

It had gone for about a month unswept and all the plants, mostly succulents, had gone unwatered, all so that the eggs could hatch and the chicks develop undisturbed.  Not really any bird droppings;  the Flycatchers were remarkably tidy.  

The onion crop sat out curing on the shady patio a little longer than it should have, but there were still plenty of good onions to store and use.  Dry dry onion skins and onion leaves scattered all over.  

A couple of Bromeliads and rooted cuttings in pots died of thirst, but anything succulent seems okay.  
I think those were Begonias, but it's easy to root new ones.  
The Albuca did not survive, but it should have never been in that pot anyway.  My bad.  The beheaded 'Paul Bunyan' Echeveria rerooted itself without a problem and looks summer-lovely.
Aeonium 'Sunburst' is still looking good too.
And I was wondering if I would get a shot of the Oncidium flowers--the Flycatcher parents were using the Maple the orchid lives on as a main perching area, so I let them be.  Got a shot, finally.
I was a little disappointed at never getting a great picture of the chicks, but that they fledged successfully seems far more important.  It's nice to have the patio back, too. 

Today I finally got ambitious enough to set up the camera on a tripod pointed out the front window at the urn fountain.  I put an old sheet up over the window to hide myself and and placed the camera lens through a tear in the sheet and got some bird pictures.  The placement of the camera still needs adjustment, but some of the pictures are not bad.
Male Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus:
 The Western/California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica, is fun to watch as it gets soaking wet splashing water everywhere
 Here we go!
 That's so refreshing!
 House Finch  Haemorhous mexicanus (?) and...
Juvenile House Finch? 


  1. Great bird shots ! My garage wrens didn't make much of a mess either -my biggest worry (unfounded) was that they would not be able to make it out of the garage. They figured it out after about a half hour of flying around and landing on garage items and then flying around again. None of these birds were shy. They tolerated the cars going in and out, the door going up and down , and cheeped menacingly at me if I tried to do anything at my workbench. For a month that garage belonged to them.

    1. The bird that was messy was the hummingbird mama that nested in 'Sombreuil', she would relieve herself every time she left the nest and she made quite a mess on the wall. Rain didn't take it off, had to use a scrub brush! The nest was a mess too after the chicks left.

      That is funny you had birds in your garage, but they were successful so they knew what they were doing. We've gotten a few hummingbirds in the garage when the doors were open and they had a hard time figuring out how to get out. Once I used the koi net to catch and release, once the koi net to just guide on out. They apparently are not the Einsteins of the bird world.

    2. Most of the brain capacity goes into their exceptional flight control.

    3. Exceptional indeed. Yesterday one zipped by me and stopped instantaneously to hover in midair. Wish I could do that!

  2. Hooray for the flycatchers. That was so good of you to allow them to nest there. You have a great selection of birds coming in to your fountain. A friend of ours had a spotted towhee coming to his feeder in early spring. We got to go there to see it. A real treat for this area. It is a rarity here.

    1. It was really interesting to watch the whole nesting process happen right out a window, so it was a win-win situation. I read further on them and they often nest under bridges. The patio is similar to the underside of a bridge, so it make sense that they did what they did.

      The Spotted Towhees are very dramatic with their red eyes, very handsome birds! We also have the California Towhee, a very plain brown bird, which is a species that stays close to the ground, and so is endangered from feral cats. Feral cats are very rare here because of the coyotes.

      The California Towhee visits the bottom basin of the fountain rather than flying to the top like the other birds. I sat watching one once hopping through the gate, then hopping through the daylily and cuphea plants and then bathing in the basin. It then discreetly hopped back out the way it came.

  3. Congrats on the successful launch! Those are some very nice bird photos.

  4. You were a great a gracious host, HB! You did a wonderful job with the bird pics too. I need to work out some kind of "blind" to catch birds on camera at the fountain outside my dining room window too - my attempts to move stealthily forward closer to the window haven't been particularly successful.

    1. i pinned an old sheet with push pins to the window frame. Tape might work, too. A dark sheet if you have any is probably better. Then just make a hole for your lens.

  5. Birds are often vigorous bathers, and their baths provide good entertainment. That is certainly the case with the robins here.

    1. So many birds around constantly--they have made the garden much more alive.


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