Thursday, June 19, 2014

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher building a nest in Red Canyon Park


I drove up to Red Canyon Park this morning because I am leading a Denver Audubon Master Birder Field Trip on Saturday. Today was the coolest day this week but I wasn't able to get up there until almost 10 because I have a early class I went to first.

It was still quite productive: one pair and a single Gray Flycatcher, singing Bewick's Wren, singing Canyon Wren, several Plumbeous Vireo (singing off and on), several Spotted Towhees (singing), a few Black-head Grosbeak (singing), 3 Western Tanagers, 2 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers (building a nest as seen here), and several each Scrub Jays, Chipping Sparrows, and Common Ravens. Big miss was Juniper Titmouse and Black-throated Gray Warbler.
This pair of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers flew to a tree about 75 feet away to harvest lichen for the outside of their nest though it was on the tree where their nest was located. I got a nice tho short video clip showing the bird working the nest with it's body--but will have to upload tomorrow as it takes more processing and I have yet to get it uploaded to vimeo. Note: I took the photos and video from inside my car to reduce disturbance to nesting behavior.
In the bottom pic the bird has a relatively large piece of nesting material in it's beak that it is adding to the nest. SeEtta