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Bird Notes and Photos from Cantrall Buckley Park

by Anne Goff

May 11 was a banner day for spring birding at Cantrall Buckley Park. Strolling quietly along the paths and footbridges near the playground area, I was startled by the low whine of a prop plane buzzing by, which, of course, turned out to be a Rufous Hummingbird.

Following the route of this lovely little dinosaur, I was overjoyed to find that she was building a nest. I watched for nearly thirty minutes as she flew into the nest, landed gently, then began poking tiny pieces of lichen and even spider silk into the bowl.

During my watch Rufous flew off at least five more times to gather additional materials and repeat the process.

Less than fifteen minutes later, as I approached the beginning of the lower trail that leads out from the north end of the grassy lower lawn, I spotted a small bird fluttering around a tree. A minute or two later, the bird flew over to what appeared to be a hanging lichen pot.

He flew into the nest, then popped his head out a moment later, only to fly off and return a few minutes later with more nesting materials for his mate.

By July, breeding activity was certainly over, but baby season is still hanging on. During a six-week period, I saw three different sets of House Wrens carrying food into three different nests (two of them nest boxes and one into a crack in a tree). I caught sight of a juvenile Robin checking out the lower lawn by the river.

There were numerous fledging Spotted Towhees, young Common Mergansers, and Dark-eyed Juncos warning me away from their little hatchling, who was clinging precariously to the side of a tree. I even saw the numerous Canadian goslings lounging on the lower lawn near the river.

I look forward to watching the changing world of the park and anticipate a lovely fall.

Happy Cantrall Buckley birding to you all.

Anne Goff


While sitting on her nest, she’s poking in small bits of lichen and spider silk.

Resting and preening for a minute or two, maybe.

Here she is using more spider silk–notice it on her long beak?

Can you see the distinct opening to the deep nest?

This industrious bird is the Bushtit, who makes its home in oak-pine and mixed woodlands. I was lucky enough to watch it in action.

Notice the Robin is very spotted on the chest. When it matures that will change to a more solid orange–brighter if male, paler if female.

The goslings were feeding and relaxing near the river, but keeping an eye out for where the humans were too.