I guess I have finally been forgiven. The huge raven who was bringing me presents each day until I stupidly turned over the front yard birdbath (see previous journal entries) has returned!
On the first day, he brought me bread crumbs. On the second day he left me a hamburger bun. The next day was tiny animal bones and flesh. After that was slightly bigger bones and meat. Today’s offering, even though it was raining, was baby bird parts, including a lower beak.
Other birding news: In the last two weeks we have been regularly visited by rufous-sided towhees (also known as a spotted towhee), an incredibly gorgeous bird. It has a jet black head with bright white flecks on its back (like brilliant snowflakes) and bright brick red feathers on its sides (hence, its name).
I think they are building a nest either in our bougainvilla or our bird of paradise plant — lots of good hiding places in both.
I see a lot of California towhees (or brown towhees) on our property. I called them “rat birds” until I was able to properly identify them because they are a dirty grey-brown color and if you see them out of the corner of your eye they look like a rat scurrying across the ground. Unlike their colorful relative, brown towhees will let you approach them pretty closely.
A few days ago, I heard an unfamiliar bird call. I looked up and saw that way high up on top of our elm tree was a hooded oriole! This incredibly colored bird looks like it belongs in Costa Rica.
You can see them pretty regularly at the oasis in Joshua Tree National Park. I’ve only seen them once in the Pasadena area, at the Eaton Canyon Nature Park, many years ago. I was amazed to see one so far from the mountains…and on top of my own tree!
Last week I also saw a Cooper’s hawk attacking a big red-tailed hawk.
Overall, it’s been a great two weeks for bird watching here in Pasadena!