Ardea herodias

This gallery contains 2 photos.

This is an unscientific observation, however, the great blue heron (Ardea herodias) colony at Baum Lake (Lassen County CA) appears to have grown over the last ten years. Originally there were nests in two ponderosa pines and last year I … Continue reading

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Nocturnal Wood Rat

This gallery contains 2 photos.

When I began this blog in 2011 one of the “rules” I set up for myself was that I would post only photographs that I personally took. After five years, I am going to break that rule. . . well, … Continue reading

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Neotoma fuscipes

This gallery contains 6 photos.

The dusky-footed wood rats (Neotoma fuscipes) that inhabit the nests in my previous post (see 02-03-2016) are mostly nocturnal therefore difficult to photograph. Friends found a dead wood rat on their property (Modoc County CA) and gave it to me. … Continue reading

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Dusky-footed Wood Rat

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Many species of wood rats are found throughout North America, with fewer species occurring in the eastern states. They inhabit a variety of habitats from deserts to forest floors. The dusky-footed wood rat (Neotoma fuscipes) is a native resident of … Continue reading

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Groundhog Day

Yellow-bellied Marmot

Yellow-bellied Marmot

In honor of Groundhog Day here is a picture of the “Lookout Marmot”.

We do not have groundhogs here in Northeastern California. However, a cousin of the groundhog, the yellow-bellied marmot (Marmota flaviventris) is common. I always joke that instead of Punxsutawny Phil predicting the arrival of spring, the Lookout Marmot predicts our spring.

More information on the yellow-bellied marmot can be found in a previous post. (see “Yellow-bellied Marmot” 05-13-12)

This marmot was sunning itself last year in the Ash Creek Wildlife Area (Pilot Butte Section) near Lookout CA.

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Night Herons Return

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In late winter Leonard and I begin to await the arrival of the migratory birds. It is always fun to note the return of each species, both those that breed in our area and those that pass through on their … Continue reading

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Sayornis nigicans

Black Phoebe

Black Phoebe

In North America the black phoebe (Sayornis nigicans) is a resident of the Southwest, California and Southern Oregon. This flycatcher inhabits open areas, always near water.

Black phoebes, with their white bellies contrasting with their black heads and upper parts, are distinctive little birds that are easy to identify.

Their diet consists of insects. Black phoebes will also take small minnows and occasionally eat berries.

Throughout most of their range black phoebes are resident. They will move to higher elevations for the breeding season and some do move further south for the winter.

At Baum Lake (Lassen County CA) where this picture was taken, black phoebes can be seen throughout the winter.

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