Yesterday was an extraordinary bird watching day for me! Even though the Project Feederwatch bird count season is over,  I continue to fill one of my feeders for spring and summer birds.

I had three male Black-headed Grosbeaks and one female Black-headed Grosbeak visit my feeder yesterday. I originally thought there was one male bird and one female bird until I saw three male birds late yesterday afternoon. Black-headed Grosbeaks are common here during the breeding season.

A Spotted (Rufous-sided) Towhee was hopping around and scratching under the feeder. This species of bird is ground foraging and is found in our area year round. The Spotted Towhee has similar coloration to the Black-headed Grosbeak and a bird watching novice might mistake one bird for the other. However, a closer look would reveal the differences. The Grosbeak has a light-colored thick over-sized bill  used for cracking the shells of seeds, while the spotted Towhee has a dark-colored slender bill. The Grosbeak is a stocky cumbersome bird. The Spotted Towhee has a slender body with an up-tilted tail. It hops around  scratching among the dead leaves.

A White-breasted Nuthatch, a year round resident of our area, was eating seeds at a hanging feeder. During the winter they are often seen eating suet. The Nuthatch eats insects and seeds and is often seen climbing head  down on a tree trunk.

Black Phoebe, also a year round resident of this area, was picking up pieces of coco fibers from the deck. The Phoebe is a flycatcher and eats mainly flying insects. They do not visit the seed feeders but are occasionally seen in the yard.

Other usual visitors were Oak  Titimouse, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Housefinch, California Towhee,  Mourning Dove, Steller’s Jay, and Western Scrub Jay .

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