The Shoshone bird pond has been filled for a few months now. A former commercial catfish pond, dry for years, now has been refilled. Eventually, native trees, shrubs and water plants will line the banks. Maybe even a bird photography blind or two will be placed. For now my car has been serving as an excellent photography blind.
This female Hooded Merganser is just an example of the array of birds that have been using the pond.
A small flock of Ring-necked Ducks have been diving, feeding, preening, and resting on the pond. There are now 4 females and 3 males. They spin in the wind as they preen on the pond, their feathers act as a small sail that catches the wind, while one foot is used in preening, the other for a keel or rudder so that when the wind blows against the feather direction, and lifts the feathers enough to move the bird, it spins in the wind, maintaining a relatively stable position on the pond, thus preening while resting. VIDEO OF RING NECKED DUCKS.
Grebes are not ducks. Their feet are not webbed, their toes are lobed, for ease in paddling. Their legs are mounted so far back on their bodies that they cannot walk, and occasionally
Local Birding has been great for those with patience. An Evening Grosbeak
|Male Ring-necked Duck|
|Verdin a year round resident.|
|Year round resident Crissal Thrasher|
The streets around Shoshone Village are filled with birds. Northern Flickers are common but nervous, and difficult to get close to. The lawns harbor Western Meadowlarks, American Pipits, Western Bluebirds, and stacks of sparrows, mostly White-Crowned Sparrows but look through them carefully for Golden Crowned Sparrow or a White-throated Sparrow, both are very close looking to White-crowns. The Brown Creeper continues to appear on mesquite tree trunks around the pond, the Death Valley Academy, and the Shoshone Campground. Common Ravens provide endless entertainment with aerial battles and territorial displays, and sounds. The Hummingbirds are returning. Both Anna’s Hummingbird and Costa’s Hummingbird are in the Area and can be seen on mesquite perches as well as local feeders.
On Tecopa Marsh, a juvenile male Northern Harrier in regularly escorted out of the area by a much larger adult female. A few Greater Yellowlegs, Long-billed Dowitcher,