from Lefty Arnold
Ash-throated Flycatcher: What’s in a name?
a closer look at one of the birds that nests
at RGNC: The ash-throated flycatcher,
Myiarchus cinerascens. Its genus name is
from the Greek words, myia meaning “a
fly,” and archos, “a ruler.” It’s
species name is from Latin and means “ashy.”
Birds of the Great Plains Breeding Species
and Their Distribution by Paul A.
Johnsgard, notes this about the ash-throated
flycatcher’s nesting habits: “During
nest-building, the female gathers the
materials while the male sings and guards
the nesting area. Both parents feed the
young, mostly on the soft parts of insects,
which are regurgitated but later are fed to
the birds directly. For some time after the
young birds have left the nest they remain
close to their parents, and the adults help
train them to capture live prey by releasing
slightly injured insects directly in front
of them.” The book also notes that the eggs
are buff to creamy with brownish to lavender
spots, lines, and streaks. The nesting
location generally is in tree cavities -
usually no more than 20 feet above the
ground - that is filled and lined with a
variety of materials, often including hair
and sometimes snakeskins.
with reports of the ash-throated flycatcher
on eBird (ebird.org) since the year 2000
indicates that the earliest date this bird
has been recorded at RGNC is April 20 (2008)
and the latest is September 30 (2009).
went birding and spotted a red mulberry!
think that Nature has come up with a fine
idea in having migrating fruit-eating birds
show up in North America about the same time
that the Red Mulberry is fruiting? I sure
do. And do you know that a fruiting Red
Mulberry is growing near the entrance to the
Heading up to the entrance tube the other
day, I saw a female summer tanager fly into
a short and slender, green-leafed tree on my
right. As I looked up at the bird, I saw it
grab and eat a fruit from the tree. It was
only then that I noticed that the tree is a
fruiting red mulberry. (In the six days
since I first found the tree, all the fruits
mulberry (Morus rubra) is a native to
the eastern United States that grows very
well in New Mexico. Find a fruiting red
mulberry (they are pretty common in
Albuquerque) and you should be able to find
a variety of birds, from cedar waxwings to
tanagers to robins to mockingbirds. In fact,
the nifty reference book American
Wildlife Plants: A Guide to Wildlife Food
Habits lists 28 species of birds that
are known to eat mulberries.
old friend, the Hooded Merganser
that male hooded merganser that spent most
of the winter on the Observation Room pond?
At the end of the bird walk Saturday, May
28, a couple who had been on the walk
mentioned that they had seen a male hooded
merganser 100 or so yards north of the
bridge that crosses the ditch near the
Visitor Center. Sure enough, the male bird
was hanging out with a female mallard, the
same behavior that had been demonstrated by
the male hooded merganser during the winter.
Could it be the same bird?