Thursday, May 7, 2015

Nifty Nests

Photo by Roger Rittmaster 3/24/2015

Mark Hengesbaugh writes about the Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet:

This short bird with a long name weaves her hidden nest in a cluster of Velvet Ash (Fraxinus velutina) fruits at Sabino Dam. More info from The Birds of North America Online:
"The drab, diminutive female tyrannulet constructs an elaborate, domed, globular nest with a side entrance. Nests are sometimes concealed inside webs of tent caterpillars or spiders, between clumps of ball moss or achiote seedpods […] The elusive habits of the Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet may partially explain the lack of research and natural history information on the species." 

Photo by Dan Weisz 4/25/2015

This is the same nest, a bit more than a month later. Very well camouflaged among the drying Velvet Ash fruits. Velvet Ash is dioecious; there are male plants and female plants. This is the female plant, of course. Only females bear fruit. (fruit = the thing that contains the seed(s); seed(s) = potential next generation)

Photo by Marty "The Acrobat" Horowitz 4/25/2015

Using some slick moves to get a view under the dam bridge, Marty photographed this nest (of mud) with at least 3 Black Phoebe fledglings. (Don't try this shot without adult supervision.)

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