|Sapsuckers and Hummingbirds in the Fen||
The Fen out by Happy Isles, at the east end of Yosemite Valley, is perhaps the most diverse and interesting habitat in Yosemite Valley.
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|Wildflower Observations, 2012-05-27||
Lots of stuff is starting to come up at higher elevations this week.
At the house, we got our first Five Spots and Wallflowers this week, 5/20-5.27.
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I'm not sure what he's doing so far from Nashville, but he brings a splash of color to Yosemite. In fact, the Nashville Warbler was first observed in Nashville, but doesn't breed there.
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|Sierra Newt (Taricha torosa)||
During the right season, you can see tons of Sierra newts crossing the trail to Hite's Cove.
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|Blooming, May 1-6, 2012||
Already on April 29, we saw Wood Violets (V. lobata along the Chowchilla Mountain Road near Wawona (about 4200 feet in elevation).
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|Saving the Large Blue Butterfly||
I'm always fascinated by tight and intricate relationships in nature. Sometimes the effects are unpleasant — malaria that goes from human to mosquito to human. But we expect that from microbes.
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I'm thinking about ants this morning for whatever reason, but these handsome fellows with their bejewelled butts are definitely worth of thinking about.
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|Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis)||
If I were going to be a bird and wanted to coolest Latin name in perhaps the entire animal kingdom, I think I would want to be Tyrannus verticalis. How cool is that?
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|Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)||
The male Spotted Towhee's distinctive call often resounds around my house in the spring and early summer, but for several years running, he carried on a battle with my living room window.
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|Sooty Grouse (Dendragapus fuliginosus)||
The Blue Grouse was split into the Sooty Grouse and the Dusky Grouse in 2006. Before that, they were considered differently colored subspecies of the Blue Grouse.
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|Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)||
The most widespread and common North American hawk. The juvenile red-tailed doesn't have a red tail!
I have much better pictures than this, but finding them might take a while.
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The Norrhern Flicker is a beautiful bird whose wicka-wicka-wicka is heard throughout Yosemite Valley and Yosemite West in the mating season.
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|Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)||
The Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) is the largest "ringed" plover in the US and is distributed throughout North America, including Soda Springs in Tuolumne Meadows as witnessed by these pictures.
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|Hammond's Flycatcher (Empidonax hammondii)||
According to the Audubon Field Guide, the Hammond's Flycatcher (Empidonax hammondii) flicks it's wings and tail more vigorously than other similar species.
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|Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianis)||
The Great Horned Owl is one of the most easily recognized owls in the area.
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|Gray Crowned Rosy Finch (Leucosticte tephrocotis)||
There's some debate about what does and does constitute a species of Rosy Finch, but following Laws Field Guide, p. 270 and WhatBird.com, this would be a Gray-Crowned Rosy Finch.
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|Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii)||
Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii) is closely related to the Hous and Purple finches, but they are each found at different altitudes.
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|Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)||
Black Phoebes (Sayornis nigricans) like open areas near water, sitting on exposed perches and making forays out to grab ill-starred insects.
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|Band-Tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata)||
The Band-tailed Pigeon is named for the light banding at the end of the tail feathers, visible in the back view in the pictures below.
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The White-headed Woodpecker (Picoides albolarvatus) is the bane of homeowners in the Yosemite area (along with the Red-Breasted Nuthatch and the the Flicker).
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Everyone's favorite — the pika! The Pika lives at high elevations and for a while was the poster child for the negative effects of climate change.
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Depending on who you ask, the Sierra Nevada has two species of deer or two subspecies of deer.
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|Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel||
The Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel is a favorite of tourists, and the feeling is mutual — he is an inveterate beggar who loves to share a picnic. Remember, NEVER feed the wildlife.
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Coyotes of Yosemite are beautiful animals, not the somewhat mangy character you see down at lower elevations. They are also probably a bit overabundant.
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|Black Bear (Ursus americanus)||
Everybody's favorite animals. I give a 1.5-hour program on bears in the summer, so this could get long, but I'll just throw out a bit of bear trivia.
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