Yup, I'm all settled into Berkeley again. It's great to be back. I'm looking forward to an exciting semester of classes! Before the semester really gets started, though, I'm gonna try to squeeze in some time for birds. It's so weird to be here after a month away! The bird calls I hear in the mornings are totally different than the ones at home. I have to get used to the chatting Dark-eyed Juncos and California Towhees again!
Today, I stole half an hour of time and walked up the hill a little bit to scope out the birdlife. There were some pretty cute birds hopping around, including this Townsend's Warbler!
These gorgeous warblers still blow me away every time I see them. Those colors are so vibrant! The warblers weren't the only little passerines hopping around in the trees. There were also some other songbirds, like Ruby-crowned Kinglets. And, when I looked more closely at one of the kinglet-like birds, I noticed something different...
This is actually a Hutton's Vireo! The two species look really similar at first glance. But, this bird's bill is shorter and thicker than that of a Kinglet. Even more tellingly, the greenish-yellow edges on its wing feathers go aaaaaaall the way up to that second white wingbar. Kinglets also have greenish-yellow edges on their wing feathers, but they are interrupted by a black stripe. See, compare the bird above with this picture of a Ruby-crowned Kinglet below:
This picture comes from this other blog's post about the differences between Ruby-crowns and Hutton's - that's a great resource if you want more information on how to tell the two species apart!
Even though this was just a half hour of birding, it was fun and relaxing. I hope I get time for a more proper birding excursion soon!