Saturday, July 19, 2014

Napa nest 5.

Veraison is running rampant in Vinoland.  Well maybe not quite rampant, but it is moving right along in the Pinot grigio and the Syrah vines (and probably the Orange muscat vines also, it's just harder to see in white grapes).  So today, I was going to post a photograph of one, or the other, of the vine varieties changing colour except I discovered something more interesting.
Yesterday, whilst working in the Pinot grigio vines, I suddenly became aware that I might be close to a bird's nest.  How did I come to this conclusion?  A pair of California Towhees decided I was persona non grata in a particular part of the Pinot grigio block and they created quite a ruckus to dissuade me from working around their nest further.  I did have a quick gander and discovered that their wonderfully constructed nest held four, blue-green speckled eggs.  How wonderful.  I then immediately left them alone.
Today, whilst working in the Cabernet sauvignon vines, the same thing happened: another pair of towhees made it abundantly clear that they were not very happy with me performing some vineyard operations in their neighbourhood.  I couldn't help but to take a peek and to my delight I espied one egg and two pinky-grey, fuzzy chicks.  Momma towhee loudly protested my reappearance with a camera, but I just had to get a photo.  And as I snapped away, one baby promptly fell over onto his back.  So cute.  Love all my Vinoland feathered friends.

4 comments:

Dennis Tsiorbas said...

VG: "How wonderful" says it all! Those nests are very hard to find, but you found two! The eggs are like jewels, and at one point collectors were causing great distress on North American songbirds. Now illegal to collect bird eggs.
I love Towhees (related to sparrows as are Juncos), and the Eastern Towhee has the song from which this species gets its name.
In this video it starts with "Drink your tea" but finally gets to singing his name: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWVa08fpnXg

Vinogirl said...

NHW: Wonderfully filmed video. That Eastern Towhee looks a lot like the Rufous-sided Towhee (of here) which is frequently spotted where I walk the Vinodogs, but seldom in Vinoland (a half mile difference). The California Towhee is slightly bigger than the Rufous-sided, but not as colourful.

Dennis Tsiorbas said...

VG: Rufous-sided is the Eastern race while you have the Western race which is very similar; TPB can't seem to make-up their minds (always changing the names of American songbirds).

Vinogirl said...

NHW: Got it :)