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Thread: Hello from Santa Cruz CA

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Hello from Santa Cruz CA

    Hi, I am new and found your site as I have a birding question. But before I get to that, I have been asked to introduce myself. I live in beautiful Santa Cruz Ca on the Monterey Bay. My garden has many birds: hummingbirds, chesnut-backed chickadees, hooded oriole and wife showed up yesterday, yellow-rumped warbler (Audubon's) are readying to leave for wherever they go and I haven't seen my ruby-crowned kinglet in some time. These last two "winter" here along with the Townsend's warblers.

    I have been a birder for a number of years, but rarely go out looking for them, although I would like to do that. I make a point of identifying who frequents my yard. Right now we have a couple of families: Stellar jays and California towhees. My neighbor has two young cats and we lost one of the jay fledges. I am trying very hard to make him keep them in. He tries but needs to try harder!!

    The towhees have a baby that I question if it is even a towhee, which brings me to my question. It has fledged but is a midget, looks like a SMALL sparrow in size, if that. I always think the fledges are nearly as big as the parent; the jays were certainly that way. This baby bird also has a very unique chirping when it gets excited (parents coming with food). It sounds like 20 cicadas all at once. Anyone familiar with the size of a baby towhee? Anyone hear of another bird putting their egg in a towhees nest (like the cowbird does to the oriole)?

    This seems like a great site. Once I figure things out, I will upload some pictures.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Norfolk, UK


    I can't comment on the size of baby towhees but I can welcome you to Surfbirds. It is indeed a great site with a nice atmosphere to it! You live in a fantastic part of the world - I've got wonderful memories of sea otters off Monterey in April 2006 (I was on a bit of a Steinbeck pilgrimage that day and was visiting Cannery Row after already having been to the Steinbeck Museum in Salinas). I also had a few good birds at Point Lobos later that afternoon.

    Anyway, hope the towhees grow and I look forward to seeing lots of posts on the site!

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    Last edited by Russ Heselden; January 20th, 2011 at 12:49 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member AndyB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005


    Hi, it's probably a Towhee. I think a young Cowbird would probably be larger than a young Towhee. I guess it goes without saying, observe from distance. Welcome to the site and keep an eye on the youngsters to see what they flegde in to. Best, Andy

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