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    Posted July 25, 2014 by
    Yucca Valley, California
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Travel snapshots: Best bird-watching

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    Flycatcher Family in SoCal Desert


    My Report isn't a Travel story for us but our Birds should be shared.  If you come to visit Joshua Tree National Park nearby you will see our many birds.

    Last year we were lucky enough to have a young family of FlyCatchers nest in one of the little houses my hubby had made. There were 2 babies born & we watched until they were brave enough to finally 'jump' out of the house. They stayed in our back yard which had a tall block wall which I think made them feel safe. They stayed down near the plants & under a bench for several days. Their parents seemed to be trying to teach them & get them to 'leave the nest'. After a few days everyone was up & flying about.
    Several weeks ago we noticed the same type of bird, FlyCatcher had arrived. We noticed that it was a 'couple' & they seemed to be house hunting. To our delight, they chose the exact house that the FlyCatcher family had occupied last year. We wonder if one of these birds may be one that was born in that same house last year. Wow, how cool! We have been keeping an eye on the house when we are outside. We have noticed that they have taken what appear to be large flying bugs into the house. There has also been LOTS of chatter between them. We have seen the girl go inside the home at least 2 times a day recently. She stays for a few minutes then back out. We don't know exactly what is going on but the boy seems to 'check' on her sometimes when she is inside. He also seems to be quite excited & actually on guard duty, as he chased a Scrub Jay away today.  He will sit in a nearby tree & sing & then fly over to the house where she is & flutter outside the door (Video 1 shows him at the door after she went inside). Is she in labor & laying eggs...or are the eggs now beginning to hatch? It's a mystery & an exciting time in the neighborhood. We have Quail, Scrub Jay, Cactus Wren & now FlyCatcher babies in the canyon!

    There is also at least one new Coyote baby.
    I have taken I swear a zillion hours of video fixed on that little house, hoping to catch some action. I finally caught her arriving, going inside, & him fluttering outside. I think it is quite interesting.
    I will keep an eye on the little family & hopefully get pics & video of the little ones when they arrive.
    These are great looking little birds with a strange little beak which is sort of wide & flat (a bug catching asset I imagine).  They also have an adorable hairdo, which I think is to keep their head cool in summer & warm in winter?   It can stand up in a spikey hairdo or lay flat & slicked back. They have a very light pale green/yellow chest & tummy. I'm not sure if my video catches any of it, but they have a nice soft singing voice.
    Baby watch in the SoCal high desert...M

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