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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of four. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Roadrunner in ringtail land

It's an illusion. 

Roadrunner isn't in a sandy wash, but in a wind-eroded cave in a cliff over a seasonal creek. 

A narrow and precarious path led to it. 

It looked like perfectly respectable ringtail habitat.

The cave is under the lower overhang. 

But no ringtail visited the place in 2 months. 

What did visit were a wood rat, Merriam's chipmunk,  California ground squirrel, a cottontail rabbit of all things, and the usual deer mice. 

And there were brown towhees, scrub jays, and perhaps a mockingbird that perched on the camera. 

If this isn't a mockingbird, tell me what it is.

We decided not to give up.

So we changed the batteries and memory stick to give it one more chance.

Still hopeful, we drove on to the next locations. 


Owlman said...

I concur that it appears to be a mockingbird Chris. I like the roadrunner. Keep trying you will get your Ringtail.

John Carlson said...

I believe your mockingbird is a Say's Phoebe. The tail is pretty short and the buffy pink wash on the underside also points towards a Say's. The habitat is also good for the phoebe as well.

randomtruth said...

Great Roadrunner. I also think that it's a Say's Phoebe.

Camera Trap Codger said...

Thanks a lot guys. According to Sibley they are year round residents down there.

Owlman said...

I stand corrected and thank you

Genevieve Netz said...

Never having seen a Say's Phoebe myself, I can sure see why you thought it might be a mockingbird.