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Old Apr 19, 2011, 10:16 PM   #1
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Default Bushtit tragedy - A failed attempt

Both my computer and I have been under the weather lately, and I haven't been able to participate much nor do any proper processing of the last pictures I have taken, but here are a couple just to keep my hand in - not the greatest, but they will have to do.

Bushtits are one of our smallest birds, and usually move about foraging in family groups - the breeding pair and one or two previous broods that stay with the parents until they go off on their own (same type of social structure as wolves). We have had two birds feeding actively for a while, and I assume they were first timers. They built a nest in a rose bush - I had photographed roses on that bush, but never saw the nest. I found it after a windstorm had stripped off most of the leaves and exposed the hidden nest, which now seems to have been abandoned. The picture I am posting is without flash, as the flash exposures made the nest opening almost indistinguishable, and in deep shade, so it is heavily postprocessed. The nest is 8 inches long, and the opening about 1 1/4 inches across. The next picture is a grab shot of the female (the only one I got) on the last day I saw the birds, which no longer seem to be around.

1 The nest

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2 The female

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Old Apr 19, 2011, 11:27 PM   #2
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What a cutie little bird. Too bad about them abandoning the nest though - the weather has been hard on all kinds of plants and animals. I don't think I've ever noticed them before.

Hope you are on the mend, and sort out your computer problems (mine are not totally over - I'm beginning to think that my original problem with my last computer had something to do with the external monitor I was using, but I'm really not sure).
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Old Apr 20, 2011, 6:51 AM   #3
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Penolta - so sorry you have been feeling poorly, and hope you are soon fully recovered.

Nice photo of both bird and nest. Weather is such a significant factor in so many small "critters" lives... Perhaps they will rebuild somewhere nearby.
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Old Apr 20, 2011, 8:24 AM   #4
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Harriet - don't you use Time Machine ? It should have made transitioning easy.

Pity about the nest - hopefully they've found a good location for the new nest.
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Old Apr 20, 2011, 2:29 PM   #5
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Hi penolta,

Not bad for grab shots!

What a complex nest for such little guys. I'd think I'd not let all that work go to waste and try to use such a mansion for multiple seasons. . . but I'm cheap and lazy. . . and not a bird. . .

I've had multiple subsystem failures in the past weeks (video card fan died and fried the processor, and onboard sound processor freaked out) so I've been scrambling to get everything working like I'm used to. I'm probably due for an upgraded motherboard soon. . . but I'll going to wait for it to die before I go through that.

Hope your feeling better soon. I've had my issues also, and between that, my 88 yo mother, and the horrible weather we've been having, I haven't been able to shoot nearly as much as I would have liked, so you're definitely not alone this spring.

Scott
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Old Apr 28, 2011, 7:04 PM   #6
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I am pretty well recovered from the bug that got me down - my wife had it too, but she seems to be on the mend. Thanks for the comments and the good thoughts. Sorry to have ben so long in acknowledging them.
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