Spring had arrived (officially, yesterday), at least for a couple of days. After one of the rainiest and coldest winters recorded in Los Angeles, followed by extremely windy conditions for a few days, we actually got a couple of relatively calm days this past weekend where it got up about 80°F. (More heavy rain, thunderstorms, chilly temps rolled in yesterday and today, with more coming this weekend, and next week, and next weekend…) While it was nice and warm, I wandered out and noticed that the yard was responding to the warm up by coming to life, so I grabbed a camera – and apparently got enough pictures to fill up almost a whole week of posts!
While looking at the big tree of unknown species with the exploding umbrella-like leaves (I don’t think that’s it’s official Latin designation) I saw a flash of yellow. Way up in the top of the tree was this guy who WOULD NOT STAY STILL.
This was a classic case of “if you shoot enough pictures…” Statistics were on my side even though the bird wasn’t. “Flitter” was the word of the day as he hopped and bounced and swung and burst and jitterbugged all over the tree.
But even with that I could see the fantastic black & white polka dot pattern on his breast and the bright yellow patches on his neck and shoulders.
But what kind of bird is it? I’m familiar with a lot of the local species, but this wasn’t a common house sparrow. And the occasional goldfinch I see are all bright yellow, not just little patches. Maybe the coloration varies by sex or mating season?
There’s this thing called “the Internet” which lets you go searching for answers to questions like that. In this case, it brought me right back home completely by accident. The San Fernando Valley Audubon Society website is where I found the best description that matches this guy, especially the part about, “Another bird that never seems to sit still.” I’m pretty sure my new neighbor is a Yellow-Rumped Warbler.