Author and ordained interfaith minister, Katrina Mayer once wrote: “Time amongst the trees is never wasted”. The statement was so true one day a couple of weeks ago while I was on a trail simply looking for wildlife. I’m rarely a sunrise birder, unless I must. So by what birders would consider late morning, I had to search the ground and trees for activity. I know the rainbow grasshopper, gila monster or whatever it is will not be inactive all day; I just have to keep my eyes open! I have not found a rainbow grasshopper yet, but I noticed a verdin flying in and out of a tree. Perfect! My opportunity to set my camera and watch what happens.
Verdins are residents here and easy for me to identify with their yellow heads and small chestnut patch at the bend of the wing. These birds build nests year-round. A male usually builds a few nests with the female choosing the one to raise young. Here two verdins were working together on this nest.
I was relaxed watching the birds and I know they knew I was there. I was a good distance away from them using a zoom lens. For about 15 minutes I watched them work until other people on the trail were walking closer. Time for me to leave and let the birds be on their own.
I loved the bird looking at me and it feeling safe to continue doing what needed to be done. I was happy to have spent the time watching their activity. Clearly time not wasted for any of us!
I wished this nest was closer to my home so I could participate in NestWatch where one observes nest activity a couple of times per week and reports the activity. If you are interested or do not know about this citizen scientist activity, then check out nestwatch.org