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Little Tujunga Canyon

Tujunga Canyon
Tujunga Canyon

Took a drive up Little Tujunga Canyon last friday afternoon to try and get photos of Black-chinned Sparrows that nest in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. This small passerine bird is generally found in chaparral, sagebrush, arid scrublands, and brushy hillsides, breeding in the Southwestern United States (western Texas to southern California), and migrating in winter to north-central Mexico and Baja California Sur. There is also a non-migratory population in central Mexico.


Range Map

As soon as we stepped out of the car we heard their distinctive call and it didn’t take long to spot one singing atop a Yucca plant. We were not just treated to one but at least two pairs feeding recently fledged young. At first we weren’t sure what we were hearing until we realized the squeaking sound was coming from the young birds begging their parents for food.

Black-chinned Sparrow
Black-chinned Sparrow

Black-chinned Sparrow
Black-chinned Sparrow

Black-chinned Sparrow
Black-chinned Sparrow (fledgling)

Click for Black-chinned Sparrow audio.

Other birds we heard/observed in the canyon included Green-tailed Towhee, Lawrence’s Goldfinch, Phainopepla, California Thrasher and Wrentit:

Wrentit
Wrentit

Where we were:


GPS Location (2,728′ Elevation)

Some other shots from the plants and surrounding foothills:


Bush Lupine
Bush Lupine

Poison Oak
Poison Oak

Sticky Monkey Flower
Sticky Monkey Flower

Sticky Monkey Flower
Sticky Monkey Flower

 

Posted by on June 22, 2009 in Photography Adventures

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