A Baby Mockingbird, 06-12-20

I got up around 6:00 am, and after the dog was fed and went potty, I headed out to Elk Grove to see if I could find the Laguna Creek Trail head at Edie MacDonald Park.


The trail is about 4 miles long, is mostly paved and runs along Laguna Creek.  According to TrailLink.com:

“… The Laguna Creek Trail takes users from a trailhead to parks, retail centers and residential neighborhoods both north and south of Camden Lake. Perennial marsh within the Laguna Creek corridor is characterized by tall, dense stands of vegetation such as tules, cattails, nutsedge and smartweed. Non-native annual grasses are the dominant vegetation in this habitat and include species such as wild oats, soft chess, ripgut brome, barley, wild mustard, wild radish and clover. The annual grasslands habitat also supports populations of small mammals such as meadow vole, pocket gopher and black-tailed jackrabbit, which attract predators such as red-tailed hawks, white-tailed kites, Swainson’s hawks, coyotes and gopher snakes.  The trail will be expanded and connected with other local trails as development occurs. The long-term vision for the parkway is to connect to the Elk Grove Creek Trail farther north, which will ultimately feed into the Sacramento River Parkway Trail that heads north into downtown Sacramento…” 

So, more for us to explore in the future.

I found Edie MacDonald Park and all along the street were signs that read “Be Respectful [of residents] and Use the Parking Lot”. So, I looked for parking lot only to find it was locked. The park is still currently off limits.

I DID see what looked like an equestrian pull out off of Bond Road, though, so I might try to access the trail from there on another day.

Because I couldn’t get into the park, I decided to try the Cosumnes River Preserve and look around there. The preserve is still locked up, too, so I couldn’t get in there either. Guh!  So, I did a couple of slow passes down Desmond and Bruceville Roads.  Not too many birds, but there were quite a few cottontail rabbits in the fields…rabbits and cows.

At one point, I saw a small bird hopping in the middle of the road. It didn’t fly away, and I thought it was injured, so I stopped my car to see if I could help it. It hopped off into a field, and I was just about to get out of my car and go after it, when its parents flew down. They were Northern Mockingbirds.

The little one was a fledgling who had most of its feathers but couldn’t fly yet. Although it had apparently fallen from its nest and wandered off, the parents kept track of it. While I watched, they made several trips to collect insects and bring them to the little one to feed it. The baby would then hop toward where it last saw its parents depart, peeping and squawking, so they knew where it was. Strong little bugger! I’m so glad he was okay and had such attentive parents.

I was able to get a few photos of the baby and the family group, so that made the otherwise disappointing morning worth the mileage.

Species List:

  1. Ash-Throated Flycatcher, Myiarchus cinerascens
  2. Brewer’s Blackbird, Euphagus cyanocephalus
  3. Charolais Cattle, Bos Taurus var. Charolais
  4. Chicory, Cichorium intybus
  5. Desert Cottontail Rabbit, Sylvilagus audubonii
  6. Field Bindweed, Convolvulus arvensis
  7. House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus
  8. Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous
  9. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  10. Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos
  11. Red-Winged Blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus
  12. Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia
  13. Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor