February 19, 2016 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Eric Kallen, who runs the website http://www.jacumbabirding.com, has sent us more beautiful bird photos from Jacumba Hot Springs, including a Hooded Oriole, Lark Bunting, and a Merlin. Here are his notes on this enticing visitors to our region—including tips on how to attract the yellow-plumed orioles to your backyard.
1. Hooded Oriole at my hummingbird feeder. This is the first Hooded reported in the county this year. The date, 2-17-16, is extremely early. Start looking for these guys in the first week of March. Put out orange halves in a spot where thee birds can safely get to them and enjoy the show.
2. Lark Bunting - an unusual vagrant with few winter records for San Diego County. This bird is molting, when in breeding plumage, it’s entirely black with white patches on the wings and tail.
3. Merlin - a small falcon related to the common American Kestrel and larger Peregrine and Prairie Falcons. Merlins are winter residents in Southern California. They are acrobatic flyers and terrorize smaller birds.