Rosy-Finch Rendezvous: Stop 5 – Sierra Lodge at Mammoth Lakes

By Jim Gain
Rosy-Finch Rendezvous Birding Adventure Series

6/14/2022

While I was waiting for Rich to fill up the ice chest, I wandered outside of our parking garage to take a photo of our hotel, the Sierra Lodge, with the magnificent backdrop of the Sierra Nevada. I crossed the street to get the best angle and immediately got distracted by the chatter of a Pygmy Nuthatch that was flitting around the trees right next to our hotel. I yelled to Rich to grab his camera and we proceeded to follow not one, but two Pygmy Nuthatches as they bounced around in constant movement between the trees on each side of the road.

Pygmy Nuthatch

And then it happened, one of them flew full-speed into the side of the hotel. Well, not actually into the solid siding, rather, into a neat little perfectly drilled cavity in its side.

They had a nest in the side of the hotel literally 20 feet from our balcony. One of them emerged from the hole with a solid piece of egg shell.

Pygmy Nuthatch

As we watched the nuthatch, an inquisitive Yellow-rumped Warbler flew down from the trees and landed on the ground right next to us.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

We packed up and headed to our next stops, returning at lunch to check on the nuthatches and took a couple more photos of them hard at work feeding their babies.

Pygmy Nuthatch
Pygmy Nuthatch

Next Stop: Wildrose Canyon at Glass Mountains.

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