Chickadees at Crystal Springs Watershed in San Mateo County and in my backyard
To the Editor:
I was pleasantly surprised to see a picture of the Chestnut-backed Chickadee on page one of the August 20th issue of the San Francisco Chronicle in an article about the opening of a hiking trail in the Crystal Springs Watershed in San Mateo County.
As birdwatchers well know, the Chestnut-back Chickadee is easily attracted to backyard bird feeding stations in urban and suburban areas with a steady supply of sunflower seeds. I have three Chickadees that are regulars at my vertical tube feeder that is stocked with sunflower seeds.
As to public hiker and biker access to the Crystal Springs Watershed in San Mateo County, I have always felt a little leary about it being granted. There seems to be a notion in the heads of some hikers and bikers that they must have unlimited access to every square foot of natural land. I don't personally feel that I have to be able to go everywhere anytime I feel like it. Some parts of nature are probably best left untouched by human footprin or bicycle tire tread marks.
Certainly, almost all of the plants and animals living in the Crystal Springs Watershed in San Mateo County can be observed elsewhere. Certainly, the Chestnut-back Chickadee can be seen in many places, even in your urban backyard.
James K. Sayre
22 August 2003