~Nature

~October, 2017, Grand Canyon, South Rim

The Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, along with Mount Everest in Nepal, Victoria Falls in Zambia/Zimbabwe, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the Northern Lights, Paricutin Volcano in Mexico and Harbor of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The Canyon attracts 4.5 million visitors from all over the world annually.

The Grand Canyon is home to 70 species of mammals, 250 species of birds, 25 species of reptiles and five species of amphibians.

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Grand Canyon, South Rim, as we walk east.

Howard and I walked about five to six miles each day while visiting the Grand Canyon. We preferred the east end of the South Rim Trail. The longer we walked the trail, the fewer people we encountered. The terrain was different going east in that it was more forested.  I loved this area. A perfect environment for birds and wildlife.

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Taken in an area east of Mather Point.

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You can’t imagine my delight when I downloaded the photo below. I haven’t seen this bird in years. It is a Red Crossbill. If you zoom in on the photo take a look at its bill.

Red Crossbill
Red Crossbill

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Elk (looks like a first year)
Elk (looks like a first year)

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Junco, Gray-headed
Junco, Gray-headed

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Howard and I were walking along the South Rim Trail near the El Tower Hotel and spotted this Green-tailed Towhee looking for food – scratch, scratch, scratch! They are beautiful and fun to watch.

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Green-tailed Towhee

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One evening we were walking the trails around the RV park. There were lots of Western Bluebirds in the area. In fact, I tried to get a photo of them drinking from a faucet, but someone walked by and they flew. This Western Bluebird, in the photo below flew before I could manually focus on her, but I like the photo.

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Western Bluebird

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Ravens:

I never get bored watching these intelligent birds.  I truly believe this Raven was mimicking a barking dog. I heard a dog barking for several minutes before I heard the Raven. I remember thinking, “what in the heck is making that noise”.

Singning
Barking? Note the wedge-shaped tail. This is how you can ID the Raven.

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He looks happy with himself!

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This Raven was sitting high up in a tree and “talking” away. I saw a young girl, about 11 years old with her phone, trying to get a photo of him. She was shooting into the sun and through a lot of branches. I walked over to the tree and called her to some stand where I was standing. I was happy to see her excitement in seeing this bird. I hope her photos came out okay!

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Soaring
Soaring

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There are approximately 200 species of trees and shrubs in Grand Canyon National Park. Most of these are found in the higher elevations of the park, on the South and North rims. Some of the tree species include the white fir, Engleman spruce, blue spruce, Douglas fir, corkbark fir, ponderosa pine, Utah juniper, alligator juniper, Colorado pinyon, quaking aspen, Fremont cottonwood, Gambel oak, and Arizona walnut.

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Birds I observed at the Grand Canyon, South Rim. I was very surprised at the number of birds there were in the area.

`Northern Flicker Red-shafted

`Hairy Woodpecker

`Scrub Jay

`Pinyon Jay

`Stellar’s Jay

`Common Raven

`Mountain Chickadee

`White-breasted Nuthatch

`Red-breasted Nuthatch

`Pygmy Nuthatch

`Western Bluebird

`American Robin

`Green-tailed Towhee

`Spotted Towhee

`Juncos

`White-crowned Sparrow

`Red Crossbill

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Howard had a fun time taking panoramic photos with his iPhone.

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Howard checking out his panoramic photos!
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This header photo is one of Howard’s gorgeous panoramic photos!

~Taking the time to enjoy nature~

 

5 thoughts on “~Nature”

  1. Beautiful photos! We have Ravens and Quail here at the park we are in. Many more too that I still need to identify.
    Just beautiful photos!! Thanks!!
    Sheila

  2. I LOVE Ravens and enjoyed your pictures of him(her?) no end. They have history in Scotland, and perhaps this is why I am so enamored.
    Anyway, your coverage of Grand Canyon has been….. GRAND!

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