Category Archives: Photos-Birds

Photos that I have taken of Birds.

~Birding in Arizona – Verdin

~Cave Creek Regional Park, Cave Creek, AZ, November 2017

Only 4.5 inches in length it is a tiny little bird. They are tough and thrive in hot desert environments. It is among the most characteristic birds of the desert, and it has one notable distinction: it is not closely related to any other bird in the western hemisphere.

It is not only tiny and tough, but it is beautiful with its bright yellow head and rufous shoulder patches.

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Verdin

The tiny Verdin, a gleaner of small insects and spiders from the foliage of desert vegetation, is most notable for its nest-building behavior. In addition to breeding nests, Verdins also build individual roosting nests whose insulation allows them to survive cold winter nights.

Verdins spend the night in their roosting nests, smaller versions of their breeding nest, but the birds still lose an average of 7% of their body mass during a winter night. Roosting nests may be built any time of the year and the interwoven twig structures may remain attached to a bush or tree for years. (some information taken from various birding web-sites)

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NOTE: Thanks to Gay and her blog at good-times-rollin for mentioning in a blog she wrote about setting out an orange for the Verdins. Thank you Gay! Go to her blog by clicking – Here

The Verdins loved the oranges. Try as I might, I wasn’t able to capture one of these birds in a more natural environment at Cave Creek. Hopefully, I might have one at Catalina State Park. It was so much fun watching the Verdins.

~Happy Birding~

 

 

~Birding in Arizona – Curve-billed Thrasher

~Cave Creek, Arizona, Cave Creek Regional Park, November, 2017

 

Another one of my favorite desert birds, the Curve-billed Thrasher. They sure made our visit to this beautiful park even more enjoyable. I never grew tired of hearing the “whit-wheet” call of this Thrasher.

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Curve-billed Thrasher

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What a beautiful colored eye!

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~Happy Birding~

 

 

~Birding in Arizona – Gamble’s Quail

~Cave Creek Regional Park, Cave Creek, AZ, November, 2017

 

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Male

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Female

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A covey of Gamble’s Quail entertained us at Cave Creek Regional Park. Most days we would count up to twenty-five birds at our site. They are gorgeous birds, fun to watch, and even more fun to photograph.

We saw them at Dead Horse Ranch State Park, but not nearly as many.

HEADER PHOTO: Sunrise at Cave Creek Regional Park

~Happy Birding~

 

~Birding in Arizona – American Kestrel

~Cave Creek, Cave Creek Regional Park, November, 2017

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high atop a cactus

scanning surroundings for food

focused and alert

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American Kestrel, male

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Going for the kill.

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Sure hope it wasn’t another bird. I can’t tell what it is.

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Almost finished!

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“Glad it wasn’t us.”

House Finch, male.

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House Finch, Female

Happy Birding!

~Icon of the Desert – Gila Woodpecker

 

~Cave Creek Regional Park, Cave Creek, AZ, November, 2017

What a treat it was to listen, watch and photograph these gorgeous woodpeckers. They were busy building a nest in a Saguaro Cactus in our back “yard”. Go out to this Web-site and listen to their call – Gila

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Gila Woodpecker, Male.

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Female

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Notice the red cap.

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Notice the yellow belly.

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A nest.

 

~Happy Birding~

~Arizona State Bird, Cactus Wren

~Cactus Wren, Cave Creek Regional Park, November, 2017

A very curious wren and the largest. There were several that would visit us in our “yard” at Cave Creek, always coming close to the coach and inspecting everything. I just loved watching them.

At least two pair were busy collecting materials for nest building.

Here is a Web-site with some good information on the Cactus Wren: Wren

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Another view.

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A photograph can be an instant of life captured for eternity that will never cease looking back at you. Brigitte Bardot

~Trying to establish a winter travel routine…

Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Cottonwood, AZ, October, 2017

Dead Horse Ranch got its peculiar name in the late 1940’s from its previous owners, the Ireys family from Minnesota. They were looking to buy a ranch and on their tour they discovered a large dead horse lying by the road outside of the property. After two days of viewing ranches, Mr. Ireys asked the kids which ranch they liked the best, and they all agreed “the one with the dead horse, dad!”. Acquired in 1973 by AZ State Parks, the Ireys family made it a condition of the sale that the park retain the name Dead Horse Ranch.

We traveled from the Grand Canyon to Cottonwood, AZ staying one week at Dead Horse Ranch State Park. We have been here many times, but it has been several years since our last visit. We throughly enjoy our stay.

Hiking, mountain biking, fishing, horseback riding are just some of the activities one can enjoy at DHRSP.

After an arduous time getting ready to leave home, and our tourist mode adventure at the Grand Canyon,  we were ready to settle into a more relaxing routine.

Howard worked on a few coach maintenance items, setup an antenna and operated his ham radio, and he even got to jog a few times. I enjoyed hiking, birding and photographing this lovely area.

~Mornings:

`Hiking around the Lagoons…

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Still Waters

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Looking through the reeds.

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Relaxing on a log.

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A leisurely swim.

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Sunlight through the reeds.

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A Cloud Sulphur

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`Walking a rocky trail…

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Miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.

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The Verde River

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A birder along the trail.

~In between – Touring and Eating:

Old Town Cottonwood seems like it has come back to life since our last visit. Many of the old buildings have been renovated and are now occupied by beer and wine tastings shops, antiques stores, galleries and more.

There are also several new restaurants. We ate at the Tavern Grill, enjoyed sitting outside on the covered patio, and the food was very good!

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One of those Micro Brews was mine!
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Outside Patio at the Tavern Grill

If you like Mexican, you should try Pepe’s Cafe. I haven’t had Mexican food this good in a long time. It was Great!

One of our favorite places to eat in Cottonwood is Randall’s; they have been there a long time and the food is very good. Friday we enjoyed Fish Friday – our fav Catfish!

 

~Evenings:

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Waxing Moon

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Rambling Rose at Sunset, Site 76 (notice Howard’s ham antenna)

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The Gambel’s quail (Callipepla gambelii) is a small ground-dwelling bird in the New World quail family. It inhabits the desert regions of Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Texas, and Sonora; also New Mexico-border Chihuahua and the Colorado River region of Baja California.

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Female Gambel Quail looking for a last meal.

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Male

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`A Sunset walk along a Mesa:

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Out the door of the coach and up a hill.

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Sunset

 

~Life is Good~

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My best guy and girl!