Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wild Bird Wednesday

The birds of Phoenix

My friend and I went to Phoenix for three days last week for her follow up on her recent surgery at the Phoenix Mayo Clinic.  The scope of our visit was limited by time and circumstances, but we took full advantage of what was there before us.  These birds, by Phoenix standards, are common and perhaps to them, not so exciting.  But , since we don't have any of these birds in our area, we were captivated by their uniqueness and, in some cases, their beauty.  Hope you enjoy ...

This sinister looking little character is a Curve-Billed Thrasher.  They are desert and urban dwellers and build their nests in cactus.

A closer look at the spectacular poke-a-dot tail feathers ...

This is the Cactus Wren.  It is the biggest wren in North America.  It doesn't have the glorious song of the House Wren, but makes up for it with it's beautiful coloring.

 A Gila Woodpecker. They are urban dwellers as well as along deserts and creeks. It nests in           holes in the Saguaro Cactus.

Hark ... a female in yonder tree ...

A Black Chinned Hummingbird.  Urban area's, wooded canyons to middle elevations. (black eyes on black feathers is hard to capture ... I am open to suggestions from anyone out there who know a method.)

The Northern Mockingbird.  Found in thickets of shrubs and thorny bushes, scrubby woodlands and gardens.  We do occasionally see them in our area, but I have never been able to get close enough to capture them so clearly.  This little boy was singing his threepete mimicks the whole time I was shooting. 

The Gambel's Quail.  These are the fastest running birds ever.  Every step I took toward them they scurried two or more feet in the opposite direction.  I had to use my zoom to get these pictures.  They live in desert areas and when on the move, they look like little wind up toys. 

Though this is not a bird ... this little Desert Cottontail kept running past me as I was stalking the Quail.  I could only resist for so long :)


  1. Great photos of these beautiful birds!! They are all new to me :) The cottontail is really sweet!

  2. A great series of pictures! Lovely to see!
    Happy WBW!

  3. Many thanks for sharing all your lovely little birds...
    I dream of seeing a wild humming bird one day... nothing like them in the UK.

  4. You certainly found a lovely variety of birds to document your trip. A cactus plant doesn't seem such a great place for a bird but I'm guessing it could be a distraction to predators.
    LOVE the rabbit animation!
    Wonderful post Andrea!

  5. Great photos of beautiful and interesting birds.

  6. Great series of birds and photos. They would all be new birds for me. Thanks for sharing, have a great day!

  7. It was like reliving it! I am so glad to have you along, and to be rewarded with the photos! Absolutely spectacular! I really look forward to our finale! Thank you!!

  8. All exotic birds to us Northerners, wonderful to see!

  9. I love that you combined birding with your other visit -- hope it cheered up your friend! Your pictures made me smile -- lovely desert birds and reminders of the winters we used to spend in Tucson. (I remember thinking the exact same thing about the thrasher -- it does look a bit scary, something about the eyes)...thanks for sharing.

  10. You certainly have the eye for spotting the diversity here. Those quails sure look funny to me. I think I could spend my day chasing [gently] after them.

  11. Greetings from Oman!!!

    Great captures of these beautiful birds.


  12. Fantastic variety of birds, Andrea! Love that hummingbird!

  13. Beautiful birds and those Northern Mockingbird photos are absolutely gorgeous.

  14. What a great variety of birds you captured!
    Surely that bunny was just begging you to tale it's picture.

  15. What a lovely collection of birds!

  16. What a beautiful collection! I love the Black-chinned Hummingbird and can't wait for their return to Tennessee, which should be very soon. Thank you for sharing all your wonderful birds.

  17. What a great group of shots. Love the rabbit animation!