When I go to one of the city lakes, I feel gypped if I don’t see herons, egrets, or…cormorants! So I was not disappointed as I walked around the 2 lakes at Granada Park because I saw this guy! I think he’s a Neotropic Cormorant.
Drying his wings, he briefly tolerated my attention…
And then didn’t anymore. I saw him a little later on the other side of the lake but he took off again when he saw me.
There were Killdeer(s)…
And a Lesser Scaup…love his little spiked hairdo.
I felt bad when I saw this mama mallard with only one duckling since I’m sure the others met unfortunate ends. Then I noticed the little pouf on the back of the baby’s head (click to enlarge) and thought it might have something wrong with it but, when I got home and read, I discovered that it is “crested,” which occurs sometimes with mallards but isn’t really a deformity. I think she looks cute with that little bonnet.
This is the setting for Granada Park, in the center of Phoenix, at the base of Piestewa Peak, part of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. And, yeah, I was just about the only one there because it was the hottest part of the (hot) day.
I’m totally excited to have found a flock of these birds again. Years ago, we saw them in a park not too far from our house but I didn’t have a good digital camera back then and, when I did, they were nowhere to be found. They are somewhat common in the Phoenix area but I haven’t been able to “capture” them until today. They were in a different park, also fairly close to our house.
These are Rosy-Faced Lovebirds (or Peach-Faced). They are interesting in that they are descendants of captive birds that have thrived in the Phoenix area since the mid-1980s. There are large feral populations of them all over town and a one-day count of them on February 27, 2010 yielded 948. They especially like palm trees and I heard a bunch of them in a palm tree before I saw these.
This lovebird is native to dry wooded country in southwestern Africa and has adapted well to the climate in Phoenix which is not the case with other domestic parrot species. They are more of an urban wild bird than a bird found in outlying desert areas. I saw several of them today but these photos are the best.
“The long-term status of the Rosy-faced Lovebird in Arizona is not predictable. However in the greater Phoenix area, they are widespread, their population is growing, and there is little doubt that this charismatic little psittacid will continue to be part of Arizona’s avifauna for the foreseeable future” (AZ Field Ornithologists).
I ♥ U
Here are a few more shots from the other day when I went to the Desert Botanical Garden. (Click on photos for more detailed views.)
“I have alien eyes.”
I was off work today and wanted to go to the 7am Bird Walk at the Desert Botanical Garden. I was up, really, but after feeding kitties and all, I just didn’t get there in time for the walk but I did go on my own a little later (it is so hot today, though, that I could only tough it out for a little over an hour). I didn’t get any new-to-me birds but I got better shots of two kinds of birds than I’ve gotten before.
I love verdins and we have them in our yard. I even got some photos yesterday but the tiny little things are so fast and always stay under cover of branches that it’s hard to get a sharp shot of them…’til today. There were 2 of them chattering to each other in this mesquite tree.
I saw this quote on one of those memorial benches there and loved it.
And here’s the other bird I got some close-up shots of, Arizona’s state bird, the cactus wren.
This guy, foraging for insects in the mesquite bark, I guess, was very loud!
I was pleased to get these shots. Stay tuned for more photos from the DBG. This time of year, when it’s so miserably hot, I have to parcel out my photos so that I don’t run out…
The desert is in bloom now. Check out its unique beauty here at Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden.