Zen-Like

Stilt

Stilt 2

Black-Necked Stilt

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Least Sandpiper

Avocets

Avocets 3

American Avocet

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Gadwall

Cormorant crop

Neotropic Cormorant

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Spring is in the Air

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Anna’s Hummingbird, male

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Verdin

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House Sparrow, male

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Trumpet Flowers

Skipper Orange 4.8.15

Fiery Skipper

Towhee

Abert’s Towhee

Leafcutter Bee 4.8.15

Hummer 4.8.5 2

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Brown-Headed Cowbird, female

Did you know this about Cowbirds? Females forgo building nests and instead put all their energy into producing eggs, sometimes more than three dozen a summer. These they lay in the nests of other birds, abandoning their young to foster parents, usually at the expense of at least some of the host’s own chicks. Strange but true.

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Verdin (both genders look the same)

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Checkered White Butterfly

Lovebird

Peach-Faced Lovebird

Phoebe 2

Black Phoebe

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House Finch, male

Turtle Yoga

Red-Eared Pond Slider, doing yoga

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600!

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It’s my 600th post in just a little over 6 years so my average posts per year are pretty easy to calculate. Thank you for visiting!

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It’s officially spring in our yard when the Skippers arrive. They were a few weeks late this year and there aren’t too many yet but I’m sure that will change.

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Now that our lantana has recovered after a deep freeze this winter (even though it was covered), the critters that love it are returning, too.

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Painted Lady

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Giant Swallowtail

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Even those with tattered wings (above)…

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Also enduring a tough winter, the hibiscus is finally back to blooming.

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Here’s a trio of shots…with a theme:

Leaf

Leaf

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Leafcutter Bee

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Leaf-Footed Bug

Well, I was going to have a bird-free post since I’m sure not everyone loves the little guys as much as I do but I just had to show these photos…even though they’re not that good.

Our anniversary is April 1 and Tony started a new job this April 1. He left earlier than I do for work so I walked out with him that morning. I happened to look up in our next-door neighbors’ very high tree~and there was a large flock of Cedar Waxwings up there, a bird I’ve never seen before but have wanted to for some time. They were all facing directly into the sun and away from me so the photos are not what I wish they were but I was still excited to see them. When I left for work 45 minutes later, they were all gone, probably headed north for the summer, so it was very fortuitous for me to go out earlier that morning.

4 Waxwings

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They love berries and we have a few varieties in our yard so I was hoping they would come down to snack but I guess they were just on a rest break.

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So…have a Happy Easter, if you celebrate it, or a Happy Spring Weekend…

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Raptors

Hawk 12

Skye, Red-Tailed Hawk

Falcon 3

Jester, Peregrine Falcon

Vulture

Quanah, Turkey Vulture

Kestrel Crop

Vito, American Kestrel

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Diego, Burrowing Owl

These are all rescue birds from Liberty Wildlife that were imprinted on humans so are unable to live in the wild and are used for education purposes. We saw them last weekend at a birding event put on by a Facebook group I belong to (Birding–Arizona and the Southwest) at Gilbert Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch. They were all beautiful and kindly posed for photos for hours.

More of Skye:

Hawk 8

Hawk 9

Hawk 11

The sky in Skye’s eye…

Hawk 13

Hawk Full

And more of Jester:

Falcon

Falcon 2

Diego:

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Spring at Papago

Green Heron 2

Green Heron

Cooper's 2

Cooper's 6

Cooper's

Sharp-Shinned or Cooper’s Hawk (hard to distinguish)

Gallinule

Common Gallinule

Pond Slider

Red-Eared Pond Slider

Yellow-Rumped Warbler

Yellow-Rumped Warbler

Egret 2

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Great Egret

Scaup

Lesser Scaup

Ring-Necked Duck

Ring-Necked Duck

Grebe 3

Grebe

Pied-Billed Grebe

Flicker 2

Northern Flicker

Cactus Flower

Green Heron

I spent the first day of spring at Papago Park and made a brief visit to the Desert Botanical Garden, which is in the park. Not much luck there as it was later in the day and packed with people but the ponds at the park made for a decent day of birding. I have a 3-day weekend and I’m planning to go shooting somewhere everyday. More photos to come, I hope…

Happy Spring!