Urban Adapters



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This Neotropic Cormorant was on the Arizona Canal that winds through the Phoenix area. Fortunately, although Phoenix is very urban, we do have a lot of parks, desert preserves, and riparian areas where wild animals can still hang out in a natural environment but many are just adapting to what we leave them. I don’t know what it is about shopping carts that makes people want to shove them in a canal but it’s a pretty common sight in the city. Some people are pigs.


Stuffed in Canal


He’s cute, though, and he can fly away from all these eyesores if he chooses.



“Why are you ruining my environment?”

One general feature of bird species that adapt well to urban environments is they tend to be the species with bigger brains, perhaps allowing them to be more adaptable to the changeable urban environment (BBC).

Flicker Female 2

Gilded Flicker

Gila Woodpecker

Gila Woodpecker


Ladder-Backed Woodpecker (my first)


Gila Woodpecker


Abert’s Towhee


Black Phoebe

Hawk 2 June 13


Harris’s Hawk

I guess that means pigeons must have big brains inside those tiny, bobbing heads?

Rokinon Pigeon


8 thoughts on “Urban Adapters

  1. A fine series interesting pictures. People seem to have no concern for where they drop candy wrappers, beer bottles, and in your case, shopping carts. I’m glad to bird are free to seek other places is they so choose.


  2. What a fantastic post! Although when my husband and I visited Phoenix last winter, we saw the canal that winds around the area, but we didn’t happen to catch any of these magnificent-looking birds. Those woodpeckers and Harris’ hawk in particular look amazing! I really hope at some point to travel back and explore for hopefully longer. Your photography of these fine birds is stunning.


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