Category Archives: Phoenix

An Egret Study

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On the same cloudy and rainy day that I got the first 2 photos in my last 2 posts (Flicker, Goose), I was able to hang out with this Great Egret at my favorite park, Granada. It’s the first time I’ve seen an egret at that particular park and, as I was leaving a little later, I saw this one and a buddy head back to the lake.

Crop Face

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I never get tired of watching egrets (and herons) even though they are fairly commonplace and I especially like when one lets me close to it for awhile. Well, until they get skittish or annoyed and take off.

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Chomp

CHOMP! Okay, not really, no ducks were harmed or eaten and he/she wasn’t even trying to get the duck, just an optical illusion…but entertaining.

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This egret is in full breeding plumage. More than 95 percent of the Great Egrets in North America were killed for their plumes in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Plume-hunting was banned, for the most part, around 1910, and Great Egret populations quickly began to recover.

The Great Egret is the symbol of the National Audubon Society, one of the oldest environmental organizations in North America. Audubon was founded to protect birds from being killed for their feathers.

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Super Bowl o’ Birds

The Excitement Builds…

Yellow Rumped Warbler

Yellow-Rumped Warbler

Corm Fly

Neotropic Cormorant

Killdeers

Killdeers

Grackle Boy

Grackle, male

Grackle Girl

Grackle, female

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House Finch, male

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American Kestrel, male

Girls Mallards

Mallards, females

Inca

Inca Dove

Mock

Northern Mockingbird, the cheerleading captain

Mallard Bathing 2

Mallard, male

Mallard Female 11.23.14

Mallard, female

Quail

Gambel’s Quail, male

Wigeons

American Wigeons, male and female

Light Mallard 2

Mallard hybrid, female

Mallard Girl

Mallard hybrid, female

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Verdin

Dove

Mourning Dove

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House Sparrow, female

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House Sparrow, male

Mallard

Mallard, male

Orange Crowned Warbler

Orange-Crowned Warbler

Hum Autumn 2

Anna’s Hummingbird, female

Red Winged BB

Red-Winged Blackbird

Squirrel Superbowl

And a cute little ground squirrel

everyone’s a winner!

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Urban Adapters

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Shopping Cart

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.

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Stuffed in Canal

Tire

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

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“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

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Ladder-Backed Woodpecker (my first)

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Gila Woodpecker

Towhee

Abert’s Towhee

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Black Phoebe

Hawk 2 June 13

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Harris’s Hawk

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

Rokinon Pigeon

Winter at Papago Ponds

Shoveler Girl

Northern Shoveler, female

Shoveler Boy 2

Northern Shoveler, male

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This is what winter looks like in Phoenix, specifically the ponds at Papago Park, a Phoenix Point of Pride. (Click on photos for more detail.)

Ring-Necked Duck

Ring-Necked Duck, male

Wigeons

American Wigeons, male and female

Do you wonder where your waterfowl went? They’re here with more arriving daily!!!

Dock View

Coot

American Coot

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Common Gallinule

Green Heron

Green Heron, the American Birding Association’s Bird of the Year 2015!

Green Heron Stand

Trees on Path

Canvasback

Canvasback, female

Cormorants

Neotropic Cormorants

C77

Canada Goose, C77, with American Wigeon and Ring-Necked Duck

Butte

Gadwall Female

Gadwall, female

Gadwall Drops 2

Gadwall, male

Gadwall male

Palm Island

Grebe 2

Pied-Billed Grebe

Grebe

Lesser Scaups 2

Lesser Scaups

Girls

And some girls out having a good time…

Reeds

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My Home Park

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The European Starlings were decorating their cactus the other day at Granada Park, which I am now considering my “home park.” It’s the closest city park with a lake (2 of them) to our house and it also has trails leading out into the desert foothills of Piestewa Peak, part of the Phoenix  Mountain Preserve.

Christmas Mocks ps

“I refuse to be outdone by those Starlings!”

Bun

So it has both desert and water habitats and the resulting wildlife. I go there at least once a week with my camera. A lot of my photos in the last few months were taken there.

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Bird Feeders

There’s a little hidden area where someone keeps the bird feeders stocked. Unfortunately, the birds hear me coming and fly away before I can get any good shots of them.

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Northern Mockingbird

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Inca Dove

Finch

House Finch

Flock

Although there are currently migrating Mallards, American Wigeons, American Coots, and Ring-Necked Ducks there, these are some of the year-round regulars that are basically just hybirds and domestic ducks (“City Park Specials”) but I think they are handsome, nevertheless.

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I love this guy, above, who looks like he is posing for me. He hangs out with a couple of the big white ducks and geese most of the time.

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And a few fun-loving Mallards to finish it off:

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*Certain Photoshopped elements courtesy of Obsidian Dawn.