Bald Eagle, immature
This is either Hope or Joy, one of 2 Bald Eagles hatched in a nest in a Scottsdale golf course last spring (in a densely populated area). They were well-known locally then and each of them fell from their nest as nestlings and were placed back in by Arizona Game and Fish and Liberty Wildlife rehabbers. You can read their story and see them as babies here and here. I never saw them last year as their exact location was a secret, for their safety.
Anyway, I was at Lake Marguerite, which isn’t far from that golf course, a couple times recently looking for a Hairy Woodpecker and the second time I looked up and Hope or Joy was watching me! It’s always exciting to see a bald eagle, I think, and he/she took off right as I watched, zipped over the lake, swooped down, grabbed a fish, and flew off right by me. And I even saw the Hairy Woodpecker (which was my 12th lifer this year) but the photo is basically a black and white blur so I won’t show it here. However, I got a couple shots of this girl:
Ladder-backed Woodpecker, female
I was also at Granada Park recently, my old standby park that I don’t visit much anymore, and I was surprised to see this beautiful guy watching me from the trees. While not a lifer, it was the best shots I’ve ever gotten of one.
Yellow-rumped Warbler, Audubon’s
And when I was recently volunteering at the Desert Botanical Garden, I walked around afterwards and saw a few more critters.
Gila Woodpecker, male
Costa’s Hummingbird, male
Costa’s hummingbird, female
Sonora, Bald Eagle
Sonora, Chaco, and Pawnee were at the annual get-together of my Facebook birding group (Birding–Arizona and the Southwest) at Gilbert Riparian Preserve last Sunday. These are all rescue birds from Liberty Wildlife that were either injured or imprinted on humans so are unable to live in the wild and are used for education purposes.
Sonora was permanently injured as a nestling when her nest was attacked by Africanized bees and her sibling was killed. Fortunately, she was rescued by Arizona Game and Fish and taken to Liberty Wildlife, where she now lives, and attends many educational events. She is a regular on the Verde Canyon Railroad’s Raptors on the Rails. It’s amazing to see how huge an eagle is up close.
Through donations and raffle ticket purchases, our group raised over $1200 for Liberty Wildlife this year. This is my post from last year’s event.
Chaco, Red-tailed Hawk
Pawnee, Ferruginous Hawk
Hope your 2015 is off to a wondrous start. I was going to do “12 Birds of Christmas,” a bird a day, beginning with December 26th and ending on Epihany, January 6, but it was just too freaking cold here in Phoenix on 12/31 and 1/1 so that idea was abandoned. Maybe next year. But here are some photos taken the last few days of December 2014.
Orange-Crowned Warbler next to Verdin
Gilded Flicker, male
Great Blue Heron
CRAPPY PHOTO ALERT!
I don’t even like to show such poor quality photos but these birds were all “lifers” for me. I saw them better with my binoculars but just couldn’t get good shots.
Northern Shoveler, male
Northern Shovelers, male and female
Bald Eagle, Juvenile, 2nd Year
I hope to have many more birds in 2015, maybe a Big Year!