The Locals



eagle-young-3Bald 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:


lbwp-2Ladder-backed Woodpecker, female

ruddy-ducks-lmRuddy Ducks

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.


coop-hawk-2Cooper’s Hawk

cormy-1Neotropic Cormorant

ring-necked-duckRing-necked Duck

yrwa-1Yellow-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-wp-1-17-17Gila Woodpecker, male

costas-1-17-17Costa’s Hummingbird, male

costas-girl-1-17-17Costa’s hummingbird, female


squirrel-2Rock Squirrel


thrashers-1-17-17Curve-billed Thrashers

towheesAbert’s Towhees


Sonora, Chaco, and Pawnee

Sonora Front

Sonora Right

Sonora Full

Sonora x 3

Sonora 3

Sonora 1

Sonora 2Sonora, 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.

RT Hawk 1

RT Hawk Full

RT Hawk 2

RT Hawk 4

RT Hawk 5Chaco, Red-tailed Hawk

F Hawk 4

F Hawk Full

F Hawk 3

F Hawk 2

F Hawk 1Pawnee, Ferruginous Hawk

Last Birds of 2014

Mock Rock NY_edited-2

Northern Mockingbird

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.

Black Phoebe 12.27.14

Black Phoebe

Yellow-Rumped Warbler

Yellow-Rumped Warbler

Verdin 12.26.14



Orange-Crowned Warbler next to Verdin

Mock 12.28.14

Northern Mockingbird

Flicker Male

Gilded Flicker, male

Gila Woodpecker

Gila Woodpecker

Great Egret 12.30.14

Great Egret

GBH 2 12.30.14

Great Blue Heron

GBH Crouch 12.30.14

GBH 12.30.14

Canada Geese_edited-1

Canada Geese



Canvasback 2

Canvasback, female


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.

Common Mergansers

Common Mergansers

Shoveler 2_edited-1

Northern Shoveler, male

Shovelers Both_edited-1

Northern Shovelers, male and female


Bald Eagle, Juvenile, 2nd Year

I hope to have many more birds in 2015, maybe a Big Year!