Earth Day and Beyond

Pomegranate
Male House Finch after eating orange and jelly
The annual return of the White-winged Doves
Northern Mockingbird
Our 13 year old feral, Edie
Ferguson, a star
Abert’s Towhee eating a mulberry
Rosy-faced Lovebird

“Once upon a time, when women were birds, 

there was the simple understanding that 

to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk 

was to heal the world through joy. 

The birds still remember 

what we have forgotten, 

that the world is meant to be 

celebrated.”

~Terry Tempest Williams

A Colorful Yard

Anna’s Hummingbird, male

Some people think the desert is brown and boring and our birds are brown and colorless. It’s just not true! Here are pics from our yard in the last few days…

Tiny Birds of Yellow

Above are a Pine Siskin, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Verdin, Lesser Goldfinch female, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Lesser Goldfinch male, and Orange-crowned Warbler. They are all only 4-4.5 inches long.

Rosy-faced Lovebirds (the young ones have black on their bills and less vivid coloring on their faces)

White-crowned Sparrow

Honeybee on Sage and Lavender

Mr. White, an unusually marked House Finch

My sweet little Orange-crowned Warbler, “Tink”

Yellow-rumped Warbler, female

Inca Doves (there were over 22 in the yard that day)

And guess what? We had snow in Phoenix on January 25! We’ve seen it in the mountains around town and a light dusting now and then but nothing like this storm!

So the desert is not all brown…and we haven’t even started spring yet when everything here bursts into color!

Holiday Birding

The Holiday Office Party

The two Curve-billed Thrashers in my yard are exceedingly curious and also very fond of unsalted peanuts. I sort of accidentally realized that anytime I put something different on this little outdoor table, they will quickly jump up to check it out and keep doing so if there are some peanuts involved. So I started a little series of them checking things out. They both share the spotlight in the following photos.

Santa Got Run Over By a Thrasher

Some outtakes from that shoot…

The Winter Solstice
Embellished Winter Solstice
A December to Remember

We just finished watching The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix:

Huddling Inca Doves

Actually, it turns out that the Abert’s Towhees and Northern Mockingbirds (2 of each) are also fairly curious and I have a few shots of them joining in various festivities which I’ll post at another time.

Meanwhile, here are a few more of the little yardbirds (an Anna’s Hummingbird, House Finch, Gila Woodpecker, my wintering Orange-crowned Warbler, and Verdin) wishing you a safe, healthy, Happy Solstice, Happy Yule, and Happy Holidays!

Birdsong

Sometimes there are 50 or more birds in our yard at one time, eating, hanging out…and the cacophony of bird sounds is pretty intense. Other times there are gentle chirps and buzzes…

Abert’s Towhees

Curve-billed Thrashers

House Sparrow
Gila Woodpecker
Rosy-faced Lovebird

House Finches (click to enlarge)

The Anna’s Hummingbirds are sipping from the plants I recently bought.

And perching and fighting and showing their colors…(click to enlarge)

Northern Mockingbird

And my little Orange-crowned Warbler happily winters here…

But they all need to watch out for this guy:

American Kestrel

Herding Birds

The Photographer

It’s finally cooling off in Phoenix after a long, hot, dry summer so I’ve spent some more time outside in my yard. I’ve been trying to get the birds to pose doing various things by using food incentives, mostly peanuts, in addition to all the other things they get to eat here. The Curve-billed Thrashers (above) are always the most curious and willing to inspect new things. So who was taking whose picture here?

Here are a few more of the Thrashers cooperating with my plan: the Interloper, the Peanut House, the Goose-Step…

They’re such fun birds to have around.

Also semi-cooperative are the Abert’s Towhees:

And:

Eurasian Collared-Dove
House Sparrow, female

And a birdbath often gets some nice results:

Lesser Goldfinch, females
House Sparrow and House Finch, males
House Finches

And back to the most cooperative of all, a Thrasher: