The above bird was seen at Glendale Xeriscape Garden (on a very windy day). I’ve been to quite a few locations in the past couple of weeks looking for birds but didn’t get enough good shots at any to make a post on their own so the theme here is “pretty lighting.”
Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center:Anna’s Hummingbird, male
Tempe Town Lake:Verdin
Desert Botanical Garden:House Finch, juvenile
Round-tailed Ground Squirrel
Glenrosa Estates (our yard):Abert’s Towhee
Common-checkered and Fiery Skippers
Gila Woodpecker, male
Black-chinned Hummingbird, male
*I’m adding this post to the weekly WordPress Photo Challenge because it represents how I view the Earth through my lens. Check some of the other blog posts out.
So, two exciting things happened in my yard yesterday~but they’re not really all that exciting 🙂 First, I finally got a different kind of bird on my perch! Previously only Curve-billed Thrashers and House Sparrows were brave enough to go after the hidden peanuts~at least when I was outside. Finally, the above Towhee was cooperative enough to sit there for a few seconds while I fired off some shots and he got his peanut as a reward.
Second, a Black-chinned Hummingbird showed up! Last year, one came in May and stayed a few weeks so I wasn’t expecting any yet but was hoping one or more would show up this year. Unfortunately, their dapper purple collar is hard to capture unless the sun hits them just right, which it did not here. I never got good shots last year but I hope to this year before he goes on his merry way~or maybe he will stay. This type of hummer is smaller than the already tiny Anna’s Hummingbirds I usually post.
House Finches, male and female
Gila Woodpecker, male
And I never, ever get tired of these cutie-pies. They, along with Bushtits, Titmice, and Chickadees, are in the Paridae family. These guys are only found in the Southwest:
I had thought that when I retired, I would go out birding more but so many days I take my coffee out to the yard and wind up staying there, entertained by the locals. Lifers in my yard are few and far between,though, so I need to get out in the wild more!
My favorite little model lately has been this Orange-crowned Warbler. It loves to eat the oranges I put out in the mesquite tree everyday. I’m afraid it will be leaving soon to migrate north as it’s been unseasonably warm here.
I’ll miss this little cutie. The orange is a popular spot, though. Sometimes there’s a line.
House Sparrow, male
And two Verdins are building a nest in our pine tree. Verdins build several nests a year, some for breeding, some for roosting, so time will tell which it is.
There’s also pink grapefruit out there sometimes but it’s not nearly as popular. But this little female House Finch likes it and there’s no waiting.
The birdbath is also a popular spot.
Great-tailed Grackle, female
And because I don’t want to encourage the birds to forage on the ground in harm’s way from the cats, I try to think up things I can feed them that won’t drop to the ground. Yum, pine cones coated in peanut butter is a new, delicious treat. You can add seed and suet but I’m not doing that. I don’t know how this will work when it’s 110 degrees but it’s working right now.
If you saw my last 2 posts, I mentioned how my birding friend, Samantha, has pretty perches set up in her gorgeous yard where she hides food so the birds will provide great photo ops as they look for the goodies. So, although my yard is entirely different with quite a few trees, making it dark, I decided that if I had a perch or 2, I could get more attractive photos.
Well, I have my first perch!
It’s a piece of Lake Erie driftwood with several little holes and areas to hide peanuts and other delicious snacks. Then I realized that, in my case, having it be portable so that I could move it around my yard to take advantage of better sunlight, would be a plus. Tony kindly put it all together with a dowel and an old Christmas tree stand. Different angles and creative zooming (and cropping, if necessary) provide different views.
House Sparrow, male
The only problem I have now is that only the Thrashers and House Sparrows will use the perch. I have halved oranges in the trees that other birds eat. I don’t want to put seed out because it will fall to the ground and the birds will forage for it which isn’t safe with cats around. Once I stock the perch, I stay outside to make sure the cats don’t get too interested (they don’t, they’re either sleeping or full) because I don’t think it’s right to lure birds into a dangerous situation. But I need more Bird Diversity!
“I lost my nut!”
“Is there another one in there?”
And this is a little late (hope you had a good one) but it shows another angle of the perch:
Next time I’ll show a few other settings in my yard that provide somewhat attractive photo ops.