Since March 13, other than going to stores only when necessary, I have seen 2 people…a friend I’ve met in a park about 4 times and my husband. I’ve briefly spoken to a couple neighbors from a distance and waved at a couple others. That’s been my boring life and, now with Arizona having a huge spike in Covid-19 cases because of reopening too soon, I guess that’s all I’m going to be doing for quite a while. And now it’s too hot to meet my friend in the park so that’s over. The above 3 photos were from when I met her the other day.
Everything else is from our yard which is also very hot now but it’s my only outlet. Things suck pretty bad here but I’m glad some of these guys drop by.
Female and male Gila Woodpeckers
Female and male Anna’s Hummingbirds
Verdins, adult and fledgling
I hope your life is more interesting than mine unless you’re in a Covid hotspot…then I guess our lives should be boring. Maybe someday it will improve…doesn’t seem like it can happen for a loooong time, though.
I have something new for my photographs. After seeing many of my photography and birding friends using a watermark on their photos, I decided to join the club after fighting it for awhile. I don’t think I will always use it but sometimes…
I have several Anna’s Hummingbirds in my yard but I think it’s usually the same male that lets me take his photo.
I ordered the custom watermark from Photologo. Very reasonably priced.
Our governor extended our stay-at-home order until May 15, at least, which is fine with me. I’m of the mind that we need to keep doing this to prevent more illness and deaths. However, I know others disagree and want to get back into the world, even though it’s not going to be the same. So I’m not really communicating with those types…
Someone lost their little nest. It looks too clean to have been used. I’m thinking it might have belonged to a Lesser Goldfinch. It’s one of the prettiest nests I’ve ever found. Poor birdies…all that work.
Boring as things are, for the most part, I’m glad to have my yard to take some photos in but it’s at least 100º everyday so the amount of time I spend out there is dwindling.
Excited that a few Black-chinned Hummingbirds have returned to the yard for the summer and will occasionally let me photograph their purple collars:
And, of course, there are several Anna’s Hummingbirds around:
Verdins can tough the heat out very well as they are birds of the desert:
I knew my next post–this one–was going to be my 800th so I thought it should be something special. However, I haven’t had anything particularly special to show so I figured I’d better do it now or I’ll totally get out of the blogging habit like so many of my original blogging friends seem to have done.
This bird probably doesn’t look very exciting to a lot of you and American Robins are pretty common in much of the U.S. However, they are not very common at all in the Phoenix area so I was totally shocked one day to see this guy in our yard. He’s an immature robin. He hung around all day, dipping in the bird bath, flying here and there. I thought he might stick around awhile but he was gone the next morning. I guess he was just passing through. This was yard bird species #48!
On another extremely hot day, there wasn’t much activity in the yard so I made an effort to find a few things…
Gila Woodpecker Feather
Sitting out in the yard for very long is not appealing when it hits 115° some days and 105° on a “nice” day so checking up on my little yard friends is sporadic and brief.
Anna’s Hummingbird, male
Black-chinned Hummingbird, female
Verdins, adult and juvenile
This cute little cat drops by every few weeks and meows very pitifully. I thought she was homeless and would probably wind up joining our group at some point but she disappears for long periods of time and looks healthy so I’m hoping she has a home closeby.
So on to 900 now but that won’t be for a couple years…
The bees like the birdbath, everyone likes the lantana. Just wish there were more butterflies around this year.
Rosy-faced Lovebirds, occasional visitors
Curve-billed Thrasher Scratcher
There are a couple of juvenile Verdins who are happily feeding themselves but now there appears to be an even younger fledgling Verdin who still needs to be fed by a parent. This is it flapping its wings and begging for food:
And it got fed, again and again…
And here’s an interesting little family of Abert’s Towhees:
Here is one of the adults feeding a juvenile Towhee:
And here is the same adult feeding its foster baby, a Brown-headed Cowbird!
The Brown-headed Cowbird is North America’s most common “brood parasite.” A female cowbird makes no nest of her own, but instead lays her eggs in the nests of other bird species, who then raise the young cowbirds (Cornell Lab of Ornithology). They evolved this way because centuries ago this bird followed bison herds on the Great Plains, feeding on insects flushed from the grass by the grazers, and so did not have time to nest the normal way. Some people hate them and think they are “evil,” because heavy parasitism by cowbirds has pushed some species to the status of “endangered” and has probably hurt populations of some others (Audubon). I think it’s pretty interesting behavior.