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  Topic: Wildlife, What's in your back yard?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Posts: 2780
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: July 19 2008,11:36   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ July 19 2008,11:24)
I'll pass that on!

Southern Arizona is really interesting for birding. My sister took me to the ONE park in the state where you're guaranteed to see Gray Hawks and I saw one flying about 20 feet over my head within 2 minutes of getting out of the car. There's only a dozen or so breeding pairs in the state, I'm told, and that's where they are. But I also saw some other birds far more easily than she found them. Stopping in Tumacacari for soft drinks, I instantly saw a Zone-Tailed Hawk. My sister was very irked since she said it took her a year of birding and deliberate searching to see one. But on the other hand I was out there for 5 days with NO Roadrunners, even tho they're not rare. My sister was baffled -- usually they're all over. It was starting to look like I'd have to leave without seeing one, til finally one ran in front of me in the parking lot of the Sonora Desert Museum, of all places. (Nice place, BTW -- if only for the fact that it's the only way you're ever gonna see Thick-Billed Parrots in Arizona.)

Zone-tailed Hawks are a nemesis bird for lots of birders, so you are lucky. In my experience NM is better than AZ for seeing that one.

I have a similar story about birding luck in AZ. My youngest daughter was not quite 4 the first time we took her camping there. We were with a large group birding along the San Pedro BLM land near Sierra Vista (great place if you haven't been there). We saw lots of birds, including my lifer Botteri's Sparrow. But the target species was the Green Kingfisher, and we hadn't seen one as we were heading back to the parking lot. Naturally, since I was shepherding a four-year old and her 6 year old brother, I was bringing up the rear with the kids.

As we headed down the path toward the parking lot, Ellen stopped and said "I think that's the kingfisher". Sure enough, it was a gorgeous Green Kingfisher, sitting in full sunlight over the river about 30 yards away. We called the group back so that everyone could see it!

She hasn't quit birding since then; she's a lot better ear birder than I am, for sure!

This will be my last message for a while. I'm headed to Scotland in a few hours, hopefully to meet up with Louis sometime in August and plot the next conquests of the evil Darwinist Empire. Or maybe we'll just have a beer and haggis...

Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

  2219 replies since Jan. 24 2008,14:26 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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