Borrego Springs, CA

Monday, March 29, 2010

A bird lovers post

If you don't give a fig about birds, I'd suggest you move on to another blog.  This post is just about birds!  After yesterday's fiasco with the flash card with the camera, I made up for it today.  I was up and out fairly early this morning to scout out locations to take my bird tours on.  I found a back up location for the golden cheeked warbler, and tomorrow I'll work on the black capped vireo.

I spent the afternoon in my "back yard" photographing my neighbors.  There have been large numbers of chipping sparrows at the feeders since I got here.  In Texas, you have to look closely at these chippers, because there can be another species mixed among them.

This is a clay colored sparrow.  It looks very similar to a chipping sparrow.  Another one of those LBJs (little brown jobs).

This is not the best of pictures, but it does demonstrate the difference between the black vulture (at the top) and the turkey vulture.  Notice the difference in wing patterns.

As I sat outside, it wasn't long before this black chinned hummingbird arrived to visit the feeder.

In the proper light, you can see that purple border to it's black chin.  This little dude took a drink, and then went on to do a courtship display for a lurking female.  The display involves the male flying a series of open U shaped acrobatics that occur in an air space of about twelve feet.  He certainly did soar his heart out.  It was so cool to watch.

Afterwards, the seemingly unimpressed female came over for a sip.  There are several males around, so she can afford to be picky.  :)

A short time later, a red tailed hawk came out of the woods.

He/she caught a thermal and was soon soaring high above with the vultures.

I had a new visitor to the avian cafe today....a lark sparrow.

What a distinctive facial pattern this bird has!  Notice the central breast spot on an unstreaked breast.

I also had a visit by several cowbirds. This ubiquitous species is the bane of our endangered species. Originally, when buffalo roamed the country, this species followed the herds as they roamed.  Since they didn't spend much time in one place, they developed the habit of laying eggs in other bird's nests since they wouldn't be around to raise their own young.  The female chose nests of smaller birds so that when their eggs hatched, their young could kick out the smaller birds that hatched.  They were successful with this adaptation.  That's the problem.  When they lay their eggs in the nests of golden cheeked warblers or black capped vireos, it really puts an additional stress on these endangered species.

The northern cardinal is the most common "state" bird in the country.

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later,  Judy

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed the pictures. When I think I have finally learned how to tell a hawk from a vulture or something else, I totally forget what to look for.