Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sit Down and Bird!

One Saturday, I headed down to Madera Canyon in search of the Elf Owls reported near the Santa Rita lodge.  I didn't find the owls, but I did see lots of wild bird action going on.....and what was everyone looking at?
Scrub Jay
Could it be the birdseed on the ground?
A dragon eating a noisy dog or child in the woods?
Or were the birds staring at the people staring at them?
The moon over the canyon was perhaps the best sign of something special happening.
But this Acorn Woodpecker could care less.  He was on the feeder getting his fill. 
This Black Headed Grosbeak could care less as well.
Western Bluebird  Lazuli Bunting(thank you Laurence !) So I did see one afterall:)
Well it turns out several of the male Wild Turkeys(or Toms) were putting on a show for the females and everyone was getting a fantastic show.  That's what I love about the never know what is going to happen.  So I didn't get the Elf Owls, but I did get some fancy turkey moves:)
By the way, the best part about all of this was that you could sit and bird at the Santa Rita Lodge.  I've never really seen this before but the lodge has an amazing area for birders to enjoy Madera Canyon's gems.....However, it's all about the exercise as well.  So I parked my car on the bottom on the canyon and walked up the hill.  I don't mind sitting and birding but there has to be some work out involved....otherwise it's what I call cheating:)


  1. Those are handsome Toms indeed.

  2. Great pics, are those turkeys mooning each other?! I'd love to see an Acorn Woodpecker, such an excellent-looking bird :)

  3. Great post, I love all the birds and the turkeys are very cool. Have a great holiday weekend!

  4. Great description! I feel like I was there with you, and it sounds like a good destination for folks who vacation in the area. Great shots of the birds, too!

  5. Hi Chris, love the owls in the last post. And the turkey show and the other birds in this post. I hope you got as good an exercise workout as the photo results. (Did the dragon get the noisy dog?)

  6. Maybe this will blow you away as it did me. Last year when we came back to the states for a visit to my Sisters place in Ocotillo CA, we took the County route S-2 northwest to Scissors Crossing and Banner Grade below Julian which is Hwy 78. Around the area betwwen Agua Caliente Hot Springs and Shelter Valley there is a rather large area of Mesquite Bosque before you get to the Butterfield Stage RV Resort. Once we rounded the bend, there were several large healthy wild Turkeys along the side of the road. I was blown away as I never thought Turkeys would inhabit areas of low desert. But there they were. We didn't take any pictures becuase of the time. Also I wasn't driving otherwise I would have said screw the time.

    Over the past decades these birds have spread everywhere in San Diego Co.

  7. Madera Canyon is such a great area--I hope to return there soon.

    On a quick side note, I believe that blue bird on the feeder is a Lazuli Bunting, one of the most beautiful migrants that we Arizonans are treated to in the summer.

    1. It IS a Lazuli!!!! Laurence, thank you so much. Here I've been looking for it and all along it has been right under my nose! My birding gut isn't strong yet....I felt like the bluebirds were all but gone and yet there was this thank you thank you thank you! the correction.

  8. I like this turkey, i find them so impressive when they open their tails, almost as much as a peacock! beuatiful bird!

  9. Amazing to see wild turkeys - over here the only types are domesticated. Great photos Chris. Hope you get to see the Elf Owls on another occasion.

  10. How lovely and those are nice shots of the turkeys. But I am afraid of them... They chase after people!

  11. What an unusual sight! I can't imagine seeing the wild turkeys like that.

  12. What a beauty that Lazuli Bunting is! It seems so odd to the English eye to see wild Turkeys.


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