Saturday, June 9, 2012

Verdin Love

I enjoy birders from outside of Arizona.  They come with hopes of capturing many birds from around our state.  They usually have a list of places they need to go.  Generally, most will find more birds than they had ever hoped for:) And so my story begins with this tiny little Verdin:)
My hummingbird feeder has been losing liquid for quite some time now.  Another nest has been built near a hummer's nest and quite interesting enough, our hummingbird feeders have been popular with the Gila Woodpecker, Verdins, and Anna's Hummingbirds! The problem with these Verdins and Gila Woodpeckers?  They sure like to move the feeders and pour out some juice for their own needs:)
These pictures were taken from my dining room window(my cat's "Plasma TV").  I've been frustrated that quite a bit of the liquid gets all over the sidewalk!  But I rinse it off with a hose and have extra hummingbird juice in the fridge to fill up during the week.
I don't know why but I do enjoy the antics of the Verdin.  They are skittish little creatures and move quickly at the slightest scare.
Now for the out of town birders.  It makes me smile while I'm on a birding mission searching for that rare bird to find others searching for the birds that I take for granted everyday.  For example, the Verdin.  3 men from California were on a bridge with their photo equipment set up excited about some bird off in the distance.  When I see a cluster of people, I become excited myself and move quickly and quietly to the location to check out the action.
They are smiling and laughing like little kids and so I ask, "What do you guys see?"  They excitedly respond, "A VERDIN!!  A VERDIN!!"  I smile to myself and say, "Have fun guys.  Hope you find lots of birds."  I give them some tips to help locate other birds that are nesting etc.  And then I think, maybe I am beginning to cross the line from amateur to something else....?  It's one thing to see a bird, but now I am using my voice and ears to locate calls from various birds.  I didn't think I would get to that stage ever, but it's happening. 
Before going on a search, I now research the bird online and listen to the calls.  I have begun to do this with the Elegant Trogon. This is yet another challenge for myself this summer as they are nesting in Madera Canyon.
But back to the Verdin.  I remember my first time hearing a different voice in my bird garden this spring.  I have gotten used to the sparrows, hummingbirds, mourning doves, thrashers, cardinals and house finches along with their calls.  When I heard the Verdin's voice for the first time, it was distinct and made me focus to attention. That was the first time I understood the value of listening.
Another post is coming up where I used only sound to help located the Yellow Warbler but more on that later.  I don't mind this Verdin messing up the sidewalk because it's a real treat to have a diverse population of birds on the grounds at El Presidio. More tomorrow....


  1. I've always found it easier to hear birds than see them, partly because I'm short sighted, but it seems to me many more birds are audible than visible anyway. Verdins are unfamiliar and exotic to me too.

  2. Lucky you to have these pretty birds nesting so close by. You yard is a great habitat for the birds. The photos are wonderful and I had to laugh at your cats plasma tv.

  3. Lovely photos again Chris. They say familiarity breeds contempt, I think it would be desperately sad if that applied to all the delightful creatures we see most often. When the House Sparrows declined here they suddenly became much more interesting to many people! My golden rule is to never become complacent and to try to never say 'Oh it's only a...' when looking through the binoculars.

  4. Very nice shots Chris...... i like them.

  5. it is a sweet little thing with its blush of yellow.

  6. I really need to start listening more. Don't know many birds from their song and sure it would help.

  7. I live in Chandler. I have Verdin. Here they love the bloom stocks on the night blooming hesperaloe. They also love creasote bushes. I have not seen them on the hummingbird feeders.

  8. This little guy doesn't seem to be impressed by your camera, on the contrary he seems very much at ease! :-) Lovely composition with the red flower in the background! Wishing you a great Sunday, hope you have more sun than us (not difficult though as it rains all the time here...Take care, DeeBee

  9. I love the little Verdins who live in my backyard and they are a welcome visitor to the humming bird feeders also.


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