Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Golden Opportunities

Female Phainopepla
When one bird is found, another is just waiting to be discovered.  Of course along the way, previously discovered birds continue to present themselves in better light and require another photo.
Western Bluebirds
I'm still waiting for better shots of the Western Bluebirds.  Of course there were lots of them flying around this mesquite but nature doesn't really care if you get the shot or not.  You get them when you can and so I wait for that better Bluebird shot.
Male Phainopepla
Now while one bird may not be ready for their pictures, some sit perfectly in the right light.
Northern Mockingbird
And even though I may have better pictures, who can resist taking more postcard perfect pictures!??  It's not everyday we pass by the Phainopepla population:)
And on this day, we'd work hard for our new and old discoveries.  But they were all worth it!  And we got a great walk on top of it:)
Female Broad bill Hummingbird
In the beginning of this post, I mentioned finding one bird and then looking for another new one.  I had discovered what I still think was a Golden Eagle the previous day but didn't have enough observation time with the bird to call it.  Several other "pro" birders felt confident and called the shot.  Coming up this month, I plan on getting better shots of not only the Golden Eagles but the Bald Eagles in New Mexico.   But on this day at Sabino, we were able to observe two wonderful eagles together.  It was amazing.  I'm really learning flight patterns and looking for those field marks.
Golden Eagle
The Rock Wren below sounds like a police whistle.  I had heard it and counted it before but was never able to get the shot.  Today the opportunity would arise.  But this photographer has to remember where he was going while trying to capture this bird.  I lost myself behind the camera and when I came back to reality, I discovered I was on a rock ledge with a pool of nasty water 2 feet below me!  That would have been nasty.
Rock Wren
And another sparrow would present itself on this day. In 1886, the Rufous winged Sparrow was considered extremely rare where before it had been VERY common.  At one point it was considered extinct until 1936 when the species was rediscovered. Some of these birds held on and today, their populations are once again expanding however slowly.   Loss of habitat as a result of overgrazing and urban development is believed to have had the greatest effect on populations.  They are considered a treasure by many birders as they are still uncommon.  In fact when I posted the shots on my Facebook, several birders proclaimed that we did indeed have a good day:) Yeah for us, but I hope this bird  becomes common once again.
Rufous-winged Sparrow
This guy grabbed my attention while Kathie was snapping shots of a Rock Wren and Black-throated Sparrow getting into a tiff.  Golden opportunity.
Whether it's an "old" bird or "new" one, it's still fun observing the world of birds.  It's a fantastic world. All you need is patience and a good eye.
Black-throated Sparrow

It also helps when your birding buddy is shorter:)  More tomorrow.....


  1. Really nice to see eagles. Come to the North Rim this summer for Western Bluebirds.

  2. You seem to have so many of these golden opportunities and I can imagine you sorting out all the birds you were able to take pictures of in your by the day growing bird "encyclopedia."

  3. Wow! So many different species of birds to admire on your post.Interesting to see how much darker in colour the male Phainopepla is in comparison to the light grey female.They are wonderful captures.

  4. So many great shots, Chris! You and Kathie are quite a team! The Rufous-winged Sparrow is beautiful. It always great to here that a species thought to be extinct has made a comeback!!!

  5. I have really been wanting to see the Western Bluebirds and the Golden Eagle. Wonderful post and birds, Chris. Have a great day and happy birding!

  6. Very nice bird pictures Chris..... i like this !

    Greetings, Joop

  7. Wonderful to see the wide variety of species you are seeing Chris captured in your lovely photos :)

  8. you sound so happy
    love the usual

  9. Love all of the different species on your blog today Chris.

  10. Podziwiam Cię za świetne zdjęcia tylu różnych ptaków. Pozdrawiam cieplutko.
    I admire you for so many great photos of various birds. Regards warm.

  11. Your bird shots always amaze me and the last pic is so cool! :-)

  12. Your joyful discoveries just shine through your work Chris. So good to see and hear your enthusiam for the work at hand. It seems your Golden Eagles were some find too. I can't wait to meet your little buddy soon.

  13. Great series!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  14. Very sweet shots. I love the Rock Wren with the rim lighting the best.

  15. Really nice post and images! I miss seeing the southwestern birds! We lived in west Texas for awhile and sure enjoyed the wonderful variety and beauty. Thank you for bringing up some great memories.

  16. ¸.•°♡⊱彡

    Passei para admirar essas belas fotos.
    Brasil ✿ °•.¸

    (⁀‵⁀,) ✫✫✫
    .•°*”˜˜”*°•.✫✫✫MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  17. Lots of great little birds, Chris. Love the black-throated Sparrow.... He looks a little like our Chickadees... Love the Phenopeplas... Have never seen them before.

    Thanks for sharing... Merry Christmas.

  18. I'm glad to see you're still so passionate and obviously enjoying your birding adventures! So many birds in this post I've never seen. I particularly love the male Phainopepla.

  19. I love all of these shots, such sweet little creatures..always love to see them Chris.


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