Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Stationary Front

Nesting Broad-billed Hummingbird in our garden at El Presidio
Even if they aren't life birds, they are still so very worthy of close study.  For they are "my birds". Of course I don't own them, but I do live in their area. They are the ones I know best.  In my moments of work overload, I pause to inspect and observe spaces that I inhabit each and every day.  

 A break from madness. Balance. Serenity. No worries for tomorrow.  No worries about the stresses of today.  It's about just existing and being a part of our natural world. It provides a clarity of mind during my daily meditation.

Molting Snow Goose at a local park on my way home from work
Birding doesn't have to go beyond your world.  It can happen wherever you are.  Thankfully, we have birds to remind us to pause and reflect. 

Great Horned Owlets at my work site learning how to fly and use the shadows to stay cool
I wait until my students have all left.  Then I take my camera out and check up on our recently fledged owlets.  All are happy and eager to grow up.  An owlet tries to fly but instead runs into a cactus.  A soccer mom standing with me screams, "OH NO!  We need to help that owlet!"  No we don't.  I ask her, "Did you learn how to roller skate or ride a bike on the first try?"

Everything takes time and practice to get right.  Sometimes it's better when we do nothing.  An injured bird is one thing.  But baby birds learning to fly?  Well it can be quite humorous:)  There is always one clutz in the group. 

A female Vermilion Flycatcher on nest
Even the most common birds can delight while I wait for the next big adventure.  A Vermilion Flycatcher nests.  A Zone-tailed Hawk hunts. 

A Zone-tailed Hawk on the hunt
While I watch this rather intimidating hawk, it shakes several of its molting feathers away:) I don't know why but this bird always makes me nervous. The Common Black Hawk is gentle and graceful.  But the Zone-tailed Hawk is a lethal assassin. Those talons are sharp.  If you ever get accidentally close to a nest, you will know.  Just slowly move away.  They will scream at you and fly right above your head until you leave.  Yikes!

And once and awhile a lovely rare migrant makes its way through the state to make for an exciting chase.

American Golden-Plover
For now, I wait.  There's a lot of waiting.  Time and money never seem to coincide.  The more time you have; the less money you make.  And vice versa. 

A very special sparrow-the Rufous-winged Sparrow
So I will study my birds while I wait. And wait for the next big trip. 

Gilded Flicker
While they nest or migrate, I will take notes.  And more notes......memorizing every buzz, chirp and tweet they make.

A migrating Brewer's Sparrow

For now, it's best I leave this male Vermilion Flycatcher to feed his young family.

Next week, the Wrenegades unite for the biggest day ever in Tucson Audubon's fundraising event!  What will we find?  Stay tuned.  You're not going to want to miss this one!  Especially if you're planning on visiting us this summer:)  Until next time......


  1. Wonderful photos! I learn to know new birds, because here in Finland does not have any of these birds.

    1. Finland...that would be a dream! You have lots of other birds I think:)

  2. yes, weall should have the patience to not go always go rushing about, here and far away to see birdsbut be happy waiting and watching the birds around us. You certaily have a lovely selection of great birdsaround you. The Owletis so cute.

  3. Great set of pictures - love that golden flicker.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    1. They tend to be skittish at this particular site, but they are very vocal and don't mind posing....from a distance:)

  4. I haven't seen or heard of most them, brilliant images.

  5. How wonderful to capture the feathers as they are released

  6. Valuable advice Chris. There lots of valuable projects and many ways to get involved with wildlife without travelling far. Some of my best birding is enjoyed close to home.

    Great pictures today, especially those brown sparrows which you kindly identified for me. Now I would like to find that American Golden Plover amongst our "goldies". I'll keep looking.

  7. Good to see the owlets Chris :) Lovely photos as always and one thing I love about birding is that you can do it anywhere. Even if stuck at home you can glance out of the window and observe the birds :)

  8. Hello Chris, great post and awesome birds photos. The hummer and nest is just an amazing sight. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

  9. Beautiful captures Chris.. sometimes we are so busy looking we do miss what's right under our noses :) Not you, you never mis a bird, nice work!

  10. Wonderful shots of the birds.

  11. what a wonderful series of birds. I have once seen a hummingbirds nest. It was in Costa Rica. It was as beautiful as this one is :)

  12. A great post Chris, I can feel the excitement. I have never even heard of the Zone-tailed Hawk before. Thank you for introducing it to me. I remember the hummingbirds on trips out west, magical moments to be in their company. I have never seen one sitting on a nest before but know they are really tiny nests. Can only imagine how small the eggs are.

  13. Any discovery of a hummingbird's nest is a rare and privileged event.

  14. Thanks for sharing your wonderful little hummingbird. Have a great week!

  15. There's a lot to be said for learnig as much as possible about the birds, and other wildlife, close to home rather than concetrating on venturing further to find different species. If I had a hummingbird nesting in my garden I'd never leave home !!! ;-}

    A great post, Chris. My best wishes - - - Richard

  16. We are so spoiled on this lovely planet of ours. Just thinking of the birds alone, the many varieties, their colours and songs, for those who want to see it, beauty is everywhere, even in our own backyards.


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