|During my weekly count at Reid Park, I capture this cold and wonderful moment|
|The Rosy-faced Lovebird was once considered an exotic bird. Today they number in the tens of thousands around the Phoenix area.|
|the Nanday Parakeets of Tempe, AZ do not show signs of breeding. These birds were escapees who have managed to survive Phoenix's harsh climate|
I needed breeding evidence to seriously consider this request. And by pure accident, we found TWO colonies of Monk Parakeets in an area south of Phoenix. It was like the Holy Grail for me and finally answered the 8 year question that had bothered me for so long. Where did the Arizona Monk Parakeets go?
It is a serendipitous moment that I won't soon forget. I'm supposed to be the "navigator" but everyone knows that I am terrible at it:) Magill asks me, "Where do I turn?" Me, thinking I know the directions, tells her to turn down the wrong road in the wrong direction. Classic me. Then a flock of Mourning Doves flies over her vehicle? NO! WAIT! A flock on Monk Parakeets!!!! We both pull over and gather our whits. It's something we both witness for the first time in Arizona. Monk Parakeets calling from all over the place! We have a moment and witness something very rare and special. There was evidence of breeding as a parakeet flew out carrying a branch to a secret nest on private property. And there was evidence to prove that the colonies were feral/wild as they flew away as I approached them. We are hoping to have the first of our population census at the end of February.
This January, I helped with a CBC count in Pinal with Keith Kamper. Keith had access to private property along the San Pedro river and I was immediately interested.
|a private piece of conservancy land after a fire in 2018 is full of brush piles, perfect for sparrows|
|Blue-throated Hummingbird, Madera Canyon|
|Mexican Jays on a cold day at the Santa Rita Lodge feeders of Madera Canyon|
|Olive Warbler in Madera Canyon|
|a confiding Greater Roadrunner at Sabino Canyon|
|Great Horned Owl nest|
|friend and co-worker Mike secures the box securely against the Ironwood tree without damaging the bark|
|Lucy's Warbler nesting box|
During a moment of anxiety, in the middle of the ridiculous government shutdown, caused by the orange baboon, I needed to breathe and walk in the snow landscape of Madera Canyon. He's a complete idiot. The wall is an ecological disaster that will cause great harm to the wildlife here. AND currently, I have friends who are not getting paid at their National Park Jobs. And the National Parks are getting trashed. It's horrible. I see it. It's not made up. Now I can't even escape it.
So I walked and found this perfect moment. My talented friend Kathie Brown wrote this beautiful poem based on the pic below,
"When sunlight through the forest streams
and plays its little dancing beams
like golden fingers in the creek
this woodland magic makes me seek
the beauty of these Nature places
which soothes my soul and then erases
the worries that the world imposes
on our hearts and mind, exposes
why we need this quiet place,
this woodland glen, this open space,
We leave renewed and refreshed
From all this lovely wildness."
~Kathie Brown, 2019
|rare snow event in Madera Canyon|