Birdiing is a big part of my trip and I was excited to see some new birds just within the Museum as well as the ones in the enclosures. But of course I only added the free flying birds to my list. The first was the Gilded Flicker and Gila Woodpecker I had seen the day before. Below is the Gila Woodpecker.
Cactus Wrens were abundant and full of antics and turf squables. I saw several of them carrying nesting material. I noticed that they walk like crows instead of hopping like smaller wrens.
I was excited to find a Verdin in the campground and thus adding a new life bird to my list. I spotted a Northern Mocking bird in with the wolves but because it was so out of context for me I didn't know what it was at first.
One of my favorites for this region is this Curved-billed Thrasher. I think this one has stopped to read the sign.
Black-throated and White Crowned Sparrows were the most abundant.
I found Phainopepla just as I left the museum but it was so back lite it was hard to see. The next morning there was a whole flock of them in the campground. They make me think they are punk rock Cardinals with their spiky black head feathers.
In the Avairy I found a pair of Pyrrhuloxia. The docent said that they were common in her yard but they also interbreed with Northern Cardinal so it is hard to find a pure species.
This pair of Inca Doves were so precious. When I first observed them the one on the left was preening the other one with great care.
I didn't expect to see ducks but here is a group of three Black-billed Whistling Ducks.
There was a special house for Humming Birds and that was one of my favorite places to visit. Right off the bat this little one came so close to my red camera I almost couldn't take a photo.
I did have a bit of trouble getting photos of them in the light so that the brilliant colors would show. Most of them looked like this Costa's Hummingbird.
One of the docets was showing us this humming bird nest. They remove the real eggs from the nest and incubate them and release them in the wild. The egg is then replaced with a fake egg so the female doesn't keep laying eggs. They have to remove them so the Humming Bird House doesn't become overpopulated.
Then there was the Birds of Prey show they have twice a day. Here is photo one of the Harris Hawks that is part of that show. They release these birds and let them fly and hunt on their own but they are so well trained that they return when called.
It was a very good day for birding and I wished I had more time but I still wanted to go to Kitt Peak Observatory and Biosphere 2 before I left Tucson.
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