“Birding won’t be the same in Arizona,” Ric warned me as we pulled away from Texas.
He’s right in the sense that we don’t have experts to turn to, but there just as many interesting and diverse species to be seen. Our first morning here, I awoke to what sounded like someone swinging on a squeaky gate.
“What the heck is that?” I asked glancing out the window. There on an antenna, two rigs over, sat an oversized wren singing its heart out, the black of its throat expanding with each release of sound. I discovered it to be the Cactus wren, the state bird of Arizona. He has become our concierge here, showing up every morning to announce the start of the day.
Every evening around supper time, a pair of House finches replace the wren on the antenna outside my window. They have a sweet song, and I love the splash of colour on the male’s face and neck, so I decided to try to capture a photo of the two of them, but as you can see, he was not impressed. Or, maybe I happened by right in the midst of a domestic dispute?
Driving through the mountains, there are numerous areas to pull over and take a picture. Naturally, these are picturesque areas, where the mountains or valleys play a starring role, but I kept seeing this black bird with its funny little tufted hairdo and bright red eyes. Apparently found anywhere there are mistletoe bushes, the Phainopepla is a tropical bird and part of the group known as the Silky Flycatchers.
Also spotted in a bush, just off the paved look out trail, was a pair of songbirds, with distinctive head markings. These were Black-throated sparrows. Is this not an elegant look for a sparrow. Very impressive, I’d say.
In one outing, we came upon a lake, where three or four photographers were obviously onto something. Approaching carefully, we found the objects of their attention: two pairs of cardinals. When I think of cardinals, I think of bright red blotches against white snow on deep green cedar bushes. As our cardinals don’t migrate, I was surprised to find this bird having a spa day in Arizona.
Well, that’s it for the birds today; I’m sure there will be more to follow. In the meantime, we are headed to Sedona soon, and have booked our own spa treatments (no mud). I’m excited for that!
(Featured image is a cormorant at the spa.Birds are sweet to me, so I’ve included this post in The Daily Post photo challenge.)