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US birding update in the California desert


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@@marg I'm just in awe of your photos, since like @@Tom Kellie and @@Kitsafari that there were such beautiful birds in California.

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  • 3 months later...
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  • marg

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I am tardy in posting but last evening had another first!  So, catching up will be done later.  Just before dinner I looked out and saw a bird and thought that it was probably a hawk.  No.  It was a P

We take our own golf carts out on the course.  So, rather than have a person next to me I sometimes bring a camera.  Two days ago I stopped to take a photo of a squirrel.  Then spotted some little bir

Maybe I would be a better golfer if I was not always looking for birds!  In this case I heard it and had to look hard before it was my turn to hit again.  I hear one often but cannot always find it.  

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SUCCESS! My last observation of a successful sighting and fledge of a Red-tailed Hawk was seven years ago. For several years I spotted a nest in one of the palm trees behind a green. In my golf cart travels, and I go everywhere in my cart, I would look and wait. One year the nest was blown down in a strong wind. One year the ravens got into the nest and a juvenile hawk was found dead on the ground below the nest. Several months ago I spotted twigs and branches up in one of the palm trees. I watched and waited, worried after each big wind. An adult was seen on the nest and occasionally flying around. Then a head and then a juvenile sitting up in the nest. Two days ago I took these photos... in the nest, leaving the nest, unhappy with me and a Western Kingbird on a branch, flying away. While writing this my husband said that there was something floating in the pool. I just pulled out a little mockingbird. It came from a nest in the yard next door and must have been in flight training. With the ravens being such a menace, then to down. It is a shame and not easy becoming an adult bird here in the desert.

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Peter Connan

Lovely series!

 

Is there nothing one can do about crows and ravens? I must have seen several hundred in the last 24 hours.

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  • 2 weeks later...
marg

an update and sad news. The bird in the last series of photos was an adult. Late last week I spotted this....

 

Then last weekend we had very strong winds. I checked Saturday afternoon and everything was okay. Monday morning when I went by most of the nest was gone and there were no signs of life in the tree. I did find a downey feather on the ground.

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marg

@@Peter Connan...ravens are a real menace. This time of the year we see them being chased by smaller birds just trying to protect their nests.

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offshorebirder

Sorry to hear the sad news about the hawk nests @@marg

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marg

another first sighting.....Last Sunday I was in our back yard and spotted what I thought was a hawk being harassed by two ravens. Got the binos and found the "hawk" sitting on a chimney. But it was not a hawk. It was a Turkey Vulture. Went inside to grab a camera and could only get it in flight.

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  • 7 months later...

It's time for a last update this year.  I was very sad after the loss of the Red-tailed Hawk nest and nestling.  But, there is a happy story with a Cooper's Hawk.  It is interesting that the Red-tails build their nests in taller trees where they are exposed to both the wind and the ravens.  Cooper's Hawks build their nests in more protected trees and areas.  Hidden away this summer was a nest with three nestlings.  Three successes!  The photos were taken in a two week period

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It has been quiet here bird wise but the ones that we always hear first then see are the Common Ravens.  They are here all year. and are everywhere.  But, there is a first photo....it's Nuttall's Woodpecker.  They are heard pecking away in the palm trees and always too far away.  This one flew into our yard early one morning as I was outside waiting for the newspapers.

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  • 7 months later...

Barbecuing is for the birds!  Several times in the last month I have gone out to bbq and had to go back into the house to get a camera.  First photo is on a cactus in the neighbor's yard...a female Northern Oriole with a male House Finch waiting.  Next, a male Northern Oriole,  a Black-chinned Hummingbird and a California Towhee.  Many of our birds have gone since the weather got so hot.  Unfortunately the Ravens remain...forevermore.

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Peter Connan

Lovely birds!

 

Shouldn't it be starting to cool down?

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@Peter Connan...it's a little bit cooler, days and nights.  But we are ready for a break and leave for Zambia tomorrow.:)

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Kitsafari

@marg have a great time in your return to Zambia! 

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@Kitsafari...thanks!  We plan these trips so far in advance that is seems like the day will never come.  But, today is the day!

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Peter Connan

Enjoy the trip!

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  • 9 months later...

and the game drives continue....from inside the house or being in the yard.  Snowy Egrets fly by and I dash out the door with a camera.  Then, some months ago I looked out a window and saw a Cooper's Hawk sitting on the wall.  It was not until I looked at the photo on my Mac that I saw it had something in its talons.  I was able to get it, but do not know what bird lost a life.

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and in my golf cart after dinner out on the golf course which is adjacent to the desert.  It is a beautiful time of the day to go exploring.  Vermilion Flycatcher, Red-tailed Hawk and a White-winged Dove.

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Last winter we had visitors that I had not previously seen here...Buffleheads.  Then, this spring a female Ring-necked Duck.

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  • 5 months later...

more firsts, just trying to catch up.....  

     Hermit Thrush on the patio

     Wilson's Snipe in our yard

     Western Bluebird in nearby tree and almost always in the shade

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Marg's Diner...

     Greater Roadrunner

     Great Egret

     Black Phoebe

     Green Heron, no luck for this one

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But the best customer of all is the Black Phoebe.  Here every day and often.

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michael-ibk

Love the Roadrunner!

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Kitsafari

finally catching up with ST threads - great shots of BIFs and of the black phoebe!

 

 

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  • 3 months later...

and Marg's Diner is still open for business.. Black Phoebe

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Anna's Hummingbird

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