Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Santa Cruz Flats -- Those Burrowing Owls

Santa Cruz Flats is the most reliable place to find Burrowing Owls in Southern Arizona. Guests the other day found six! I made a pass through and came across this nice pair begging for a photo:

Burrowing Owls
 It was also nice to come across this Coyote -- who took off running as soon as he saw me. I watched him run for a couple hundred yards. Wonderful sight:


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Great Horned Owl

Our resident Great Horned Owls are nesting again. This is the 17th year (that we know of). Here the male sits in the Eucalyptus Tree not far from the nest:

Great Horned Owl

Friday, February 24, 2017

New Wildlife Photos from The Azure Gate B&B

Spring has come early here -- at least the flowers anyway. Here a female Anna's Hummingbird is feeding from them:

Anna's Hummingbird
Spring also means mating season for some wildlife. We have a pair of Cooper's Hawks that nest in our large Aleppo Pine Trees. Here is the female sitting in one of those pines:

Cooper's Hawk
 Coyotes have been yipping away every night. Here a very beautiful one strolls through behind the office:

And of course, cardinals are out and about. Here a male Pyrrhuloxia (Grey Cardinal) singing hoping to find a mate:

Pyrrhuloxia Male

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Catching Up: Phainopepla

The Phainopepla (silky flycatcher) is one of those striking birds of the Southwest. They sit atop a tree, often a mesquite, and sally out 10 to 15 feet, catch a fly, and then return to the same branch. Quite fun to watch. Here are a male and female seen in Sabino Canyon a couple of weeks back. The female is more charcoal grey, while the male is jet black. Both have red eyes and a top-knot.

Female Phainopepla

Male Phainopepla

Monday, February 20, 2017

Catching Up: Cactus Wren

Many birds are so common I don't think about taking a photo anymore.  Obvious examples are Mourning Doves and Gambel's Quail that wander our property by the dozens. Even the Cactus Wren has become one of those birds. Yet, occasionally, the setting or the lighting or some unconscious impulse begs a photo. Such is the case with today's photo of a Cactus Wren taken in Sabino Canyon:

Cactus Wren

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Catching Up: Savannah Sparrow

Just a note to mention that we had our first visitor from Angola, which makes it 130 countries around the world that have visited this blog. I find it encouraging that people from countries with political, religious, cultural, and language differences have one thing in common -- a love of nature and wildlife.


This Savannah Sparrow was hanging out at the shore of Lake Cochise which is in the middle of desert grasslands -- the perfect setting for many sparrows.

Savannah Sparrow

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Catching Up: Rufous Winged Sparrow

The Rufous Winged Sparrow is uncommon in the United States, typically only found in Southern Arizona. In this case, about 10 miles from the US/Mexico border at Patagonia Lake:

Rufous Winged Sparrow

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Catching Up: Rufous Backed Robin

The Rufous Backed Robin is a very rare visitor from Mexico. When seen here it is always reported. There are two places that attract it, Catalina State Park and a particular home in Santa Cruz flats that has a pomegranate tree which is where I photographed this one a couple of weeks ago.

Rufous Backed Robin

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Catching Up: Ruby Crowned Kinglet

Winter is the best time for the Ruby Crowned Kinglet in Southern Arizona. Here one at Patagonia Lake:

Ruby Crowned Kinglet

Friday, February 10, 2017

Catching Up: Red Tailed Hawk

Here  a very cooperative Red Tailed Hawk taken at near Lake Cochise in Willcox, Arizona. It is interesting all the different plumage variations of the Red Tailed Hawks in the Southwest.

Red Tailed Hawk

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Catching Up: Hammond's Flycather

Patagonia Lake is an excellent year round birding site. And while I missed the Green Kingfisher I went to find, I didn't leave without some nice photos. Here a Hammond's Flycatcher:

Hammond's Flycatcher

Monday, February 6, 2017

Catching Up: Palm Warbler

The first Great Find of 2017 the rare to Arizona Palm Warbler. There have been only 30 Palm Warblers reported in Arizona since reporting began several decades ago, so this was a nice find. Sometimes to find a rare bird you have to hike 2 or 3 miles up a mountain (like the Tufted Flycatcher in Ramsey Canyon). Other times it is in a Municipal Park, such is the case with the Palm Warbler which was photographed in Veteran's Municipal Park in Green Valley, Arizona.

The Pam Warbler was foraging around by walking and hopping on the ground looking for insects. It was with four Mountain Bluebirds.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Catching Up: Orange Crowned Warbler

Today, the Orange Crowned Warbler taken at Santa Cruz Flats. Typical of warblers, eating upside down:

Orange Crowned Warbler

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Catching Up: Lark Bunting

Here we have Lark Buntings sitting atop a cholla cactus. Love the background:

Lark Bunting