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October Yard Birds-Dragoons Foothills

Yard List = 144 species Scaled Quail, Turkey Vulture, Northern Harrier, Cooper's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, White-winged Dove, Mourning Dove, Greater Roadrunner, Western Screech-Owl, Great Horned Owl, Common Poorwill, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Anna's Hummingbird, Rufous/Allen's Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Gray Flycatcher, Say's Phoebe, Western Kingbird, Loggerhead Shrike, Common Raven, Barn Swallow, Rock Wren, Bewick's Wren, House Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Northern Mockingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher, MacGillivray's Warbler, Green-tailed Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Canyon Towhee, Botteri's Sparrow, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Brewer's Sparrow, Clay-colored Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Black-throated Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Pyrrhuloxia, Blue Grosbeak, Lazuli Bunting, Scott's Oriole, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, House Sparrow.

October Butterflies–Dragoon Mts

Pipevine Swallowtail, Black Swallowtail, Giant Swallowtail, Checkered White, Southern Dogface, Cloudless Sulphur, Tailed Orange, Sleepy Orange, Dainty Sulphur, Marine BluleWestern Pygmy-Blue, Reakirt's Blue, Palmer's Metalmark, American Snout, Monarch, Queen, Variegated Fritillary, Bordered Patch, Common Buckeye, Painted Lady, White Checkered-Skipper, Orange Skipperling, Arizona Giant-Skipper

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Winter Yard Bird Blahs

(click on a photo to enlarge)

February 23, 2013

So much for keeping this blog up-to-date! I have a million excuses, none of which is important enough to mention, just chalk it up to being lazy. Perhaps the dullness of yard birds this winter has contributed to my blog lethargy. It’s been the least interesting winter since we moved here five years ago.

January still found the American Kestrel family hanging around. They occasionally made passes at the feeder birds but I never saw a successful catch occur. One even had the audacity to visit the platform feeder which sent the House Finches helter-skelter. Mostly they like to land on the old agave stalks placed conveniently around the feeder area. Lucky for me, it was the handsome male that came the closest. Sometime in January they all disappeared.

American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)

American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)

American Kestrel (Falco sparverius), male

One very successful hunter this winter has been the Loggerhead Shrike. There have been several. Perhaps the absence of  Cooper’s Hawks had something to do with it. I haven’t seen a Cooper’s Hawk in ages after several winters of daily “breakfast” visits. We witnessed several “takes” including a House Sparrow (they didn’t take enough of those though!). I didn’t realize shrikes were so adept at catching small birds, but they are very good.

Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)

Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)

Continuing regular visitors include Cactus Wrens, Curve-billed Thrasher, Black-chinned and Rufous-crowned Sparrows, Canyon Towhees, Pyrrhuloxia, Lesser Goldfinches (although in very low number this year) and lots of quail, both Gambel’s and Scaled which have taken to “high-altitude” feeding on the sunflower tray feeder. I’ve seen as many as 29 Scaled Quail march into the feeder area at one time.

Cactus Wren (Campylorynchus brunneicapillus)

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus)

Curve-billed Thrasher (Toxostoma curvirostre)

Curve-billed Thrasher (Toxostoma curvirostre)

Black-chinned Sparrow (Spizella atrogularis)

Black-chinned Sparrow (Spizella atrogularis)

Rufous-crowned Sparrow (Aimophila ruficeps)

Rufous-crowned Sparrow (Aimophila ruficeps)

Canyon Towhee (Melozone fusca)

Canyon Towhee (Melozone fusca)

Pyrrhuloxia (Cardinalis sinuatus)

Pyrrhuloxia (Cardinalis sinuatus), male

Lesser Golfinch (Carduelis psaltria)

Lesser Golfinch (Carduelis psaltria), female

Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata)

Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata)

In mid-February, thing picked up. A few Pine Siskins are coming in with the small goldfinch flock and some Chipping Sparrows have shown up. I never thought I’d only see Chipping Sparrows on a sporadic basis in winter. Then last week a single Lincoln’s Sparrow appeared and best of all, the seldom seen Sage Thrasher has been around for several days coming for water. Definitely “best” bird of the past two months.

Pine Siskin (Carduelis pinus)

Pine Siskin (Carduelis pinus), male

Lincoln's Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii)

Lincoln’s Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii)

Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)

Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)

Sage Thrasher (Oreoscoptes montanus)

Sage Thrasher (Oreoscoptes montanus)

March is on the horizon and by the end of the month, species in the yard should almost double. I’m ready.

Published by Arlene Ripley on February 23rd, 2013 Tagged Arizona, Birds, Cochise County, Dragoon Mountain Foothills, Home

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