Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Boyce Thompson Arboretum April 29 2015

Back on the trail!!!
Here at
the Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park in Superior Arizona , the largest and oldest botanical garden in the state of Arizona. Great place for floral and fauna, also to see and add to your  bird life list.  I saw lots of Humming birds but they were so quick I didn't get much for photos. But I was able to add to my bidders life list.

Here is a common Warbler for the Western U.S. the "Audubon's"Yellow Rump. The eastern U.S. see's the Myrtle Yellow rump. When I see the Myrtle Yellow Rump  in the Mid-west it means the migration has started, this species of bird is a hardy one, they can eat berries and other food sources if insects are scarce . And are the last hold outs during migration when the cold  fronts strikes. There were  a lot of Audubon's  at the Boyce Thompson which makes me believe that my timing is early here at the Arboretum, I suspect there will be a much bigger variety when we are further into May after I leave.
Yellow Breasted Chat
Here is a life list bird for me a Yellow Breasted Chat. This bird the largest of the New World warblers , it really lives up to it's name, it is  a very loud, very chatty but a very shy species of bird. I kept hearing it but couldn't get a look at it . They like dense skulking vegetation .  And at the Boyce  Thompson you will find all kinds of bird habitat. I  gave up on this particular one Chat  and was heading back when I found another thick patch of shrub like vegetation and there were at least three different Chats calling back and forth so I set up in shaded area and waited it wasn't long when a Chat came out of the  dense thicket  perching above it all and gave me a reasonable shot, with a very Yellow breast and its size seems right for as loud as it is, it called and called it  would get a reply and look towards the copy cat and call some more, finally I seen this shy bird and added to my  life list.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Back on the Trail Hayden Prairie..Hayden

Hayden Prairie

Back on the trail March 2 2015. I have been reading reports of Golden Eagles , possibly Snowy Owls , Red poles here at Hayden prairie.  I can see  why, what  a vast open area. I traveled west on highway 9 and turned North on highway 63 ended up around Lime Springs and Chester. I saw plenty of Whitetail deer, Pheasant, but no Red poles, Snowy Owls or Golden Eagles. I did see 2 Rough leg Hawks. This particular Rough leg I watched on 50th st not a lot of traffic to disturb it. I spotted it
 on the ground  then it flew up to a utility pole.

Rough Leg

Rough legs are found in the Arctic and Sub-arctic of North America  and Europe,  which make them circumpolar birds that breed in the Arctic tundra. Males seem to migrate more South in winter, females stay more North.
I always see Rough legs in North East Iowa in Winter, I watch as they hover and then dive to the ground after a rodent of some kind. Males can be darker then females although there are darker morphs (variations) in plumage. Rough legs are named for the feathers that go all the way to their feet this helps to conserve heat.
These hawks like open habitat for hunting, but will also hunt from a utility poles, like  this Hawk was doing he would return to the same perch every time. They feed primarily on small rodents including mice, shrews and voles.