As of this Sunday, May 12th, we have been here 3 weeks in AZ
It has been a very interesting experience and time has been flying much faster then expected.
We knew that is was a birder destination, but boy it is huge here. It is a totally different world. The majority of them are very friendly and very happy to share their knowledge. Some are total tunnel vision, with one focus only……I don’t know how to describe it, but it is sometimes funny to see. We’ve had people waiting at the gate long before 6:30…..lol It has slowed down some, but you still get them.
So far, out of all the states, we’ve encounter more coming from Oregon and the Pacific NW in general. It is great to talk to fellow Oregonians….grin For out of country, lots of people from the UK. Those are some of the most fun of the birders, love UK humor. Some joke about how all their birds are so boring, so that is why they come to the states.
Right now, my favorite group of birders came from Belgium. There was four gentlemen and they had never seen humming birds before, they were so delighted and had so much enjoyment. We have three feeders for them at the visitor’s center and that day we had like 20-30 humming birds, they spent hours there before even hitting the trails. When ToRn put the spotter on one of our grey hawks, they about ran to the spotter…grin
We are learning but there is so much. Don’t know if we’ve ever be as good as some of them, but we catching on to some of the birds. ToRn is doing much better then me on that, but he is much more observant and quicker on seeing them. We’ve always been interested in all sorts of wildlife and I’ve enjoyed birds, just never to the extent of serious birders.
When we’ve ID birds, we normally went by the first thing we noticed….colors and markings. Well, we’ve learned you just can’t go by that or even start with that. You have to go by shape of tail, wings, beaks, body and talons…all that, then the markings. Markings may change based on age…juvenile and adult and, of course, male and female.
For example the Summer Tanager male is beautiful bright red, while the female is a pretty bright yellow. Now I’m use to the females usually being darker, more brown or grey from the normally more colorful males, but never such an opposite bright color as the male and female Summer Tanager.
We are the type that notice the more colorful birds, humming birds and raptors. We just love hawks, eagles, falcons, owls….those are so cool to us. The Grey Hawks are here very frequently. I got to see one at 5:30am with a nice size lizard in it’s talons. ToRn saw one warn a Red Tail off the other day…..lol
I do love looking out the bedroom window in the morning and seeing a male and female Northern Cardinal. The female is much prettier then we thought she would be. Just love watching her. Then watching the male Vermillion Flycatcher bounce from piece of grass to piece of grass.
Of the humming birds, we’ve seen the Anna (had a family of them in Oregon at our place), Broad-Billed, Violet Crown, Black Chinned and Broad Tail. The Gila Woodpecker is noisy as heck….lol Also have seen the Ladder Back and Acorn Woodpecker. Even got to see an owl the other day, I’ve never seen one in wild before. The Great Blue Heron is really cool to see fly, reminds me of those big clumsy looking sea planes that once they take off, they are so graceful. That is just some of the birds we’ve seen. I know we’ve seen a lot more and I know ToRn probably could ID more, but those are just the ones that I could ID.
At 4000 ft and a creek that has continuous water, there is a lot of wild life here. We run into javelina all the time, even hear them outside of our RV forging a couple of nights. We see white tail deer all the time. The ones here have bigger ears then the ones farther north. Almost like mules. Saw coyotes the other night at sundown, I’ve never seen any with those markings. They had dark grey/black markings and didn’t look as skinny as the ones I’m use to seeing in the Midwest. Unfortunately we haven’t seen the bobcat yet, others have, but not us. =( I so want to see it. And the mountain lion hasn’t been seen since last Nov. That would be TOTALLY cool and out of this world…..grin
ToRn posted this on his facebook the Friday night, it happened about 9:30 pm, and tells what happen the best :
Well that was different.
Wife went to the office to reboot the modem, and as usual Drew cried for mommy over and over. Pauline returns after a few minutes and as normal I mimic Drew’s “mommy cries” for her in the same pitch and frequency as Drew. And as normal we both laugh.
Unlike normal was the coyote crying in a loud response about 30′ from us. Over and over.
That took us by much surprise.
This post got longer then I expected….lol Hubby is working on the pictures, he has a much better eye and unlike me, won’t post them all….only the best. Once he goes through those, he’ll be posting them I’ll close for now and go talk about the town here in my next post.