Archive for Critters

Curve Billed Thrasher

Curve Billed Thrasher

I was up on the hill behind the house looking at some of the vegetation up there when a Curve Billed Thrasher lit atop the bird block feeder. I had my camera and 300mm lens with me so I took several shots of the bird before it flew away.

Wikipedia has this information on this interesting species:

The curve-billed thrasher (Toxostoma curvirostre) is a medium-sized mimid that is a member of the genus Toxostoma, native to the southwestern United States and much of Mexico. Referred to as the default desert bird, it is a non-migratory species. Several subspecies have been classified since 1827, though there is no consensus on the number. Allopatric speciation is believed to have played a major role in the variations of the curve-billed. It shares striking similarities in appearance with another Toxostoma member, Bendire’s thrasher. Nevertheless, it is recognized for its grey color and sickle-shaped bill. It generally resides in desert regions of the United States and Mexico, but can inhabit areas predominately populated by humans.

The demeanor of the curve-billed has been described as “shy and rather wild”, but it allows humans to view it closely. It is very aggressive in driving out potential threats, whether competitors for food or predators of its chicks. The curve-billed thrasher sometimes mimics several other species, though not to the extent of other mimids. It has a variety of distinctive songs, and this extensive repertoire of melodies has led it to be known as cuitiacoache (songbird) in Mexico.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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Saguaro Birdhouse

Saguaro Birdhouse

When we originally had the big saguaro cactus transplanted to our property, there was only one hole in the upper arms. Now, there are four (three visible in this photo). I spotted a woodpecker boring the hole on the right the other day.

Saguaros, common to the Sonoran desert regions of Arizona are a habitat for several types of birds. Cactus Wrens, Dwarf Owls, Woodpeckers, Verdins and a variety of other birds call the saguaro their home for raising their chicks in the springtime. We’re hoping that some of them will make the big cactus their own.

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Cactus Wren

Cactus Wren

I went up on the hill behind our house to hang up a birdseed block and bell yesterday. I had my Canon EOS Rebel SL1 camera with me fitted with a 75-300mm lens. This little guy perched on a rock near the feeders so I snapped this photo of him. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Off-Leash at the Dog Park

off-leash-dog-park.jpg

Since the weather has become mild compared to the summer months, we are now able to take the dogs to the Wickenburg Dog Park again. Both Cabela and Beethoven love to run around the park sniffing and doing their thing.

This photo is one of the rare times when I could get them both in the same frame as they explored a chair under one of the shade trees. Most of the time, they are running in different directions looking for whatever the park grounds might offer a dog.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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Dozing in the Doggie Bed

Cabela’s Doggie Bed

The Daddy sneaked up behind me and took this picture of me napping in my doggie bed on the love seat in the great room. We are in the “tweener” months when it is still warm enough to sleep without blankets.

Click on me to make me big.

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White Wing Dove on the Saguaro

Dove on Saguaro

I was looking for rainbows in the area since the rain was falling all around us. When I went out of the courtyard, I saw this dove light atop our big saguaro cactus. We have several species of dove that come around; mourning doves, the most common, white wing doves, not as many and collared doves, few and far between. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Nest in the Palo Verde

Nest in the Palo Verde

We discovered a bird nest in our little palo verde tree by the driveway down near the road. It might be a hummingbird or verdin or other small bird since the entrance to the nest is rather small. When we first started building our house here, we found a verdin nest in this tree.

We haven’t noticed any activity in this nest, having only noticed it a couple of weeks ago, probably after the nesting season for this year. Maybe the little bird will come back next time so we can watch what happens. Click on the image to enlarge.

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