Archive for Critters

Catch and Release

Trapped

Release

One of the little antelope ground squirrels in the area has been making itself a bit of a pest by digging up Verna’s bulbs and roots in the courtyard. Earlier today, I set up the Havahart small animal trap with a piece of bread and peanut butter for bait. It wasn’t more than a half hour later that Cabela let us know the trap had been sprung.

Ever since we unwittingly caught a cactus wren in a rat trap by the trash barrels, it has been our policy to catch and release the pests. We caught this little guy in the courtyard and released it at Tractor Supply, about a mile away. That should work to keep it away from Verna’s garden for a while.

Click on either image to enlarge.

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Low-Flying Turkey Buzzard

Turkey Buzzard

While we were outside today enjoying the warm spring weather, a turkey buzzard dropped down from its normal higher soaring altitude and buzzed the back yard. I got this shot with my Canon SL1 EOS and the 300mm telephoto lens.

We call them “buzzards,” but the nomenclature “vulture” is more official for Cathartes aura. This is an excerpt from Wikipedia:

The turkey vulture received its common name from the resemblance of the adult’s bald red head and its dark plumage to that of the male wild turkey, while the name “vulture” is derived from the Latin word vulturus, meaning “tearer”, and is a reference to its feeding habits. The word buzzard is used by North Americans to refer to this bird.

The bird didn’t stay long and swooped away on its quest for desert cadavers. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Early Spring

Early Spring

We have been fortunate to have had spring-like weather since mid-January. The cactus flowers are blooming and the desert critters are out and about acting as though it were spring.

In the composite photo above, a curve billed thrasher looks around while sitting atop one of the bird feeders, a courtyard cactus is having many flowers and a house finch is trying out the new bird feeder in the mesquite tree in the back yard.

Moving to Arizona was one of the best things we’ve ever done. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Dusk in the Wash

feeding-time.jpg

At dusk every evening these days, we take a bunch of bread, veggies and fruit up to the retention wall in the back yard and toss the goodies out for the quail, rabbits and other creatures that inhabit our back yard. The rabbits come running when they see us and begin devouring the stuff. The Quail, being a bit more wary, will snap up bread pieces and run up the hill with them without getting too close to us humans. A few of the bunnies will come very close to us in order to get the goodies. However, when there is a sharp noise or other disturbance, they quickly retreat to shelter in the underbrush.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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Backyard Birds

Backyard Birds

Hummingbird in a Mesquite Tree, Cactus Wren on the Seed Bell and a Pair of Quail on the Seed Cake. Click on the image to enlarge.

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The Dog Park

The Dog Park

Now that Second Spring is upon us and cooler temperatures prevail (only 92°), we have resumed our periodic visits to the Wickenburg Dog Park. Bay Bay and Cabela were off-leash for the duration of our visit today as we walked a couple of laps around the park.

We will likely visit the dog park again when the weather permits as it likely will during the fall and winter months and into spring. As you can see from the composite photo above, we all enjoy ourselves when we visit the dog park.

Photos courtesy of Verna. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Black Butterfly Browsing Red Bird Flowers

Butterfly Browsing Flowers

As the summer season winds to a close, the Red Bird of Paradise Flowers continue to attract hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. I captured this lovely black butterfly in my camera as the little critter lit on one of the flowers in the courtyard.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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