Archive for Critters

Cabela’s Toys

Cabela’s Toys

The Mama says that I look like I have “Bubba J” teeth when I hold my new squeaky ball in my mouth. I don’t know who that is, but I like to play catch and chase after the toys. Those are the rest of my toys in the bucket under the coffee table.

The Mama got me this ball when she was at the dollar store last week. I like it. Click to make me and the squeaky ball big.

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Live Tree Ornaments

Goldfinch Cardinal

We had one of our spring-like winter days today with mostly clear skies and warmish (not as warm as we like) temperatures. While eating breakfast we could see the birds frequenting the feeders on the little hill behind the RV driveway.

I speculated that some of the birds would hang around after breakfast, so I headed out there with my camera and 300mm zoom lens. I managed to get several shots of the little flying critters including the two above. On the left is a goldfinch and on the right is a cardinal, both males of their respective species. They were both briefly “decorations” on the mesquite tree up there. Click on either image to enlarge.

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More Backyard Birds

Curve Billed Thrasher

Today, like many Mondays, I went up on the knoll behind the house and replenished the bird feeders. We have a Seed Block Cage, a Bell Holder, two large Nyjer Seed Finch Feeders, a smaller Finch Feeder and a Songbird Seed Feeder.

After finishing up on the knoll, the usual avian customers came out to enjoy the fruits of our labor. I got out my Canon EOS with the 300mm zoom lens and captured these three up near the feeders. Top: Curve Billed Thrasher, Bottom Left: A Male Gambel’s Quail and Bottom Right: Abert’s Towhee. The latter of the three, we don’t see very often, but it was availing itself of some of the songbird seeds after it posed in a mesquite tree. Click on any image to enlarge.

Gambel’s Quail Abert’s Towhee

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Getting in the Christmas Spirit

Visiting Santa

On Sunday, Verna and I went down to Tractor Supply and bought a couple of 46lb sacks of dog food to donate to the K9 Konnection folks who rescue and repatriate lost and given up for adoption dogs in our area. They were in need of supplies for their kennels.

While we were there, we visited with Santa Claus, who was on hand to greet visitors and pose for photo. We took advantage and got this shot of us with Santa. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Harris’s Hawk

Hawk in Flight

Perched on Flagpole

I noticed a large bird in the Mesquite tree up by the bird feeders while doing dishes in the kitchen. I dried my hands, grabbed my camera and went out to see what it might be. I took the top photo while this juvenile Harris’s Hawk was in flight departing the bird feeder area.

The bottom photo is of another Harris’s Hawk perched on our flagpole. This bird does not have the juvenile speckled feathers on its breast. It flew off shortly after this photo and joined five other Harris’s hawks on the large power pole and wires across the road from our place. Harris’s Hawks hunt in groups two to seven birds. I guess we have a group that hunts locally now.

Click on either image to enlarge.

Wikipedia says this about these hawks:

This species occurs in relatively stable groups. A dominance hierarchy occurs in Harris’s hawks, wherein the mature female is the dominant bird, followed by the adult male and then the young of previous years. Groups typically include from 2 to 7 birds. Not only do birds cooperate in hunting, they also assist in the nesting process. No other bird of prey is known to hunt in groups as routinely as this species.

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Second Spring Butterfly

Second Spring Butterfly

Every year since we have been here in Arizona we have experienced what the locals (which includes us now) call “second spring.” Around the official end of summer (autumnal equinox) the temperatures become very spring-like and the flora and fauna react accordingly. Flowers open and butterflies and hummingbirds do their thing.

Late this afternoon, I saw a yellow-spotted black butterfly browsing the Red Bird of Paradise shrubs in the courtyard. I was in the great room at the time, so I grabbed my camera and headed out the front door. Luckily, the butterfly kept on doing what it was doing when I first saw it. I snapped a bunch of pictures of which this was probably the best. Click on the image to enlarge.

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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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