About Me

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Sandia Park, New Mexico, United States
I have been birding for 41 years. My favorite clients are those who are interested in birds, watching them and even learning about their behavior, not just checking birds off a life list. I enjoy people and want to have fun while birding. As a bird watcher since 1972, I have acquired a broad knowledge of birds, birdsong, habitat and behavior. One of the things I enjoy most about taking people out birding is teaching my clients how to identify birds and how to recall their song. We were in Asheville, NC for 5 years, and Bisbee, AZ 10 years before that. Currently we are house hunting in New Mexico.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Owling 2012

In preparation for my July 21st Owling Tour in the Huachucas and Chiricahuas of SE Arizona, 3 of my favorite clients and I investigated every cavity in every Sycamore tree to be found. We discovered many nesting owls. Our very
first morning of birding we were
provided with a nest cavity with a pre
fledging N. Mountain Pygmy Owl. (shown here courtesy Mary Kay Gardner)
These owls feed very early in the morning and late evening before dusk. We felt confident that by returning that evening we would get some looks at the parents feeding this owlet. When we did return that evening we found that the owlet had left the cavity, and was branching. After a few photographs, an Arizona Gray Squirrel came up to the owlet and quickly swiped him off the branch. He floated to the ground right before our eyes. We picked up the owlet and photographed him before setting it back up on a branch out of the parking lot, where it had landed, close to the cavity. Fortunately, the parent came in and called to it before we left, so we reassured that the parent knew where the young bird was.




Due to the recent fires in the Huachucas, I am convinced that due to habitat loss, birds, particularly owls are concentrating in areas that were unaffected by the fire to continue successful breeding.

Although these clients were not interested in seeing the Mexican Spotted Owl, or Western Screech Owl, as they had been seen in previous years, a nesting pair of Whiskered Screech Owls were found & photographed at South Fork.
Whiskered Screech Owl provided by Mary Kay Gardner

Elf Owl, Great horned Owl and Barn Owl were also added to the owl list for this trip. To stray from the owls, we had also found a nesting pair of Apache Goshawks, and my clients experienced the fierceness of a protective, nesting, female who dive bombed us several times before we left the area.






 Stay tuned for the results of the July 2012 Owling Trip that I will be co leading for High Lonesome Bird Tours.

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