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.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Owls & Hummingbirds

Just finished up the Owling trip with High Lonesome Bird Tours with 11 participants. We birded the Huachucas and Chiricahuas for 7 days. The owl activity was waning due to babies fledgling beyond the nest cavity which caused the parents to diminish their vocalizations, making them more difficult to find. Next year's trip will be adjusted to early July to catch them at the right time. Meanwhile, we were able to have great views of Whiskered, Western Screech Owls, Mexican Spotted Owls with young, Burrowing Owls, Great Horned. It appears that the Elf, Pygmy and Flammulated Owls nested early, based on previous years.

This trip's group was wonderful and cohesive. We had a celebrity on this trip, Sandy Komito of "The Big Year" fame. He is the person that Owen Wilson's character was based on. He was a wonderful story teller and quite the character.
Sandy Komito

Elegant Trogons were quietly feeding their young along Southfork trail in the Chiricahuas along with Sulpher bellied Flycatchers, Western Wood Pewees, Painted Redstarts & Hepatic Tanagers. The Flame colored Tanager female abandoned her nest due to unfertilized eggs, due to the loss of her mate. Fortunately, the monsoons have hit the area, bringing out some interesting characters like the female Tarantula.

After birding in the Chiricahuas, we made a stop at the USFWS Leslie Canyon Refuge Headquarters where we were shown a local resident, this Gila Monster. (No one was injured in the photographing encounter)

Hummingbird numbers were down due to the fact that many flowers popped up along mountain edges, inaccessible to humans, allowing the birds to feed on them rather than feeders, a result of the 2011 fire.

I am optimistic that August will bring more Hummers from the north, Rufous, Allen's, Calliope, Costa's and Broad tailed Hummingbirds. As mentioned we experienced wonderful monsoon rains in the Huachucas. However, Rodeo, Portal and the Chiricahuas has not been so lucky as the rains keep missing them.

My next trip is Hummingbirds of Southeast Arizona with High Lonesome Bird Tours starting August 18-25, 2012. Stay tuned for the results of that trip here on my blog.

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