As dawn approaches, the daytime raptors need to remind the nighttime raptors to go to bed once their shift ends. The Great Horned Owl likes to get his word in a little longer as the semi-light sky starts to approach. But the Cooper's Hawk doesn't like that, and goes out of it's way to get it's word in.
The Great Horned Owl of course wasn't phased by the the challenge. But the Cooper's Hawk does deserve some credit. It's a brave and bold bird, as are most accipiter style hawks. Even the offspring of Cooper's Hawks are brave, and they learn how to be brave by standing in the urban streets.
While I was walking through a desert in Phoenix, I was surprised to see a Bewick's Wren standing on someone's wall. This bird is usually hard to photograph in the open, but this bird gave me that chance on the wall and on the branch.
At this time of year in the Phoenix area, a double falcon day is always possible. It is the bigger falcons I am referring to, the Prairie and Peregrine. The Prairie flew by me at Tres Rios Wetlands. When I saw it coming over my head, I was shocked at the sight of the bird and I looked at it through my binoculars. I didn't think I could possibly get killer photographs until it was too late. Duh Tommy, you idiot. This photo isn't bad of the Prairie, but it could've been excellent had I lifted my camera instead of my binoculars well before the bird was directly adjacent to me.
In the Phoenix area, other wildlife is often seen. The Coyote is one of those such examples.
The last of the year's snakes are getting ready for hibernation. But some of them are still around. On a recent trip, a pair of mating diamondback rattlers were found. While they were hard to photograph under a dense mesquite, Laurence decided he would just demonstrate the scene of his snake discovery. Laurence's demonstration is good enough to make up for me not photographing the snakes.
The Bell's Sparrows that I searched for with Laurence, Gordon, and Caleb one day weren't showy, and the snakes decided they wanted to compete. The interesting herping at Robbins Butte continued when Caleb suddenly pulled a Gopher Snake out of the saltbush. I thought for the initial second that Caleb was being crazy, but these snakes really are quite harmless. It wasn't a happy snake by any means until Caleb let it go.
As the winter months are approaching, the Osprey numbers are highly increasing. At Tres Rios Wetlands, there have often been as many Ospreys at the Wetlands as 8 through 10 birds. I often find myself keeping immediate taps on as many as five birds.
As one of the biggest birds around, the Great Blue Heron can sometimes hide itself pretty well at the tops of cottonwood trees.
At Tres Rios, Neotropic Cormorant as well as Double-crested Cormorant are seen. They can be told apart in flight with practice, but if the two of them are flying side-by-side, they are very noticeable in the size differences.
Some birds are easy to see, and others you have to work your butt off to catch a glimpse of them.
Especially those that are hard to find and catch a glimpse of.....
Yes o yes, this is what Phoenix birding is all about!