Thursday, February 12, 2009

Desert Botanical Gardens: Part 2

The gardens are an excellent place for seeing a range of desert - and more common - birds. Although we didn't see any on our visit, several hawks regularly hunt on the hillside behind the outdoor cafe.

The top of this saguaro held one of my target birds for the day, a Gila Woodpecker, while the lower branches provided perches for a pair of Curve-billed Thrashers.

I wan't able to get a close-up photo of a perched Gila Woodpecker but I did managed to grab this quick shot of one in flight.

Curve-billed Thrashers were everywhere, often in pairs.

Cactus Wrens were ubiquitous, too ...

and many of them were clearly flirting.

One of the highlights of the morning of the morning was getting to spend several minutes watching this Verdin collecting twigs and building a nest.

We even got to see him (or was it her) upside down.

Unfortunately, we didn't get to see one of my other target birds, Phainopepla. However, this Rock Wren was a pleasant surprise, particularly since it hopped around within (literally) three feet of where we were standing.


Birdwoman said...

These pictures make me want to pack my bags and head on out to the Desert Botanical Gardens today. Unfortunately, my own garden ties me here.

Jeff said...

My wife now wants me to turn our backyard over to cactuses! I'm trying to convince her that our gumbo soil doesn't drain well enough. It would be wonderful to have a big saguaro in place of our sweet gum tree, though.