Monday, June 13, 2011

Young Birds

The Western Kingbirds nesting above the basketball court on the CyFair campus are running a little late. By this time last year the parents were busy feeding four constantly hungry chicks, but today the mother is still sitting on eggs.

While waiting for the young Kingbirds to appear, I've been keeping a close eye on the fledgling and juvenile birds that are visiting our yards at home. The young Blue Jays, Carolina Chickadees, Carolina Wrens, House Finches, White-winged Doves and Northern Mockingbird are all growing fast and it's becoming difficult to distinguish between them and their parents.

This is the case, too, with one of our young male Northern Cardinals. As you can see from the photos below, he's now almost as handsome as his father.

However, another young male Cardinal who has just started appearing definitely has a ways to go in the good looks department!


Away Again
When you read this, we'll be away on vacation. We're spending a few days with relatives in Phoenix. The trip will give me a chance to do a little birding and to see some different species. However, summer is definitely not a good time to go birding in Arizona and so I'm not expecting to see a lot of birds.

We'll be staying near Thunderbird Conservation Park, which should produce Gambel's Quail, Curve-billed Thrasher, Anna's Hummingbird, Cactus Wren and a few other desert birds. 

I'm hoping to fit in a morning walk at the Desert Botanical Gardens, which should have the same birds as Thunderbird and perhaps a few others.

If I can manage to drag myself out of bed at 5:00 a.m. on Saturday, I might be able to participate in a birdwalk at the Highlands Center in Prescott, about 100 miles north of Phoenix. As Prescott is a mile above sea level and the area has plenty of forests and lakes, it should be a good place to see a range of non-desert birds. But 5:00 is awfully early to get up on vacation!

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