Thursday, March 27, 2008

Arizona Birding

Carol Miller just got back from Arizona and sent us these great pictures. She writes....

...We just spent a wonderful week of birding in central and southern Arizona. I'm still not sure exactly how many new birds we had, but here are some of the best: Roadrunner, LeConte's Thrasher, Cinnamon Teal, Violet-crowned Hummingbird, Vermilion Flycatcher, and Elegant Trogon (Honestly--I took this picture!)

Elegant Trogon

Violet-crowned Hummingbird

Vermilion Flycatcher

Le Conte's Thrasher

"Beep beep" - Roadrunner

Cinnamon Teal


Ralph Proctor sent us this great picture captured by his Birdcam in January. The birds pictured are Northern Cardinal, Eastern Bluebird and Chipping Sparrow.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Purple Martins are back

Thomas Wiatt's Purple Martins have returned, Thomas writes........

Wiatt’s Martin Manor is pleased to welcome it’s first tenant of 2008! I am confident that this male purple martin is one of 2 pair that I hosted last year.
Martins have a very strong site fidelity and it would be rare to attract a martin this early unless it had been successful at the site the previous year. I can tell he is an ASY (after second year) male because of his solid black/purple coloring. A female or a juvenile male would have a lighter breast.

He has wintered in South America (probably Brazil ) and I am very happy to have him home. When he saw me he circled around me singing so I think he is happy to be back too. I have built a new T14 purple martin house over the winter with 14 luxury apartments, owl guards, rear vents, slide out nesting trays, and 4 Troyer horizontal gourds. This martin successfully nested in a gourd last year, so he has chosen a gourd again this year.

I don’t know what the survival rate will be for the babies from last year. I fledged 10, and they should follow in March or April. It is a rough journey across the gulf, and it will be interesting to see how many make it back to this site.

I put the old house up so he would recognize it. It has been converted into an oyster bar on one side offering crushed oyster shells for dietary grit, and a hay market on the other side offering fresh pine needles for easy nest building. The old house looks like a doll house compared to the new one.

Your slum lord in the sky,