Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sabino Canyon WIldlife

We had a nice morning at Sabino Canyon which is nestled in the Santa Catalina Mountains about 40 minutes from where we live here in Tucson. The idea was to walk, do a little bird watching and enjoy the first really cool morning of the season. Within a few minutes we came across five White-tailed Deer browsing  the greenery along the trail.

There were two females and three little ones feeding fairly close to us. Deer in the canyon have learned to live with a huge number of visitors especially on the weekends and while not tame they are not as skittish as deer normally are. The desert here in the southern part of the state can dry out fairly rapidly even after a wet summer and we found very little water running in the stream and nothing behind the dam which is usually full.

We usually see allot of warblers and smaller birds around the water but it was relatively quiet with many Black-throated Sparrows but not much else.

This Mockingbird all but demanded to be photographed and was very curious about what I was up to. I have always enjoyed their vocal prowess. Mockingbirds as you may already be aware love to sing other birds song sometimes one after the other. It is really amazing to hear and they have fooled me a few times by imitating other birds.

This Verdin was feeding in the mesquite along the road to the picnic overlook. There are slots of Verdins here and I see them almost everyday around our hummingbird feeders.

Phainopeplas are hard to photograph and getting a good shot is not a sure thing . Their coloring can make for a very monotone picture but if you can get them in just the right light you can make it happen. More often than not you can't distinguish their eye color as it is almost as dark as their feathers.

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