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Birds, Smaller Birds

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Cactus Wren

Cactus Wren

(Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus)

   The Cactus Wren searches in the desert under leaves and other ground litter looking for a meal. This is the Arizona State Bird. Often seen on top of Saguaro cactus.
Length = 7 to 8 1/4 inches

Gila Woodpecker

(Melanerpes uropygialis)

   This bird was photographed near Tucson, Arizona. They nest in holes in giant Saguaro Cacti.
Length = 8 to 10 inches
See the enlargement.
House Finch

House Finch

(Carpodacus mexicanus)

   The House Finch is found in the Chaparral, desert, and orchards.They eat weed and grass seeds.
Length = 6 inches
Hummingbird
Lesser Nighthawk
Gambels Quail

Hummingbird

(Each species has it's own scientific name)

   This female Humming bird was nested and sitting on two eggs. They are common in the desert Southwest. There are at least 16 species of Humming Bird.
Length = 3 1/2 to 4 inches

Lesser Nighthawk

(Chordeiles acutipennis)

   The Lesser Nighthawk fly's low looking for insects at dusk. This one was found in a wash and was very well camouflaged. Not usually seen during the day.
Length = 8 to 9 inches

Gambels Quail

(Callipepla gambelii)

   The Gambels Quail usually travel in family groups. They also usually have 10 young which follow them around. They are attracted to water and gather in large numbers.
Length = 10 to 11 1/2 inches
Black Phoebe

Black Phoebe

(Sayornis nigricans)

   The Black Phoebe seen here looking for insects in the river. Sits upright and wags it's tail frequently.
Length = 7 inches
Say's Phoebe

Say's Phoebe

(Sayornis saya)

   The Says Phoebe is found in the desert in many locations and is an insect eater. They are in the flycatcher family. They will eat other foods like berries when insects are not available.
Length = 7 to 8 inches

Northern Shrike

(Lanius excubitor)

   This is the Northern Shrike - and it's a bad bird! It eats other small infant birds, insects, and mice. It kills more than it can eat.
Length = 9 to 10 1/2 inches
Yellow-eyed Junco

Yellow-eyed Junco

(Junco phaeonotus)

   The Yellow-eyed Junco is a resident of the mountains of Southeastern Arizona and Southwestern New Mexico. This one was nesting in a Yucca plant.
Length = 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 inches

Belted Kingfisher

Megaceryle alcyon)

   The Belted Kingfisher is found near rivers, lakes and salt water estuaries. Eats fish, salamanders, lizards, mice and insects.
Length = 13 inches
Belted Kingfisher

Killdeer

(Charadrius vociferus)

   The Killdeer is a professional at faking being hurt; often limping on one foot with his one wing spread to make it look broken. They live and eat in open country and plowed fields near water.
Length = 9 to 11 inches
Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird

(Mimus polyglottos)

   The Northern Mockingbird is a real character. He can imitate numerous other birds and when looking for a mate can continue with his calls day and night. When flying he can be indentified by the white patches under his wings and tail.
Length = 9 to 11 inches
American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch

(Carduelis tristis)

   The American Goldfinch (Wild Canary) travel in flocks and their main food source is weed seeds. They migrate in compact flocks.
Length = 4 1/2 to 5 inches
Birds Nest
   This Saguaro has a rather large bird nest. If you pay attention while in the desert you'll see nests in all types of cactus. Like the one in the Cholla Cactus below, it makes you wonder how the birds can build a nest in such places.
   Don't forget the binoculars and always keep your camera handy. Old dead Saguaro cacti is another great place to find nests. Several species of birds in the desert nest on the ground.
Baby Mockingbird
   A baby Mockingbird on his maiden flight. He landed 7 ft. away and realized he was in the presence of something much bigger than him, and started to yell. What a neat experience.
Birds Nest

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Horned Lark
Loggerhead Shrike

Loggerhead Shrike

(Lanius ludovicianus)

   These two species of Shrikes are almost indistinguishable in appearance and habit.

Nests, in the desert

Horned Lark

(Ermophila alpestris)

   The males have "horns" on their forecrown, small tufts of feathers visible only at close range, a black band on the breast and a black mask. Juveniles are speckled with a hint of the adult's facial markings. Eats seeds and insects.
Length = 7 to 8 inches
Larger photo here

Western Meadowlark

(Sturnella neglecta)

   The Western Meadowlark is the size of a robin but chunkier and has a shorter tail with a flat head, long slender bill, and a round shouldered posture that nearly conceals it's neck. They seek wide open spaces in the Spring, Summer, and for winter foraging. Found in low to medium elevations (as seen here) up to an elevation of 10,000 ft.
Avocet
Western Meadowlark
Photo courtesy of Paula Kerr

Photo courtesy of Paula Kerr

Avocet

(Recurvirostra avosetta)

   In the summer this bird can be found in temporary and unpredictable wetlands across the western part of North America. It swings it long upturned bill through the shallow water to catch small invertebrates.
Length = 16.9 - 18.5 inches..

Continue to Page 3 of Birds

Gila Woodpecker
Photo courtesy of Dennis Braddy
Canyon Towhee

Photo courtesy of Paula Kerr

Canyon Towhee

(Melozone fusca)

   Plumage is pale gray-brown, fading to whitish on the belly, with cinnamon-buff undertail coverts. Roufous-brown cap with a buffy eye ring. Necklace of black streaks. Juvenile lacks rufous crown. Photo taken in Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, San Antonio, New Mexico.
Length = 8 inches..
Bewick's Wren
Lesser Goldfinch

Bewick's Wren

(Thryomanes bewickii)

   Bewick's Wrens eat the eggs, larvae, pupae, adult insects and other small invertebrates. Common prey include animals like bugs, beetles, bees, wasps, caterpillars, butterflies, moths, crickets, grasshoppers, flies, spiders and often eat seeds, fruit and other plant matter. This one was seen in St. George, Utah.
Length = 5.5 inches

Photo courtesy of Chuck Hoekman

Lesser Goldfinch

(Spinus psaltria)

   Jabbering clouds of yellow, green and black Lesser Goldfinches gather in scrubby oak and cottonwood in the western U.S. These finches primarily eat the seeds of plants in the sunflower family and occur all the way south to the Peruvian Andes. This one was found in Ivins, Utah.
Length = 3.5 to 4.7 inches (Adult)

Photo courtesy of Chuck Hoekman

Lazuli Bunting

Photo courtesy of Chuck Hoekman

Lazuli Bunting

(Passerina amoena)

   This stocky finch like bird is related to Cardinals and Grosbeaks and often visits birds feeders. These birds visit dry bushy hillsides, thickets, and gardens throughout the West. This one was seen in Ivans, Utah.
Length = 5 to 5.5 inches long

   Many thanks to our viewers for helping to add to the "birds" data base!

Photo courtesy of Chuck Hoekman

Crissal Thrasher

(Toxotoma crissale)

   Second largest Thrasher in North America, second only to the California Thrasher. Diet: Mostly insects, some berries, centipeds. Sometimes eats small lizards. Berries and small fruits make up an important part of it's diet. Found throughout the Southwestern US and central Mexico. This one was found in Ivins, Utah.
Length = 12.5 inches (Adult)
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