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GracesWarbler last won the day on January 6 2019

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  1. Cool stuff on this page! I haven't been birding much this year, but I decided to go somewhere new this afternoon. It's a popular walking spot, but I didn't feel self-conscious about carrying my big lens, which was nice. If anything, I wish I could have shown people the results! A raven was hopping around in the distance. After a while, I found some Pygmy Nuthatches (I think?). They were gathering seeds from flowers, and were fairly fearless. I was standing about 10 feet from the flower, and they just kept coming back over and over again.
  2. I went birding on Sunday, and I finally got a good luck at a little yellow bird I've seen glimpses of before. Apparently it was a Common Yellowthroat. I think yellow birds are my favorite, so this was a joy to see. Still, the name was a bit of a surprise: if it's so common, why have I so rarely seen them? Does anyone here have a favorite bird color?
  3. Sure, I'd love to hear some recommendations. I live up in Flagstaff, and the only places I've gone in the Gilbert/Phoenix area are the Riparian Preserve, the Desert Botanical Gardens, and one of the Phoenix city parks.
  4. I'm making a bird calendar for friends and family, so I want to get IDs right. Below is a photo I took in Gilbert, AZ (next to Phoenix), in September. A flock of these birds were swooping around together near the water. The area has some ponds and some trees (it's the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch, if you know the area). These are Least Sandpipers, right? Or something else? Is the leg color the best way to distinguish Least Sandpipers from others? Also, I want to make sure I'm correctly IDing the Cormorants below. Are these both Neotropic Cormorants, right, due to the feathers in front of the eye? Does the white line on the second one signify that it's an adult, and the first one is a juvenile? Both were taken in Gilbert, AZ. The first photo was taken in March and the second one was taken in September.
  5. I really like the composition on this one. Great shot! Growing up on the East Coast, I was used to seeing Blue Jays. Out here in the west, we get Steller's Jays, which have a rad crest. I sat at a table for a good 20 minutes or so before this one finally showed up. I think it wanted food from me, but I didn't have any. Just look at that crest!
  6. Hmm, what is the general practice around here for sharing birding spots? I'm sure that you're a responsible birder, but I also don't want to stress the birds by bringing too much attention to them. Opinions?
  7. I saw some Rosy-faced Lovebirds for the first time this weekend! They're native to Africa and were brought to the U.S. as pets, but now several thousand live and breed in the wild in Phoenix. Apparently, the population has been growing for the past 25 years, and Phoenix is one of the only places in the U.S. where wild populations live. So despite the >100 degree temperatures, I got to see these goofy parrots hanging out in a palm tree, flying around, and squeaking loudly.
  8. I took a trip to a riparian preserve near Phoenix last weekend, and saw a Great Egret for the first time! However, I noticed something in its tail, which hung down into the water as it walked around to hunt. See the second photo, below. At first I thought it was long tail feathers, but I don't see any feathers like this when I look at other Great Egret photos online, so now I'm wondering if it was a reed or something. Do Great Egrets stick things into their tails? Is this normal, or unusual? Any insight would be appreciated! Bonus picture: while I watched, the egret walked over to the shore and snatched a dragonfly off a reed:
  9. Cool shot, and great lighting! It looks like it's wearing a long coat. I went somewhere new for birding last weekend: a riparian preserve near Phoenix. Lots of birds, rabbits, and turtles, and lots of people too! Northern Shovelers. A coot. A Snowy Egret, hunting. A catch! I can't quite tell what it got. Can anyone identify it? Some sort of fish?
  10. We got a record one-day snowfall where I live yesterday (nearly three feet!). That morning, I spotted a house finch on the balcony, chirping. Hopefully those feathers keep it warm.
  11. Spots vs. stripes! Neat. Here's are some Yellow-headed Blackbirds. Male: Female:
  12. Hoot hoot! Today I saw a Great Horned Owl! (Perhaps for the first time.) This was at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.
  13. Wonderful examples so far. I like how the male Rose-winged Parakeet looks like it has a a goatee. Here's a female and male Gambel's Quail:
  14. There is a fantastical variety of birds, and some species have notable differences between the males and females. Post your best photos showing these differences. Having both birds in the same photo is great, but not required. I'll start. Here's a male and a female Red-winged Blackbird:
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