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Everything posted by smskelton

  1. Cape Bulbul, Wilderness (Garden Coast) South Africa
  2. I think it was a Western Diamondback. We were mostly doing our best standing broadjump away from it.
  3. Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico in the fall. Some pictures bring back memories. The strongest one here was about two seconds after we took the picture a Rattlesnake lit up about five feet behind us to remind us we were visitors.
  4. Sorry for the low resolution picture. This one is full sized. Apparently I drug the thumbnail from ebird. Just learning.
  5. The Chiricahua Mountains in southeastern Arizona were the home of the famous Chiricahua Apaches Cochise and Geronimo. The form the eastern edge of the Sulfur Springs Valley and have rugged rock formations similar to Brice Canyon in Utah. On the eastern side near the New Mexico border Cave Creek Canyon cuts into the mountain range. It is a birding destination, period. Among the regulations is the requirement that no recording equipment is allowed for recording or broadcasting bird calls (including cell phones). We try to go to Cave Creek every year, and it is always interesting and you can count on coming home with memory cards full of pictures. This year among the many birds we saw, a flock of Wild Turkeys decided to hang out by our camp. I thought it might be interesting to show what a Wild Turkey looks like, not the wrapped in plastic frozen kind everyone will tackle on Thanksgiving. If Ben Franklin had his way the Turkey would be the National Bird instead of the Bald Eagle. I like the looks of the Bald Eagle better, but I’d rather eat a Turkey.
  6. Lao Tzu said "A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step." Cactus Wren: "Obviously, Lao Tzu didn't have wings."
  7. When we were on safari in Africa our guide and native tracker were really respectful of all animals, including not shining lights into the eyes of animals at night. We were surprised when we spotted this Chameleon. Our driver said if we stopped the tracker would kill it. We didn't stop. Many African tribes believe that Chameleons are devils or witches and that they bring bad luck if you see one. The Zulu's believe that God sent a Chameleon to tell humans that they would live forever, but the Chameleon was so slow that before it got there to deliver the message, God changed his mind. God sent a lizard to tell humans the news and it became a race. The lizard won with the message of mortality. All that said, Chameleons are quite unique. Their eyes operate independently and can rotate so they can see things through 360 degrees. They also have weird feet.
  8. Family of Haris's Hawks. It is fun to watch a family of Haris's hawks run a Red Tail off by systematically taking away all of the roosting places. The Red Tail finally gets sick of it and heads somewhere where it isn't being ganged up on.
  9. Whitewater Draw is a wildlife refuge at the south end of the Sulfur Springs Valley in Southeast Arizona where around 30 K Sandhill Cranes winter. The valley is at least 150 miles long and about 40 miles wide and is an agricultural crop area. The cranes take off at dawn and fly up into the valley to feed off the harvested fields and then fly back the the refuge mid-day. When they come back in huge flights the sky is filled with birds and noise. It is something that anyone who loves wildlife should experience if possible. It is a force of nature.
  10. I call this identification Cold Little Bird since I can’t figure out what it is. This bird was hanging out on a rock in the middle of the African Penguin colony, standing on one leg, and all puffed up in the cold windy weather. To honor its effort, I tried to stand on one leg while taking the picture. I gave some thought to having a contest about who could stand on one leg the longest, but realized there was no chance. Even if I was 4’ 10” tall like Danny DeVito and my feet were 15 inches wide I would still lose. All that happened was that I put my foot down and the other bird watchers quit looking at me like I was an idiot. The bird didn’t seem to care one way or the other.
  11. I don't think so. Look under Rock Hyrax or Dassie on the Internet.
  12. I have always thought that it is arrogant for humans to think that observing animals is "one way: I sometimes wonder what they think when they observe us?
  13. I’m guessing this Black-throated Sparrow is tri lingual. They mostly live in the southwest and Mexico so they must be fluent in Spanish. They migrate up into the USA during breeding season every year so they must have a working knowledge of English. I’m sure when they are alone they speak Sparrow. I think I heard this one say the following: Spanish: Hola chicos, miren esto. Aquí hay un pájaro grande y grosero con un ojo de cristal que parpadea y hace clic cuando te mira. English translation: Hey guys, check this out. There is a big rude bird over here with a glass eye that blinks and goes “click” when it looks at you. Sparrow: high pitched “tink”
  14. African Penguin Colony on he shores of the Indian Ocean east of Cape Town South Arica
  15. African Penguin also known as a Jackass Penguin because its call resembles one.
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