Christmas Birds

Okay, so I’ve been taking a bit of a break from blogging while I enjoy a little hard-earned rest after surviving my first semester of graduate school. I’ve still been birding, though.

On the evening of Christmas day, we took a walk on the golf course in my parents’ neighborhood, which can be a surprisingly good place to find birds. (I’m very dubious about the wisdom of irrigating land for a golf course in the desert, but oh well.) On that particular day we came across two Harris’s Hawks that had just killed a wigeon. Harris’s Hawks are handsome, buteo-like raptors of the southwestern desert, dark-colored with chestnut shoulders and a white strip across the tail, that are very unusual among hawks in that they hunt cooperatively. They flew up into the palm trees as we approached, and if only I’d had my camera with me I could show you a photo of a freshly killed and disemboweled American Wigeon.

Then on the 26th I went out on the Superior, AZ Christmas Bird Count. No Pyrrhuloxias this year, but I did get one lifer (Rufous-crowned Sparrow) as well as seeing quite a few meadowlarks, one of my favorite birds and one I don’t come across very often. The count as a whole netted over one hundred species for the day. The one closest to where I live in Wisconsin, on the other hand, got 24. The difference between northern Wisconsin and southern Arizona in December.

Hope you all had a fantastic Christmas! I’ll try to return to a more regular posting schedule soon.

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