Most of these hummers were photographed in 2011 in Arizona, New Mexico, and Big Bend National Park in Texas. I finally got around to making this collection.
I did have to do a lot of digital enhancements – my Nikon D80 doesn’t have the resolution that the D600 does, nor does it focus as quickly. I prefer to darken the background and add a digital blur when necessary to minimize hotspots and noise. Read the rest of this entry »
Although my recent trip to Texas was to visit relatives, I could not pass by one of my favorite birding spots without stopping for my bird fix. Anahuac NWR suffered during Hurricane Rita in 2005, but was really devastated by Hurricane Ike in 2008. There are fewer trees now, and while Spring seems to have the best variety of birds, November was pretty decent for a windy day.
So without much further ado, here are the results. Read the rest of this entry »
|Red-tailed Hawk on blooming Acacia|
In addition to the Common Black Hawks of my last post, there are many other birds returning to Big Bend from their winter getaways, as well as year-round residents exhibiting annoying testosterone-fueled behavior.
|Turkey Vulture eating dead lizard
Turkey Vultures have peppered the sky for a few weeks now, having spent the colder months in Mexico, Central and South America. These birds have extremely acute olfactory organs for finding rotted meat, and have some nasty (to us) habits such as urinating on their legs to keep cool, and vomiting when alarmed. They also have trouble getting out of the way of speeding cars, and can easily take out a windshield. Should a vulture’s guts be ripped open in the process, you might just decide to give the car to a junkyard. I understand the smell is Putrid Times Ten. Well, as Jan Allen, one of our volunteer interpreters calls them, they are the Road Kill Cleanup Crew. They serve an important purpose in the ecosystem, and despite their reputations, are a welcome sight to nature lovers.
I have added some new birds to my favorites list, thanks to a trip to the Lower Rio Grande Valley recently. The above Green Jay is one. I have a fondness for jays, and this is particularly striking in its tropical coloration. It’s a Mexican bird that ventures north of the border in South Texas – quite common there actually, but no less of a jewel. Read the rest of this entry »