Monday, March 26, 2012

Shoot Me Monday

Saturday morning I woke up to the sound of a loud and unfamiliar bird call.  But I wasn't surprised since I was in unfamiliar Point Loma, San Diego.  Was it a Western Scrub-Jay or a Crow?  I grabbed my bins and went out on the balcony.  I was surprised when I saw what was making these loud calls- Eight Red-masked Parakeets!  I watched them feed in the tree across the street and fly around giving their raucous calls.  The lighting wasn't ideal on this overcast morning, but they're so cool, so here they are: 

Red-masked Parakeet
Red-masked Parakeets are native to Ecuador and Peru.  They were introduced in the U.S. and several feral populations exist in California and Florida.  I entered my observation into eBird and it added the parakeet to my ABA area life list.  But it's not on the ABA Checklist or even the official California Checklist.  I noticed the same thing for Rosy-faced Lovebird, which was just accepted to the Arizona State List in December, but hasn't made it to the ABA Checklist yet.  Does anyone know anything about this?

I also spotted a distant bird on a wire across the street.  This one is less confusing (I think) because it's on the official California Checklist and the ABA Checklist.

Red-crowned Parrot

Red-crowned Parrot Range Map
InfoNatura: Animals and Ecosystems of Latin America [web application]. 2007. Version 5.0 . Arlington, Virginia (USA): NatureServe. Available: (Accessed: March 25, 2012 ).

Did I mention the weather cleared up later in the day for my wedding on the beach?  Sunday was windy and rainy, so we lucked out!  It couldn't have been more perfect, and I couldn't be happier.  And no, I wasn't looking at birds during the ceremony!  I didn't even take my bins, but you better believe I'll be out there this week!  Stay tuned...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Shoot Me Monday

In the winter, Double-crested Cormorants can be found hanging out at the local Tucson ponds in small numbers.  They are much more abundant in the Phoenix area, probably because they have all the water!  I found this one preening his feathers at Reid Park in November.

Double-crested Cormorant

Monday, March 5, 2012

Shoot Me Monday

Ring-billed Gulls are abundant and widespread across much of the U.S. and Mexico in winter.  But I've only seen them twice in my county in Southeast Arizona.  So I thought it was pretty cool that this one was posing for me on the London Bridge in Lake Havasu City, AZ.  Yes, the London Bridge from England immortalized in the nursery rhyme in which it's falling down, falling down.  For those of you that don't know, it was purchased from the Brits in the late 60's.  The exterior granite blocks from the original bridge were numbered and transported to Arizona to construct the present bridge.   

Ring-billed Gull

The London Bridge of Arizona
Old swallow nests and uh...that 3 is backwards!