Thursday, June 28, 2012

California Condor, Kaibab Plateau

I finished up my work in Arizona and am now back in Indiana looking forward to this weekend's Indiana Young Birder's Event.  I'd like to say my drive back was uneventful but as always whenever I drive anywhere I run into some problems.  This time I had a flat tire, luckily I was able to get to a gas station and fill up the tire so I could drive for a few more minutes to Walmart where I was able to get it re-patched (I had just got it "fixed" the day before).
California Condor
The Colorado River 

Anyways, a few weeks ago I spent some time working on the Kaibab Plateau which is a large forest on the north rim of the Grand Canyon.  I was able to spend some time watching California Condors at eye level along the Colorado River near Glen Canyon.  Once in the forest the bird/wildlife changes drastically.  There is a nice mix of pinyon/juniper habitat, ponderosa forest, and spruce/aspen areas.  One of my favorite birds of the area is the Williamson's Sapsucker, which is fairly common in the forest.

Jeep Cherokee:  my original vehicle for the summer
before I had to change to a Chevy Traverse.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Birds and Wildlife in Eagle Creek Park

Over the last several weeks, I have only been out birding a few times. As is pretty typical of central Indiana during the summer months, the birding was a little slow but the butterflies made up for it! Most of my birding has been done on the west side of Eagle Creek Park. This is an amazing area for breeding birds including, Kentucky Warblers, Acadian Flycatchers, and Yellow-billed Cuckoos among dozens of other species.

Acadian Flycatcher
There has been a recent proposal to create a mountain bike trail on this part of the park. The supporters of the trail have talked of making use of the underutilized part of the park. It may be underutilized by people but definitely not by the birds. I would hate to see trails developed at the expense of the awesome nesting birds. Below are some of the non avian species that I have photographed on the western side of Eagle Creek Park recently.

Common Buckeye

Eastern Box Turtle

Pearl Crescent

Red Admiral

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Nutty Birder Video

Recently, Eric and I shot a video to introduce people to our website,! Take a look and let us know what you think.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Arizona Dragonfly

Greetings from Kanab, UT

A few weeks ago I photographed this red dragonfly in central Arizona along a riparian corridor.  Does anyone know what species it is?  Along the same creek I was lucky enough to watch a Western Screech Owl for a few minutes at dusk and the next day see my only Nashville Warbler that I have seen in Arizona.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Birds & Blooms Biggest Week Birding Video!

During the Biggest Week, the magazine Birds & Blooms decided to produce a Birds & Blooms music video set to the song I Like Birds. Tons of festival participants and leaders stared in the video and I think it turned out to be an awesome video! What do you think? Can you find me in it?



Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Montezuma's Well National Monument

Greetings from Green Valley, AZ

Over the past couple of weeks I have traveled all over Arizona and have seen many birds as well as other wildlife.  I have been working almost every day so haven't had much time to post anything about my sightings/travels.  I decided to take a few days off and head to southeast Arizona to look for the many specialty species as well as a few rare birds that have shown up such as Plain-capped Starthroat.

A couple weeks ago I was able to help out in a different project conducted by RMBO by completing a couple bird surveys in riparian areas of Montezuma's Castle and Well.  This area is about an hour north of Phoenix but has some of the specialty species that are easier to find in the southeastern portion of Arizona such as Brown-crested Flycatcher and Bridled Titmouse.  It also has nesting Common Black-Hawks, a specialty species of Arizona.

While the birding is great, the most impressive aspect of the monument is the cliff dwellings and the well that are on the property.  I had never seen cliff dwellings before and they were as impressive as I had imagined.

Cliff dwellings at Montezuma's Well

Montezuma's Well-you can see the cliff dwellings across the well.

Another portion of the cliff dwellings.