Fan-tailed Warbler

Fan-tailed Warbler

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Superior, Arizona

Saturday May 12, 2012 was a big day as it was the day selected for the North American Migratory Bird Count.  Birders everywhere took to the field to count the number of birds they could find and identify by species.  All the data collected by this endeavour helps to monitor populations and migratory trends of the various species throughout North America.  For my contribution to this massive task, I was assigned to the town of Superior, Arizona.  This small community is located near Boyce Thompson Arboretum and Queen Creek and is on the edge of some mountains.  Some wonderful birds can be found in and around this town. 

Started out early in the morning and one of the first birds I encountered was one of my favorite sparrows, the Black-throated Sparrow.  They are one of the most handsome sparrows and are fairly easy to identify for novice birders.  And they happen to be fairly abundant in the right habitat.  But sometimes I hear them more than I see them.  They spend most of there time on the ground or in low desert bushes.  This one was staring at me intently as I attempted to capture a photo at such an early hour of the morning.

Black-throated Sparrow

Another bird that I found and was surprised to see so many in the town of Superior, were the Northern Cardinals.  They are so distinctive, especially the males, and such a bright spot when found.  This male posed long enough on the top of a tree to allow me to capture a photo.

Northern Cardinal

Also in abundance were many Western Kingbirds.  These birds are always nice to see as they remind me of growing up on the farm in Nebraska where they would visit us every summer.  While I saw several of them in Superior, one of them in particular kind of made my day in allowing a fun sequence of photos.  It was perched at the top of a tall cypress and as I was taking photos, it took off for another tree, but in the process I captured 3 photos that almost show in slow motion the lifting off from the tree.  In the first photo, it is sitting and observing its domain and probably watching for flying insects.

Western Kingbird

The next photo shows it getting ready for take off.

Western Kingbird

And finally the launch into the air.

Western Kingbird

I consider those types of shots as pure luck and I also had a juvenile Vermilion Flycatcher also perform a similar maneuver.  It was sitting on a chain link fence railing and being very cooperative with me while I was shooting and then decided to launch into flight mode as I was shooting.

Vermilion Flycatcher-juvenile

Next thing I knew, it had decided to take flight while the camera was shooting.

Vermilion Flycatcher-juvenile

Birds can be so amazing and are extremely fascinating to watch and observe.  So much of what they do is so fast that we do not always see what is truly happening.  Being able to capture photos helps to relive the day and the fun.

1 comment:

  1. Nice Gordon! Those take-off shots are great, and a hard thing to capture. I'm sorry I missed the NAMC (out of town) but it looks like you had a good time of it.

    Lovely Black-Throated Sparrow, incredibly handsome bird deserving to be well-photographed.