Friday, January 11, 2013

Tres Rios Overflow Wetlands - 1 Jan 2013 (Part 1)

It appears that I have been doing too much birding and not keeping up with blog posts.  Such is the case with this post that took place on January 1st at Tres Rios Overflow Wetlands (permit required).  Ran into my good friends, Keith and Lindsey when I was on my way back to the starting point.  I wanted to start off the new year with something a bit different and was hoping to find the Red-shouldered Hawk that has been residing there this winter.  I did get to see it and was quite pleased, but it took to the sky before I had a chance to get my camera up and focused, so alas, no photos.  But I had plenty of other birds and a mammal that made my camera shooting worthwhile.  Have a lot of photos so will be doing this in 2 parts.  

The Red-shouldered Hawk was not so cooperative, but I had a couple of Red-tailed Hawks step up and make themselves available to the lens.  One was a juvenile that really made my day that was perched in a beautiful yellow leafed Cottonwood tree.  Made for quite a colorful photo.

 Red-tailed Hawk-Juvenile

Red-tailed Hawk-Juvenile

Red-tailed Hawk-Juvenile

Red-tailed Hawk-Juvenile

Also had one adult give me a nice fly-by which shows off the red tail that gives this hawk its name.

 Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

In sticking with the theme of predators in this post, I found both Cooper's and Sharp-shinned Hawks, with the latter one giving me the photo opportunities.  These 2 hawks are very similar in appearance and can be easily confused; one has to look at the fine details to get the right identification.  

Sharp-shinned Hawk

The Black Vulture is usually not considered as a raptor by any means, but as I was walking I found a 'kettle' of Black Vultures flying high in the sky.  (Yes, a group of flying vultures is called a 'kettle'.)  

Black Vultures

One more bird of prey that I found on the outer perimeter of the Tres Rios area was a Burrowing Owl.  To avoid disturbing it, I did a slow drive by and shot this photo from the driver's seat of my car.  It is amazing how far they can turn their heads around!  

Burrowing Owl

The last predator photo happens to be a Coyote.  I was standing near the spillway area when it trotted in on the trail from the west.  It was more surprised to see me standing there than I was.  But once it saw me, it did not stick around very long.


Look for part 2 probably sometime this weekend.


  1. Nice shots of the hawks. So, you already do have black vultures on your Big January list! Well done!

  2. LOL, Gordon! I thought I was on Chris Rohrer's blog! Sorry aobut the Big January comment but nice photos anyways! Good for you!

    1. Kathie, no need to apologize as it was a good addition to my January list as well! By the way, probably the easiest place to see Rosy-faced Lovebirds in the PHX area is Encanto Park. Just thought I would mention that in case you are still looking. Thanks for the comments!