Monthly Archives: June 2011

Wordless Wednesday-Wings on Wednesday

Western Kingbird

Western Kingbird

Western Kingbird

Western Kingbird

Western Kingbird

Western Kingbird

Western Kingbird

9 Comments

Filed under Corrales birds, New Mexico birds

Gambel’s Quail Chicks in Corrales

Every year I await the arrival of Gambel’s Quail chicks with a great deal of anticipation. The problem with photographing quail chicks is that they run very fast, and they hide very well. I was fortunate to see a quail family running across the road late last week when I was on my way to work.

Please note that the photos in this post are not very sharp as I stayed well away from the quail to keep from alarming the parents and frightening the chicks.

Gambel's Quail chicks

Not a very clear photo, but I counted 21 chicks crossing the road. That's a lot for one brood!

Dad Quail stood watch from a Four-wing Saltbush while Mom Quail led the chicks across the road.

Dad Gambel's Quail stands watch as the chicks cross the road.

Gambel's Quail

Using my vehicle as a blind, I watched the chicks as they scurried for cover after crossing the road.

Gambel's Quail chicks

Gambel's Quail chicks scurry for cover after crossing the road.

Gambel's Quail chicks

More Gambel's Quail chicks seek cover in the Three-leaf Sumac.

All of the chicks crossed the road, and Mom Gambel’s Quail herded the last of the chicks to safety.

Gambel's Quail Mom and chicks

Mom Gambel's Quail herds the last of the chicks to safety.

I tried to get a close-up photo of one of the chicks. This slightly fuzzy photo of a fuzzy quail chick was the best that I could manage:

Gambel's Quail chick, fuzzy close-up.

On Sunday I was excited to see that an entire Gambel’s Quail family had stopped for lunch in my garden. I do not know if it was the same family, but it was a very large family. Dad Quail watched while Mom quail and the chicks ate …

Gambel's Quail adults and chicks

Dad Gambel's Quail watches while Mom Quail and the chicks eat lunch.

… then Mom Quail watched while Dad Quail ate and the chicks continued to eat.

Gambel's Quail mom and chicks

Mom Quail watches while Dad Quail and the chicks eat.

Everyone took a final bite or two, and the quail family prepared to leave.

Gambel's Quail adults and chicks

The quail family prepares to leave.

The family left along the garden wall, which we call the “Quail Highway.”

Gambel's Quail chicks

Adios! Hasta la vista. . .

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Filed under Corrales birds, New Mexico birds

Nuthatch Babies!

This past Saturday afternoon I met some friends for pizza and beer on the east side of the Sandia mountains. It’s fun to spend time with friends whom you have originally met online and later meet in person. These friends–Rich, Gin, Marlita, Eric and Wendy–are even nicer and more fun in person than they are online. After we finished our lunch, Rich and Gin invited us to their lovely place in a rural residential area. Their garden area reminded me of the birding venues in Arizona where people open their homes to birders and allow them to sit in their yards and gardens to photograph birds. The major attraction for me was a large gourd containing a White-breasted Nuthatch nest.

Both parents were very diligent in attending to the nest. We could hear that there were chicks in the nest, but we were not able to see into the gourd. We were really anxious to get a look at the chicks.

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

Talking to the chicks in the nest.

White-breasted Nuthatch

A morsel for hungry chicks.

White-breasted Nuthatch

A morsel for hungry babies, another view.

White-breasted Nuthatch

One parent goes into the nest …

White-breasted Nuthatch,

… and emerges from the nest carrying a fecal sac for disposal.

White-breasted Nuthatch

The parents work hard all afternoon, hunting to feed their chicks.

A Western Wood-Pewee watched from a nearby tree.

Western Wood-Pewee

A Western Wood-Pewee keeps its eye on the scene.

White-breasted Nuthatch

A nuthatch parent returns to the nest with more food for the chicks.

For the first time we get a glimpse of one of the chicks.

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch parent and chick.

White-breasted Nuthatch

The parent emerges with more waste.

This tiny, still-blind, chick was not ready for the parent to leave, and noisily demanded more food.

White-breasted Nuthatch

Tiny, blind nuthatch chick.

It called for the parents while they hunted …

White-breasted Nuthatch

The tiny chick continues to call for the parents.

… and was joined by a second chick.

White-breasted Nuthatch

We were finally able to see two chicks. Wonder if there are more?

What good nuthatch parents!

White-breasted Nuthatch

A good nuthatch parent!

I hope I can go back to take more photos when the chicks are a bit bigger!

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Filed under New Mexico birds, New Mexico scenery

Wordless Wednesday-Wings on Wednesday

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird

13 Comments

Filed under Bermardo Wildlife Management Area, New Mexico birds

Wordless Wednesday-Wings on Wednesday

Killdeer

Killdeer

Killdeer

Killdeer

Killdeer

Kildeer

18 Comments

Filed under New Mexico birds