Tag Archives: Greater Roadrunner

A Photo Excursion to the Martin Refuge at the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival, Part I

Those of you who have followed this blog know that one of my favorite bird festivals is the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival in Harlingen, Texas. The birds are spectacular, the people are wonderful, and the festival is truly a marvel of organization and excellence.

This year, I decided to treat myself to a photography excursion to the Martin Refuge in Edinburgh, Texas. I had seen wonderful photos from this private refuge, and I was anxious to take some of my own. Our group was taken out to the ranch by the wonderful Ruth Hoyt, who is a fantastic photographer and a lovely human being. She spent the day helping us to improve our photography skills, and I was truly impressed by her considerable knowledge, kindness and patience.

We arrived at the ranch very early on a cool, windy morning. We went to a photo blind and began to set up to take photos. We did not have to wait very long until the Crested Caracaras began to arrive.

Crested Caracara

Crested Caracara

The birds sat in the trees, waiting.

Watching from the branches.

Watching from the branches.

It was fascinating to watch the birds as they flew close to the blind …

Crested Caracara fly by.

Crested Caracara fly by.

Another fly by.

Another fly by.

… and as they came in for a landing.

Incoming.

Incoming.

Another bird flies in.

Another bird flies in.

Another arrival.

Another arrival.

There were spectacular mid-air encounters.

A mid-air encounter.

A mid-air encounter.

There were some disagreements when more than one bird wanted to occupy the same perch.

It's getting crowed around here.

It’s getting crowded around here.

The Crested Caracaras were not the only raptors on the refuge. There were beautiful Harris Hawks as well, and the caracaras were intimidated by them.

Crested Caracara and Harris Hawk.

Crested Caracara and Harris Hawk.

The Harris Hawks were clearly in charge.

The Harris Hawks were in charge.

The Harris Hawks were in charge.

And what brought all these birds so conveniently close to the blind? A lovely ball of leftovers from a local taxidermy shop. It seemed pretty unappealing to me, but it was a caracara and hawk magnet!

Yum!

Yum!

Birds would grab pieces from the lure and take them up into the trees to eat.

A tasty bit.

A tasty bit.

A close look at a feeding bird.

A close look at a feeding bird.

Although the Harris Hawks kept a close watch over the caracaras’ activities, I did not actually observe them eating any of the food.

The Watcher

The Watcher

As we were finishing up our morning photo session, I saw a bird that immediately made me think of my home in Corrales, New Mexico.

Greater Roadrunner

Greater Roadrunner

The birds finished their feast, and we retired for our picnic lunch under the palapa. We could not wait to see what the afternoon’s photo session would bring. In Part II of this post you will see what we did in the afternoon.

Green Jay

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Filed under Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival, Texas birds

Wordless Wednesday-Wings on Wednesday

Greater Roadrunner

Greater Roadrunner with prey

Greater Roadrunner with prey

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Filed under Corrales birds, New Mexico birds

Wordless Wednesday-Wings on Wednesday

Greater Roadrunner

Greater Roadrunner

Greater Roadrunner

Greater Roadrunner

Greater Roadrunner

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Filed under Corrales birds, New Mexico birds

An Autumn Visit to Bosque del Apache

Last weekend I was fortunate to have birding friends from Colorado come to New Mexico to visit. One place I always enjoy taking visiting birders is the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, which is located southeast of Socorro, New Mexico. Fall is a particularly lovely time to visit the refuge.

We arrived to find the bosque cottonwoods in full fall color.

Cottonwoods showing fall colors at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Cottonwoods showing fall colors at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

The pond at the north end of the refuge held thousands of Snow Geese.

Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.


Snow Goose at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Snow Goose at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.


Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge showing color morphs.

It was lovely to watch the Snow Geese against the fall colors.

Snow Geese flying past the cottonwoods at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Snow Geese flying past the cottonwoods at Bosque del Apache.


There were hundreds of Northern Pintails in the pond with the Snow Geese.
Female Northern Pintail, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Female Northern Pintail.


Male Northern Pintail, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Male Northern Pintail.


Male and female Northern Pintail, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Northern Pintail pair.

A Bald Eagle would occasionally circle the pond, causing the Snow Geese and Northern Pintails to take to the air amid a flurry of honking and quacking.

Bald Eagle takes flight at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Bald Eagle takes flight, disturbing the ducks and geese.


Snow geese take flight at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Snow geese take flight after being disturbed by a Bald Eagle.


Northern Pintails take flight at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

The Northern Pintails were disturbed by the Bald Eagle too.


Sandhill Cranes were in many of the shallow ponds in the refuge …
Sandhill Cranes and Northern Pintails at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Sandhill Cranes wade in a shallow pond as Northern Pintails fly by.

… and we watched them fly over our heads for most of the day.

Sandhill Cranes at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Sandhill Cranes flew overhead for most of the day.

As we drove over to the crane pools to watch the evening fly-in, we saw a variety of birds.

American Kestrel at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico

American Kestrel hovering.


Greater Roadrunner at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Greater Roadrunner surveys the terrain.


Lilian's Eastern Meadowlarks at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Lilian's Eastern Meadowlarks singing in the trees.


White-tailed Kite at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

White-tailed Kite, almost out of camera range.

As evening drew near we drove to the crane pools to watch the evening fly-in. There were not huge numbers of cranes there yet, but still, it is a wonderful spectacle.

Sandhill Cranes, evening fly-in at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Sandhill Cranes, evening fly-in.

Sandhill Cranes, evening fly-in at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Sandhill Cranes coming in for a landing at the crane pools.


Sandhill Cranes, evening fly-in at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Sandhill Cranes circle in against the fading light.


As we left Bosque del Apache after a wonderful day, we watched a new moon set over the mountains to the west.
New moon at sunset north of Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

New moon at sunset.


It was a wonderful day!

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Filed under Bosque del Apache, New Mexico birds

Wordless Wednesday-Wings on Wednesday

Greater Roadrunner


Greater Roadrunner


Greater Roadrunner


Greater Roadrunner

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Filed under Corrales birds, New Mexico birds

Sunday Photo Blogging-Garden Birds

I had dental surgery this Friday. It was something that I have needed to do for quite some time, and I finally did it. I was still feeling pretty shaky yesterday, but I decided to walk around the garden with a camera to see if I could find some birds to photograph.

As usual, the quail were using my garden wall as a highway.

Gambel's Quail adult and chicks

Gambel's Quail chicks

There were plenty of Black-chinned Hummingbirds at the feeders.

Female Black-chinned Hummingbird

A Greater Roadrunner made a brief appearance on the garden wall as well.

Greater Roadrunner behind Russian Sage


Greater Roadrunner poses for the camera

It’s always fun to watch the birds in my garden!

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Filed under Corrales birds, New Mexico birds