Tag Archives: woodpecker

Wordless Wednesday-Wings on Wednesday

Male Ladder-backed Woodpecker


Male Ladder-backed Woodpecker


Male Ladder-backed Woodpecker


Male Ladder-backed Woodpecker

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Stalking the Elusive Three-toed Woodpecker

Last weekend Bosque Bill and I drove to the Sandia Mountains in another attempt to see the elusive Three-toed Woodpecker. Our previous attempt had yielded a rainy walk, a few wet warblers, some soggy squirrels, lots of hummingbirds but no Three-toed Woodpeckers.

We drove to the parking lot at the Ellis trailhead. Bosque Bill spotted the Three-toed Woodpecker near the parking lot before I could even get my camera out of the car. The light was far from ideal for photos, but I was able to get some photos that clearly show the identifying marks of this elusive woodpecker.

Three-toed Woodpecker

These woodpeckers flake bark rather than excavating wood, which results in large patches of flaked bark on trees.

Three-toed Woodpecker flaking bark from a fir tree


Three-toed Woodpecker

After taking many photos of the woodpecker we walked up the trail to Kiwanis Cabin. The Sandias, particularly Kiwanis Meadow, were covered in wildflowers. It was a beautiful walk. The views across Albuquerque from Kiwanis Cabin are spectacular!

We had a successful day as we saw not only the Three-toed Woodpecker but also towhees, warblers, flycatchers, hummingbirds, nuthatches, ravens and other birds. It began to rain just as we were finishing our lovely post-birding picnic. It was a wonderful birding day.

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Filed under New Mexico birds

Saturday Morning Photo Blogging

Several weekends ago Bosque Bill and I went to the Jemez Mountains in the Santa Fe National Forest, New Mexico with our friend Krista to enjoy the wonderful scenery, have a picnic and look for birds. We were delighted to see this hairy woodpecker feeding babies, although we did not get a look at the chicks.

Hairy Woodpecker with insect


Mom woodpecker approaches the nest with the insect


Feeding the chicks


Mission accomplished.

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Birding at Quarai

Quarai Mission Ruins

Birding safari buddy Bosque Bill and I went to Quarai Ruins at Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument near Mountainair, New Mexico, to participate in an International Migratory Bird Day bird walk. The walk was led by Hart Schwarz, neotropical bird specialist for the Cibola National Forest.

Quarai is about a one and one-half hour drive from Corrales and the Albuquerque North Valley. Bill and I arrived only a few minutes late and were happy to find that several people arrived after we did. We walked from the monument headquarters to a large grove of cottonwoods to begin our walk. As we stood around chatting and shivering in the 43 degree F. cold, we noticed that the cottonwoods above our heads were full of Audubon’s Yellow-rumped Warblers. In fact, they were everywhere in large numbers throughout the walk. I am sure we saw well over 100 of them during the course of the day.

Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler (male)

As we left the cottonwood grove we walked through a field where Mountain Bluebirds were busily hunting insects.

Mountain Bluebird

There were Mountain Bluebirds in the trees as well,

Mountain Bluebird

along with more Yellow-rumped Warblers.

Another Yellow-rumped Warbler

We crossed a bridge over an arroyo. There was a pool of water in the arroyo, and I was lucky enough to get a (slightly out-of-focus) photo of a Gray Catbird just before it flew away.

Gray Catbird

We saw several Wilson’s Warblers throughout the day, but this is the only one I saw that was not deep inside a tree. It was too far away for a good photo, but you can see its little black yarmulke quite well.

Wilson's Warbler

There were many Yellow Warblers, including this pretty female,

Yellow Warbler (female)


and this beautiful male.
Yellow Warbler (male)

Yellow Warbler (male)


We saw quite a few Ladder-backed Woodpeckers too, which I wrote about yesterday.

Ladder-backed Woodpeckers

There were Dusky Flycatchers all along the arroyo.

Dusky Flycatcher

Everywhere we went there were more Yellow-rumped Warblers.

Yet another Yellow-rumped Warbler


On the way back, we were treated to the lovely sight of a Lazuli Bunting.

Lazuli Bunting


Lazuli Bunting


As we returned to the picnic area for lunch we saw a Black-headed Grosbeak. We had seen them earlier, but this one was close enough for a photo.

Black-headed Grosbeak


Black-chinned Hummingbird

We saw and heard many Broad-tailed and Black-chinned Hummingbirds, but most were too far away for photos. I was able to get a photo of this Black-chinned male. At least you can tell that it’s a hummingbird.

Bill and I had a lovely day at Quarai. I expect to attend the International Migratory Bird Day celebration there again next year.

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Love Among the Quarai Ruins

This past week I read in the newspaper that there would be a bird walk at the Quarai Ruins, a 17th century Spanish pueblo mission, to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day on May 8, 2009.  I called favorite birding buddy Bosque Bill, and we decided that we would go. I picked Bill up at 6:30 a.m., and we drove to Quarai. We saw beautiful birds, and the ruins are gorgeous. There will be more in later posts on both of these subjects. For Mother’s Day, however, I have a love story.

She was a beautiful female Ladder-backed Woodpecker all alone in a huge cottonwood tree that was just beginning to get its summer foliage.

Female Ladder-backed Woodpecker

But what is this? She has caught the eye of a handsome male Ladder-backed Woodpecker.

Male and female Ladder-backed Woodpeckers

Just that quickly love was in the air, and in the cottonwoods.



And how else can I end a love story? Of course they lived happily ever after.

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