Friday, June 01, 2012

Hot bird walk in the Park

This morning it was so hot so early (around ninety at 8:30), that I didn’t really expect anyone to show up for my bird walk. But four people did: a young woman and her fourth-grade son, who adores birds and has practically memorized his bird guide, and a middle-aged couple who decided to join us on the spur of the moment.

The Park was so beautiful today, even in the heat. There were lots of desert spiny lizards, and exotic pipevine flowers, and local birds. Cicadas were buzzing, and I said that if someone would catch a cicada I would show them how it makes the noise. Sure enough, the boy caught one. It was furious! Buzzing and making other strange sounds that might have been cicada cursing. I had trouble getting it to hold still long enough to grasp it and turn it over to show the orange tympanum that it vibrates for that distinctive summery sound. cicadaMale cicada from Bing Images

There were two high points to the bird walk: the little Cooper’s hawklets are out of the egg and standing up in the nest. They are too far up to photograph yet, but I could clearly see round fuzzy white heads and big black eyes. And in the fig tree in the ethno garden, we saw  a BEAUTIFUL Bell’s vireo nest with the mother sitting in it. What an intricate, beautifully-woven and decorated structure!Bell's vireo nest Tohono Chul Park 6-1-2012 9-20-57 AM 3616x2712

Bell’s vireo nest, Tohono Chul Park