Monday, June 19, 2006

June 19, 2006

Above are two more photos of my hawk. I sent all the pix to the man who bands Cooper's hawks in Tucson. He says that this is one of "his," that it is a year-old male, and that he can't tell where he banded it without seeing the number on the band. He says that by next summer the hawk will be looking to breed, so maybe I will see it with its mate.

A lot of mating has been going on around here. I now have nesting doves on BOTH porch pillars, and a finch familly has moved into the abandoned dove nest above the kitchen door. They seem to have built a small, tidy nest on top of the dove's large messy one.

A rabbit dug a burrow right next to my pomegranate tree last week. We filled it in, she re-dug it, we filled it in, she re-dug it. I was worried about the tree getting its roots damaged. Anyway, we finally put a rabbit-proof wire fence around the tree, and it seems to have worked. I'm just hoping that the rabbit didn't have babies in the burrow. Hopefully, she hadn't had time to deposit them.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

June 18, 2006

Quite a bit of nature news, but I will save most of it for another day. This morning, when we took the paper and our iced coffee out to the back porch, we saw a hawk standing in the pond. Just standing. Didn't seem in the least disturbed by our presence, and stayed there long enough for me to go in and get my camera and get closer and take some pictures!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

June 10

Lots of nature news the past couple of weeks. We had a mini-monsoon event, which cooled things off, though the humidity was unpleasant. Lots of wind, which one night blew away one of the dovelets on the pillar of our carport. The remaining dove was still there as of this morning, but it has grown big enough to probably fly away on its own. (The picture above is of last year's dovelets.)

Baby quail are starting to appear. I haven't seen any really little ones or any large flocks, but have seen four or five at a time (somewhere between adorable fluffy thimbles and ungainly adolescents with pimples), trailing behind their parents.

New bird in yard: about the size of a cardinal, appearance like a very large sparrow, but long black beak like a woodpecker and red eyes. Also a small ruff on its head. From my bird book, it is some sort of fly catcher, probably a brown-crested.

I have discovered why the seeds are disappearing so quickly from my cardinal feeder: some of the finches have learned that if they double up on the perch they weigh enough to open the door. Then they shovel seeds out onto the ground, where they can try to crack them at their leisure. I am very impressed with their intelligence, but wish they were not so profligate.

Final nature note, the one I most wish I had a picture of: today while we were on the River Walk, we saw a very well-built male cyclist who was stark naked. Nice body, nice package. Very, very startling.