Friday, January 21, 2011

How birds avoid cactus spines

Curve Billed Thrashers Did you ever wonder how birds like cactus wrens and curve-billed thrashers navigate cholla cactus without getting stuck? A couple of days ago I watched a curve-billed thrasher check out a cholla, probably seeking a good nesting site. Right after he landed on the end of a cholla segment, but before walking in and out of the cactus’ depths, he first folded his wings in an X in the back, making himself much slimmer. I plan to watch closely to see if cactus wrens do this too!
NOTE: I did not take the above picture, and don’t know who did. But wish I had.

Monday, January 03, 2011

The Year of the Rabbit

I consider it very good luck that on the third day of the Year of the Rabbit, I saw a jackrabbit for the first time ever at the Park. At first, I thought the huge thing bounding away from me was a coyote. But bounding? And then there were the huge ears. Unfortunately, I did not get a picture, but I did snap this portrait of hare poop, which is bigger and lighter in color than bunny poop:
Hare poop2 1-3-2011 9-19-02 AM 394x268
About an hour later, on the South Trail, I caught a beautiful male cardinal posing. All in all a good day!
Card 2 1-3-2011 10-06-30 AM 661x1088