Some sad news…

A short post this time – just for this news.

Thursday we walked the Nature Conservancy lands & found out our darling little Western Screech Owl was killed – likely by another owl, and likely a Spotted Owl.  The caretakers noticed all the feathers on the ground near his roosting spot – then noticed the Spotted Owl not far away.  A Spotted Owl is much rarer than the screech owl, so that’s quite exciting, but sadly, it likely won’t hang around here to be seen.  The screech owl was quite a draw for birders at this place over the last few years.  The actual spot where one could see his roosting spot was marked with a blue flag, so people could stand in the perfect spot & look up.  That will now have to be removed.  Mother Nature can be cruel but it’s all a matter of perspective.  Boohoo anyway!

The caretakers were walking their cat, Georgie (named after Curious George) – who would love to get off the leash & hunt birds!  However, they told her in no uncertain terms that this is an animal sanctuary & no hunting is allowed by visitors!

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They have a few bird feeders located at the checkin area here, including this one with a hovering Anna’s Hummingbird.  Anna’s seems to be the only hummer around for now but more will arrive later in the winter.

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Here is a common sight while out walking the paths through the woods & along Sonoita Creek.

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We stopped at Paton’s to check the bird feeders, but all was quiet there.  However, across the road in the top of some trees we found ANOTHER LIFER – Cassin’s Kingbird!  Bill had his camera in the car, so got it out for a few shots.  Here’s one, for the record.

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One last little photo of a plain little bird we see quite a few of – it had such a curious expression – a Lincoln’s Sparrow (Jane – here I go singing that song!).

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Today may be the last of the nice weather for a few days.  It is supposed to rain tomorrow & the next day & be at least 10 degrees cooler (highs around 11 C) – so we have really enjoyed how nice it’s been so far.  AZ needs the rain desperately, so I hope it pours!  We’re going into Nogales to do some shopping Friday.

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