June 14, 2017

Arizona Birds

 Although we were only in Phoenix for a few hours each way, we managed to see quite a few fun birds down there as well. Gambel's Quail are very fun and distinctive with their bouffant forehead feathers, and are regionally separated from California Quail which they closely resemble. We were patient and quiet enough to see several of them scampering around near the concession stand in the Desert Botanical Garden.
 Also in the Botanical Garden, and quite possibly also interested in quail, was a mated pair of Great Horned Owls. We have seen them several times before, but they are always a treat, and one was even awake in the daylight as an added bonus. Great horned owls have a very powerful build and are often called the "tiger of the air," capable of eating pretty much anything they can catch.
 Since we were there in December, there were a lot of migratory waterfowl to be seen at a nearby pond, and we were delighted by a large number of Muscovy, ring-necked, and ruddy ducks, along with scaup, wigeon, moorhen, and shovelers.

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