Sunday, April 15, 2012


The majority of the winter migrants have left for their breeding grounds. The Blue-winged Teal (photo) from my observation are often the last to go. They breed throughout the western U. S. Their preferred nesting habitats include marshes and shallow ponds.

Teals are dabblers. They feed in shallow water, either skimming the water or dabbling below the surface. This lovely morning, Blue-winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal, and Northern shoveler were feeding out from the Audubon Overlook. In the shallower water a large flock of Avocet fed, bills swaying rhythmically. Many in transition to their breeding colors - their head and breast turning from white to a deep cinnamon.

On the bay was an Eared Grebe, looking exotic in its breeding plumage. Total species for this morning's birding, 27. Sweet Spring was alive with sound. Heard Pacific-slope Flycatcher (a spring migrant), Kestrel, Chickadee, Common Yellowthroat, and Kingfisher. The Kingfisher will soon be heading out. They usually nest in a tunnel which they excavate into a riverbank.

I have done much fiddling with youtube. Here goes another try. This movie is a semi-humorous attempt at birding around the Phoenix waste water treatment facility. Some of the photos are fuzzy (due to using an iTouch), but the music is jolly.

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