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Binocular         Birding Images          Binocular

Welcome to the Birding Images information page.

From time to time we may  assemble interesting pictures taken during a birdwalk. An introductory presentation about this material along with links to these pictures will be presented below. You are encouraged to submit pictures and information that you would like to see posted on this page. Please e-mail us your pictures and information. We believe that you would only send us pictures and information that you would be proud to share with other birders.

• Where we have produced pictures for this page, extensive information about the subject, the camera settings, and geographic coordinates are provided in the properties of each picture. Download pictures to see this information.

• The technical quality of pictures provided by you will not be changed. However, some of the picture file elements such as the Exif data, and picture size may be changed by us. Also, for arbitrary and capricious reasons, we may reject any information or picture.

• Here are some brief instructions for viewing the pictures which are presented on Google Drive.
  1. Click on the link that is presented to view the pictures.
    1. If images of folders are shown, click on a folder image to see its contents.
    2. To return to the top folder, click on the top folder's name that is in large type at the top.
    3. Clicking the browser "back arrow" may or may not return to the previous folder level.
  2. Click on a small picture to see the large picture presentation.
    1. Tools (via icons) are provided for you to do things like zoom, print, or download.
      Click on the Details (i) tab to see descriptive information about each picture.
    2. Navigate the slide presentation to see each picture in a series of pictures.
      1. Click on the   (Next) or the   (Previous) symbols to view each picture.
      2. Click on the  X  (Close) symbol in the upper right corner to exit the picture presentation.
    3. Have fun!
• Please note that you can manually associate any geographic coordinate value with a map location using Google Maps or Google Earth. Some picture viewing software also allows the automated presentation of map locations. To manually use Google Maps, open Google Maps with your browser and enter the coordinate values into the map search box. Enter these values without using the degree, minute, and second symbols. 
For example, to enter 33° 27' 42.8" N and 111° 56' 40.9" W you would type in this value 
33 27 42.8 N 111 56 40.9 W and then click on the search icon. 
The map will appear with a marker showing this location on a map. A Google Earth image can also be placed over the map so you can see that image information. Entering other coordinate value combinations will also work. You can experiment on your own. This example coordinate value will present a position at the Admissions entry to the Desert Botanical Garden.


Cormorant Identification Tips - July 1, 2016

Presented with this link — Cormorant Identification Tips — is a drawing presenting some identification tips for Neotropic and Double-crested Cormorants. Both of these birds can frequently be seen in Arizona. Fifteen years ago if you saw a cormorant in Arizona, you would have been reasonably certain that the cormorant that you saw was a Double-crested Cormorant. Over this time period, Neotropic Cormorants have greatly increased their numbers in Arizona to the point that careful identification should be made when observing these birds. Even with the aid of a good birding field guide and this drawing, making a correct cormorant identification can be very difficult. Often cormorant viewing is done at some distance with poor lighting conditions. Also there is a great deal of variability in the appearance of these birds. It is never a bad idea to seek help from other birders when trying to identify cormorants.


Winter Times! - February 1, 2016

Presented with this link — WinterTimes_20160201 — is a series of images showing how much fun we had birding on this cold and windy day at the Desert Botanical Garden.


Birdwalk Distances - July 12, 2014

How much walking do we do during a typical birdwalk?

Presented with this link — Birdwalk Distances — is a series of images showing typical birdwalk walking distances.
These images show the paths and distances in miles and feet for the Wildflower Loop Trail, some of the Central Garden Trails, the PPSD Loop Trail, and the Herb Garden area. The total typical walking distance for all four areas is also shown.


A New Boojum Tree and Barnes Butte - October 5, 2015

On Monday, October 5, 2015, a new Boojum tree was planted at the entrance to the Desert Terrace Garden in the Desert Botanical Garden. This 37 feet tall, multi-branched tree replaced a similar Boojum tree which had died and had been removed earlier in the year. The Boojum tree, Fouquieria columnaris, is a member of the Ocotillo Family (Fouquieriaceae). It is native to Baja California where it is called Cirio, which is Spanish for candle, because of its resemblance to tapered candles found in Catholic churches. A picture sequence showing the planting of this tree is presented with this link — BoojumTreePlanting-DBG_20151005.

It was a beautiful day for birding at the Garden and the early morning light presented a beautiful view of Barnes Butte. A picture showing Barnes Butte is presented with this link — BarnesButte_20151005.

Click on the Details (i) tab to see descriptive information about each picture.


Two Lesser Nighthawks - October 5, 2015

On Monday, October 5, 2015, two Lesser Nighthawks (Chordeiles acutipennis) were seen roosting in two Mesquite trees in the Desert Botanical Garden parking lot. Two pictures of these hard to see birds are presented with this link — LesserNighthawk-1and2-c5x7+txt.


El Paso Times - February 16, 2015

Today's birdwalk was a record attendance day with 65 active birders. Sixteen of the birders were visiting members of the El Paso, Texas Audubon group. Presented with this link  ElPasoTimes  is a short series of pictures of this day's birdwalk. John Bowman from Bettendorf, Iowa provided us with the included, bird book style, picture that he took of a Black-tailed Gnatcatcher. Spring nesting is beginning in the Garden. Presented here is a picture of a Mourning Dove on a partially finished nest in a Saguaro Cactus near the Amphitheater. House Sparrows were actively competing for the same nesting location.


Ash-throated Flycatcher - February 9, 2015

John Bowman from Bettendorf, Iowa attended the birdwalk today. John was kind enough to share three pictures of an Ash-throated Flycatcher that was seen in the Garden this morning. Two of these birds were seen at the same time. On the checklist we list this bird as an uncommon summer resident in the Garden. These three pictures are presented with this link — Ash-throated Flycatcher.


Barnes Butte and Desert Terrace Garden - January 26, 2015

Presented with this link — Barnes Butte + DTG  — is a picture that was taken during today's birdwalk.

The Desert Terrace Garden (DTG) along with the Desert Portal are two new beautiful additions to the Garden.


Black-tailed Gnatcatcher - January 19, 2015

Today's birdwalk was attended by Mike Fung from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Mike was kind enough to share three pictures of a Black-tailed Gnatcatcher that he saw during the walk. These pictures are presented with this link — Black-tailed Gnatcatcher.
We found these pictures to be particularly instructive for identifying this active small bird. Note the white eye ring, the black cap, and the black undertail.


Osprey Times! - November 17, 2014

Presented with this link  OspreyTimes!  is a short series of pictures that were taken during this day's birdwalk.
An Osprey clutching a large fish was seen flying over the Garden.

Birders:
Today, 23 expert birders saw 41 bird species. As we were looking for the two Great Horned Owls in the Eucalyptus grove, an Osprey flying overhead with a fish clutched in its talons diverted our attention. A Common Raven flying overhead also caused a diversion. We enjoyed seeing smaller birds, too.

Scene:
Today's scene is the early morning sunrise glow on Barnes Butte.


Robin Times! - November 10, 2014

Presented with this link  RobinTimes!  is a short series of pictures that were taken during this day's birdwalk.
Two American Robins  (one seen and another heard only) were rare observations in the Garden today.

Birders:
On this crisp early morning birdwalk 37 bird species were seen by 35 active participants.

Birds:
Weekend activities in the Stardust Foundation Plaza provided lots of food crumbs for the critters to eat. Shown in three pictures are three Inca Doves busily eating some of these crumbs. These birds successfully nested in a nearby Palo Verde tree, and we have been closely watching them. Because it is so rare in the garden, we do not have a recent picture of American Robin. Presented here is a very nice picture of two American Robins near the top of two Mesquite Trees. This picture was taken by Diana in the Garden on October 31, 2011. The most recent sighting of an American Robin on a Monday morning birdwalk was on February 20, 2012.

Butterfly and Flower:
The first picture shows a Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) on a Roselle plant (Hibiscus sabdariffa) from West Africa. The second picture is a real treat. This picture shows  the beautiful white flower of an Ornamental Sweet Potato (Ipomoea sp.) that lives in a pot in the Herb Garden near the Development Office.

Garden Remodel:
The Desert Terrace Garden and Lewis Desert Portal are now open for public access. We heard many exclamations of "It's open!" Three pictures show some of the completed work of this new garden and entry area. Shown first is a view of the completed north entrance that begins at the west side of the Ottosen Entry Garden just south of the entrance to the Wildflower Trail entrance. In the second picture the completed south entrance that begins just north of the entrance to the Center for Desert Living Trail and Herb Garden is shown. Finally, a beautiful stepped planter area with very nicely done ceramic and glass mosaic and rock work is shown.


Concrete Times! - October 20, 2014

Presented with this link  ConcreteTimes!  is a short series of pictures that were taken during this day's birdwalk.
A strange looking robotic arm has appeared at the Garden.

Birders:
This was a great birdwalk with many friends having returned for a new season of bird watching at the garden. Today 36 bird species were seen by 25 busy participants.

Garden Remodel:
These pictures show that the installation of the patterned concrete walkways are well underway. A giant Concrete Pump boom is being used reach the difficult to get at locations were walkways will be created. Picturing this large boom with elements of the Garden produces an incongruous effect. It can also be imagined that aliens from outer space have landed at the Garden.


8am Times! - October 13, 2014

Presented with this link  8amTimes!  is a short series of pictures that were taken during this day's birdwalk.
Now that it is the Autumn season, the birdwalks begin at 8:00 am.

Birders:
During this beautiful Autumn morning birdwalk, 35 active participants saw 43 bird species.

Cholla Storm Damage:
A powerful rain and wind storm visited the Valley on September 27. Pictured here are two Chain Fruit Cholla plants that were blown down during this storm. These pictures were taken on September 29. Restoration and cleanup has been completed. One plant was saved, and the other plant was carried away. These cholla cactus plants provide nesting places for Curve-billed Thrashers, Mourning Doves, House Finches, and Cactus Wrens.

Garden Remodel:
The first picture shows that metal trim has been added to the upper part of the pergola structure. The second picture shows that electrical work on the pergola is underway. The following pictures show that much of the ground area will soon be covered with patterned concrete walkways. The pictures also show that some planting in the area has begun.


Autumn Times! - September 22, 2014

Presented with this link  Autumn Times!  is a short series of pictures that were taken during this day's birdwalk. 
As you probably already know, this was the First Day of Autumn .

Birders:
Twenty busy birders saw 42 species during this overcast and warm birdwalk. Everyone on this walk was from the Valley of the Sun. It was a family day with parents and their grown daughters: Edwin and LoAnn and their daughter Joy; Toots and her daughter Debbie; and Adolpho and his daughter Andrea.

Birds:
Bird photographs from this day's walk include a Cactus Wren that was supervising the Garden remodel project and a Lesser Nighthawk that was roosting in a Mesquite tree in the parking lot. Kathy, one of the birdwalk participants, provided a photograph of a smart-looking Greater Roadrunner.

Garden Remodel:
It looks as if the paint work on the large and beautiful pergola has been completed. Workers are hard at work finishing the rock fascia detail work. The long wooden forms have been removed to show a very nice looking concrete structure. This structure is still a puzzle to me. Evidence of work by electricians was seen. This project may be on its downhill leg toward completion. The pictures presented here show how much of the work is progressing.

Other Animals: 
An Empress Leilia butterfly posed nicely along the Plants and People of the Sonoran Desert Trail for a photograph. The host plant for this beautiful butterfly is Desert Hackberry. Kathy, one of the birdwalk participants, did a nice job of photographing the handsome male Flame Skimmer butterfly that was perched on the tip of an agave leaf. Flame Skimmers are common in the Garden during the warmer months of the year. Kathy also provided the photograph of the Woodhouses's Toad which was seen near the gift shop.

Plants-Scenes:
The scene of the day was  a beautiful sunrise picture of Papago Buttes which are west of the Garden. The Grand Canyon Century Plant (Agave philipsiana) which is a prominent sight at the beginning of the Wildflower Trail is now leaning to the south and will soon fall over; the whole plant is dying. The Artichoke flower which we have been following in the edible garden has been removed so I will no longer be able to follow its degredation. A Pink Fairy Duster was in full flower (probably in response to the recent rains) along the Wildflower Trail.


Flicker Times! - September 15, 2014

Presented with this link  Flicker Times!  is a short series of pictures that were taken during this day's birdwalk. Five Gilded Flickers were seen this morning. We do not have any pictures of these impressive birds.

Birders:
Fourteen birders saw 39 species during this warm and humid birdwalk.

Birds:
Jackie Anderson, who is one of the birdwalk leaders, provided two pictures of a Greater Roadrunner carrying and consuming its prey. This sort of feeding behavior by the Greater Roadrunner is very interesting and complex. If you want to know the details of this behavior, ask Andree, Diana, or William.

Garden Remodel:
The heavy duty steel posts that were installed two weeks ago have developed into a large and beautiful pergola. This structure is currently being painted. The beautiful rock fascia work is continuing. It is now apparent that many of the concrete block structures will become raised plant beds. Presented here are some pictures of this work in progress.

Last Week's Rain Water:
Jackie Anderson also provided several pictures of some of the water conditions that occurred in the Garden last Monday, September 8. Because of the extraordinary rainfall, the Garden was closed that day. This closing was a good thing because the water levels were dangerously high, and the dirt trails were muddy and slippery.

Plants-Scenes:
As a result of the wet conditions, there were several tall (four to eight inches) white mushrooms growing in the garden area in front of the library building. Presented here is a picture of four of these mushrooms. A picture of the Artichoke plant that I have been following as it slowly degrades is presented. A special treat today is a picture of a beautiful Passion Flower. This particular vine with its flowers specifically attracts the Gulf Fritillary butterfly. We saw several of these butterflies when this picture was taken.


Quail Times! - September 1, 2014

Presented with this link  QuailTimes!  is a short series of pictures that were taken during this day's birdwalk. Although we don't have any pictures of them, Gambel's Quail were abundant this morning. As we were walking from the staff parking lot to the main entrance, we saw about 20 quail, including a family of four with two babies that were only about one week old.

Birders:
Twenty birders saw 37 species during this rather warm morning birdwalk. Rafael and Andrea from the west Phoenix area (west Valley of the Sun) came on today's birdwalk. This was their first time with us.

Birds:
Jackie Anderson, who is one of the birdwalk leaders, provided a picture of a parent Inca Dove with two fledglings. These birds were observed in the a Palo Verde tree in the Amphitheater.

Garden Remodel:
Several heavy duty steel posts that extend high into the air have been mounted on the concrete pads that were made earlier. The rock fascia work is completed in some areas. Wire mesh has been attached to the concrete block to help hold the rock fascia work.

Plants-Scenes:
Here is a scene of a Prickly Pear Cactus with some fruit growing over a rock fascia in the Ottosen Entry Garden.


Hawk Times! - August 25, 2014

Presented with this link  HawkTimes!  is a short series of pictures that were taken during this day's birdwalk.

Birders:
Ten birders saw 37 bird species during this pleasant morning's birdwalk. This mornings visitors were from Kansas and Kentucky.

Birds:
The Mourning Doves that we have been following on a nest in the Stenocereus stellatus cactus near the Herb Garden have left the nest. We presume that the two nestlings have fledged and that the parents are taking care of them somewhere in the Garden.
A juvenile Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) was seen in the Cottonwood Grove.

Garden Remodel:
The block work appears to be nearly completed. Many surfaces of the block work have been waterproofed. Some concrete pads have been poured for supporting some type of structure. A long, narrow set of wooden forms has been built to contain a poured concrete structure. Many pipes and electrical conduit can be seen in the pictures. At this stage, the project is getting very interesting. 

Mammals:
A young Desert Cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii) paused for its picture to be taken near the entrance to the Plants and People of the Sonoran Desert Loop Trail.

Plants-Scenes:
Views of Barnes Butte from the Desert Botanical Garden are iconic and beautiful. This morning light scene of Barnes Butte is no exception.


Thrasher Times! - August 18, 2014

Presented with this link  Thrasher Times!  is a short series of pictures that were taken during this day's birdwalk.

Birders:
Twenty-one hard working birders saw 44 bird species during this birdwalk. Notably seen were 20 Curve-billed Thrashers, two Phainopeplas, and 23 busy Cactus Wrens. Again, five Greater Roadrunners were seen in the Garden. Dean, a birder from Los Banos in California told us that living in Los Banos and not being a birder is like living in Aspen and not being a skier. Los Banos is along the western edge of the San Joaquin Valley west of Merced. 

Birds:
The Mourning Doves that we have been following on a nest in the Stenocereus stellatus cactus near the Herb Garden have successfully hatched three healthy looking nestlings. Three nestlings, and then later two nestlings, were seen staying very close to the parent bird. Both nestlings were seen alone in the nest today. Both nestlings have lots of feathers and are getting quite large. One nestling appears to be more mature than the other. We speculate that the nest was not large enough for three growing and wiggling nestlings and that one of the birds probably fell to the ground and was picked up by a predator. These two nestlings may soon leave the nest.
Diana has provided a mystery bird photo for your enjoyment. This bird was photographed on August 15, 2014 in the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge in south San Diego County, California.
Jackie Anderson, who is one of the birdwalk leaders, provided three candid photos of birds seen on Monday: "Western" Flycatcher (Pacific-slope or Cordilleran - we cannot determine which); a Gila Woodpecker feeding on a Prickly Pear cactus fruit; a juvenile White-winged Dove.

Garden Remodel:
The block work continues with the remodel project. Several of the blocked in areas are being filled in with dirt. Block work near the point where the project pictures have been taken is taking form. A really cool (a guy thing) JLG Industries SkyTrak Telehandler with a material bucket was in two of the pictures. As you can see from these pictures, more block work will be installed with this project.

Plants-Scenes:
An ongoing project has been to track the development of an Artichoke flower from the flowering stage to seed production and to oblivion. Presented are two pictures of a plant that is being tracked. As visual candy for you, a beautiful scene of Prickly Pear Cactus and Saguaro Cactus, with Garden Butte in the background, is presented.


Roadrunner Times! - August 11, 2014

Presented with this link  Roadrunner Times!  is a short series of pictures that were taken during this day's birdwalk.

Birders:
Twenty three advanced birders had an interesting time watching two Greater Roadrunners at their nest in a Pachycereus weberi cactus in the Ottosen Entry Garden. Three other Roadrunners were also seen during the birdwalk. This group of sharp eyed birders saw 35 bird species this morning.

Birds:
The Mourning Doves that we have been following on a nest in the Stenocereus stellatus cactus near the Herb Garden have successfully hatched three healthy looking nestlings. These three nestlings were seen actively staying very close to the parent bird. All three nestlings have lots of feathers and are getting quite large. They may soon leave the nest.
Tom Becker, a local photographer, provided us with another picture of the Least Bittern that he saw last week at the Papago Park Pond 2.
This week Don Witter, who is one of the birdwalk leaders, treated us to three interesting pictures. Shown are a Western Tanager, a Lesser Nighthawk, and a young Greater Roadrunner. 
Kathy, who is a regular birdwalk participant, provided two pictures: a Verdin at a nest, and a Lesser Nighthawk perched on the branch of a Mesquite tree. I believe that this is not the same Verdin that I saw in its nest in a Palo Verde tree directly in front of the entrance to the Bee Garden along the Wildflower Trail.
Please note the camouflage of the Lesser Nighthawk. They are almost impossible to see when they are perched somewhere on or near the ground.
We really like to be able to share these kinds of candid birding pictures with you.

Garden Remodel:
The block work for the remodel project is growing to a rather large size. Additional foundations are being prepared for even more structures. It is becoming apparent that this project will provide a major change to the appearance of this area of the Garden. Although it may take some time to complete the details of this project, we are confident that we will all be pleased with the results.

Plants-Scenes:
The first flower picture shows a group of flowers on a Guaiacum coulteri shrub. Note the developing seed pods. This large shrub presented hundreds of really beautiful clumps of violet flowers. Many more hundreds of bees were busy with these flowers. This plant originates from NW Mexico to Guatemala.
The second flower picture shows a rather different white flower of the Haageocereus versicolor cactus. This plant originates from Peru. The versicolor species name is applied because the spines have different colors. If you look this plant up you will note that this is a very good picture of this plant with its flowers.


Goldfinch Times! - August 4, 2014

Presented with this link  Goldfinch Times!  is a short series of pictures that were taken during this day's birdwalk.

Birders:
Fifteen enthusiastic birders enjoyed watching dozens of Lesser Goldfinches feeding on sunflowers in the Wildflower Garden. This group saw 39 bird species this morning.  

Birds:
We continue to follow the Mourning Dove nest in the Stenocereus stellatus cactus near the Herb Garden. This is the third week. Something will happen very soon. 
Kathy, one of the regular birdwalk participants, provided the nice photograph of the Ladder-backed Woodpecker.
As a special treat, Tom Becker, a local photographer, provided us with two pictures of the Least Bittern that was seen by us at the Papago Park Pond 2 last Friday. This was a lifebird for me. 
Presented with this link is a sequence of three far to near pictures showing the Greater Roadrunner on the nest in the Pachycereus weberi cactus in the Ottosen Entry Garden on Friday.

Garden Remodel:
The block work continues with the remodel project. Several of the blocked in areas are being filled in with dirt. Electrical conduit and water pipes are being installed. A really cool (a guy thing) JLG Industries SkyTrak Telehandler with a material bucket was being used to move dirt. As you can see from these pictures, more block work will be installed with this project.

Plants-Scenes:
After an overnight thunder storm, we were treated to a beautiful sunrise which is shown in the first picture. Please note the outline of Four Peaks in the Mazatzal Mountains of Tonto National Forest. The second picture shows Garden Butte bathed in the early morning light. Two coyotes were seen on the ridge of Garden Butte. See if you can find them in the third picture. The Stenocereus stellatus cactus near the Herb Garden presented a rather different flower. This is the cactus where the Mourning Dove that we are following has its nest. Kathy provided the photograph of the Common Kingsnake. These harmless (to us) snakes are common the the Garden. They are not harmless to the Round-tailed Ground Squirrels.


Migration Times! - July 28, 2014

Presented with this link  Migration Times!  is a short series of pictures that were taken during this day's birdwalk.

Birders:
Andree was vacationing in a cooler place, so Diana and Don stepped in to lead the walk. A visitor from Oregon joined the group and enjoyed seeing rabbits, squirrels, and lizards as well as birds. The birders worked hard and saw an impressive 40 species during the walk.

Birds:
Even though we are seeing the beginning of fall migration, nesting activity is continuing throughout the Garden.We are still watching and photographing a Mourning Dove nest near the Herb Garden, and there are many active nests and fledgling doves throughout the Garden. Greater Roadrunners are nesting again, this time in the Ottosen Entry Garden in a cactus from Mexico called "Candelabro" (Pachycereus weberi). We will be following this nest over the next several weeks. Kathy, one of the regular birdwalk participants, provided the nice photograph of the Inca Dove nestlings. Tracy, the gardener in the Herb Garden, provided the photograph of the Western Screech-Owl. This owl was at that base of a shrub "Vallesia" (Vallesia baileyana). She took this picture in the Herb Garden with her phone camera on Wednesday, July 23.

Garden Remodel:
There has been considerable progress with the block work on the mysterious structures.

Plants-Scenes:
As we said last week, there is always something blooming in the Garden. This week a Toothpick Cactus flower greeted us early in the morning, and a blooming agave in the Wildflower Garden was enjoyed by birds and Garden visitors alike. This blooming agave is called the "Grand Canyon Century Plant" (Agave phillipsiana). This plant is only found naturally growing within the GCNP and may be an ancient cultivar. American Bullfrogs are easily seen in the pond this time of year. A large bright orange carp was also seen in the pond.


Verdin Times! - July 21, 2014

Presented with this link  Verdin Times!  is a short series of pictures that were taken during this day's birdwalk.

Birders:
Even during the middle of summer the birdwalks are well attended. In addition to the regular, hardy birders we had visitors from eastern Tennessee and Atlanta, Georgia who saw some life birds, such as Rosy-faced Lovebirds and Lesser Goldfinch.

Birds:
We are continuing to follow the Mourning Dove nest that has been pictured for the past three weeks. The parent bird is apparently incubating eggs. A Cactus Wren nest was seen along the Wildflower Trail, but only nest building activity was observed. Cactus Wrens have been very busy in the Herb Garden with their recently fledged young. We saw a parent foraging for insects on the bark of a mesquite tree and feeding what it found to a demanding fledgling. Kathy O, one of the birdwalk participants, provided us with a photograph of a male Costa's Hummingbird and a Gila Woodpecker that was taking a drink of water from a sprinkler head.

Garden Remodel:
Work continues on the unknown structures. The foundations are in, and blockwork has begun.

Plants-Scenes:
Cacti are continuing to bloom in the Garden, and an Adenium and a Boojum Tree provided other colorful floral treats. The picture of the closed Harrisia martinii flower shows that this flower was only open until about 9:30 am. We thought that the Saguaro cactus with its many arms and maturing fruit was particularly beautiful. The Saguaro cactus skeleton presented itself against the lightly clouded sky as a piece of natural art. As a followup to previous artichoke flower pictures, these pictures show flower heads going to seed.


Very Humid Times! - July 14, 2014

Presented with this link  Very Humid Times!  is a short series of pictures that were taken during this day's birdwalk.

Birds:
During June of this year, the nest shown in the picture was used by Mourning Doves. Pictures of this nest are shown with the "Great Times!," "Dove Times!," and "Summer Times!" entries on this page. Now this same nest will be used again. We will keep watching to see what happens. Kathy O, who is one of the birdwalk participants, provided us with a very nice photograph of a Great Horned Owl. She found this elusive bird in the Cottonwoods on Sunday, July 13

Garden Remodel:
The extensive ironwork shown in the pictures indicates that some substantial structures will be built for this remodel project. We still do not know what these structures will be.

Plants-Scenes:
There is always something in bloom at the Garden. Texas Sage is a favorite landscape shrub here in Arizona. Now that the monsoon season is here, these plants will be blooming everywhere. Mammillaria grahamii cacti are planted in many places around the Garden. This past week, these plants have been gifting us with their beautiful flowers. The plant shown in the picture is located near a fence that goes along a path that leads to the employee parking lot.


Humid Times! - July 7, 2014

Presented with this link  Humid Times!  is a short series of pictures that were taken during this day's birdwalk.

Birds:
Don Witter, who is one of the birdwalk leaders, provided us with an amazing early morning image of the Western Screech-Owl that he saw in a Saguaro cavity west of the Wildflower Garden at 6:48 am. He used a camera with a combined equivalent focal length of about 19,200 mm (35 mm equivalent; optical and digital) to get this long distance image. By the time we got to where we could see the roosting place of the the Western Screech-Owl, it had dropped down inside the Saguaro cavity, so the rest of us did not get to see this bird.
Jackie Anderson, who is also one of the birdwalk leaders, provided us with three nice pictures: a Gilded Flicker in flight from a Saguaro cactus, a Brown-crested Flycatcher perched in a Palo Verde tree, and a male House Finch perched in a Mesquite tree. Birders often need to identify a bird when only viewing it as it flies away. The Brown-crested Flycatcher is probably one of the same birds that we have seen before. The House Finch posture is rather interesting. Is he cooling himself?

Garden Remodel:
The steel work for the foundations of various structures has begun.

Maps:
Four map images are presented. These images show the walking routes taken along the Wildflower Loop Trail, the Central Garden Trail, and along the PPSD Loop Trail. Noted are the locations of some of the birds that were seen.

Plants-Scenes:
Two beautiful early morning scenes are provided. One scene shows the early morning light on Garden Butte framed with clouds above, and the other scene shows a bright Barnes Butte with part of the office building that is used by Development in the foreground.


Flycatcher Times! - June 30, 2014

Presented with this link — Flycatcher Times! — is a short series of pictures that were taken during this day's birdwalk.
Two Ash-throated Flycatchers and two Brown-crested Flycatcher were seen in the Garden today. Nesting is still very active in the Garden. 

Birds:
With a bit of patience, we were able to find and observe the activity at the Brown-crested Flycatcher's nest cavity in a Saguaro near Stardust Plaza. We saw that there were two adult birds actively feeding the nestlings. One time, a bright orange dragonfly was brought as food, and another time the nestlings were fed pieces of a dove egg shell. We think that this egg shell was the same one that we had seen earlier along the PPSD trail. When a bird would come with food, it would first land on a nearby Palo Verde tree branch, appear to look around for a few seconds, and then jump over to the nest cavity. The actual feeding only took one or two seconds after which the bird would fly away for more food hunting. We believe that the nestlings are advanced enough to take the food from the parent. It did not appear as if the parent was pushing the food into the nestlings. The nestlings could be heard begging inside the nest.
Both the male and female Northern Cardinals were seen actively building a nest in a Texas Ebony Tree in the Wildflower Garden. They were gathering yucca fibers to be used as nesting material. We hope that these two long time residents of the Garden will be successful parents with this new nest.

Garden Remodel:
Work has begun in the leveled and smooth site area. A large pile of prepared steel rebar was seen in the center of the site area.

Maps:
A map image showing the walking routes taken along the Wildflower Loop Trail, the Central Garden Trail, and along the PPSD Loop Trail is provided. Noted are the locations of some of the birds that were seen.

Plants-Scenes:
Flower treats this week were the beautiful deep red Echinopsis-vatteri,  the white Harrisia-martinii, and the pleasing Yellow Morning Glory flowers. We hope that you enjoy these images.
Last week we presented a picture of the strange looking Cardón cactus fruit. This week, here is a link to a short picture essay :


Summer Times! - June 23, 2014

Presented with this link Summer Times! — is a short series of pictures that were taken during this day's birdwalk.
Summer has officially arrived and the hot weather is bearing down in earnest. It is a good thing that we bird early when conditions are quite pleasant.
Jackie Anderson, one of the birdwalk leaders, provided two very nice pictures for this series. One picture shows a difficult to identify Brown-crested Flycatcher, and the other picture shows some of the birders doing the birdlist compilation in cool indoor comfort at Gertrude's. 

Birds:
Even behind Palo Verde tree branches, the Brown-crested Flycatcher is an impressive sighting. It took some careful observation and a bit of discussion to correctly identify this bird. Experts like Jackie Anderson and Andree Tarby were able to settle on an identification.
This week the previously seen Mourning Dove nestling has fledged and the nest is now empty.

Garden Remodel:
The site preparation where the ground area is leveled and smooth has been completed. The surveyors are now marking the area in preparation for the next phase of this remodel project.

Maps:
A map image showing the walking routes taken along the Wildflower Loop Trail, the Central Garden Trail, and along the PPSD Loop Trail is provided.

Plants-Scenes:
Some might think that the Cardón cactus fruit is a mysterious object because of its unique appearance. Inside this fruit is juicy red pulp which contains lots of small black seeds. Except for the outer appearance, this fruit is very similar to the Saguaro fruit. This fruit is readily consumed by White-winged Doves, House Finches, and many other desert birds.
The good to eat Globe Artichoke, if not picked, will produce a really beautiful flower which is shown in this picture series. Many busy bees were seen feeding and pollinating within this flower.


Dove Times! - June 16, 2014

Presented with this link — Dove Times! — is a short series of pictures that were taken during this day's birdwalk.
This is a special time of year to view the activities of doves at the Garden. At last count, there were more than 80 White-winged Doves and more than 40 Mourning Doves seen actively feeding, drinking, breeding, incubating, hatching, brooding, and rearing their young.

At the Garden the birds, plants, and other animals live in close harmony with each other. Closely watching some of these ever changing interactions over time is what adds to the excitement of birding at the Garden.

Birds:
This week the patience of two attentive Mourning Doves has been rewarded with the magic of a nestling. The parent is probably a male, since females incubate and brood at night, and males do so during the daytime. We will watch for this young bird to fledge.

Garden Remodel:
Large earthmoving machines are being used to prepare the new entry trail. A full bucket of plant material was being loaded into a large dump truck.

Plants-Scenes:
  1. A strange and beautiful looking Euphorbia has filled its pot on the Herb Garden patio. Someday we will learn the binomial name for this plant. 
  2. We found this Saguaro fruit on the ground next to a large Saguaro. The juicy red pulp which contained about two thousand small black seeds had been consumed by birds. White-winged Doves, House Finches, and many other desert birds feed on Saguaro fruits during the fruiting season. During the peak season it seems as if every arm of every Saguaro that has fruit has one or two White-winged Doves feeding on the ripe fruit. 
  3. We could not pass up sharing the beautiful giant Toothpick cactus scene framed by Garden Butte in the background. 
  4. At an entrance to the Stardust Plaza is a plant that is not a Firecracker Cactus and does not look like a Mammilaria cactus. It is a Mammilaria poselgeri (Cochemiea poselgeri) cactus from the southern region of Baja California, Mexico. Discoveries like this are a great treat. 
  5. A White Virgin’s Bower or Western White Clematis (Clematis ligusticifolia) has wound itself among the branches of a Mesquite tree near the Desert Oasis pond. This vine has produced a large mass of  plume-like, feathery achenes (seed plumes)
  6. The sunflowers (Helianthus annuus, Aster family) and arrowweed (Pluchea sericea, Aster family) with Barnes Butte in the background present an iconic scene at the Garden.


Great Times! - June 9, 2014

Presented with this link — Great Times! — is a short series of pictures that were taken during this day's birdwalk.
Jackie Anderson, one of the birdwalk leaders, provided two very nice pictures for this series. One picture shows a Northern Cardinal that she named "Old Baldy, and the other picture shows a Greater Roadrunner that was clicking its bill as it perched high on a cactus (Stenocereus stellatus).


Hot Times! - June 2, 2014

Presented with this link — Hot Times! — is a short series of pictures that were taken during this day's birdwalk.
Two of our favorite plants were in bloom, and Barnes Butte is always impressive.
Click on a folder icon and then click on the first small picture to begin a presentation of the pictures.


Good Times! - May 26, 2014

Presented with this link — Good Times! — is a short series of pictures that were taken during this day's birdwalk.
Some interesting critters were seen during the birdwalk.
Click on the first small picture to begin a presentation of the pictures.



Google Chrome Users:

  1. You can view picture folders and files that are on your computer using Google Chrome.
    1. To do this, open a New Tab page and drag and drop a picture folder or file into an open area of the new page.
  2. Using Google Chrome with the Chrome Extensions listed below, you can view selected picture properties information (Exif data), and you can see the GPS location of a picture on Google Maps if the picture file has GPS Position data.
  3. Select and install these two Chrome Extenstions.
    1. Visit the Chrome Web Store and enter the name of each Chrome Extension in the search box.
    2. Download and install these Extensions:
      1. Local Image Viewer from Sam Larison
        1. This software is free with no registration. There are no advertisements with this software.
        2. Press the "<" icon, ">" icon, and <space bar> to use the functions of this extension.
        3. On the Chrome Extensions page, click the Options link for the Local Image Viewer entry to see the About Local Image Viewer page.
      2. EXIF Viewer from andry.virvich
        1. Payment for this software is optional, and registration is not required. There are no advertisements with this software.
        2. While viewing an image in Chrome, right click in the image area and select "Show EXIF data" to run the extension. Click the "X" to close the open EXIF Viewer window.
        3. On the Chrome Extensions page, click the Options link for the EXIF Viewer entry to see the EXIF viewer settings (or click the wrench icon in the program window).

Microsoft Windows Users:

  1. You can view picture files that are on your computer using the Bandisoft-Honeyview software:
    1. Click this link, Bandisoft-Honeyview, to learn more about Honeview and to download this software.
    2. Before you use this software, please check that it will be compatible with your computer.
    3. This software is free with no registration. There are no advertisements with this software.
  2. Listed here is some of what Honeyview will do:
    1. View picture files in window or full screen views.
    2. View and copy selected picture properties information.
    3. See the GPS location of a picture on Google Maps if the picture file has GPS Position data.

Apple Users:

  1. We do not know how to use Apple products. 

  2. If you know how to view picture files, picture properties, and GPS Position information, please let us know and we will add your instructions here.


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William and Diana Herron, February, 2012
Icons by VisualPharm