Really warm and humid, the weather is. I decided to take a short walk after dinner to see my friends-of-the-desert. Canon 7D Mark 2 in hand, mounted on my mono-pod, I leave Casa Esplendida at 6:00PM. I like to use my Ipod with iBird Pro bird sounds downloaded to attract birds that I would, otherwise, never see. Even though there are no Black-capped Gnatcatchers here on the East Cape, I’ve found that many birds are attracted to it’s calls. Even worked in Oaxaca, Mexico. First, here comes a California Gnatcatcher. He’s doing his best to imitate the call.
All I have to do is turn around and I see a little Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. Like other gnatcatchers, he’s flicking his tail constantly to help scare-up the insects they feed on. This one is yapping back at me as well.
Gnatcatchers aren’t the only birds attracted to this call. Almost landing on my hat is an ever-curious Cactus Wren. If you ever have the chance to see these birds interact with their young, don’t miss it. Funniest act you may ever see!
I switch gears a little and play the call of an Elf Owl. Like other birds-of-prey, owls are constantly harassed by small birds. Birds, like the Phainopepla, gang up together to rid the neighborhood of these child-thieves. Phainopeplas are members of the silky-flycatcher family. Actually, they’re the only silkies in North America.
Also answering the call to duty is the endemic Grey Thrasher. These birds look like they have little tepees on their chests.
On my way home, the cooler air reminds me of my proximity to the sea. The Sea of Cortez where, every direction my gaze takes me, there is always life, beautiful-living creatures. Some soaring, like this Red-tailed Hawk-
Some running on the ground, like this California Quail-
And some just seem to be there to dazzle and amaze us, like this Costa’s Hummingbird.
Happy Birding from Chris and Debbie and Have a Great Day!
Don’t for get to like us, if you do.