¡No Me Gustan Los Whirlybirds!

Whirlybird with a game warden looking for a coyote that attacked a runner.

Daddy Owl: “¡No me gustan los whirlybirds! ¡A mí tampoco me gustan los coyotes!

Flicker: “Whirlybird? Is that what that thing is called?”

Mama Owl: “Stupid coyotes! Stupid whirlybird!”

I thought the doves flew up out of the cottonwood because of the helicopter.

But a second look revealed a Cooper’s Hawk had flown up in the tree where the doves were perched.

“It’s a bird! It’s a plane! IT’S a WHIRLYBIRD! Stupid coyotes!”

Blow up of Mr. Cooper.

Whirlybird hovering before flying south. A crane flying north.

Mr. Cooper flew north to another tree.

Mama Owl: “That’s better now that the whirlybird has flown south!”

Clouds at dawn looking north.

Daddy Owl: “Mucho mejor sin el whirlybird.”

Like a sunset at sunrise looking southwest.

Confirmed

Mama Owl poked her ear tufts up.

I didn’t see Daddy Owl at all yesterday, and I still couldn’t see Mama Owl in the hole in the tree, but tonight, Mama Owl poked her head up just enough for me to see her ear tufts and the top of her head. We should be seeing owlets in about six weeks.

Daddy Owl looking pensive before he flew off to find a meal for Mama Owl.

The Vigil Begins

Daddy owl was by himself this morning.

When I went out this evening, Daddy Owl was still alone. I heard another owl hoot not too far away, but I could not see it. Daddy owl hooted back and then flew to a tree a few hundred feet or so from where he was perched. He answered another hoot and flew over to the hole in the tree where the nest has been. He looked down into the hole hooted, looked at me, looked back into the hole, looked up behind him, and then flew off. I assume Mama Owl has started sitting on her nest in the tree, but if she is in the hole, she is laying low so I couldn’t see her.

He was still by himself this evening answering hoots.

The hole where the nest is looked empty.

After answering hoots, he flew to a tree a little south of where Mama Owl has nested in the past.

He flew over to where Mama Owl nests, looked into the hole, and hooted.

Looked at the paparazzo.

Looked in the hole again.

Checked out what was behind him before he flew off.

Blondy & The Owls

Blondy feeding on an elm tree by the irrigation ditch.

Above is a 48-second video of Blondy feeding on an elm tree. The video is a little shaky because it is handheld at sunset, and Blondy was backlit. I had to push the exposure two stops to get detail in Blondy. The video gives you an idea of how slow and deliberate porcupines are. Blondy is in some ways like a monkey and other ways like a sloth.

Mama Owl

Daddy Owl

Daddy Owl and Mama Owl

Snow Came and Went

Black and white of snow under dawn’s dark light turns to snow black and white under a dark street light.

Cranes fly into darkness in the sun’s waning light.

Clouds break up over the Rio Grande and the snow-covered Sandias.

Mama Owl and Daddy Owl perched in a different tree.

Crows fly in the final light of dusk.

The pTerodactyl reflects in the darkness.

Under A Freezing Midday Sun

We got about an inch of snow last night, and while the sun tried to peek through the clouds, the temperature never got about 25ºF (-3.9ºC). A couple of walks in the bosque and out on the beaches along the Rio Grande resulted in new birds and some exciting owl news.

Sandias and the Rio Grande from North Beach.

Canadian Geese.

Five Thrushes.

These Thrushes looked really iridescent in the snow on the riverbank under the cold, filtered sun.

Red-Tailed Hawk way off in the distance.

Sparrow up north scavaging in the snow and pebbles.

Red-Tailed Hawk in profile.

This poor calf has lost its herd. It’s all alone and has been sadly mooing for someone to keep it company.

Can you spot the northern mama owl sitting on her eggs?

She didn’t use this nest last year because the raccoons had ransacked it. She is in it again this year. The year before, 2018, she had Virginia in this nest: https://wp.me/p1yQyy-4dG

Thrush

Blondy the blonde porcupine sleeping way up in a cottonwood.

Thrush getting a drink.

The acequia madre

Robin

Snowy Bosque

Mama Owl and Daddy Owl in their usual spot with snow all around.

Happy Valentine’s Day From The Birds

 The pTerodactyl posed perfectly in the Tangle Heart Tree for Valentine’s Day.

Miss Stripy Sparrow

Mama Owl

Sparky Sparrow

Daddy Owl snoozing at sunrise.

A congregation of cranes at dawn.

Tommee Towhee

Cranes celebrating the frosty sunrise.

The other side of Miss Stripy Sparrow.

A pTerodactyl takeoff.

A silly duck on takeoff.

“¡Hasta la huego you silly goose!”

As a thunderstorm blew in this evening lots of crows were flying all around us.

¡Nada!

Yesterday we had clouds running amok through the skies with our painter scrambling to keep her colors from blowing away with the winds. Today ¡Nada! Not a cloud in the sky. However, our ever clever painter brushed the Sandias with pink, then she threw a spray of ocher that turned into lavender, purples, and blues as it spread from the horizon into the sky.

Our painter picks her colors from sunbursts.

Mama Owl watches as our painter makes her magic.

Quick Change Skies

Looking west @ 5:31 pm February 10, 2021

Mama Owl @ 4:23 pm February 10, 2021

Looking south @ 5:42 pm February 10, 2021

Cranes @ 5:44 pm February 10, 2021

Looking east @ 5:45 pm February 10, 2021

pTerodactyl with ducks doing vespers prayers. 5:53 pm February 10, 2021

Looking west @ 6:01 pm February 10, 2021