Baby Owls! and so much more – Albuquerque Area Birding Day

I only had one day this week where I could go hiking and birding all morning.  So I headed out early to maximize my time.  I first stopped at the Ojito de San Antonio Open Space.  I only went in a little ways where the spring and fruit trees are just to see what might be around.  I saw lots of birds, but most of them didn’t cooperate for photos very well.  They insisted on staying high up in the trees or deep in the bushes.  It’s like a bulletin went out or something :-\

I did manage to get photos of a Cedar Waxwing, American Robin, Spotted Towhee, Cassin’s Finch and Evening Grosbeak.  I also got a photo of what at first seemed to be a Red Crossbill.  But upon closer inspection I think it’s an American Robin with a beak deformity.  It seems the bottom half of the beak is normal while the upper portion is severely curved.

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Cedar Waxwing

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American Robin

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Evening Grosbeak – only photo I managed to get

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American Robin with beak deformity

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Spotted Towhee

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Cassin’s Finch enjoying plum blossoms

I then drove into town to walk along the bosque to the Tingley Beach Duck Ponds.  I saw quite a few birds.  There were lots of Yellow-Rumped Warblers in the canopy.  I was lucky to find one male singing in a low bush.  It was a beautiful crisp spring morning so lots of bird activity along the trail.

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Bewick Wren

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American Kestrel

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Male and Female Mallard – look at the size of that turtle between them!!!

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Northern Flicker looking for bugs in the leaf litter

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Downy Woodpecker

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Hairy Woodpecker

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Yellow-Rumped Warbler

After visiting the duck ponds I headed out to see if there were any baby owls showing themselves. Success! The nest at the Calabacillas Arroyo had two babies.  One of them looked quite a bit further along than the other.  I didn’t see the parent around.  But the babies were as curious of me as I was of them.  Adorable!

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baby Great Horned Owl

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I then headed over to the Piedra Marcadas nest.  I don’t think they’ve hatched yet.  Still only the female on the nest and no sign of the male.

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Great Horned Owl

I did see a really pretty butterfly there.  Thanks to Joe I’m noticing them all the time now 🙂 It was plain brown on the outside but beautiful orange when it spread its wings.

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This butterfly matched the leaf litter until it opened its wings

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All in all a great morning for hiking and birding.  Was really nice to get out after working the gardens and greenhouse and doing my bookkeeping all week.

2 thoughts on “Baby Owls! and so much more – Albuquerque Area Birding Day

  1. Great photos and story. Really liked the Kestrel, Mallards with the turtle and of course the baby owls. Color me JEALOUS. Got a sunny day coming tomorrow. I will be out to see what is there.

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  2. Wow! That butterfly looks like a Tropical Leafwing (Anaea aidea). If it is, you might just have a County record! Oh, and fyi, folks are starting to see 3 little ones in Calabacillas.

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