Big Country Audubon Society

Stories from March, 2007

Spring Awakens


In case you hadn’t noticed, spring is here! Birds that are normally shy and quiet are suddenly noisy and visible as they sit high on their perches singing to announce their territory. This Cactus Wren hopped directly above me and promptly let loose with his famous rattle. As you can see, he inflates his throat to produce the rattle call.


A few ducks are left on our ponds and some are showing off:


…while others prefer to walk on water.


The Eastern Bluebirds are house hunting:


And the turkeys have become downright gaudy!


To read more about what these birds are doing, check out the Spring Awakens Picture Gallery. There are more pictures of shy birds, show-off birds, and you can see a sequence of pictures showing the actual moment of how a female bluebird contemplates, inspects, and then chooses which box she will raise her family in.

Serendipitous March Morning


Six hopeful and one pessimistic birder made another attempt to see the Le Conte’s Sparrow at Dyess AFB Saturday morning. I’m admitting that I was the pessimistic one. After all, I had made numerous trips to the site, each time coming up with nothing. OK, maybe we’ll see the bird but it won’t cooperate for all of us to see it. Ha! Not only did we see it, but it let us come within ten feet of it. It posed in a stunning frontal view, then turned around and posed for all to see the beautifully patterned back, then hopped to its side and showed off its golden glow. After about six minutes it plunged into the thick tall grass and resumed its secretive nature. Fickle bird, gorgeous golden phantom of the grass, don’t you know your unpredictable antics are what makes birding exhilarating?

More photos of the phantom of the grass can be seen in the Serendipitous March Morning Gallery. I’m going to bed awed, grateful for my six optomistic friends.