Of course, this time of year, I am really thinking a lot about birds. I have noticed that different areas of town are home to different species of hawks. My Santa Margarita River Valley is predominately red tailed hawks along with some smaller species like Swainsons. I rarely see red shouldered, who probably steer clear of their larger cousins.
Wilt and Gird and the south end of town is more red shouldered territory.
René has a red shouldered hawk living in her tree. We identified it both visually and through one of the many bird call identification sources on the web. Visit this link to hear its distinctive call.
Renée also thought that she had recognized the sound of the canyon wren on her sunday morning walks up Monserate Mountain. She had become familiar with the bird on her trips rafting down the Colorado. After listening to the clip she knew it was a positive match.
A story about birds at a dinner party the other night furnished me a new word for my vocabulary. Sharon told me that she lives near Wilt Rd. and heard an unfamiliar and piercing sound and battle in the middle of the night recently. The next morning she found a dead owl on the ground, probably a common barn owl. She went to a vet who told her that the owl had one enemy, a red tailed hawk, but that their paths rarely crossed, the owl being nocturnal and the hawk diurnal. What is the name for an animal that is active both day and night and the newest word in my arsenal? Cathemeral.
An animal that is primarily active at dawn and dusk is called crepuscular. Claude Levi Strauss called these animals twilight animals. Matutinal is a creature primarily active in the pre dawn, vespertine, dusk.
So with that I leave you with a few more bird shots from yesterday afternoon and this morning. The juvenile red tailed hawks are starting to venture over to the next valley, Brian saw one walking on the road near Riverview. Soon, if history proves correct, they will disappear from the valley entirely.
Top 10 new species - Arizona State.