Monday, April 11, 2011

These fun Anna's Hummingbird photos were easily taken by setting the garden hose on "mist" and then putting it in the tree above some hummingbird feeders. I'm sure it would work well for any species, but it works great in the desert! Anna's and Costa's Hummingbirds are constant daily customers and at sunset there can be as many as 15  on and around around the feeders.Normally, hummers fight all the time, but just before sunset, a truce seems  to occur, and they all settle together, each taking a space at the feeders.

  Last night, a pair of Hooded Orioles which has been around, came down from the Athel trees and arrived at the feeders, and stayed for awhile. They are very cautious, and descend to the feeders step by step, and seem to try to stay hidden as much as possible. I will try to get a nice picture of them.

There are so many birding delights to see around Shoshone, but I really want to show these cool Chuckwalla photos. He was in the rocks above the trail below China Ranch.
Long-eared Owls are  now nesting in Shoshone, there are at least 2 nests in town.They wintered all around Shoshone, Tecopa, and Ash Meadows. Long-eared Owls are nomadic in winter and often roost communally until pair courtship. There were at least 7 pairs around Shoshone, and could usually be heard every night around sunset. The courtship flights by the males included much wing -clapping. Wing clapping is the noise made by the wings slapping  together on the down-stroke, while  the male flies around the proposed nest area in a bobbing and weaving pattern,.
On March 19th, the Red Rock Audubon Society had a field trip to Shoshone, and found  a pair perched about 20 feet up in a local Athel tree grove. The next morning, the female was down deep in the crotch of the tree and has not left since. Females do not leave the eggs during daylight hours, therefore the Saturday observation was probably with no eggs, and Sunday was probably the first egg. Females can lay eggs over 2 weeks , so I waited until April 9th, and climbed up to check.

We soon will have baby owls in Shoshone!  The complete clutch is 4. The first should hatch on or around April14 th.The rest can hatch over the next 10 days depending on when they were laid.
Sine then I have found one more Long-eared Owl  nest in town and it has 2 eggs already.