Thursday, February 16, 2012

A New Mexico Sampler - 2

I'm still working on the photos from Bosque del Apache and Sandia Crest, so please keep coming back for Sandhill Crane, Snow Geese, Ross's Geese, and the Rosy-Finches.

Those are great birds, but a trip to the southwest could arguably be defined by this one bird with a name that is impossible to say - Pyrrhuloxia - a bird which may arguably "out-beauty" its relative the Northern Cardinal (both Genus Cardinalis)


Pyrrhuloxia combines terms for two birds - Pyrrhula (bullfinches) and Loxia (crossbills), terms which come from Greek and Latin and mean flame-colored, or red, and crooked. So you now have a new trivia answer, should you ever need one.

Both meadowlarks are found year-round in New Mexico, according to the range maps in my guides. I have very little experience with the Western Meadowlark, but based on the yellow malar, I am identifying this one as Western Meadowlark. If anyone with more experience thinks otherwise, please tell me (and why) - this is a continuing learning experience.

Western Meadowlark
Gambel's Quail is always a treat on a southwestern trip. Love the plume!

Gambel's Quail
Last winter in Vermont, I tried to photograph wintering Horned Larks. They are quite common, especially around barns and in hay fields. I did not get any photos that I would care to share. But, at White Sands National Monument, this Horned Lark posed very cooperatively. (Against the white sand, I can pass this lark off as a wintering
Vermont bird if necessary.)

Horned Lark

Horned Lark
As of January 1, this young Red-tailed Hawk made the transition from "hatch year bird" to "after hatch year bird." Hopefully, it is on its way to becoming a healthy breeding adult.

Red-tailed Hawk
Good Birding!


Noushka said...

Lovely series, Chris!
I have never seen some of those birds!
the quail is gorgeous, so is the Horned Lark!
Cheers from France! :)

Laurence Butler said...

Super photos! I agree that the Pyrrhuloxia is more stylish than the Cardinal, but I've yet to see one in the wild so I guess I sold withhold that judgment.

It's amazing what nice shots you got of his and the Horned Larks, birds with which I've never had any luck.
It looks like it was a great trip to New Mexico; I'm looking forward to seeing the rest.

Bill S. said...

Great pictures. I believe that is a Western Meadowlark. I saw one yesterday for the first one this year. They migrate here and are very common during the summer.

Lynn (NM Enchantment) said...

Hi Chris! Thanks for the second post. I've let my readers know you've got it up. Thanks!

Susie said...

Gorgeous images, thank you for sharing those!

eileeninmd said...

Great series of birds, Chris! I would love to see the Pyrrhuloxia someday. It reminds me of the female cardinal. I love the Quail too, it also would be a new bird for me. I enjoyed your post and the photos. Happy Birding!

troybee said...

I really like meadowlarks, which is how I came across your blog--how timely. Now I am off to peruse the rest of your posts!


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