Sunday, December 23, 2007

Gratitude 12/23/07 - The View from My Deck

I spent a lot of time this weekend sitting at my computer working on a writing assignment (for which I am grateful). In order to avoid getting stiff, I went out on my deck from time to time to watch the birds that live around here. So I took a few pictures.

This first one is actually the sunrise Friday morning. The color only lasted a few minutes, so I feel lucky to have gotten a picture.

This little guy is a Ruby-throated hummingbird, and it's a male, as you can tell by the color (females lack the bright red throat and green back).

Here's another view where you can see more of the coloring on the throat. Their coloring changes depending on how the light hits their feathers.

For those who don't know much about hummingbirds, these little creatures are mean. This guy sits most of the day on this plant, guarding the feeder on my deck and the one on my neighbor's. Most of his energy is used chasing away any other hummingbird that gets near. He'll chase them as far away as possible, before resuming his post.

This next little guy is a Silver cardinal. He looks much like the female of the standard Cardinal (where only the male is fully red). And like Cardinals, Silver cardinals are nearly always found in mating pairs. On this particular day, I didn't see the female. But there was a good reason for that, as you'll see in the next photo.

A rare visitor, this Peregrine falcon was likely hoping for a nice juicy rabbit for dinner. But as soon as he was anywhere near the area, everything scattered and hid, aside from a few smaller birds (Cactus wrens, the Silver cardinal, and of course the hummingbirds).

These are just a few of the birds that I get to see on a regular basis. I hope to get some more pictures in the coming weeks. But in the meantime, I am very grateful to have a piece of wild desert right outside my apartment.

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