Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Southeast Arizona Day 1: Gilbert Water Ranch

This is part 2 of a series of posts about our trip to Southeast Arizona. Click here to go to part 1 for an introduction to our trip.

Gilbert Water Ranch is a great place to find all sorts of Arizona birds without leaving the Phoenix metro area, but what it’s most famous for are the Rosy-faced Lovebirds, an introduced species (from escaped cage birds) that was recently added to the ABA list. We didn’t see the lovebirds on our trip, but we had lots of success with other great species.

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Gilbert Water Ranch, Maricopa County. March 15, 2013.

Right as we got out of the car we saw several Abert’s Towhees foraging in the grass near the parking area. Abert’s Towhee is one of the most range-restricted species of North America, though it has successfully colonized urban environments in the Phoenix area.

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Abert’s Towhee at Gilbert Water Ranch, Maricopa County. March 15, 2013.

Great-tailed Grackles were also hanging out near the parking area. These birds make some of the most interesting sounds.

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Great-tailed Grackle at Gilbert Water Ranch, Maricopa County. March 15, 2013.

Verdin and Anna’s Hummingbirds were quite abundant.

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Verdin at Gilbert Water Ranch, Maricopa County. March 15, 2013.

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Anna’s Hummingbird at Gilbert Water Ranch, Maricopa County. March 15, 2013.

There were also good numbers of ducks and shorebirds, but none that were unique to Arizona.

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Northern Shoveler and Long-billed Dowitcher at Gilbert Water Ranch, Maricopa County. March 15, 2013.

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