Great Horned Owl


Paloma Ranch & Phoenix Area
Jan 3-7, 2002 - 50-70 degrees

Business mixed with some birding!  On the way to and from Luke AFB, and after work, I got some nice photos.  
species (list follows at end of page)

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

Great Horned Owl 

Anyone who has traveled west on I-8 to San Diego has passed through the Paloma Ranch, which encompasses much of the Citrus Valley just west of Gila Bend.  It's an oasis in the desert, and along its western boundary is a heron/cormorant rookery.  This owl was watching over the pond, even as a pair of Common Ravens were watching him.
There were comparatively few warblers, but this one was obvious!  A host of smaller birds were very active--Verdins, Black-tailed Gnatcatchers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets (with a flashing ruby crest), and Lincoln's Sparrows.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-headed Blackbirds

The Paloma Ranch House and pomegranite orchard was gated, but the office and feedlot were very active.   A flock of a thousand Yellow-headed Blackbirds swarmed around, looking for spilled grain.
East of Luke Air Force Base I got this phoebe along an irrigation canal.  In a eucalyptus hedgerow I was fortunate to see a Sharp-shinned Hawk swoop in and perch for a few minutes.  The Abert's Towhees in and under the neighboring tree seemed oblivious.

Say's Phoebe

House Finch

During lunch on Friday I visited the pond on Mirage Road.  I walked up to the school picnic area, seeing lots of House Finches, and then almost all the way around the pond.  Least Sandpipers and Great-tailed Grackles were my only reward.

Just as I was approaching the cattails on the ne. end (my starting location), a flock of 8 ground doves flew in from the island.  All but three quickly disappeared into the grasses.  This remaining trio stayed at the edge for me to study and photograph. 


Ruddy Ground-Dove

Common & Ruddy Ground-Doves

Just like the one that Bob & Paul saw in Blythe on Nov 23, this posed for me to study it's ruddy appearance, lack of any scaling whatsoever, uniform dark beak, and dark spots on the tertials.     

Paloma Ranch & Phoenix Area, 3-7 Jan 2002
# Species
1 Neotropic Cormorant
2 Double-crested Cormorant
3 Black-crowned Night Heron
4 Great Egret
5 Great Blue Heron
6 Green Heron
7 Snowy Egret
8 Sandhill Crane
9 Black-bellied Whistling Duck
10 Northern Shoveler
11 Ruddy Duck
12 Ring-necked Duck
13 Mallard
14 American Wigeon
15 Redhead
16 Common Moorhen
17 American Coot
18 Black-necked Stilt
19 Killdeer
20 Spotted Sandpiper
21 Least Sandpiper
22 Common Snipe
23 Turkey Vulture
24 Black Vulture
25 Cooper's Hawk
26 Ferruginous Hawk
27 Northern Harrier
28 Osprey
29 Red-tailed Hawk
30 Sharp-shinned Hawk
31 Peregrine Falcon
32 Prairie Falcon
33 American Kestrel
34 Gambel's Quail
35 Inca Dove
36 Common Ground-Dove
37 Mourning Dove
38 Rock Dove
39 Ruddy Ground-Dove
40 White-throated Swift
41 Anna's Hummingbird
42 Belted Kingfisher
43 Northern Flicker
# Species
44 Gila Woodpecker
45 Ladder-backed Woodpecker
46 Say's Phoebe
47 Ash-throated Flycatcher
48 Black Phoebe
49 Vermilion Flycatcher
50 Horned Lark
51 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
52 Common Raven
53 Verdin
54 Bewick's Wren
55 Cactus Wren
56 Marsh Wren
57 Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
58 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
59 Loggerhead Shrike
60 Bendire's Thrasher
61 Curve-billed Thrasher
62 Northern Mockingbird
63 Phainopepla
64 European Starling
65 Orange-crowned Warbler
66 Yellow-rumped Warbler
67 Yellow-headed Blackbird
68 Western Meadowlark
69 Red-winged Blackbird
70 Great-tailed Grackle
71 Brown-headed Cowbird
72 Brewer's Blackbird
73 House Sparrow
74 Sage Sparrow
75 White-crowned Sparrow
76 Abert's Towhee
77 Savannah Sparrow
78 Lark Sparrow
79 Chipping Sparrow
80 Black-throated Sparrow
81 Lincoln's Sparrow
82 Brewer's Sparrow
83 Spotted Towhee
84 Green-tailed Towhee
85 Song Sparrow
86 Cardinal
87 House Finch

Photos Henry D. Detwiler