Wildlife Highlights of 2014

For the sixth year, I am taking time to remember and document some of my wildlife highlights of the year.

Searching out Great Horned Owl nests is always a winter adventure. While the incubating females are easier to see, her partner that roosts nearby is often well camouflaged. This year I was lucky enough to locate two of the males.

well camouflaged roosting male Great Horned Owl

well camouflaged roosting male Great Horned Owl

On a trip to California in April, I relished the day I spent at Bolsa Chica Ecological Preserve, watching terms and lingering shorebirds, including this Elegant Tern.

Elegant Tern

Elegant Tern


Migrating Bobolinks again visited the Valle de Oro NWR in May, and I was lucky to be able to watch them in the spring grasses.
Bobolink - Valle de Oro NWR

Bobolink – Valle de Oro NWR


Even though it is not an unusual bird, Gray Jays are only found in New Mexico at high elevations in the north. While eating lunch in the Taos Ski Basin in early June with birding friends from Taos, a Gray Jay delighted us by coming to sit on the deck railing near us.
Gray Jay

Gray Jay


A ‘clown-faced’ Acorn Woodpecker visited a snag near me while I was sitting on the rim of one of the finger canyons in Las Alamos.
Acorn Woodpecker

Acorn Woodpecker


I became fascinated with spiders during the summer and early fall.
Orb Weaver Spider

Orb Weaver Spider


On a trip to Cimarron Canyon with Barbara Hussey, we had the opportunity to hear an American Dipper sing, with its bill closed – a first for me. I later read that they are one of the few bird species that sing all year-long.
American Dipper

American Dipper


In October a Greater Roadrunner surprised me by finding its way into my garage and paced back and forth on my open garage door.
Greater Roadrunner

Greater Roadrunner


On a trip to the Lower Rio Grande Valley Bird Festival in November, I had the opportunity to see two life birds: White-tailed Hawk
White-tailed Hawk

White-tailed Hawk


and Northern Beardless Tyrannulet,
Northern Beardless Tyrannulet

Northern Beardless Tyrannulet


as well as a wonderful Marine Toad – as large as a Bullfrog.
Marine Toad

Marine Toad


In mid-December I was excited to see big horn sheep grazing on a hillside above the Rio Grande Gorge – the closest views I have had of them!
Big Horn Sheep

Big Horn Sheep

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Wildlife Highlights of 2014

  1. Great year Judy, thanks for sharing, and yes, those fantastic Elegant Terns are the best! Congrats on your life bird sightings, and the RM Big Horn Sheep, nice photo of them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s