Wildlife Highlights of 2015

While I am late in getting this written, this continues a tradition I started in 2008. The following are my top wildlife highlights of 2015 in chronological order:

Most of my sightings of Golden Eagle have been at some distance, so I was thrilled to be driving east on Tramway Blvd. last winter and saw a Golden Eagle perched on a post near the road. It stayed there long enough for me to turn around, park alongside the highway and take its picture.

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Golden Eagle – Albuqquerque

While scouting for the Thursday Birder Birdathon in early May with my friend Bonnie, we discovered a Bronzed Cowbird, its red eye gleaning.

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Bronzed Cowbird – Ft. Sumner

“I really want to see a White Stork sitting on its nest,” I had relayed to my cousin Kam before I traveled to the Netherlands with my sister and brother-in-law last May. She took us to a preserve in Liesvelt designed to provide a safe place for the Storks to nest, since most folks don’t want them nesting on their chimney-tops.

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White Stork – Liesvelt, NL

While leading the Thursday Birders in the mountains above Santa Fe, we watched fascinated, while a Brown Creeper built its nest behind a loose sliver of bark.

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Brown Creeper building nest – Aspen Vista Picnic Area

When I heard that there was a Red-headed Woodpecker in the bosque not too far north of Albuquerque, my friend Barbara and I went to investigate since this is a bird that is not normally found west of the mountains. Not only did we find it, we also saw a juvenile with it – proof of nest success.

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Red-headed Woodpecker – Angostura Dam area

I had the opportunity to visit the Valles Calder National Preserve three times in 2015. It was a thrill to have the Valles Caldera Preserve transition to management by the National Park Service and the opportunity to visit the back country without having to go on a tour.

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Mountain Bluebird – Valles Caldera National Preserve

When my friend Barbara and I stopped by the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge in September, Swainson’s Hawks were migrating – there was a hawk perched on power poles and fence posts all along the road into the refuge.

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juvenile Swainson’s Hawk

In December, I had the opportunity to visit Cuba – a bucket list trip. While we had the opportunity to see most of the island’s endemic birds, including the Bee Hummingbird, the smallest bird in the world,

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Bee Hummingbird – Refugio de Faula Bermeja

probably the biggest thrill was viewing a group of American Flamingos in the wild.

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American Flamingo – Cayo Guillermo

After returning from Cuba, my friend Sue and I birded along the gulf coast of Florida where I was able to see a life bird – Florida Scrub Jay at Oscar Scherer State Park, where we were enchanted by close looks at some Gopher Turtles.

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Gopher Turtle – Oscar Scherer SP, FL

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3 thoughts on “Wildlife Highlights of 2015

  1. Camped on a Marco Island beach in May of 1973 we woke up to golden sand dotted with blue pools of water and standing in the pools and all around were dozens of pink flamingos. It was thrilling. I thought for awhile that I was dreaming. Love this blog of yours!

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