Readers’ wildlife photos

September 25, 2023 • 8:15 am

Today we return to wildlife photos, so start sending them in, please. Today’s batch comes from UC Davis ecologist Susan Harrison, and is part II of  photos from her recent trip to Arizona. Click on the photos to enlarge them. Susan’s text is indented.

Southeastern Arizona – part 2

This post is a sequel to my earlier one about an August 2023 birdwatching trip to Southeastern Arizona.  In that earlier post I featured the “uniqueness” aspect of the region:  the glamorous tropical and subtropical species such as Elegant Trogons (Trogon elegans) that barely reach the U.S. in Arizona’s small, rugged mountain ranges just north of the Mexican border.

In this sequel, I’ll highlight the “biogeographic crossroads” aspect of Southeastern Arizona: the desert bird species found there that also occur in other deserts.  Unlike the “unique” species, I had seen many of these “crossroads” species before in other regions.

Here are three of the most widespread species we saw in Southeastern Arizona, occurring in deserts from southern California to Texas.  I’ve even seen them in the dry shrublands and grasslands west of Davis, northern California.

Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus):

Lesser Nighthawk (Chordeiles acutipennis):

Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus), female:

Here are five species found mainly eastward from Arizona to Texas.

Pyrrhuloxia (Cardinalis sinuatus):

Harris’s Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus):

Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis), which as the name implies, also ranges farther east:

Green Kingfisher (Chloroceryle americana):

Crested Caracara (Caracara plancus):

Here are four species ranging mainly westward from Arizona to Southern California.

Gila Woodpecker (Melanerpes uropygialis):

Gambel’s Quail (Callipepla gambelii):

Bendire’s Thrasher (Toxostoma bendirei):

Cassin’s Kingbird (Tyrannus vociferans), right, with a Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis), left:

This species occurs in all of the Great Basin states.

Broad-Tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus):

And here’s a species found (in the U.S.) only in southeastern Arizona, so I should have included in the last post.  It’s too beautiful to leave out!

Broad-Billed Hummingbird (Cynanthus latirostris):

7 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Wonderful! I really enjoyed the roadrunner photos and the action shots of the bird in flight. Great hummingbirds, too! Thanks for sharing!

  2. A nice kick-off to a new start of RWP. (I see john avise above shares my sentiment.)
    Roadrunners are always a treat, as are nighthawks. Haven’t seen a green kingfisher, and love that bird. The hummers were beautiful as well. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Wonderful start of the new Readers’ Wildlife season, thanks to Susan!

    Ever since the recent discovery of Fujianvenator prodigiosus, I’ve been struck by its artistic rendition’s resemblance to the roadrunner bird.,Zhenghe%20County%20in%20Fujian%20Province.&text=They%20said%20the%20new%20species,other%20predecessors%20of%20today's%20birds.

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