The Dancer

The Dancer
Graceful dead tree up above Deep Canyon.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Coachella Valley Wild Bird Center~Nature Notes~041912





Hubby was home last weekend, but was too tired to do anything, so Saturday morning, I headed down to Indio to the Coachella Valley Wild Bird Center.  The center has been open for 16 years and I'd never been there.  I have a good friend who volunteers down there and has a large cage full of morning doves up at her ranch, so I knew about it.  I just never took the time to go there myself.  And, since Saturday was still a stormy day and I didn't wish to drive up the mountain road to my horses, I decided to stay close to home.  I'm glad I finally visited the center.  They have an owl who lives on the premises and various other birds who come to visit.  Most of their birds are caged or in enclosures because they cannot be released back into the wild due to the injuries or the fact that they were hand raised and don't know how to hunt prey.  I saw several species of owls, which I have NEVER photographed in the wild (that's on my "to do" list), so I was pleased to be able to get up close and view them (sorry for the bars in some photos, but the birds were in cages)...We used to have a barn owl come visit our cottonwood tree in the back yard, but I haven't heard one for several years.  The bird with the yellow head is a yellow-headed blackbird who comes to visit the quail and eat the feed that they throw out of their cage!  There was a hawk who was doing duty as a surrogate mother to a brood of eggs and we had to carefully avoid making noise around her or disturbing her.  I believe she was a red-tailed hawk.  I learned quite a bit in my short time at the center and I bought a bird pocket identification guide called "golf course wildlife" which lists most of the birds I see here in the desert.  The center is located at the water district reclamation ponds, which have been planted with reeds so that migrating birds may stop and get water and food on their way north or south.  Speaking of migrating birds, when I do my morning walks, I now hear Canadian geese.  I'm assuming they are on their way north.  They are off in the distance and I don't see them, but I sure can hear them! Anyway, I plan on returning to the bird center in a few weeks for another tour.  Hopefully the day won't be so gray!  Nature Notes for April 19, 2012.  To visit Nature Notes, please go to:   http://ramblingwoods.com/  Does anybody have any tips about how to photograph an owl in the wild?

3 comments:

  1. Places like this are so important for the animals and people to be educated.

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  2. What a wonderful place to visit. I have never even seen an owl here in person only heard them. I think it would be a challenge to find them.. I am sorry, I have no tips...Michelle

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  3. A perfect place for a weekend visit.

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