LB - Prescott Frontier Days - 0424 Horses

Home | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Public Notices | Subscriber Services | 928 Media Lab | Real Estate Search | Galleries | Obits | Yellow Pages | TV Listings | Contact Us
The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : features : getting out April 24, 2015


8/15/2013 6:00:00 AM
Bird-watching can be as easy as stepping outdoors
Photos.comSpot birds in your own backyard.
Photos.com
Spot birds in your own backyard.
Eric Moore
Courier Columnist

While in Sierra Vista for the Southwest Wings Birding and Nature Festival, I was able to squeeze in some birding on the grounds of Cochise College where the festival was being hosted. Some of the bird species I observed on campus included Say's Phoebe, barn swallows and cliff swallows, all taking advantage of the abundant insects.

Adjacent to the campus was some great desert habitat providing me an opportunity to see a variety of birds within a minute's walk from the vendor area. There were Pyrrhuloxia, Lucy's warbler, ladder-backed woodpecker, northern mockingbird and Gambel's quail - a very diverse cross section of bird species. From the parking lot of the campus, I saw a lesser nighthawk flying around in pursuit of insects, and I saw a stunning male vermillion flycatcher.

One of my more in-teresting observations was watching an adult black-throated sparrow frantically searching for food as it tried to satisfy a very hungry juvenile brown-headed cowbird. Cowbirds lay their eggs in the nests of other bird species. If the host species accepts the intruder's egg, it takes on the responsibility of incubating the egg and rearing the fledgling. It was quite a sight to see this small sparrow (13.5 grams) compared to the much larger cowbird (44 grams) being followed around by the begging cowbird. That poor sparrow had a full-time job trying to find enough food to keep the cowbird satisfied!

My experience of seeing all of these different species in and around the campus reinforced to me the fact that people interested in bird watching can bird watch wherever they find themselves. The hobby of bird watching is unique for this very reason.

A lot of hobbies require you to go to a specific facility or destination to engage in your interest. For example, if you like bowling, you have to go to a bowling alley. If you like golf, you have to go to a golf course. If you enjoy fishing, you have to drive to a stream or lake to engage in this activity.

Birding, on the other hand, is an activity in which you can participate no matter where you are. I was at a community college, and I was able to watch birds by just stepping outside. Even here at the store, in a busy, urban shopping center, I see a tremendous variety of birds, from Great-tailed grackles to Swainson's hawks. I don't know of any place I have gone where there haven't been birds to see.

Two weeks ago, our family attended an Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game down in Phoenix. It was a hot evening, and the retractable roof was closed.

But, we still managed to see at least one bird - a mourning dove - flying around inside the stadium!

Many of our customers enjoy the hobby of backyard bird-feeding because they can engage in and enjoy the hobby of bird watching from the comfort of their home. They don't have to leave the house to enjoy the show! I hear comments every day from customers how they enjoy having their morning coffee while watching the birds in their yard.

Keep in mind: We continue to offer free guided bird walks on a weekly basis. Visit the Jay's Bird Barn web site at www.jaysbirdbarn.com for a schedule of upcoming bird walks, then call the store at 443-5900 to sign up for any bird walks that fit into your schedule. It is a great way to learn bird identification skills as well as to learn about the birds that live in this area.

Until next week, Happy Birding!



Eric M. Moore is the owner of Jay's Bird Barn, with two locations to serve northern Arizona - 1046 Willow Creek Road in Prescott, and 2360

State Highway 89A in Sedona. Eric has been an avid birder for more than 45 years. If you have questions about wild birds that you would like discussed in future articles, email eric@jaysbirdbarn.com.



Related Stories:
• Fall birds are filtering in
• Column: 'Chipping' calls a sign that fall warblers are passing through
• Column: Take a spotting scope when you go birding at Willow Lake
• Column: Owling in the Huachucas
• Blue grosbeak song lifts spirits
• Wash out your bird feeders, especially after rainstorms
• How fast do birds fly?


    Most Viewed     Recently Commented
•   Parker man arrested, accused of DUI in fatal Prescott Valley crash (7036 views)

•   Paulden man gets 30 years for drug, child sex charges (2539 views)

•   Director of PV Head Start loses job: Official says 'No one was fired' (1939 views)

•   Arrest made in fatal crash (1711 views)

•   Details emerge in incident involving security guard (1573 views)





Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to Facebook character limits. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit excessive comment entries.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search

HSE - We want to hear from you
HSE - dCourier App
HSE - Circulation Costco Memebership offer






Quick Links
 •  Submit site feedback or questions

 •  Submit your milestone notice

 •  Submit your letter to the editor

 •  Submit a news tip or story idea

 •  Place a classified ad online now

 •  Browse the Yellow Pages

Find It Features Blogs Milestones Extras Submit Other Publications Links
Classifieds | Subscriber Services | Real Estate Search | Galleries | Find Prescott Jobs | e-News | RSS | Site Map | Contact Us
LB - Yavapai Gaming - 0401

© Copyright 2015 Western News&Info, Inc.® The Daily Courier is the information source for Prescott area communities in Northern Arizona. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Prescott Newspapers, Inc. Prescott Newspapers Online is a service of Prescott Newspapers Inc. By using the Site, dcourier.com ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the Site's terms of use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the Site. Click here to submit your questions, comments or suggestions. Prescott Newspapers Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info, Inc.® All Rights Reserved.

Software © 1998-2015 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved