Was that a Scarlet Tanager or a Robin with a Sore Throat?

by Steve Ray on July 27, 2007

One of our pleasures we enjoy no matter where we go is looking for new birds, learning their calls and songs, and studying their habits. No matter where we go there are birds. It has been my hobby as long as I can remember and Janet jumped right in too. Our kids were never too interested but our grandkids love to watch birds with us — even to sit and look at their pictures in our many bird books.

ScarletTanager.jpgFor anyone else interested, you can see my list of birds we've seen recently, along with a few other critters. You can see our list here. For my article on Bird Watching and God, click here. For my article on Turkey Vultures and the Bible, click here.

By the way, the picture here is of a Scarlet Tanager. His song sounds very much like a robin with sore, raspy throat. He woke us up every morning Up North last week, but we didn't care. We enjoyed listening to him praising God from the tree tops. You can hear his song here.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Vince C August 1, 2007 at 11:32 AM

Hi Steve –

Too bad you don’t have more time to do bird-watching when you are in in AZ editing the videos. My family have always been big birders as well, and Arizona, even though it’s the desert, has a surprising variety of birds. We’ve been seeing a Gila Woodpecker in our suburban Gilbert yard recently and we almost always have hummingbirds darting in and out of the yard. In fact, Arizona, especially down in the SE corner near Sierra Vista, etc, is supposed to have one of the highest concetrations of hummingbirds in the world.

Next time you’re out, I recommend you check out the Riparian Preserve in Gilbert or Usury Park very early in the morning for a treat. Both are not far from the Skyline in Mesa.

Vince C

Vince C August 4, 2007 at 10:39 PM

Just as a follow-up to the above, we just got back from camping up at Oak Creek (just north of Sedona). In the two days we were there we were able to see scores of birds including:

Steller’s Jay
Northern Flicker
White-throated Swift
Gila Woodpecker
Little Blue Heron (?)
Red-faced Warbler
Red Crossbill (?)

The Swift was just a nestling that we had to rescue from one of the trails. There was no nest or sign of Mama, but people were walking by and cruelly harrassing it so we took it into our tent for the night. Good thing too, because during the night we got one of our fierce Arizona mountain thunderstorms and downpours.

The next day we took him to the AZ Fish and Game office in Flagstaff where handed him over with their assurance that he would be well taken care of.

Vince C

Steve Ray August 5, 2007 at 10:07 AM

Since we visit Arizona quite often to work on our video project, we are starting to take a bit of time to discover the local birds. That is what is so fun about bird watching — it is always a new adventure, especially when traveling. I am also starting to keep a list of birds we see in Israel.

Thanks for sharing your list and story of the swift. These are all new birds to me and I look forward to finding them myself over the next few years.

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