Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Western Kingbird - Western Birds

Western Kingbird, Petrified Wood Nat. Park, AZ; 6/20/2011.
During this entire trip from Nebraska all the way out to the Pacific Coast of California and then back through Arizona, New Mexico and Texas I was seeing Western Kingbirds along the roadsides in every state (at least 7 states).  They aren't hard to miss - a rather medium-large sized bird (almost 9" in length) flapping away flashing its bright yellow underwings. It wasn't until the last few days of our roadtrip did I see one sitting still long enough for me to even attempt a photograph. I was walking in between the two buildings of the northern Visitor's Center of the Petrified Wood National Park, when out of the corner of my eye, I saw this familiar flash of yellow fly from a garden fountain up into a tree. Of course, I had to investigate, and sure enough, sitting in the branches was a Western Kingbird (Above). It eyed me for a long time as I snapped a multitude of shots, probably wondering how long I was going to hang around and keep it from its drink or bath in the fountain.
The same Western Kingbird giving me the eye - waiting for me to vacate its territory, Petrified Wood Nat. Park, AZ; 6/20/2011.
If one would divide the country exactly in two equal halves - East and West, the Western Kingbird can be found in one of these halves during the summer. I even bet you can guess which half. During the winter months they can be found along the Pacific Coast of Mexico and Central America.

Western Kingbirds are from the flycatcher family with gray upperparts, darker head, white throat and upper breast, and yellow lower breast and belly. Their wings are brown and tail is black with white edges. 

Another colorful landscape from the "Painted Desert", Petrified Wood Nat. Park, AZ; 6/20/2011.
Val hiking through the "Blue Mesa Canyon", Petrified Wood Nat. Park, AZ; 6/20/2011.
 "Painted Desert", Petrified Wood Nat. Park, AZ; 6/20/2011.
Another landscape from "Blue Mesa" Trail, Petrified Wood Nat. Park, AZ; 6/20/2011.

Sunset of the Day
A Desert Sunset, Phoenix, AZ; 3/17/2007.

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