Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My World: Maricopa

Burrowing owl in Maricopa, AZ 9-29-09

Maricopa is a small town in the west desert of Arizona. Despite its name, it is not in Maricopa county, but rather, it is in Pinal county. Though it has been in existence for quite a long time, it has only recently started growing with the housing boom of the early 2000's. since then it has grown to a town of over 32,000. However, like everywhere else in Arizona, that housing boom has now subsided and the building has stopped. Yet, as this town has grown, so have the town parks and man-made lakes, giving rise to new birding habitat as well as the loss of other habitats.

Desert Wind Middle School

I found myself here last week to do a bird presentation for a friend of mine who teaches 7th grade science in the Desert Wind Middle School.

I set up the class with some of my paintings, a few issues of Bird Watcher's Digest and a PowerPoint presentation with photos from my blog and my bird watching adventures. Each class was different but in all classes there were students who were interested and engaged. I did 3 presentations a day for two days.

Mrs. Parker, the science teacher.

Inbetween classes I went out birdwatching. I found these Neotropic Cormorants in a park at Rancho Mirage

And this one roosting in a tree at Pacana Park!

This Great Egret was there as well.

While this yellow-rumped warbler clung to Bird of paradise flowers in Rancho Mirage.

One of Mrs. Parker's Students told us where to find some burrowing owls. It ends up that these owls were relocated form habit lost to development. There were six man-made clusters of burrows with owls in each cluster. I took Ashley Parker out bird watching with me and we counted 18 different owls in this location!

I like the owls so much that I couldn't resist showing you more photos. So, Here is a Gallery of burrowing owls for you viewing pleasure.

Burrowing owl

burrowing owl

Burrowing owl in front of burrow

Burrowing owls standing in shade of utility pole

Burrowing owls

Burrowing owl impersonating a rock
and that's....


Gaelyn said...

Kathie, what a fun thing to do. I hope your love of birding rubs off on some of these kids. Absolutely love the burrowing owls, especially the last capture.

Elizabeth said...

Wonderful pictures! Here in the Bay area we have brandt's cormorants, pellagic cormorants, and double-crested cormorants. The neotropic cormorants look very different.

I'm jealous of the abundance of owls. About a month ago I accidentally flushed an owl out of a tree when I was photographing kites. It was the first non-captive owl that I've ever seen.

Kelly said...

How cool....I bet you inspired quite a few students to learn more about birds, and keep those Burrowing Owl photos coming! I love owls, but really know nothing about the Burrowing Owls. They are really gorgeous.

A Scattering said...

Oh Kathie, the burrowing owl photos are precious!

Louise said...

Fantastic pictures!!!

Celeste said...

Having seen my first Burrowing Owls this year I really enjoyed seeing your photos Kathie.

SandyCarlson said...

The birds are beautiful.

And so is that classroom! Those lucky kids.

Anonymous said...

Lovely Owl shots Kathie. It could well be that you have inspired a few birdwatchers of the future with your lectures.

denapple said...

I love Burrowing Owls. Their faces are so expressive.

eileeninmd said...

Great photos of the birds, my favorite are of the burrowing Owl. I just love owls and hopefully some day I will get to see the Burrowing Owl.
Thanks for sharing your world and the birds.

Anonymous said...

One can never have too many burrowing owls, or photos of them. Sounds like the kids enjoyed your session, too. What a great day!

Kathie Brown said...

Hi everyone. I want to thank you all for your comments. I have been out birding with TR Ryan for the past few days so I have lots of photos and stories to tell. I hope to get around to your blogs after a rest and then I need to off load and process photos. Thanks again for stopping in to see me. I love sharing my world of birds with all of you!

Larry said...

I always like seeing owls but I really like that photo of the cormorant in the tree.I think that's great that you are giving presentations.It's always good when you can talk to others about a subject that you are passionate about.It's good for you and them.

Arija said...

A superb post Kathie, so full of information and rish in avian wonders.

I left you a little something on my blog, hope you enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Aren't those little owl photogenic? Great shots of them as well as all the other birds in this post. Do you do presentations often?

I ran into an owl this week, too. Only the second one in my life. It is posted if you want to see it.

Kathie Brown said...

Larry, so good to see you again! I am on my way to visit you. This was my first time giving a presentation and it went well except that I need to shorten the program!

Arija, thank you for thinking of me! I'll come by and see!

fourwinds, this was my first time and all went well all things considered! I would like to see you owl. I will come by and see it!

Anonymous said...

Wow..lovely pictures. Bird of the paradise flowers....never knew it was called so. Thanks for sharing , enjoyed reading through.

Dawn Fine said...

Oh so nice of you to share your blog and love of birding and nature with the youngsters..i bet you inspired them!
I love love all the burrowing owl photos!

dev wijewardane said...

love the shots of the burrowing owl.