Birds, Bunnies and Squirrels, Oh My!

There were lots of bunnies running around the Botanical Gardens.

This young moorhen ran across the sidewalk in front of me.  Soon the rest of the family followed. They were heading for the tiny pond with the fountain in it.

They were cooling off under the fountain. I really wanted to jump in there with them.

The common green heron.

The squirrels were chowing down.

A few monk parakeets flew in to a tree right over my head.

An almost grown osprey was screaming the entire time I was at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.  The nest is high up in a utility tower and the screaming echoed all over the gardens. He was probably screaming for the parents to bring him food and the parents were waiting for him to finally get off the nest and get his own food.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

Critters in the hot heat.


The usual dragonfly.


Up close.


Usually when a turtle sees you coming, they dive under water. This one just sat there and stared at me. The people who frequent the park probably feed him.


Butterfly up close.


Blue dragonfly on a stick. I like the stripes on his body.


I was standing on the trail taking pictures of baby ducks down the lake. All of a sudden I see movement below me out of the corner of my eye and this bunny was at my feet. He just kept chewing on grass.


Another bunny out on the trail.

The bunnies at Largo Central Park Nature Preserve are used to people. There’s a constant flow of people jogging on the trail. There’s a canal that runs around 3/4 of the trail. On one side is a golf course, another side are small houses. This was my 2nd visit to the park. The birds were scarce since it was so hot. I think most headed north in the spring with the human “snowbirds” that live close by. It’s a nice park though. I walked two laps on both the boardwalk and the trail. By then it too hot and time to go home for lunch

Shine the DivineMandarin Orange Monday

Animals in Arizona


My first western kingbird.


Two juvenile kingbirds. The parent was close by in the next tree.


A zone tailed hawk being chased by a cooper’s hawk. Thanks to Jeremy at AZ Bird Brains for the id. The zone tailed is a first for me.


On the hike back up the Grand Canyon, we stopped to rest in a shade spot. I heard a noise behind me and the above juvenile robin was watching us.


White breasted nuthatches were all over the Grand Canyon park. They were pretty skittish though. I couldn’t get close with my 105mm lens.


I had my wide-angle lens with me when we went to the Sedona airport to take pictures of the rock formations and I happened to notice these two flies having a party. They let me get pretty close.


Another critter on the trail back up the Grand Canyon. We were resting (which we did often) and this squirrel stopped in the shade, laid down and covered himself in dust. I guess that’s his way of cooling off. The dirt in the shade was probably cooler. There were big signs everywhere about not feeding the squirrels and how they will bite you and give you diseases. Lots of nasty pictures on the signs in case you can’t read English. We still saw people feeding them. What does it take?


Bunnies were everywhere. This one was near the airport.


I only saw a few lizards. They were much bigger than the ones running around my yard.


Another bunny running around the golf course.


The view near our house. There is a small deer in the bottom right corner.


Right in front of our house. We came back from dinner one night and they were there. We only saw deer at dusk or dark. They must come out on the golf course when they know it will be empty.

Animals were everywhere in Arizona. I was going to concentrate on landscape pictures and only brought my smaller lenses with me but I kept getting tempted to take pictures of them even though they were usually too far away for me to get a good shot. The first morning we woke up at our rental house in Sedona, we had breakfast out on the back patio and birds were everywhere. We had a house finch nest up in the roof with the parents darting in and out. We had 3 empty hummingbird nests in the bushes along the house. We saw several hummingbirds but I could never get a shot with a 105mm lens. I saw my first steller’s jay and spotted towhee but the pictures are so bad I didn’t want to post them. The highlight was the western kingbird. The golf course was full of them. I will absolutely bring my longer lens on my next visit.