December 24, 2021
I used to travel all over the place on dedicated bird photography trips, as well as tacking on a few extra days on business trips to get some shooting in. All that changed with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of this writing, I haven't left New Mexico or been on a plane since February of 2020. I've continued doing photography, but it's been limited to Northern and Central New Mexico. Though I miss my wandering days, these past two years have provided a great opportunity to deepen my knowledge of New Mexico's unique avifauna. For instance, prior to the pandemic, I had no idea that "eastern" birds like the Red-headed Woodpecker can be found in New Mexico, if you know where to look. While I've been putting in time in the field these past two years, I haven't really been putting any time into processing my photos, so most of those will have to wait a little while longer to see the light of day. But a few images processed so far are included below.
A Common Black Hawk soars over the Pecos River. I didn't know till recently that this primarily tropical species breeds locally right here in Northern New Mexico.
I spent a mid-May afternoon looking at petroglyphs on a canyon wall just outside of Santa Fe. Minutes after seeing a roadrunner petroglyph, I came upon this real life Greater Roadrunner hopped up on a rock. It's fun to think that the native people of this land were probably seeing roadrunners at this same spot centuries ago.
Ladder-backed Woodpeckers are common in the juniper forests outside Santa Fe.
A Say's Phoebe perches on dead cholla cactus in early spring. Say's Phoebes are one of the earliest arriving breeding songbirds here in Northern New Mexico.
Flocks of Pinyon Jays periodically irrupt into my neighborhood on the edge of Santa Fe.
Gray Vireos breed locally in the juniper forests just a few minutes from my house.
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