It appears that you are currently using Ad Blocking software. What are the consequences? Click here to learn more.
Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Southeast Arizona’s Feeders at Jasper’s

April 28th, 2012 · 2 Comments

Print This Post Print This Post

When we drove out of Cave Creek into the desert, we didn’t expect much. But a few years ago Dave Jasper set up bird feeders in his backyard known as the “Big Thicket.” They attract desert residents and migrants that don’t venture up into the canyon.

Dave Jasper is a naturalist guide, one who is respected enough to have a chapter in a book that I just finished reading, Good Birders Don’t Wear White: 50 Tips from North America’s Top Birders. Each year more than 3,000 people visit the feeders he set up at his house. A couple of years ago he sold the property, which is still known in birding circles as “Jasper’s Feeders.”

The new owner, Bob Rodrigues, continues to make them available to all comers. I met Bob and asked if he was the owner of the property. He said he was and introduced himself. When he told me his name, inquisitive reporter that I am, I asked if he were of Spanish or Portuguese descent.

“Portuguese,” he replied. “My ancestors came from the Azores.”

I told him that half of mine did too. We bonded. “Countryman,” he called me.

But even before we got to his wonderful backyard, Sharon and I saw one of the birds that we had most wanted to see in Southeast Arizona. After turning north off the main road from Cave Creek, we came to a rough dirt road. On a post next to the road was a Gambel’s Quail.

We Easily Recognized this Gambel's Quail by its Top Hat

We Easily Recognized this Gambel's Quail by its Top Hat

Click on the picture above to enlarge

This was the lookout bird. Several of them scampered across the road when we stopped.

Why Does a Gambel's Quail Cross the Road? Because it's There

Why Does a Gambel's Quail Cross the Road? Because it's There

Click on the picture above to enlarge

When we got to the bird feeders, we saw even more Gambel’s Quail.

A Gambel's Quail in a Birdbath

A Gambel's Quail in a Birdbath

Click on the picture above to enlarge

The feeders attract a great variety of birds, some that we had seen before and some that I can’t even identify. But we saw another bird on our most wanted list after catching glimpses of it earlier on our trip. Each of us has a hard time pronouncing its name, Pyrrhuloxia. It’s also a bit difficult to spell, so I am checking this spelling carefully.

I can understand that some people cheat and just call it the Desert Cardinal. This songbird is a member of the same family as the Northern Cardinal.

For Comparison, Here is a More Common Northern Cardinal at Jasper's Feeders

For Comparison, Here is a More Common Northern Cardinal at Jasper's Feeders

Click on the picture above to enlarge
A Female Desert Cardinal, er Pyrrhuloxia, at the Feeders

A Female Desert Cardinal, er Pyrrhuloxia, at the Feeders

Click on the picture above to enlarge
A Male Pyrrhuloxia at a Bird Feeder

A Male Pyrrhuloxia at a Bird Feeder

Click on the picture above to enlarge

Seeing these beautiful birds made a great conclusion to our trip to Southeast Arizona. We flew back to our homes in Colorado the next day.

Share

Posted in: Arizona

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Michael Ebersold // Sep 12, 2013 at 11:15 am

    I have been to Portal once before, all I had time for was a drive in and out. Its one of the last things on my list of things to do. Do you have any contact info for Portal? If you have any info I would appreciate it. Thank you

  • 2 David Mendosa // Sep 15, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Dear Michael,

    I highly recommend Peg Abbott at http://www.naturalistjourneys.com

    Namaste,

    David

Leave a Comment