February 9, 2015 Ajo, Arizona

Red tailed hawk
Red tailed hawk

I Find a Red-tailed Hawk’s Nest in the Desert

Yesterday, at sunrise, I drove back out Darby Wells Road looking for desert sunrise shots and happened upon a hawk atop a saguaro. Though from my angle, I could not see a red tail, I assumed it was a Red-tailed hawk. Poking around in the desert after the hawk flew off, I noticed a large stick nest in the crotch of a tall saguaro nearby.

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

Hawk's nest
Hawk’s nest

So, at dawn this morning, I headed right back out there to see if I could catch someone on the nest. When I arrived a hawk was flying in the vicinity of the nest so I settled in to wait and see if it would light in the nest.

Redtail hawk
Redtail hawk

Not too long and one came in and perched on top of a nearby saguaro.

Red tailed hawk on nest
Red tailed hawk on nest

Then, a second hawk flew in with a new stick to add to the nest, but I just missed her arrival. In these images I could see the red tail making identification a little more certain. I kept focusing on her hoping to capture a nice flight shot as she dropped out of the nest towards me, but …

red tail hawk
Leaving by the back door

… of course she chose to go out the back door instead.

Sunrise in the desert
Sunrise in the desert
Sunrise in the desert
Sunrise in the desert

On these early morning trips out in the desert I enjoy seeing the first rays of sunlight hit portions of the desert floor.

Saguaros
Saguaros
Saguaros
“Hands in the air, partner”

Ok, does anyone else see the guy holding a rifle on the other cowboy in the saguaro image above?

Phainopepla
Phainopepla

Not a great shot, but it is my first shot of a desert regular, a Phainopepla. I see quite a few of them perched on the upper branches of trees everyday here, but they always take flight before I can get near enough for a shot.

Continued on into Ajo to check out the grocery store and fillup the Prius.

Weather every day here has been identical to the day before, perfectly clear blue skies, temperature around 80, nights pleasant at 55. Except for the occasional coyote, it has been incredibly quiet here.

After returning to my site, I had a white pickup stop and a man identified himself as being with the Border Patrol and asked if I had recently seen any “ razors “ go by. I was a little suspicious of this guy and his partner since they weren’t wearing uniforms, there was no decal on the vehicle door and no government plates, obviously a personal vehicle. Makes me a little nervous now out here pretty much by myself.

 

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6 thoughts on “February 9, 2015 Ajo, Arizona”

  1. Just found your blog, but it is now on the top of my list. I really liked the first picture after the hawk left the nest, especially the little cross in the far back ground. I know it is a cactus, but it sure looks like a real cross.

    1. Welcome ! I sat there for about 20 minutes while she fidgeted with the branches of her nest, and I really thought she would have to take off in my direction, didn’t realize she had the back door escape. But often, that’s just the way it works out, you wait and plan out a shot … and then it doesn’t happen. Hope you enjoy following along.

  2. “Razors”? Never heard of that term before, but I’m sure it’s racist as were those guys you ran into. I am enjoying your photographs immensely, especially as I look at nothing but shades of black and white all around me.

    1. Razers are a type of ATV that are all the rage out here in the desert for 4 wheeling all the back roads and washes. From the weather reports I see, it appears you guys are having a miserable time of it back there, while I have to say, the weather here in the desert is delightful!

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