New Mexico Nature, Urban and Rural
Photographs taken in Albuquerque, New Mexico or in the mountains and desert nearby
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A rock squirrel (Spermophilus variegates) stuffing its cheeks at a bird feeder, at Rio Grande Nature Center State Park (Albuquerque, New Mexico). Rock squirrels stash food in their cheeks, until the cheeks are bulging. Then they run back to their dens to store the food against future needs. The more food you put out, the more they'll try to remove and store. Photo taken on March 18, 2023.
It's not always obvious why a yellow-rumped warbler (Setophaga coronata) is called that. At times the wings on a sitting bird are clapped together over the yellow rump, so you can't see it. But in this photo the wings are pulled apart. Photo taken at Bachechi Open Space, Albuquerque on January 30, 2023.
A white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) drinking water. In Albuquerque, house sparrows dominate the urban landscape but white-crowned sparrows predominate away from people. Photo taken at the Rio Grande Nature Center, Albuquerque on January 25, 2023.
A Say's phoebe (Sayornis saya) at Los Poblanos Open Space in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Say's phoebes are a common sight in the area, mostly hunting for bugs in open areas. They rest on a perch until they see a flying bug to consume. Photo taken on November 27, 2022.
A jumping spider (family Salticidae) with its victim, a bee. As the name suggests, these spiders don't spin webs and then wait patiently for supper to arrive. Instead they ambush their prey -- something that also takes a great deal of patience. Photo taken in the Rio Grande Bosque, Albuquerque, on October 3, 2022.
A great blue heron (Ardea herodias) looking down at me as I take its portrait. If you hunt for small fish and similar prey in the shallows of streams and ponds, it really helps to be able to see around your own beak! Photo taken in the Rio Grande Bosque, Albuquerque, New Mexico on October 11, 2022.