2016 – November Birds In The Mojave

Cactus Wren - Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus

When I’m camping with the science team from the San Diego Natural History Museum, I try to find time to meet the local birds. Autumn migration can provide some nice surprises, but there are several residents that can usually be found in the area. The Black-Throated Sparrow, the Cactus Wren, the Rock Wren, the Bewick’s Wren and the Ladder-Backed Woodpecker are usually lurking somewhere near, no matter which part of the desert you may find yourself. I found White-Crowned and Vesper Sparrows on the last trip, along with Northern Flickers. At Cedar Canyon, where the desert transitions from scrub and Joshua Tree habitat to Juniper and Pines, I also met Bushtits. The Bushtits I met here differed from those I usually meet in Poway. The sides of their faces, around the ears were darker colored. Some of the juncos here differed from the Oregon Dark-Eyed Juncos I’m used to meeting in southern California. There were Slate-Colored members of the junco troops here. This variety of junco is usually associated with the Rocky Mountains.

Below are a few examples of the birds I met during my recent outing to the Mojave. As I prepare for another camp out next week (final excursion of the season), I want to share with you the feathered friends I met two weeks ago.

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