bird American robin

Bird Portraits

Bird “Portraits” from the Great Backyard Bird Count 2015

Bird “portraits” are always fun for a photographer. Any place works for viewing them. One of the joys of having a garden in the desert Southwest is attracting birds, bees, butterflies, and other things to it.

The Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico has many different microenvironments, and we get to see many different birds simply by going a few miles in a different direction. But, this past weekend was a beautiful one to be out cleaning up the yard in preparation for spring. So, I did my count and photography in the garden this year. These are a few of the very common birds in my yard at this time of year.

House Finch

bird house finch

House finch

White winged Dove

bird white winged dove

White winged dove

American Robin

bird American robin

American robin

Scrub Jay

bird scrub jay

Scrub jay

Birds – another joy of gardening in the desert Southwest.


White Wing Dove

White Wing Dove

White Wing Dove

Most of the gardeners I know in the high desert enjoy a variety of birds. Many put out food and water for the birds, and I am one who does. I think of summer as hummingbirds and roses, and winter as junkos.

But, even in the city, there are many different birds. When I first moved to this house, I had a lot of mourning doves. I had never seen a white wing dove until I moved to Albuquerque, and I lived here for several years before being aware of them. White wing doves have a more limited distribution in the United States than do mourning doves, but where the white wings occur, they are abundant. At my house, they nest in a large pine, close to a feeding station, and it is not unusual to see nine at a time on the block wall waiting to be fed. They share the feeder with finches and smaller birds, but the mourning doves are chased off until the white wings have had their fill.

In flight, you see a lot of white. But at rest, only a slim line of white is seen along the wing. The eyes are really red, as are the legs and feet. I love the blue eye patch, and the dark line underneath the eye.

Their call has been described as “who-cooks-for-you?” Personally, I think it is much lovelier than that 😉

They actually are hunted in Texas and in Arizona.

White Wing Dove

White Wing Dove and Finch at Feeder