Curve-billed Thrasher

CBTs are aptly named. Their bills are definitely curved and they really do thrash about on the ground

They flip over small rocks, scatter leaf litter, toss sticks out of the way, even pound their bills into the dirt like jack hammers — all in search of food. Insects, spiders, seeds and fruits are fair game and few escape the sharp eyes and even sharper beaks.

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One morning early this spring I heard the most beautiful music in a thick patch of desert brush. I discovered the sweet melody coming from a curve-billed thrasher. Quite at odds with the feeding frenzies I’ve witnessed. 🙂

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Curve-billed thrasher   Toxostoma curvirostre
Saguaro   Carnegiea gigantea
Ironwood   Olneya tesota

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Morning Songster

My hike this morning started with a serenade from several common house finches. Most of the chorus was hidden by vegetation, save for this gorgeous male atop a saguaro cactus.

These finches are almost entirely vegetarian and the stout bill makes seed-eating easy business. They also eat buds and fruits.

Check out the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to hear their delightful song.


House finch   Haemorhous mexicanus (formerly Carpodacus mexicanus)
Saguaro cactus   Carnegiea gigantea

Goodbye Canon, Hello Sony

You’re taking pics. You’re lining  up great shots. You’re in the zone then … zzziiittt. Huh? What the heck is happening?

Turns out that what-the-heck is a camera lens that won’t retract. How the #$@% did that happen?

I tried everything to get it working again. Then finally realized that like my old pal, Olympus, my Canon was beyond repair. At least by me. I was in shock. Me? Without a camera? Not a good thing. Not good at all.

Then Serendipity stepped in. (I must say she arrived at the most opportune time.) My friend, Jeff, offered to send me his mirrorless Sony A6000, with lenses. Wow.

Having vowed, repeatedly, that I did not want to get caught up in lenses and camera bags and toting “stuff” again, I began to weaken.

I fell in love with that Sony. (Okay, I may as well admit it: I caved and bought myself one. With a telephoto lens. And when the purse strings weaken I’ll get a macro lens too. Oh, woman, thou art so easily swayed.)

I’ll get in touch with Canon and see what, if anything, can be done for my long-time lens-plagued companion. In the meantime, Sony & I will be outside getting acquainted.