Mules Serve as Military Animals in Afghanistan

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Birdwatching Bilsa and Mache Chindul Reserve

10,000 Birds

Long-wattled Umbrellabird Rose-faced Parrot Scaled Pigeon Emerald Tanager To arrive at the Bilsa Research Station during the rainy season we rode on mud-threading mules for 3 hours. I asked our mule owners about this issue and they explained that 100% of the reserve is owned by the people that live inside the reserve!

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Birding at a Historic Sporting Estate

10,000 Birds

Down a dirt lane bordered by Southern Magnolia trees, I leaned over a fence to watch two mules feeding quietly, then followed the road to a white-paneled house, complete with pink Azalea bushes by the front door. I didn’t expect to see any birds.

2020 84

San Juan De La Costa

10,000 Birds

In addition to the hundred or so species of birds I regularly find here, there are Desert Foxes, Bobcats, Mountain Lions, Desert Bighorn Sheep and Mule Deer. Traveling north of La Paz, Mexico, the terrain starts to look very much like an old John Wayne Movie. Box canyons, long arroyos, and rolling desert vistas, accented with several different kinds of cactus. This, all bordered by the crystal clear waters of the Sea of Cortez. This diversity makes for a very unique birding experience.

2017 40

Columbian Black-tailed Deer Odocoileus hemionus columbianus

10,000 Birds

The Black-tailed Deer , or, in this case, the Columbian Black-tailed Deer , is not a full species, but one of two black-tailed subspecies of Mule Deer.* Though morphologically distinguishable from other subspecies of Mule Deer it is not a species in and of itself. Because Daisy and I had seen Mule Deer in southern California before our sighting was therefore not of a new species for us. A Black-tailed Deer !

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Lark Sparrows Foraging at Lema Ranch

10,000 Birds

I couldn’t help but notice these Lark Sparrows when a flock of nearly a dozen birds flew from some scrub oaks to the ground just off the pathway across from Mule Pond, but it wasn’t easy to spot them on the ground unless they were moving. Lark Sparrow ( Chondestes grammacus ) photos by Larry Jordan Nearly two years ago I wrote my second post as the West Coast Beat Writer on Lema Ranch, a Northern California birding hot spot.

There’s More to Birding than Birds

10,000 Birds

Ditto for the Mule Deer who stood still for a few photos before bounding away.). Much like Carrie’s recent experiences being hoodwinked by non-bird sources of birdy-sounding calls , I’ve had my share of animal encounters out in the field. In New York and Chicago, they’ve been pretty mundane—a White-tailed Deer here, an Eastern Cottontail rabbit there. And of course, way too many chipmunks and squirrels and raccoons and turtles to count.

2013 61

A visit to Dog Lake

10,000 Birds

Mule Deer have always been pretty common in this area, but I got quite a surprise when I cleared a small hill in the road, and nearly ran over a male Pronghorn Antelope , right in the middle of the road. On the final leg of my “Old Home Week”, I travel out to Dog Lake, a pristine high mountain lake, surrounded by mature Ponderosa Pines.

2017 41

Roadside Birding and Flathead Lake

10,000 Birds

Mammals were mostly represented by Mule Deer and a handful of debatable Elk. One of the things I like best is squeezing a little birding in on non-birding trips. It appeals to my sense of efficiency and environmental responsibility and presents the chance to check out places that may be off the beaten birding path, not to mention that it saves my non-driving self from having to beg people for rides just to indulge my hobby. In short, as ways of birding go, it’s low-impact.

2011 56

Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge

10,000 Birds

I had the antelope greet me on my way in, and this Mule Deer doe, was there to say goodbye on my way out. Growing up in central Oregon, allowed me to experience such a diverse amount of habitat, and the wildlife that resides there. It is a high desert, with sagebrush flats, surrounded by Ponderosa Pines, yet we still have large waterways, for waterfowl and shorebirds.

2017 44

Camas and Cranes

10,000 Birds

Along this journey from pass to valley and back again, we spotted Wild Turkey and Western Wood Pee-wee , Ravens and Red-tailed Hawks , mule deer and elk, even the white-striped tail of a Dark-eyed Junco disappearing into the shadow of the trees. Highway 12, as it takes you from Montana into Idaho, has been the road to some of my greatest adventures during my time here.

2013 55

Over the Mountain

10,000 Birds

Things were quiet at first as I headed upwards, until I startled two Mule Deer. Moving is a tribulation, even when you’re just moving across town. But when you’re moving closer to great birding, there are some consolations. So, let me remind myself why I recently spent an entire rainy day lifting heavy things and making my unfortunate boyfriend do the same: The first time I looked the apartment over was in late April. As seems to be the style this season, it was cold and damp.

2011 58

Birding Zion National Park in Winter

10,000 Birds

Oh well, the trail was nice and the kids liked the nice looks at Mule Deer. According to most sources the time to visit Zion National Park is in spring. Summer is too hot, the birds are quiet in fall, and winter is too cold. That said, there is really no bad time to visit a national treasure like Zion National Park. The red rocks against the clear blue sky are simply sublime. I loved the time we spent at Zion and only wish that we had more of it!

2016 40

Visitors on the Range

10,000 Birds

Besides the American bison that the refuge was founded to protect, there are pronghorns, elk, bighorn sheep, mule and white-tailed deer, and black bears. As the name suggests, the National Bison Range is mostly known for its large mammals. There are also rattlesnakes, amazing views, fascinating tales of history and prehistory, and of course, many birds. Are the bison the stars of the show, or is the real star the range itself? It’s hard to say.

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