Archive for the ‘Bird’ Tag

Great-Tailed Grackle   Leave a comment

Great-tailed Grackle Grung Art blogGreat-Tailed Grackle — Grunge Art by kenne

The great-tailed grackle
Is one fucking precocious bird
Always making noise.

— kenne

Capturing The Moment — Breakfast Along The Trail   Leave a comment

East End Park-8449-2 blog“Breakfast Along The Trail” — Image by kenne

Feathers left behind
There’s one winner, one loser
Life on the balance.

— kenne


Capturing The Moment — Broad-billed Hummingbird   4 comments

Broad-billed Hummingbirds — Images by kenne

These images were taken at Sabino Canyon, one of six Hummingbird Monitoring Network locations in southern Arizona. Click here to learn more about this banding program and get information on how to volunteer.


Scarlet Macaw — A Bird Of Many Colours   1 comment

Tucson Folk Festival 2013

Tucson Folk Festival 2013

Tucson Folk Festival 2013

Tucson Folk Festival 2013

Scarlet Macaw — Images by kenne

I am a bird with many colours. Find me in the zoo.
I’m known for flying in the rainforest and talking too.

I can say almost anything you want me to say.
It is odd for a bird, but but I am odd, so anyway…

I am also known for sailing in the ocean free
But yoho, yoho, a pirate’s life for me.

I think that my name is quite obvious by now
I’m definitely not a hamster, a snake or a cow.

I have many colours and I’m the pet of a pirate.

I talk like a human, I must be a parrot!

Whyvillian Poet

Whyvillian Poet


We Have A Place For Ugly Birds   16 comments

Turkey Vultures March 2013

Turkey Vultures March 2013

Turkey Vultures March 2013

Turkey Vultures March 2013

Turkey Vultures March 2013

Turkey Vultures March 2013Turkey Vultures — Images by kenne


Art from Mary A Livingston’s book, “No Place for Ugly Birds”

We Have A Place For Ugly Birds

During our first fall in Tanuri Ridge (three years ago), I noticed large birds circling above
landing near the Tanque Verde wash to the south of us. Not knowing much about birds,
but my association with naturalist friends has resulted in a mark improvement,
I thought the birds were hawks — even writing a poem (Hawks Circle) and posting it on this blog.

Since then, I have learned more about these beautiful birds
(ugly is beautiful — in the eye of the beholder, you know),
having spent time counting and photographing the birds along the Tanque Verde wash.

However, when it comes to observing and keeping a record of the fall and spring migrations,
I bow to the official Tanuri Ridge turkey vulture counter, Larry Conyers.
He tries to get a count each morning and late afternoon,
and I fill in for him when business takes him away.

The vulture count only takes in the  Tanuri Ridge property along the Tanque Verde wash.
There are hundreds more in the Tucson Country Club
(another place for ugly birds) on the south side of the wash from us,
which is why most of our street names begin with “Country Club Vista.”

Hundreds of vultures pass through our part of the Catalina foothills each spring and fall.
Maybe Larry and I need to start having our own “ugly bird” festival next fall, at first for Tanuri Ridge residents,
later opening it to birder friends — who knows!

Yes, we are a place for ugly birds — Tanuri Ridge!



In The Dark Of Night   1 comment

Turkey Vultures March 2013“In The Dark Of The Night” — Image by kenne

Roosting high in the
trees of death,
they rest
overnight —
a long journey,
places far south.

Before sunset,
we watched them 
circle above Tunuri,
following the path
of generations,
driven by a seventh sense.

Numbers we count
at dusk and dawn,
only to ponder
why the numbers vary —
best guess,
a factor of distance.

Not the only
carion-eating animal,
these majestic birds
are maligned
as a symbol,

Born of the 
new world,
don’t call them
buzzard —
let us see,
horaltic pose.


Turkey Vultures March 2013“Horaltic Pose” –Image by kenne

Posted March 23, 2013 by kenneturner in Art, Life, Nature, Photography, Poetry

Tagged with , , , ,

Capturing The Moment — The Sanderling   9 comments

San Diego 01-15-13

By the beach border, where the breeze 
Comes freighted from the briny seas, 
By sandy bar and weedy rock, 
I frequent meet thy roving flock; 
Now hovering o’er the bending sedge, 
Now gather’d at the ocean edge; 
Probing the sands for shrimps and shells, 
Or worms marine in hidden cells, 
A restless and inconstant band, 
Forever flitting o’er the sand. 

Sandpiper!—haunting every shore 
Where’er the waves of ocean roar; 
Old voyagers that roam the deep
Tell that your dusky pinions sweep
O’er the remotest islands set
In ocean’s emerald coronet. 
Far where Siberian coasts extend, 
Far where Australian borders trend, 
Far up the icy Labrador, 
Far where the Mexic billows pour, 
Are seen thy pinions, roving bird ! 
Thy melancholy note is heard.

from THE LITTLE BEACH SANDERLING, by Isaac McLellan. Poems of the Rod and Gun. New York: Henry Thorpe, 1886

San Diego 01-15-13

Sanderlings — Images by kenne

It’s A Bird, It’s A Verdin, No It’s A Kinglet!   5 comments

Tosh Lawrence Nature WalkTosh Lawrence Conducting a Training Session In Sabino Canyon — Image by kenne

Last week I was videoing and taking photos of one of the Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists (SCVN), Tosh Lawrence, conducting a nature walk training session for new and experienced naturalists. Tosh shared a lot of her excellent teaching techniques, and one point in the riparian area by the dam, we spotted a small bird jumping around among brush on the ground. At the time, I had the video camera going and the following short clip was what I was able to capture. Note the back and forth as to what kind of bird we were watch. Our expert birder friends have got to love it, but remember, some of us are still learning.


Capturing The Moment — Sabino Canyon Snowbird   5 comments

Tosh Lawrence Nature WalkMale Phainopepla — Image by kenne

The phainopepla is a common southern Arizona bird, spending its summers on Mount Lemmon, moving south to the Sabino Canyon for the winter. And even though I have many photos of this very attractive bird, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to photograph this male phainopepla during this morning’s Ned Harris & Friends nature-walk in the canyon. 


Capturing The Moment — Migrating Turkey Vultures   5 comments


Return of The Migrating Turkey Vultures — Image by kenne      

Early signs the annual fall migration of turkey vultures has begun. One of the stopping-off places for roosting over night are dead trees along the Tanque Verde wash. These big birds head south for the warmer winter climates of Mexico.

(A 10-Word Poem)



on the dead

turn south


near by.



Capturing The Moment — Great Blue Heron In The Catalina Foothills   4 comments

Great Blue Heron — Images by kenne

It’s not every Saturday morning that I get a call from a neighbor asking,

“Are you dressed?” 

“Ahhhhh, yes,” I replied.

“Good, there’s a Great Blue Heron on a neighbor’s chimney, so you need to move quickly!” she said.

(Probably knowing I wouldn’t want to miss the photo-opt, she wanted to make sure I was dressed before telling me about her sighting.)

I was able to get a couple of photos before scaring off this beautiful bird.


Little Bird, Capture Your Moment   Leave a comment

Little Bird — Image by kenne

Little bird singing
Jumps quickly among the twigs
Capture your moment.


Can You Pronounce, Phainopepla?   7 comments

Phainopepla (fain – oh – PEP – lug) — Image by kenne

When I started the Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalist program in September, one of my challenges was learning to pronounce, Phainopela.

Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)

Image by Lip Kee via Flickr

I didn’t have trouble recognizing this beautiful bird, who wouldn’t with his majestic black robe. His name is perfectly suited for its unique dark plumage, as the name phainopepla originated from the Greek phain peplos or “shining robe.” In bright sunlight, these birds do shine, and the male’s glossy plumage is unmistakable, as shown in the above image. The Phainopela has white wing-tips that can be seen in flight.

 In the summer, the local Phainopeplas migrate up the canyon to Mt. Lemmon, where it’s cooler with a lot in insects, returning to the lower canyon in the winter when insects are scarce to feed on mistletoe berries. As  “A Naturalist’s Guide To Sabino Canyon” point out, “Sticky mistletoe seeds pass through digestive system sticking to branches where they perch, spreading mistletoe from tree to tree.” Welcome back, “black dude!”


Capturing the Moment — Cactus Wren   Leave a comment

Cactus Wren — Image by kenne

Arizona’s state bird, the Cactus Wren is seven to eight inches long and likes to build nests in the protection of thorny desert plants like that of the giant saguaro cactus. It is not unusual to see the bird sitting atop the saguaro cactus, however, this was my first opportunity to capture the moment.


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