Wednesday, January 22, 2014

December Birds at Joshua Tree National Park

Last month I took a side trip through Southern California's Joshua Tree National Park. December is an odd time of the year to make such a trip. There are very few plants blooming and much of the wildlife is hunkering down. But I had the time so I took the trip anyway.

I was in for a bit of a surprise when I stopped behind the northeast Visitors Center where there is a desert oasis of sorts. Flitting around in the palms was a bold cactus wren, that didn't seem to be bothered by me at all. 

The ranger in the gift shop suggested that I walk along the path and check out the phainopeplas that were feeding on the mistletoe berries.

The above picture is of the uneaten berries. The picture below is of the digested ones on a wildlife marker. I sort of got the idea that phainopeplas don't like rabbits.