Saturday, June 3, 2023


On May 27 I circled the Salton Sea and included a walk at the Sonny Bono NWR on Sinclair Road down through the desert trees (palo verde, various kinds of mesquite, etc.) that line the large field that feeds snow geese in the winter. I am trying to improve my skills to find and photograph small birds and I understand that the small birds love those trees.

I was excited to see at least two verdin and got some photographs. I have only seen one verdin previously, also on a walk in this same area in February 2021. 
The verdin on that occasion had a yellow head, but it was not as bright and it did not have a visible shoulder patch. The photo was also blurry. 

I photographed two verdin in May. The first bird I photographed was much more clear (except for a small branch which added some blurriness to the photo) and the yellow head and red patch were much prettier and really stood out. I show the second bird first below. 
This verdin was near the visitor center.

This verdin was absolutely gorgeous and was down along the large field. 

The verdin is very small and moves quickly, making it difficult to photograph. There are six subspecies, two of which nest in the U.S. and the other four are resident in Mexico. One subspecies, acaciarum, is found in Utah, Nevada, Southern California and southward into Mexico. It is associated mostly with the Sonoran Desert. This is the subspecies I've seen near the Salton Sea. The subspecies ornatus is found in New Mexico and Oklahoma and southward into Mexico and is associated with the Chihuahua Desert. 

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