A Barking Bird!

Madera Canyon held a few more surprises for us during the few hours we spent there.  You'd think an Elegant Trogan, a Painted Redstart, A Bridled Titmouse, an Acorn Woodpecker, and dozens of Mexican Jays would be more than enough for any birder - especially since every one was a life-lister for both of us.  But soon after the Trogon left I heard what sounded like loud barking coming from high in the trees above.  A moment later I caught sight of a HUGE bird in the tree, and whatever kind of bird it was, it was definitely the source of the barking!

By the time I saw a second monstrous bird hidden in the foliage, my mind was jumping to outrageous conclusions at the speed of sound.  "it must be a Crested Caracara,' I thought, 'or something else equally exotic and rare!'  After all, it was a MASSIVE bird that was making the strangest and loudest sound ever heard!  Imagine my surprise to finally get the bird in focus and discover it was a very familiar looking Wild Turkey.  Evidently the Wild Turkeys in Arizona don't make the 'gobble gobble' sound we're used to hearing in Massachusetts.  In Arizona, the turkeys BARK!

There were other familiar birds that acted much more normally.  We saw plenty of finches.

We saw a nuthatch or two.

And our last life-lister for the day was a Lesser Goldfinch.  This isn't the greatest picture of one, but I can personally attest to the fact tat they are much smaller than regular goldfinches.
And throughout the day we had to marvel at the unparalleled beauty of this gorgeous place.  It was pretty close to being in paradise!
Ever since I left Arizona, all I can think about is going back!

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