OK, OK, I lied! Yesterday I said the Pinyon Jay was my last jay for the week, and then I remembered this spectacular bird that I saw in the greater San Diego area, more specifically the Tijuana River Valley, only a mile or so from the Mexican border. It is a bird native to northwest Mexico. I've seen them there a few times, as they fly across the border to visit the Bird & Butterfly Garden in the Tijuana River Regional Park. This is the first time I managed to photograph one of them. Although it is quite different from our native jays, it is of the Corvidae family, along with all the other jays. Just look at that spectacularly long tail!
This male Varied Bunting was photographed on the Proctor Road trail at the base of Madera Canyon, in the Santa Rita Mountains in Arizona. I first saw the female, which is an all over warm brown, and was disappointed not to see the colorful male. Nearby I heard rustling in the underbrush, crept through the bushes, and spotted this very pretty little guy! I got several shots of it half-covered by foliage, but he finally hopped out and I got this shot. (I sent this one to my son, and he said it looked like Photoshop gone wild. I assured him it really does look like this!)
Adding to the sparrow series, here is a duo of Black-throated Sparrows. Actually it is the same bird, two views. For those of you who believe that all sparrows look alike, this is a good example of one that doesn't! It is a very handsome bird of southwestern deserts. It is easy to see where it got its name. It often perches on the tops of bushes and sings a very musical song. This particular bird was photographed in central Texas. I had thought I'd only be showing species that Wayne might not have, and I have more often seen this one in Arizona and California's deserts, but no, this particular one was from a few years ago in Texas.