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Female Phainopepla

It seems that every season has its bird. The Phainopeplas have been moving in for a while, now they sit on top of the bushes showing off, and have started making their soft whurp. They can’t be breeding, can they? Why weren’t they singing earlier in the fall?

Abby identified the common plant I wondered about here, the one with dull green, long, lobed, spear-shaped leaves: it’s a Canyon Ragweed. I found one this morning with small light green galls all over the leaves, like warts. Abby says they are made by a type of gnat.

Also saw a couple of Black-tailed Gnatcatchers darting low into a busy, and spotted one, pretty white-eye ring, creamy grey breast, narrow beak, making wheezy, raspy, upward call.

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About Bill McCallum

I was born in Australia and came to the United States to pursue a Ph. D. in mathematics at Harvard University, met my wife, and never went back. I am a professor at the University of Arizona, working in number theory and mathematics education.

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