A Pyrrhuloxia or 'desert cardinal' as he's known locally, strikes a defensive pose as he alerts to a strange new noise. This time the strange new noise is a camera shutter. Still he must react to everything within ear shot.
He lives in a harsh environment...hawks and falcons hunt nearby. He questions if leaving is necessary.
Most everything in the desert pricks, sticks or stabs, yet Pyrrhuloxias' manages well in the hot arid southwest.
Living on large insects, seeds, berries and even cactus fruit, the Pyrrhuloxia doesn't require standing water to quench his thirst. He seems to get enough water from his food.
(Click any picture to enlarge all)
The female Pyrrhuloxia shares a similar yellow parrot-like bill, but sports far fewer red feathers. She has built a nest for her eggs from plant material, horsehair, feathers and rootlets.
She incubates 2-4 eggs for two weeks while her mate brings her food.
A juvenile Pyrrhuloxia is growing straight and strong.
A bird's natural instinct is to alert and fly away when approached. It's a trait that has served them well.
To be in their presence longer, move slowly...remain silent...wear muted colors...be patient...use binoculars.
Although, most importantly, enjoy where you are.
Credits: Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds
The Sibley's Guide to Birds