Daily Archives: November 30, 2017

Female Pyrrhuloxia

I took my Point and Shoot Nature Photography Field Techniques students to the Friend’s Cactus Garden at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge at the end of our 3 hour class for some macro practice. No cactus in bloom in November of course, but cacti always provide lots of interesting macro detail. I was explaining “tele-macro” techniques so my camera was already at 600mm when I looked up to see this female Pyrrhuloxia sitting in the very tall yuca. Yes, I know, that does not look like a real word: Pyrrhuloxia, but it is the name of this close relative of the Northern Cardinal. They are more common in Southeast Arizona, southern New Mexico, and South Texas, and I was somewhat surprised to see one a Bosque. It turns out that there is an winter range extension up the Rio Grande Valley that brings them that far north. I am pretty sure this is my first Bosque sighting. This bird also has the least red on it of any Pyrrhuloxia I have ever seen. It may an immature female. Only the unmistakable bill and crest give it away. Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Cropped and processed in Photoshop Express.