Easter mornings are often spent focused on the ground in an Easter Egg hunt, a ritual seeking delightfully chthonic goodies on a day of rising up. But our Easter walk in Papago Park was filled with airy trophies instead: birds in trees. And the birds were obliging. Once seen perched safely on high, they stayed to be photographed, preoccupied with their own activities — singing, like the Ash Throated Flycatcher (“k-brick, k-brrr”) and the Mockingbird, or glaring, like the Loggerhead shrike and the immature Cooper’s hawk. The young hawk didn’t stir as we passed Its Fierceness fairly close to the trail: it appeared to be waiting on the tip of a palo verde snag for the warming air to create wing-filling thermals, so it could continue its northward journey.
(From top to bottom: Ash-throated flycatcher; Northern mockingbird; Loggerhead shrike; immature Cooper’s hawk. All photos E. Shock)