On my western sojourn back in June we made a half-day visit to the absolutely gorgeous Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area near Las Vegas. Because we had four children with us we chose to do the thirteen-mile loop road, stopping several times to take in the views and once, at the Willow Springs Picnic Area, to take a short hike through the desert. Though our visit was all-too-quick it was memorable and enjoyable and should I ever find myself in Las Vegas again I will definitely make it a point to stop back at Red Rock and explore it more thoroughly.
a view along the scenic drive at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
One element of Red Rock Canyon that I probably don’t need to see much better is the Black-throated Sparrow. One incredibly cooperative and confiding bird sang from a nearby bush and then flew to the rock I was photographing it from and briefly foraged there while I hustled to back up so I could get it in focus. It then flew back to its original perch and just sat for awhile before continuing on its way.
Amphispiza bilineata is a species of the desert and it is found throughout proper habitat in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. It is an attractive and kind of awe-inspiring little bird, as most creatures that can survive in harsh conditions are (at least to me).
The bird in these pictures was the first of its species I had seen in six years and it more than made up for lost time. Enjoy!
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For comparison purposes, here is a shot of a Black-chinned Sparrow, another desert sparrow found at Red Rock Canyon.
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