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A very thorny seat serves to protect the cactus wren from predators at the base of Silly Mountain. The cactus wren (Heleodytes brunneicapillus couesi) was officially recognized as the state bird of Arizona in 1931. They are native to the arid south-western United States extending to central Mexico. They primarily eat insects (including ants, beetles, grasshoppers, and wasps) and occasional seeds and fruits. Almost all water is obtained from its food (a true bird of the desert, the cactus wren rarely drinks free standing water, even when available). Large-scale development throughout the Southwest has caused declines in its population, but it is not currently listed as endangered or threatened. It is however, like all songbirds, protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. (Paraphrased from www.statesymbolsusa.org/symbol/arizona/state-bird/cactus-wren on 2019-01-22)

ISO 100, 1/320 second at f/7.1, 300mm focal length

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Additional Photos by Mark Freitag (nagalaut) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 15 W: 0 N: 346] (594)
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