and a Cactus Wren poked its head out of a nest. I don't know which one of us was more startled. I whipped around and managed to get a photo before it flew off:
According to the National Wildlife Federation web site, eNature.com
It is easy to spot an area inhabited by Cactus Wrens because, like other members of the family, they build many "dummy" nests, which are never used for breeding but serve as roosting places. These nests are usually so well guarded by sharp spines that it is difficult to understand how the birds can use them without being impaled. They are late sleepers and an early bird-watcher may surprise them still dozing in the snug nest.So that accounts for the multiple nests. There are three evident in this particular jumping cholla. I don't know how to tell if one is a breeding nest.
Got a couple of shots of the wren when it flew to a nearby tree. Such a beautiful bird!
Also managed to get a piece of jumping cholla hooked on my jeans. Which prompted me to note that even when I walk on our own property I need to carry two important desert hiking tools: a comb and scotch tape.