Saturday, April 25, 2015

Snowy Egret doing the 'foot shake' to stir up fish to catch

SnowyEget doing' foot shaking' fishing technique from SeEtta Moss on Vimeo In this brief video clip this Snowy Egret engages in a fish catching technique in which it shakes it foot in the water to stir up fish to catch. It starts just at 11 seconds into the clip and it shakes first one then the other foot several times apparently producing a catch for it which it quickly consumes. It is interesting what techniques various bird species have learned to improve their foraging catch.  SeEtta

SnowyEget doing' foot shaking' fishing technique from SeEtta Moss on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Ruby-crowned Kinglet that I am afraid in injured

When I spotted this little Ruby-crowned Kinglet this morning it was clear something was amiss--these little birds are always on the move and this one was pretty slow and then perched on a branch where it rested for over 5 minutes. If you enlarge top and middle pics you can see that some of it's ruby spot are visible which is also unusual as they usually raise those red feathers when in a battle.
It has it's nictitating membrane over it's eye as it rests in the bottom two pics. Resting in the day is just normal for birds and puts them at risk for predation. In the bottom pic some of the feathers are out of place, maybe it ran into something. SeEtta

Eastern Phoebe on nest in Canon City area

I have been following both the Black and Eastern Phoebe population in the Canon City area for more than a decade. In the past 3-4 weeks a number of both Black and Eastern Phoebes returned to the area and were in traditional nesting locations. I found this typical appearing Eastern Phoebe on the nest today as I inadvertently flushed her when I walked nearby. I had seen another phoebe nest just 30 feet from this one and had been watching it for a few days but was unaware of this well concealed nest until she flew. I took the pic below of the nest that is zoomed and cropped to show the fine grasses lining the nest cup which has a lot of moss on it then left to allow her to return to her nest. I waited a distance away in my car then drove in as this in my experience is usually less likely to flush the bird. I took the photo of her on her nest from my car, very quietly and left in less than 2 minute--she remained on the nest which was my goal. Now that I know where she is nesting I will avoid walking in this area so I do not flush her again and will monitor carefully from my car. SeEtta

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Evening Grosbeak visiting my feeders

This morning when I stepped out my back door I heard the distinctive call of Evening Grobeaks. I abandoned my plans to start watering my yard to put out some tray feeders as these guys are so large they do not fit well on feeders with perches. It took only a few minutes after I set out the first feeder for a male and 2 female Evening Grosbeak to start feeding. They fed off and on today so hope they will be staying in the neighborhood for awhile. Many springs I have had them as regular visitors to my feeders right up until time to go to nesting territories. SeEtta

Friday, April 3, 2015

Rare Red-necked Phalarope in Canon City

I stopped by the Canon City Valco Ponds which were teaming with migrating Franklin's Gulls fishing and calling. I spotted a first of the year Yellow-rumped Warbler working a Russian Olive-we usually have these overwinter but it was unusually cold at times haven't heard of anyone spotting any for a few months. I also heard a Black Phoebe calling from some vegetated area along a bar ditch just a little north of the parking lot-they are starting to move through here, find mates and then nesting spots.
As I looked at the action from my car in the parking lot (fyi, this is private property so going behind the area where there is a gate is trespassing and the owner is angry about trespassing birders) I spotted this is rare species in southern Colorado and very rare in my county. I have never seen one here and none are listed in ebird. Unfortunately I watched it fly off going out of sight along the Arkansas River before I left. SeEtta

Sorry for the long unexpected absence

I started chemotherapy for my breast cancer but did not anticipate how hard it (and the meds I took to counteract the side effects of the chemo) would be. I am finishing my second round of chemo, with some adjustment of meds, and getting better at dealing with it (at least after the worst of the side effects are over). I will continue my blogging though not as often as before as this is still quite a difficult time and I am not able to do a lot of birding. SeEtta

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Another Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk near my town

I spotted this very shy Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk as I was driving early this week. It was in the back of a large tree and partially obscured by the branches and the location was difficult to find a place to pull off the road safely so these were the only photos I got. Though I stayed in my car and was about 150 feet away this bird flushed and flew into a tree deep into private property where I could just barely see it. SeEtta

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Finally got pics of Harris's Sparrow

I have seen this Harris's Sparrow a number of times in the past few months but always briefly and almost always it is behind some vegetation so getting a good pic has bee futile. Finally yesterday I spotted it and got these pics.

It has been on private property so I have only seen it when it has come near the public road. Last year an adult Harris's Sparrow spent the winter very near where this one has been-makes me wonder if this is the same bird that returned. SeEtta