Monday, March 27, 2017

Belted Kingfisher

I photographed this female Belted Kingfisher at Florence River Park, a small local park in Florence, CO adjacent to the Arkansas River. The bottom pic is not very sharp but I included it since it shows that the rusty belt runs from the chest to the sides and up onto the underside of the wing. SeEtta

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Black Phoebes begin nest building in Canon City

Yesterday I found an apparent pair of Black Phoebes near a often use nest site along the Arkansas River at MacKenzie Ave in Canon City. Today I found a single Black Phoebe on private property near a long term nest location. I was pleased to find this Black Phoebe gathering and taking nest material including blobs of mud to a site I had suspected was a nest site but had not been able to confirm in previous years. In this top pic the phoebe is carrying some vegetation with attached mud. Females gather nest material and construct the nest so this is the female.
The pic above is that same Black Phoebe with the vegetation in her bill just before she flew to the nest site. The pic below is of the apparent mate who stayed nearby while the female above gathered and brought nest material. SeEtta

Common Mergansers on the Arkansas River

I spotted this pair of Common Mergansers on the Arkansas River in Canon City yesterday. They took advantage of the swift flow to move them quickly downstream with little effort. SeEtta

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A couple of Wilson's Snipe foraging in agriculture ditch

I have an area in Canon City that Wilson's Snipe find good for foraging.  I was surprised recently to watch one of them 'bouncing' up and down on it's legs repeatedly as it foraged not too different than the foraging behavior of American Woodcocks.  I checked Birds of North America online which indicated this was done, "apparently to startle prey into moving."  Top pic is darker as it was overcast while sunny for bottom pics.  SeEtta

Black Phoebe

This is one of Black Phoebes in an apparent bonded pair that I have been observing every day for the past 6 days.  They often forage near one another at Sell's Lake in Canon City but also take the very short flight, less than a hundred feet, the Arkansas River. Unfortunately these pics were pretty backlit. SeEtta

After a long absence I am back

Problems with my computer which I have replaced and my camera-lens combo that I worked out just made it difficult to maintain this blog. I am back. SeEtta

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Pinyon Jays at Red Canyon Park, just north of Canon City

I found a nice size flock of Pinyon Jays yesterday at Red Canyon Park. There were quite a few more than 75 in total when I got these pics as the whole flock flew over but at times smaller groups would fly about.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Blue-throated Hummingbird, oh so regal

Yesterday I had a great time in Cave Creek Canyon near Portal,AZ watching Blue-throated Hummingbirds. They were coming into feeders at both the Southwestern Research Station and at Cave Creek Ranch. There were several of these beauties at each location. says, "The largest hummingbird found north of Mexico, the Blue-throated Hummingbird is also one of the most vocal hummingbird species, and its high-pitched, monotonous peeps are a signature sound of summer. They are found in streamside habitats in mountain canyons, as far north as southeastern Arizona, where they are frequent visitors to feeders and usually the dominant hummingbird species. "
They clearly were very large and their calls most distinctive; however, in my limited experience they were not the dominant species at least at these feeders.

While fairly common in Mexico these beauties have a very restrictive range in the U.S. as shown in this NatureServe range map. SeEtta