Tuesday, August 23, 2016
I spotted this Common Black Hawk perched in the branches of a tree as I drove around the road on the east side of Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge this afternoon. It is amazing how that black plumage blends in with the habitat.
You can see that bird on my post about it on my SE Colorado Birding blog that I ran prior to this blog.
Sunday, August 21, 2016
12 in 2014 (they flew lower so got better pics). This was just an amazing spectacle. SeEtta
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Monday, August 15, 2016
Horsetail Milkweed (Asclepias subverticillata) in the far west part of Canon City. While Horsetail Milkweed is listed as native in Colorado the 'Floristic Synthesis of North America' lists it as a 'Native Species, but adventive in state.' Had to look that up--'adventive species' refers to "a species that has arrived in a new locality" which may have been with help of people or it may not (ie, range expansion). As a native milkweed it is an important plant for Monarch Butterflies as well as other insects.
Thursday, August 11, 2016
In southeast Colorado this past week I found several small groups of Lark Buntings including this one that appear to be gathering for migration. This is a female and I believe she is at least partially in her winter (definitive) plumage (per Birds of North America online, "Plumage similar to Definitive Alternate female, except in fresh plumage, pattern more blended, appearing less grayish brown and more strongly tinged with buff; middle secondaries (S4–S6) edged rusty; and chin without black.") SeEtta
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Sibley says they do not molt until they are on their winter grounds so adults have feathers almost a year old). Like many/most fall flycatchers it was silent but it's clear vested underparts, big head and short tail make it easy to id as an Olive-sided. Landbird migration has begun. SeEtta
Sunday, August 7, 2016
Colo Natural Heritage Program, which lists them in their rare plants database, describes their habitat as follows: "Along streams; in wet meadows, pastures, and fields; usually near old stream meanders or at the margins of lakes or ponds. Often in alkaline soils. Elev. 3500 - 6000 ft."
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
I have found this and another 9 or so male Dickcissel, and at least one male Bobolink, in several locations in the Canon City area. I had found one of each species about a month ago, which was in the usual time frame for them to be breeding in local hayfields, but could not refind any before I left on a 2 week out of state trip from which I returned just a few days ago. . In the past they tended to be in alfalfa hay fields but his year there are mostly grass hay fields in our area. Surprisingly several of these are in hay fields that have already had one cut. Even more surprising is two are in fields that are just tall weeds. The Bobolink and at least 2 Dickcissel are in the field that I have posted about in prior years on MacKenzie Ave halfway from H50 and Grandview Ave. Please be cautious as MacKenzie is a very busy thoroughfare with traffic going 40-50 mph. The safest viewing is possible by going further south on MacKenzie Ave to Adams Ave--turn off to the east on Adams and the Dickcissel are in the part of the hay field on the north side that has the alfalfa (becomes more grass and less alfalfa closer to the house down the road). As this is a dirt access road to just 2 families there is minimal traffic. I have talked to the people who live down the lane so they are aware that birders may come down it, just do not drive or walk into their field, stay on the public dirt road. Unfortunately the hay field at this location is going to be cut soon per the owners. SeEtta