Sunday, April 23, 2017

White-faced Ibis, yearly spring migrants, have arrived

Every spring flocks of White-faced Ibis stop-over in eastern Fremont County to feed and rest before continuing to their nesting areas. They feed in the flooded agricultural fields in both Florence and Canon City.
 The First Colorado Breeding Bird Atlas showed that they used to nest in far eastern Fremont County likely where the current Holcim Wetlands (which were rebuilt after use as a rock quarry) are located. SeEtta

Snowy Egret migrating through

I let my dog Chase out of the car and then realized there was this Snowy Egret less than 50 feet away.  This is likely one of the two Snowy Egrets I had spotted flying earlier in the area. As my area of Colorado is semi arid we have few water bodies or wetlands so we don't see many egrets.  Though Snowy Egrets nest in a few isolated areas in 2 adjacent counties they have not been found nesting in Fremont County.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Rocky Mtn Bighorn Sheep lamb

I celebrated part of Earth Day today watching wildlife in our Bighorn Sheep Canyon that starts just a few miles west of Canon City and ends near Salida.  This little cutie was with it's family herd.  While the others were foraging this young one laid down on a rocky outcrop to watch (it may well still be nursing).  SeEtta

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Pygmy Nuthatch excavating nest hole

I spotted this Pygmy Nuthatch excavating a nest hole in the town of Beulah, CO last week.  In the top pic the bird is seen with some of the tree material it was removing from the nest hole. If you enlarge that pic you can see the top of the inside of this tree cavity it is working on.
In the pic above here the Pygmy Nuthatch is seen inside the tree cavity it is excavating. It does not look like there is a lot of room in there yet so a lot more work to do.  
I heard a number of Pygmy Nuthatches singing during this trip.  SeEtta

Eastern Phoebe gathering nesting material

I spotted this Eastern Phoebe in Florence River Park (at the far eastern end of Florence,CO) today.  This is the first time I have seen this species here but I have been under walking restrictions for my knee so I have done little walking here for awhile.
The phoebe is holding grass stems or other plant fibers in her bill.  I say 'she' as in Eastern Phoebes it is the female who exclusively builds the nest. 

I spotted a second phoebe and on close inspection that bird looks to be a hybrid Eastern X Black Phoebe.  For those unaware there have been many hybrid nestings in the Canon City area of these two species and they have produced a number of offspring that have fledged.   I wasn't able to get a pic of that bird but will try to do so soon. SeEtta

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Acorn Woodpecker larder/'grained you' tree

I took this cellphone pic of the Acorn Woodpecker larder tree from the parking area by Pueblo Mtn Park headquarters. This is quite a good sized tree and it has many holes where acorns have been stored. SeEtta

Monday, April 10, 2017

Acorn Woodpecker at Pueblo Mountain Park

 I drove up to Pueblo Mountain Park on Sunday, a beautiful warm day that was even in the 60's which is at about 6,700 feet. I didn't see any woodpeckers when I got to the location where their larder/'granery' tree is located so I walked down to it and was looking around the back side in case one was back there when this male flew in.

He landed about 50 above the ground. I took these pics with my 300 mm lens which provides a 450mm equivalent as my camera is not full frame, then cropped the pics severely to get these relative close up views.

The pic above shows the view of the larder tree with the Acorn Woodpecker on that large bottom right branch from the parking area which is about 50 feet away with the same zoom as just noted.  This was the only Acorn Woodpecker I saw that day.  SeEtta

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Video: Trumpeter Swan grooming

Trumpeter Swan in Colorado from SeEtta Moss on Vimeo.
This short video shows the Trumpeter Swan in Florence, CO grooming. It was interesting that it dipped it's bill in the water then to it's breast to wash it's feathers. A couple of times Mallard Ducks photo bombed the video. SeEtta