Thursday, December 11, 2008

More bluebirds

These bluebirds were so striking with their chestnut and blue feathers contrasting with the snow, I couldn't help but take a bunch of pics.
The bird in the bottom pic has a whitish colored berry in it's bill that it just plucked from the tree (berries are generally blue colored). SeEtta

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bluebirds and snow

There is nothing like a snowstorm to bring out the bluebirds, they seem to materialize from nowhere when the flakes fall. We had our first real snowstorm in Canon City this season, with 5-6 inches of wet snow falling overnight and into yesterday morning.
These were a few of the two dozen Western Bluebirds I watched as they picked berries from some tall juniper trees.
Sometimes a bluebird would just perch on top of a small pile of snow on a branch as though sitting on a soft pillow. They would also hover as they picked off the berries inside the foliage. SeEtta

Another Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

This male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker has been drilling sapwells in the pine trees at Centennial Park in Canon City. His bright red crown and throat are quite striking. The broad white patch on the wing is barely visible in this pic. View the field marks up close by double-clicking on pic. SeEtta

Monday, December 8, 2008

Cassin's Finch, finally

Cassin's Finch usually breed in conifer forests in Colorado at high elevation then do migrate to lower elevation foothills and nearby plains in fall and winter. I usually see at least a few at my feeders in Canon City, but I haven't had much interest even by more common feeder birds since I filled my feeders several weeks ago (I don't feed in summer or early fall) let alone any of the mountain species like Cassin's Finch that often visit. So I was delighted today to find a male and several female Cassin's Finch including the one in this pic in the Royal Gorge Park just west of town.

I was also delighted to spot a flock of Pinyon Jays. Unfortunately they were on private property in the area and flying away but so I just got to hear their distinctive calls for brief period. I also saw a Canyon Wren, a species that overwinters in this area, near the Royal Gorge canyon (though it was actually flying in and out of a wheel well on a pick-up truck--go figure). Though I checked the expensive commercial Royal Gorge Park (I have a season pass that is offered at a reasonable fee to local residents but otherwise it costs a lot), I didn't find any birds there. All of these birds were in the city owned and free sections or adjacent areas. SeEtta