Sunday, December 14, 2008

Greater White-fronted Geese

This pic shows some of the flock of 12 Greater White-fronted Geese that are wintering in Canon City. The second goose from the left is one that arrived still in juvenal plumage but that has transitioned into 1st Basic as evidenced by the small amount of white feathers around it's mandible. Note the amount of white around the mandibles of the other geese. SeEtta

Sap sipping sapsuckers

Today we got blasted by a significant snow storm that hit the Canon City area with moderately heavy snow and brutal cold. As the roads were too treacherous for me to begin my trip to Texas, I took advantage and visited both Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers that have been in Canon City. And both were busy sipping sap as the snow fell around them. I thought I would post photos of both in this post so their field marks can be easily compared.The top sapsucker is the female that is working the pine trees at the Holy Cross Abbey. Her red crown and forehead are barely visible but her white throat, characteristic of females, is clearly seen. Though only a small portion is visible, the red throat of the male in the bottom pic still stands out. That bottom pic also shows the white baring on the back of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers. Both pics show the distinctive black framing of their throats that distinguishes them from Red-naped Sapsuckers. SeEtta

Smallest but most colorful falcon

Though only 9 inches in length, American Kestrals make up for their small size by having the most colorful (at least in the males of this species) of all the North American falcon family. I found this kestral in Canon City, CO and was fortunate to catch it in flight. SeEtta