Saturday, February 28, 2009

Another nesting owl

I found this female on this nest 2 weeks ago. She is one of the pair of Great Horned Owls I heard engaged in duetting in early December. Interestingly, she (her voice clearly higher pitched than the male) was perched on this same nest while she sang. The male sang from a branch of a cottonwood about 50 feet away. SeEtta

Great Horned Owls nesting in Colo

Female Great Horned Owls are "on the nest" all around eastern Colorado. I have been owling around south central Colorado for about a month and have found 2 Great Horned Owls on nests including the one in this photo that is sleeping or at least resting with her eyes mostly closed. Double click on the pic for a close-up which reveals her left eye slightly open, evidently aware of my presence though I always try to be as quiet as possible (the darn digital cameras make noise when the shutter is snapped that is clearly noticed by some birds). This is the type of impact that is often unseen or ignored by birders and especially bird photographers.
Not only I but other Colorado birders have reported owls on nests for the past few weeks.Besides the 2 on nests, I have seen 3 other Great Horned Owls in 2 counties. I also spotted a Western Screech Owl.

Great Horned have been singing since December. In fact, I heard a pair engaged in duetting in early December (seemed a little early) and the I found the female on the nest 2 weeks ago. Duetting is when a pair sings songs that overlap or are sometimes even synchronized. SeEtta

Friday, February 27, 2009

FAA Agrees to Study Lighting Requirements for Bird-Killing Towers

I am delighted that the Federation Aviation Administration is going to do this study:

>>The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced plans to conduct a study that will examine whether steady-burning sidelights on tall communications towers, which attract birds and cause them to collide with the towers during night migration, can be safely eliminated without endangering air traffic. Unlike many waterfowl and birds of prey, most songbirds migrate during the night, with up to several billion birds having to navigate a landscape littered with as many as 100,000 lighted towers each spring and fall. American Bird Conservancy and its conservation partners have been working together with the communications industry in seeking this important study, which will help determine whether the safety of pilots can be maintained while also reducing the impact of lights on migrating birds.<<

Read more. SeEtta

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker still in Canon City


I had some software and other problems, so haven't posted for a while. Though the Canon City area, as well as most of eastern Colorado has been in a "abnormally dry" (per weather service, I think it's part of continuing drought cycle)period for months which has impacted a number of birds, at least one Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is still here. Actually I saw 2 days ago after trying several times unsuccessfully. This female is exceptionally skittish.

In this pic, the red crown is barely visible but the facial lines are very clear. If you look close there is a drop of sap on the tip of her bill. Also some sap wells,some dripping sap, she has made are also barely visible. SeEtta