Saturday, May 23, 2009

Great Horned Owl Family

This is a family of Great Horned Owls that I have been following since the parents were beginning to nest. When I checked on them right before I left for my trip to Texas in April, there were two young nestlings on the nest. When I returned from my trip and checked on May 16, the nest was empty and the two young fledglings in the top pics were on a tree branch no more than 75 feet from the nest tree.
At this stage the fledglings have very weak flying skills and were still mostly hopping around on branches, which accounts for their being referred to as "branchers" at this stage. When I returned on May 18, I found one of the fledlings practicing it's flying skills. I saw at least one parent owl, the one in bottom pics, was nearby on both occasions.
All of the pics can be enlarged for real close-up views though the 2nd pic isn't as good. In the third pic enlarging will show that the parent bird, though seemingly napping near it's offsping, actually has one of it's eyes open slightly. Just double-click on a pic to enlarge it. SeEtta

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lots of Yellow Warblers

The "sweet-sweet" songs of Yellow Warblers have filled the air in the Canon City, CO for the past several days. Though many of these warblers are likely just stopping over to refuel during the migration elsewhere, some appear to be setting up territories as the males are displaying and chasing. This pic is of one male that was busy foraging along the Canon City Riverwalk over the week-end. Though my 400 mm Canon lens is very sharp, it does not have image stabilization so these hand-held shots challenge me to hold still (and since my 1.4 extender is a Kenko not Canon, I lose the autofocus feature on the lens). Do double-click on this pic for super close-up view. SeEtta

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Red-throated Loon near Canon City,CO

This Red-throated Loon was found this morning by local birder, Rich, at Brush Hollow Reservoir about 15 miles northeast of Canon City, CO, near the small town of Penrose. Though birds of this species do show up on inland lakes in Colorado in the winter, this is really late for one to be so far south since the adults are in Canada by now as they breed very far north in Alaska and other extreme northern locations. This is likely the first time this species has ever been documented in this county, a semi-arid area with few bodies of water. SeEtta

More colorful Western Tanagers

Western Tanagers have been moving through the Canon City area in very good numbers in the past week so I just had to photograph more of these bright, colorful migrants.
The tanager in the bottom pic is in Definitive Basic while the one if the middle pic appears to be in 1st Basic. The bird in the top pic, a third tanager, isn't as clear but likely another bird in 1st Basic as it has a reddish tinge to it's head feathers. These pics enlarge fairly well so double click on them for very close views. SeEtta