Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Likely Glossy Ibis in Basic plumage

I found this dark Ibis foraging in the muck draining off the stockyard in Ordway, CO (yeah,what a yukkie place to forage). This ibis was alone though there was a second dark ibis a few hundred yards away. It is in Basic (non-breeding plumage) as evidenced by lack of chestnut coloration on body and by a duller brownish color without the iridescence found during breeding season. There is also white streaking on the head and neck that occurs in non-breeding plumage.
Most field guides as well as Birds of North America (BNA) online note that White-faced Ibis in Basic plumage look very much like Glossy Ibis in that non-breeding plumage. In National Geographic's Birding Essentials addresses the difficult distinction between White-faced and Glossy: "All adult (and even most juvenile) Glossy Ibis will show a thin powder-blue line above and below the facial skin but not around the eye." BNA states, "Pale blue-gray skin bordering facial skin on Glossy Ibis may be confused with white feathering of White-faced, but note blue-gray lines of Glossy do not extend behind eye." This ibis shows thin light blue lines bordering the eyes but not going behind them so I believe this is a Glossy Ibis. SeEtta

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Visit from chickadee

While I was trying to look at an empid flycatcher yesterday on the Canon City, CO Riverwalk, this Black-capped Chickadee flew in to apparently check me out and distracted me from the flycatcher. These little chickadees are so endearing that it's difficult for me to ignore them when they are calling and doing their acrobatics nearby. SeEtta

Juvenile Green Heron

I found this apparent migrant yesterday on the east section of the Canon City, CO Riverwalk. Though I looked for it today, I did not refind it so expect it just stopped to forage while migrating.
It is possible that this is a female heron as it appears to meet the criteria the Birds of North America online description of a female bird: "Bent and Oberholser described females as differing from males in having chestnut streaks on crown, and having sides of head and neck streaked with chestnut, buff and dusky." SeEtta