Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bushtit, an intimate view

I took these pics of a female Bushtit (females have light eyes) as it foraged in a large patch of rabbitbrush. I am really proud of how nice these came out as they are handheld.
I think these pics compete well with the top pics on the internet (via google) that were taken at feeders, which provide more stable photo conditions than I had as I followed this and the other Bushtits in the flock as they moved up & down, & back & forth, upside down through the vegetation.
Since the pics came out so sharp, each pic is followed by a super close-up from the same pic. I photographed these Bushtits just off a parking area for the Canon City Riverwalk. FYI, this is Psaltriparus minimus plumbeus, the Bushtit subspecies in Colorado that is gray-crowned with grayer feathers all over. SeEtta

Visit by Black Phoebe

Last week this Black Phoebe paid a visit to my friend's place, just east of Canon City along the Arkansas River, the location where many Black Phoebes have visited, foraged and bred over the past 10 or so years. Unfortunately it was late in the afternoon when I visited my friend so the light was not good for photographing this bird so I was quite pleased to catch the middle pic of the phoebe in flight with a good view of it's fanned tailed feathers.
It is not uncommon to have one or more visits from Black Phoebes during the winter and it's my belief that one or more Black Phoebes winter in the area along the Arkansas River. This bird was quite vocal giving the "tseep" call repeatedly. SeEtta

GW Fronted Geese, Canon City regulars

Boy, am I behind on posting my pics. I took this pic of several of the 9 adult plumaged and 2 juvenal plumaged Greater White-fronted Geese in early November. We regularly have 5-10 or so of these guys every winter and they hang out in the same places--makes me think that some of them are the same birds returning from year to year and likely bringing their offspring. The following is from Cornell Lab's All About Birds website:"As is true of many geese, Greater White-fronted Goose pairs stay together for years and migrate together, along with their offspring. White-front family bonds can last longer than in most geese, and some young stay with their parents through the next breeding season. Parent and sibling associations may continue throughout their lives."

Flashing Ruby-crowned Kinglet


I found this and a second Ruby-crowned Kinglet engaged in some agonistic interactions at Rouse Park in Canon City, CO. Often one only gets a brief glimpse of the reddish crown but these two kinglets kept their crowns raised for several minutes as they engaged in chasing one another inside some pine trees. As they chased, they seldom paused which presented a challenge to avoid a blurry pic. This is the best pic I could get that showed off the reddish crown. SeEtta