Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hawk that landed in pond continued

Finally it shook itself to get some of the water off and it kind of hopped a little further onto the bank from the ice. The 3rd pic shows the hawk as it just perched on the bank for a few more minutes.
Finally the hawk hopped, with an assist from flapping wings, into the shrubs where I suppose it felt safer. Why this hawk landed in the pond is unknown. Was it chasing some prey that was able to maneuver up from the water? Was it going after, in some desperate attempt to eat, a small duck in the water? Was there some visual problem (with its eyes, glare from the water) that caused it to undershoot a landing on the ice?

I wasn't the only vertebrate interested in what was happening with this hawk as several small ducks swam directly over to it right after it hit the water. They swam away then returned near it when it got up on the ice--like they were also trying to figure out this unusual event.

If there was some way I could get to it I would have as I knew it's chances for survival were very low. Unfortunately the temps went down close to zero F overnight--I think it is unlikely a hawk with wet feathers could survive. So sad. SeEtta
SeEtta

Tragic water landing by hawk

When I stopped to look to see if either of Trumpeter Swans was still around, I caught a glimpse (looking with my binoculars through my windshield as it was around 10 degrees F) of what looked like a hawk flying down into the pond. I jumped out of my car and put my binoculars on something in the water but couldn't quite tell what it was. Since I didn't have my spotting scope with me (I think this is the only time in the past year I left it at home, wouldn't you know), I took a few pics with my digital camera with long lens. What I saw was in the top pic--a hawk floating in the water!! Wow, it just floated like that for several minutes (maybe stunned since it seemed to go down fast?).
Then it made a heroic effort and got itself up on the nearby ice as shown in the 2nd pic. It just perched there for a few more minutes,with underparts soaked from the freezing cold water. The pics show snow on the bank and on the shrubs behind the hawk. At this point it was clear that this is an immature Red-tailed Hawk. To be continued. SeEtta

Trumpeter Swan Society & Trumpeter Watch

The Trumpeter Swan Society also runs the Trumpeter Watch monitoring program. Check out the basic info about the program below and click on the link above to participate. SeEtta


Trumpeter Watch

STATES: NE, KS, OK, NM, eastern CO, MO, AR, IL, IN, KY, TN, TX, LA, MS, AL, VA, MD, DE
DATES: Nov 1, 2009 - May 1, 2010

More on blackish stain on swan

In my effort to search out possible information about the blackish staining on the one Trumpeter Swan I posted about below, I searched the Trumpeter Swan Society website. I emailed that group and received a prompt email in return noting that the bare skin of the lores likely doesn't extend any further back on the crown than on the other Trumpeter Swan I posted about. The blackish staining on this bird's crown makes it difficult to see where the black lores end. SeEtta

Monday, December 7, 2009

Compare the swan pics

I
thought it would be easier to see the difference between the pics if I posted close-ups of each together. The top pic is the first swan I photographed and posted. It may be necessary to double-click each pic for further enlargement to see the differences more clearly (but the pics loose quality when pushed further) SeEtta

An apparent second swan


I took the pics in the previous post then left. When I returned I took these pics and just expected that I was seeing the same swan until I uploaded the pics to my computer. Then I saw that the top pic in this post (and some other pics I haven't posted) show that the black lores on this swan may extend up higher towards the crown than on the pics I posted before. More clearly, the rusty staining is not present but appears to have been replaced by some blackish staining. I am not sure where that comes from or why the lores appear so significantly higher on this bird's head.
I can only think that it is a different Trumpeter Swan than the one I saw earlier. It also has a straight looking bill without yellow on lores (like Tundra Swans) and the reddish coloration to the bottom mandible can be seen in the second pic when it's enlarged (the head is cocked to the side with the lower mandible facing the camera). As can be seen it has black legs and feet. SeEtta

Wild swan(s) visit Canon City

I have been reading for at least a week about numbers of swans, both Trumpeter and Tundra, being found in lakes up and down the front range. I found this adult Trumpeter Swan in a gravel pond in Canon City. The top pic shows the all black and mostly straight bill with black lores distinctive to Trumpeters. It also has black legs and feet. When the first pic is super enlarged, the red border on the bottom mandible can be seen. It also shows the rusty staining around it's head that birds from the Yellowstone area get from the minerals in the water. The bottom pic can be enlarged (by double clicking on it) to show the pointed border at the center of the bill. It was cloudy when I took these pics so they came out abnormally dark (due to my very long lens and fast exposure as the swan was at least 80 feet away) so I had to lighten them quite a bit so the body may appear whiter than it was (I try hard to keep the color and shading as close to actual but I couldn't bring out features and keep the whiteness level as it should be).
I watched this swan moving it's head up and down repetively as though bowing which I have read on the Trumpeter Swan Society website is bobbing motion common to Trumpeters. SeEtta