Thursday, July 8, 2010

W Kingbird fledglings all in a row

Though a little far away for good pic of these small bird, these fledglings were just too cute all lined up on a branch especially with the one facing the opposite direction to pass up for a passable pic. SeEtta

Bright Common Yellowthroat

I spotted this Common Yellowthroat skulking around in the cattails in the John Martin Reservoir State Wildlife Area. I love their very bright yellow plumage. SeEtta

Three American Badger young

While driving on H50 in Bent County I spotted some small animals right beside the highway ahead of me. Since I take active measures to avoid hitting animals, I slowed down and honked lightly when I close enough to scare them away from traffic. At first I thought they were probably racoons, but as I passed I saw that they were badgers. I turned around as soon as I could to get a better look and hopefully some pics. As I had scared them, they had retreated about 20 feet from the highway which is where I got the top pic. It was late in the afternoon with a overcast sky so the light wasn't good and I had to take my photos quickly before they got away (that's ok, I'd rather keep them off the highway than get close-up photos).
Everything on the web describes American Badgers as solitary except during mating and raising young so I expect that these are 3 young sibling badgers. In support of this, these 3 stayed close together like seen in the top pic (they were all 3 together as they climbed up the rocks but I only got 2 of them in the bottom pic). Also from what I've read on reputable internet sites, young badgers don't leave their mothers until late summer or early fall so it seems likely that something happened to the mother of these young. In keeping with their reputation of aggressiveness, one of them responded to the clicking of my camera by hissing at me. Note the long, furry tails visible in the lower pic. SeEtta

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Iraq's major weltand area being revitalized

This is a very interesting segment of a 60 Minutes report, including great photography, about Iraq's major wetland area that Saddam tried to destroy. Well worth the few minutes to view--just click on the arrow on the bottom left. SeEtta
Watch CBS News Videos Online

Green Heron-short video clip catching a fish

I went to the Canon City Riverwalk tonight to try to videotape the Green Heron that is in the previous posts. I left my dslr camera and took the camcorder and the tripod. It was almost dark by the time I was able to get to a position to video the Green Heron after the people moved away so it isn't as clear as I would like but the previous pics provide good views and this shows the fish catching and swallowing. The heron, after perching virtually motionless for several minutes, quickly strikes out and catches a good size fish. It then works it around into position so it can swallow it. After the fish is down, the heron takes two sips of water to help wash the fish the rest of the way down. All the stuff flying around are the very active insects and 'cotton' from the cottonwood trees. SeEtta

More pics of Green Heron


In the top pics the Green Heron makes the final adjustments of the fish before swallowing it in one large gulch. The bottom pic is right after it swallowed the fish--looks like a very satisfied heron.
Be sure to double click on any of the Green Heron pics to get a super close-up view. SeEtta

Green Heron-photo series with fish

I photographed this Green Heron on a small pond on the Canon City, CO Riverwalk. There have been Green Herons fishing at this pond for a number of years. Sometimes I have found 2 adult Green Herons in this pond at one time and several years ago I saw one carrying nesting material (which, had it been during a Breeding Bird Atlas survey year, would have been considered confirmed breeding). Thoug I have never found an immature Green Heron at this location nor further evidence of breeding, I can't imagine that there would be Green Herons at this location year after year if they weren't breeding either here or somewhere not too far away.
As is not uncommon, this bird was out in the open while many people were walking by; but as it stood motionless for much of the time no one, except me, saw it. I took this pics handheld with the heron about 60-75 feet away on the other side of the pond and it was a good thing as when I returned from going the few hundred yards back to my car for my tripod and camcorder it had been flushed by someone (it's hard enough to carry my dslr with the 400 mm lens on it, and I'm just not up for schlepping my tripod too).
The fish the heron caught may be a Brown Trout--whatever it is, it is certainly a good size fish. The heron is adjusting the position of the fish so it can just swallow it (unfortunately I didn't get good pics of it swallowing the fish). More pics follow. SeEtta