Thursday, August 5, 2010

More pics of juvenile phoebes

Two juvenile phoebes are shown one in front of the other on nearby tree branches just above the Arkansas River. The bottom pic shows some yellow on the bill flanges as these are 10 days old and only recently independent. SeEtta

Still pics of young juvenile phoebes

Here are two pics of the probable hybrid BlackXEastern Phoebes posted in recent video clips. The brown edging on wings is clearly seen on these pics. More to come. These pics will enlarge pretty good for super close-ups by double-clicking on each one. SeEtta

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Final & short clip-juvenile phoebe

One last and short video clip of one of the juveniles from the phoebe family I have been following. There is a little more sunlight in this video so features are a bit easy to see clearly. The tips of the rectrices, tail feathers, are seen as definitely less rounded than on adults, in fact quite pointed. It tries to catch an insect that flies close to it's perch. In addition to the sound of the river rushing past is the sound of one of the other juvenile phoebes making the Black Phoebe 'tsip call' repeatedly though in a 'young' voice and towards the end this phoebe calls also. SeEtta

Another clip of 2 juvenile phoebes on limb

This is another clip of the two juvenile phoebes that are lined up one if front of the other on tree branches that overhang the Arkansas River which is rushing below at a fast level due to monsoon rains in the area. These are only a few days independent of their parents. As though to demonstrate this the bird on the top branch almost loses it's balance while stretching and makes a quick correction to stay perched on the branch. Throughout this clip nearby cicadas loud singing is heard. SeEtta

Even better video of phoebes

Thanks to moonsoon rains in my area, the Arkansas River is running fast and making a lot of noise--noise that served to mask my approach to the riverbank overlooking two juvenile phoebes from the family I have been watching and videotaping. So I was able to videotape yesterday them from about only 15 feet away without detection and without disturbing them. One bird is right behind the other in this video with the water flowing past not far below them. I watched and videotaped them as they rested in the shade of a tree as they stretched and groomed. At one point they alternate wing stretches as though it were choreographed. Towards the end of the clip some nearby cicadas can be heard as they begin singing. More clips to follow. SeEtta --correction on increasing full screen--in the bottom right corner of the video screen there is a box with 4 arrows-click on it

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Bird People

Bird PeopleThis is a very provocative article about the American Birding Association with an emphasis on their lack of attention to conservation, unlike many other organizations that target recreational activities (such as Trout Unlimited, a group for those interested in cold water fishing that puts a lot of effort into conservation of fish and their habitats)--a reason that keeps me from even considering re-joing ABA. SeEtta

Monday, August 2, 2010

Feeding the last fledgling-part1

Finally I got a daytime video clip of this phoebe family. So why is the video so dark? These phoebes like to perch below overhanging vegetation in the shade and this is just such a shady/dark location. And they are on the other side of the Arkansas River which at this point is 80-100 feet away so I have the zoom all the way out to 40X. Even at that there are several times when the orange lining of the fledglings mouth is quite visible. The young are now 10 days old and 2 on now independent leaving this last one (from the last egg laid) to be fed by the attending parent. Though they have again moved from the location adjacent to the nest site, they are only about 150 feet downstream still along the Arkansas River.

Phoebe family-feeding fledglings-part3

This is the last clip of the 3 fledglings together. It's interesting that all 3 engage in tail spreading--wonder if this is like yawning for us, a contagious behavior? Note that after the parent bird visits the fledgling on the bottom left on 3 consecutive times (for sure feeding it on one of those times, the other times not clear) that that fledgling decides to try it's hand at catching it's own food. SeEtta

PhoebeFamily-feeding fledglings-part2.

This is another video clip of the 3 fledglings in the phoebe family near Canon City being fed by the one harried parent. If it looks like the larger appearing fledgling (at first on the right, then when the fledgling to it's upper left flies over it the fledgling is in the center of the three) is being fed more often than the other two, that is what I observed over a period of 5-10 minutes. Is this because it is more adept at opening it's beak wide or begging for food? SeEtta

PhoebeFamily-feeding fledglings-part1

This and the following video clips can be seen full screen by double-clicking on the video. The picture is reasonable good on my 14 inch laptop but I don't know how good it will be on larger screens.Finally, after refinding this possible hybrid BlackXEastern family, they are in a location where I could get some video of them--unfortunately it was close to dark and the light was poor. However, the video does show hard this phoebe parent works to feed it's hungry, growing fledglings. I say these are possible hybrid phoebes because I saw one adult feeding them the evening that they fledged, that was probably a hybrid (it appeared to likely be an intermediate plumaged phoebe I photographed this spring at this location that had a very brown streak on it's forehead. These birds are now back at the location where I first saw them not long after they fledged and after the parents moved them downstream several hundred yards when some fishermen invaded their space. The fledglings are a week old in this video clip (which is several minutes long). As occurs with a number of bird species, one parent is left to tend the young. More to come. SeEtta

Phoebe parent birds

Though I wasn't able to get any video or photos of the phoebe fledglings on the morning after they had fledged, I did get these less than desired photos of the parent birds as they would fly near enough for a pic when getting food for their young. The top pic shows an apparent Black Phoebe (however, with so many phoebes of intermediate plumage in this area there is always some uncertainty) with some food in it's bill for the fledglings.
The bottom pic is of a phoebe I believe to be a Black X Eastern hybrid. This is the phoebe I saw that had a very brown streak on it's forehead and it is likely a bird I saw this spring near the nest area. SeEtta