Friday, September 3, 2010

Peregrine Falcon-nice view of underside of wing

This photo shows nicely all the barring on the underside of the bird's wing. And it shows how long the wings are. Enlarge the pic for better viewing by double-clicking on it. SeEtta

Thursday, September 2, 2010

PeregrineFalcon-part 8-finally flies away

The Peregrine Falcon has finally moved to another branch on the same snag then flies away. This has been a very nice experience. SeEtta

PeregrineFalcon-part 7-preening tail feathers

The Peregrine Falcon preens each tail feather carefully providing a nice view of the upper side of it's tail. SeEtta

Peregrine Falcon-still photos for a change


. Double-click on each pic for better viewing. The nice thing about still photos is they provide a better view of the bird's plumage and appearance. I will use descriptions utilized in Raptors of Western North America. This adult has a wide black malar mark that does not cover the auriculars (can't tell if auriculars are spotted or not). The forehead appears black like the remainder of the crown and nape. It has a whitish throat then an unmarked tawny breast. Flanks are barred. Belly is tawny with spots on the upper parts then barring. The underside of the tail is light with barring. Now to the last two short video clips. SeEtta

PeregrineFalcon-part 6-many fly by's


The flock of migrating swallows, the ones I could saw were Tree Swallows, along with a few resident Barn Swallows are flying all around the Peregrine Falcon with some coming in close. The falcon actively follows many of them. The Mourning Dove remains on top of the fence post behind the falcon. But the Peregrine Falcon makes no attempt to go after any of them-either it had just eaten a very big meal before I started watching it or it's a vegetarian. SeEtta

PeregrineFalcon part 5 swallow watch


The flock of migrating swallows, the ones I could saw were Tree Swallows, along with a few resident Barn Swallows are flying all around the Peregrine Falcon with some coming in close. The falcon actively follows many of them. The Mourning Dove remains on top of the fence post behind the falcon. Go figure? SeEtta

PeregrineFalcon part 4-'candy store'

To the left of the Peregrine Falcon is a Mourning Dove that flew in and landed on top of a fence post less than 50 feet away. The falcon continues watching a flock of migrating swallows fly below and makes some interesting movements with it's head as it does. At the end is some of the flock of about 70 Canada Geese that the falcon has been watching in the river. Though not viewable in this clip are several Eurasian Collared-Doves on other fence posts to it's right. This is a veritable 'kid in a candy store' with all the possible avian prey all around it and I kept thinking it is going to nail something here soon. SeEtta

PeregrineFalcon-part 3-stretching+

In this short clip the Peregrine Falcon does more stretching. At the end of the clip the bird spots some migrating swallows below it and it follows the movement with it's head the same way one of us might watch a bird flying below us. SeEtta

PeregrineFalcon-part 2-stretching

The Peregrine Falcon that I found near Canon City,CO is seen doing some nice stretching in this short clip, providing additional views of the bird. All the video clips can be enlarged to fill a computer screen by clicking on the box (with 4 arrows) in bottom right corner of screen (at least it comes out clearly on my 14" laptop screen) SeEtta

PeregrineFalcon-video clips- part 1

I spotted a raptor on a snag that just looked a little different so I got closer and found it was an adult Peregrine Falcon. The snag was on a steep slope above the Arkansas River near Canon City,CO and within 15-20 miles of known Peregrine nesting locations in nearby foothills. I was able to drive my car to within about 200 feet of the falcon and behind a tree so I was at least partially obscured when videotaping the bird with my 40 power Canon videocamera. I watched it for an hour and this is what it did for most of that time--just chill-out and watch the parade of prey birds that came near including some rock pigeons that were flying close by during this clip. SeEtta

'Balanced' ecosystems seen in organic agriculture better at controlling pests, research finds

'Balanced' ecosystems seen in organic agriculture better at controlling pests, research findsVery interesting article about the balance of species. SeEtta

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Black-throated Gray Warbler

Late yesterday afternoon I drove through part of the Seep Springs unit of the BLM Gold Belt Area in Fremont Co,CO checking to see if the motorized use was staying on designated routes so as not to tear up the nice pinyon-juniper habitat, a small bird flew in front of my car. I stopped quickly and scanned the pinyon pines about 25 feet away until I spotted this adult male Black-throated Gray Warbler. These warblers use mature pinyon-juniper habitat "almost exclusively" according to the Colo Breeding Bird Atlas I.
Since this small bird (only 5 inches long) was so far away relative to it's size, I had to push the cropping of these pics but they show it's field marks well--gray back and wings with 2 white bars, black crown, throat and eye stripe, white eyebrow and malar stripe, black streaks on sides with white underparts plus small yellow spot in front of eye--very distinctive male plumage.
The bottom pic shows the dark tail with white outer feathers on the upper side and white on the underside. Two nights before, between 7-7:30 pm, I saw 1-2 Gray Flycatchers (another bird found almost always in pinyon-juniper) and a Virginia's Warbler in the adjacent Red Canyon Park which is also composed of pinyon-juniper habitat but due to lateness did not get photos of them. All these birds will soon be migrating south. SeEtta

Monday, August 30, 2010

Another Turkey Vulture, but w/o tubercles

I should have added this guy yesterday for comparison. This Turkey Vulture is without tubercles on it's face, or virtually without. There is a hint when I enlarge the photos a blurry stage of possible tubercles begining, but it gives a good comparison for the ones on the former post that have a moderate amount of white tubercles. SeEtta

Colorado scientists study ptarmigans as bellwethers of climate change Read more: Colorado scientists study ptarmigans as bellwethers of climate chang

Colorado scientists study ptarmigans as bellwethers of climate change

'"We think ptarmigans are going to have a limited ability to cope with climate change because they are limited to alpine habitats," said project supervisor Cameron Aldridge, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist and CSU professor. "If something is happening to them, then we should be concerned."'

Read more: Colorado scientists study ptarmigans as bellwethers of climate change - The Denver Post

Turkey Vulture-too close for visual comfort

This Turkey Vulture was with a large group, most flying but a few others hanging out on a fence, in Otero County. The top pic shows an adult Turkey Vulture with a moderate amount of white tubercles on it's face with "black hairlike feathers on lores surrounding the tubercles" as described in Raptors of Western North America. You can see the tubercles up close by double-clicking on the pic (tho the photo gets blurry it shows the features).
The bottom pic is of the same bird but with it's nictitating membrane over it's eye.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Wary Burrowing Owl

I spotted this Burrowing Owl standing by a burrow in a field that houses a praire dog town in northern Otero Co. As soon as I stopped the car, this wary little owl ducked down into the burrow then peeked over the edge. Unfortunately it is necessary for these beautiful little owls to be frightened of humans since they are at risk of those who enjoy shooting prairie dogs either from a stray bullet or someone who just shoots anything that moves. SeEtta