Friday, April 29, 2011

White-faced Ibis shows off underwing feathering

I can only think that this White-faced Ibis was trying to either dry off it's wings or engage in 'sunning' behavior as it lifted it's wing and spread it for a view of the underwing plumage not often seen. This bird's head feathers are standing out as though wet so it may have done some bathing in the water standing in the field. I did no editing other than to crop this pic either so the greenish tinge to the top part of the underwing is how these feathers appeared. SeEtta

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ibis flock pic & video clip and Glossy Ibis update

href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X-BJ8RvO2ZA/TbpLi50tOQI/AAAAAAAAFmU/ldc3oOZFBdM/s1600/IbisFlock-Florence.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;">Pic at top shows several hundred Plegadis ibis as they fed in ag field. The video clip shows 200+ Plegadis ibis flying from one side of the field to the other where more ibis are feeding. The video is best seen in full screen view (click on the 4 arrows in lower right corner of screen)

I have now gone through all the pics of ibis that I posted as Glossies. The 3 birds I identified as Glossy Ibis below (in post labeled 'Better pics of Glossy Ibis' and 'Two Glossy Ibises feeding near each other) all have blue facial lines that do not invade behind the eye. I believe that at least these 3 birds in the flocks I saw are Glossy Ibises though there might be a few more that were more distant in the field so I didn't see well enough to identify them.

How to help Save Frogs

How to help frogs:
  Don’t use pesticides.......Don’t eat frog legs......Don’t purchase wild-caught amphibians as pets......Slow down driving on wet nights......Do not stock non-native sh in your pond or stream.......Do not purchase bottled water......Turn off the tap-Conserve resources....Reduce, Re-use, Recycle......Use rechargeable batteries.......Vote for the environment......Become a herpetologist......Go vegetarian......Eat locally grown, organic food......Donate to SAVE THE FROGS!......Wear a SAVE THE FROGS! t-shirt 

SAVE THE FROGS Day (ibis and other birds like frogs too)

Amphibians are without a doubt the most endangered group of animals on the planet: nearly 1/3 of the world's 6,485 species are on the brink of extinction. There are six major factors negatively affecting amphibians, and all are due to human activity: habitat destruction, infectious diseases, pollution & pesticides, climate change, invasive species, and over-harvesting for the pet and food trades.
SaveTheFrogs

Two Glossy Ibises feeding near each other

Though it is difficult to be sure that the Glossy Ibises I have photographed are all different birds it is clear that there are for sure at least 2 different Glossies as both are foraging in this pic. SeEtta

Another Glossy Ibis--apparently not!

Post note: after posting this and sending a message to the cobirds listserve, I took some time to really check out the photos at big enlargement--I now see that there is a sliver of facial skin (looks bluish but hard to tell as it's so thin and doesn't matter) that goes behind the eye--this is not found on Glossies so this is apparently a hybrid.
These two pics are of the same bird but I think a third Glossy Ibis feeding in the agricultural fields in Florence today. I can't be sure but I believe this is a different Glossy from the others in pics below, part of at least 4 different Glossies in this very large flock of Plegadis ibis. Seetta

Glossy Ibis with large worm--oops, apparently a hybrid with a large worm

Post note: after uploading these and sending a message to cobirds listserve, I took some time to enlarge the photos further. When I did it was clear that there is facial skin behind this ibis' eye. Per Birds of North America online, Glossy Ibis have "a distinctive edging of pale-blue skin above and below but not continuing around eye,". So this is clearly a hybrid bird.
This Glossy Ibis has a very large worm in it's bill--one of the yummy invertebrates that these birds forage for in these flooded fields. This is the only pic of ibis that I have edited (other than cropping) and I did so in order to make the worm more visible. SeEtta

Better pics of Glossy Ibises

I drove back to Florence this morning to see if I could refind the Plegadis ibis flocks I found yesterday in hopes of photographing the Glossy Ibises in good light (last night it was overcast and late in the day so light was not good). I refound most of the 400-500 ibises in one of the same agricultural fields and got these pics.
These are all pics of the same bird taken as it foraged in a field where the owner was irrigating. It has nice blue lines framing it's face and a dark iris. I did not do any editing of these pics (except pic in post above of bird eating worm) other than cropping so colors are not modified. Remember that to double click on each pic to enlarge it (and then click again to super enlarge it, tho this may reduce clarity) SeEtta

Very large flock of Plegadis ibis


This photo shows much,though not all, of the Plegadis ibis in this one large agricultural field in Florence in which there were 300-400 ibis (to the far left there was a tight group of ibis that look like black dots in this pic so double click on pic to enlarge it and click it again, then look for more birds in far left corner) that was in addition to the first flock of over a hundred that I found. I was unable to check these ibis for additional Glossy Ibis that I found in that other flock. Awesome numbers! SeEtta

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Glossy Ibises

When I returned late this afternoon from an out of town meeting I drove through the agricultural fields on the edge of the small town of Florence,CO where I was rewarded with a flock of over a hundred Plegadis ibis. Many were foraging in this ag field that apparently had recently been flooded and others were napping. I watched a flurry of activity when one found some large juicy something in the field as several others tried to grab it.
I spotted 2-3 Glossy Ibis in this flock. The top pic shows one with pretty blue lines framing it's face, a dark iris and darker blue-green gloss to plumage (I did not lighten or otherwise edit pic other than crop it to maintain integrity of colors). The bird in the foreground of the bottom pic is the same as the one in the top pic. The bird behind it, I believe an immature from the crown feathering, appears to also have blue facial lines and a dark eye. (This can be seen a little better by double-clicking on the pic and then clicking it again to super enlarge it) Additionally there was a third ibis that was napping with much of it's head tucked in but with visible blue facial lines. SeEtta

Put your wings up high, turn your head around & do the hokey-pokey

Ok,ok, so the hokey-pokey reference ages me. But that's what this White-faced Ibis reminded me of as it took this unusual position at the end of it's bath.

Splish,splash-Ibis taking a bath

I found these White-faced Ibis, part of a flock of more than a hundred,in an agricultural field on the edge of the little town of Florence,CO where they still use flood irrigation which results in wetland/wet meadow like habitat that provides good a stop-over location during migration. It also provides the opportunity for a refreshing bath for these vigorous bathers, though apparently not as deep as the bird in the bottom pic (that almost laying down in the water) would prefer. Yes, those are water drops flying through the air due to the vigorous beating of wings and shaking of feathers. There was one Glossy Ibis in this flock, that would have made a beautiful pic with it's pretty blue lines framing it's face-but wouldn't you know I couldn't get it's photo. SeEtta

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Yellow-headed Blackbird

I enjoy looking at Yellow-headed Blackbirds but thought this one looked a little goofy with it's legs spread so wide as it clutches the fence. It is likely a pretty stable position. SeEtta

Dark Red-tailed Hawk

I believe this juvenile Red-tailed Hawk is a dark intermediate morph. I also found it in southern Pueblo County. SeEtta

The Chipping Sparrows have returned

This afternoon I drove out to the grasslands of southern Pueblo County to see what migrants had returned. I found a flock of about 40 Chipping Sparrows, including this one, that are first of the season birds. SeEtta