Wednesday, October 19, 2011

White-lined sphinx moth-aka 'hummingbird' moth

These photos and the video are of White-lined sphinx moths, a species that feeds at blossoms just like hummingbirds, even hovering as they suck out the sweet nectar--so they are often mistaken as hummingbirds. There are several species of these sphinx moths that are referred to as hummingbird moths but this is the only one I have seen. I took the photos of one of these cool moths feeding on my Sonoran Sunset cana Agastache plant, which for a cultivar has been most attracting to hummingbirds, butterflies and moths of several species.
The bottom pic shows the proboscis on these sphinx moths that is so long it curls up out of the way when not extended inside a long blossom. I took the video at Brady's Nursery in Canon City. They sell these Sonoran Sunset cana Agastache plants at their Brady's Garden Center (their retail store) but have a fall sale at the nursery where more than 20 of these cool sphinx moths were sipping nectar from a couple of dozen these of beautiful agastache plants. There were also butterflies and bees feeding on these plants. The Brady family that runs the operation was kind enough to allow me to return the next day to take this video. SeEtta

Most pics of Prairie Falcon

After this juvenile Prairie Falcon was chased off the power line pole on which it perched, looking like it was crouched to hide behind a pole extending above the supports, by one of the resident Red-tailed Hawks it flew to the pole in the top pic not far from my friend's home.
The bottom pic gives a nice view of the falcon as it flies away showing it's long wing span. I looked for this bird the last two days at my friend's place but it had moved on. SeEtta

Visit by juvenile Prairie Falcon

I found this young Prairie Falcon near my friend's farm just east of Canon City, CO day before yesterday. Though this areas was once the western edge of the shortgrass prairie ecosystem in southeast Colorado, almost all the prairie was converted either long ago to farms or more recently to large acreage residences (I call them sprawlettes) so we don't usually see Prairie Falcons here. I suspect this young falcon may have just stopped over briefly as it was exploring for some place to establish it's territory. This photo gives a good view of the distinctive dark axillaries that are diagnostic when the bird is viewed from below. More photos in next post. SeEtta

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Juvenile Long-tailed Jaeger

This juvenile Long-tailed Jaeger was found 2 days ago at Lake Pueblo (Colorado) by Brandon Percival and others who were birding this large lake by boat. Today it made numerous short flights usually several hundred feet or more away; however, scopes provided nice views of the bird in flight and the neat steep and twisting dives it would take to land on top of the water. While floating on top of the water the jaeger engaged in spinning around in circles on a number of occasions. This did not appear to be a type of feeding behavior as it didn't appear to engage in any feeding. The spinning is shown in the digiscoped video clip below. SeEtta