Saturday, November 5, 2011

Worm-eating Warbler: upside down view

So this really is a pic of the Worm-eating Warbler though it is upside down and the view is of it's underparts. However, it is crisper than the other photo.

Of note are the very 'fleshy pink' feet as Birds of North America BNA online so aptly describes them. BNA says, "Entire underparts are varying shades of cream to rich cream and buff yellow".  To me on this bird the lower belly becomes whitish and continues whitish to the vent then buffy yellow which I guess is close to BNA description.   They call the tail feathers "dark drab"  which seems a good description for this bird.   Those are the only features I can make out from this pic.  SeEtta

Worm-eating Warbler, a very rare vagrant in Canon City,CO


This morning I found this Worm-eating Warbler on the east end of the Canon City -CO Riverwalk. I first heard it giving some very raspy call notes that sounded to me like 'z,z,z'. I didn't know the call but knew this was not a bird with which I was familiar so I followed it as it flew across the trail and into a thicket at the base of a tree next to the trail. I didn't get a good view of it as it flew but noted it flew very close to the ground. There were several chickadees in the same area but once I picked this bird out from the tangle I knew it was a Worm-eating Warbler as I got good view, albeit only seconds long as it's features are distinctive. It then flew back across the trail, again very close to the ground, and I could see it's head stripes and very buffy (actually more yellowish than I remembered from the first Worm-eating Warbler I saw) coloration well. I lost it for a few minutes then refound it briefly then lost it again, then refound it again above 50 feet from where I first saw it.

This bird skulked in the thickets of shrubs, vines and other tangled vegetation making it very difficult to get a good photo, which I didn't. Both of these are the same pic, only the one at the top has only been cropped to enlarge it while I tweaked the one on the bottom to make it more visible and closer to what I recall seeing. I think the bill is visible enough in this pic to see that it is quite large.  Head is buffy with clear blackish eye-stripe that extends from the front of the eye (may need to click on pic to enlarge it to see detail) towards the nape.  On close view the edge of the blackish crown stripe is seen.  Other body parts look buffy yellow, consistent with this species.  One more pic to follow. SeEtta

Friday, November 4, 2011

Full HD High Speed Movie - Eagle owl 2 - Photron SA2

This is the second part of the video of the Eagle Owl that shows it making the landing with it's claws fully extended to grasp it's food reward. At the very end it opens it's beak wide as it is about to grab it. Awesome!

Full HD High Speed Movie - Eagleowl - Photron SA2

This is an astonishing video in slow motion of a european owl called an EagleOwl (likely Eurasian EagleOwl, see interesting markings on wings and very wide wings) coming in to get a food reward from trainer ( it is a captive bird, see bands on legs, and object sticking out from bottom of screen that appears to be the reward). It is filmed by the man whose youtube page (vurtrunner) has a number of videos this special super high speed camera. The video is fascinating, watching just how the bird moves it's wings and controls it's landing. SeEtta

Willamson's Sapsucker-very close up view of female's head

I am quite proud of this photo which provides a very nice and crisp close-up. I think this handheld shot is almost as good as one taken using a tripod, something I don't often use since many birds are not going to wait around while I get set-up to photograph them. This is also manually focused, which again is how most of my photos are taken. The bird's bill has bits of wood from the pine tree it has been drilling. SeEtta

Female Williamson's Sapsucker in Canon City

This is the female Williamson's Sapsucker I found last week working a pine tree in front of a local elementary school (please note that anytime one is going to do birding near a school they need to check into the office so the staff do not become alarmed and possibly call the police). I like the view of the feet and nails in the top pic, which also shows a little of the yellow colored belly found on these sapsuckers.
I cropped the bottom pic to show off the plumage detail. The feathers lie at various angles to provide the interesting pattern on these birds. One more pic above. SeEtta

Thursday, November 3, 2011

1st Yellow-bellied Sapsucker of the season in Canon City

Every winter the Canon City, CO area hosts Yellow-bellied, Williamson's and sometimes Red-naped Sapsuckers that apparently find our mild climate hospitable and conducive for feeding on phloem, insects and sap in the many pine trees in the area. The 2010/2011 winter was a banner year as I found up to 23 sapsuckers just in the Canon City area plus several more in nearby Florence, CO. This female Yellow-bellied had evaded me since last week when I began finding a few fresh sap wells at the private residence where I photographed her today. I caught a brief glimpse of her several days ago at another residence a few hundred feet east of where I found her today but she slipped off before I could tell anymore than that what I saw was a sapsucker by shape.

We got 5-6 inches of snow last night so late this morning she was still feeding away in a pine tree that had a lot of old sapsucker scars.

The top pic shows  the white throat indicative of females ( there was no red on the lower part of the throat as would be found in a female Red-naped).  Though partially obscurred in these pics, there is an unbroken black frame around the throat that is not invaded by throat feathers as occurs in Red-naped.  If you click on the pics you can see a little of the buffy tinge commonly found on Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers.   SeEtta

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Black Phoebe singing it's heart out

I heard this apparent Black Phoebe (didn't see it close enough to rule out hybrid traits but looked and sounded like a Black Phoebe) singing it's primary song vigorously along the Canon City-CO Riverwalk this morning. I heard then saw an apparent Black Phoebe yesterday about a quarter mile further east adjacent to the Riverwalk so it may have been the same bird as I didn't have time to check the earlier location. It continued singing for several minutes as it flew up unusually high (about 40 or so feet up in a large cottonwood tree) where I got this photo. It is most unusual for this species to perch at canopy level of large trees and though I observe phoebes frequently I rarely get a view from directly below the bird like this. After it flew further off it continued singing it's primary song for a total of more than 5 minutes consecutively, not unusual for Black Phoebes though it did continue rather a long time for winter singing. SeEtta

An urban American Dipper

I found this American Dipper working the shoreline along the Arkansas River along the Canon City Riverwalk. I have seen these dippers in the area before beginning just east of the 9th St bridge just a few blocks from downtown Canon City. Having a dipper right in the middle of our small urban town is made possible because the Arkansas River flows right through the middle of Canon City. SeEtta

Snipe hunt (Wilson's Snipe)

Yesterday I spotted this Wilson's Snipe in a return-flow ditch (carries the return flow waters required by Colo Water Law back to the river) near Sell's Lake in Canon City, CO. The top pic clearly shows the distinctive striped head of this bird while the bottom pic shows some of the striping on it's back as well as the barred sides (including their reflection in the water) In the lower pic the snipe has heard the mechanical shutter noises from my digital camera as it looks up in my direction, just before it swims off to a location in which it cannot be seen. SeEtta

How Nature Works: Barrier Island Foraging Strategies by Cornell Lab

This is a fantastic video of waterfowl and shorebirds foraging on a barrier island in Louisiana by Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Beautiful videography and great close-ups! SeEtta