Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Black Phoebe at nest: video clip

In this short video clip one of the Black Phoebe parent birds can be seen perched above and to the left of the nest, very obvious by it's frequent tail wagging. It then flies to the right where it catches an insect off-view and quickly returns to the nest to feed the 6-9 day old nestlings (same day as photos in post below). Video clip is best viewed in full screen format (click on box in far right-bottom corner of screen) SeEtta

Black Phoebe nesting: 6-9 days old

The top pic shows one of the Black Phoebe very young nestlings when it is between 6-9 days old. At this stage it's beak is very large relative to it's size. In the pic below, taken the same day, one of the parent birds is feeding the nestlings. SeEtta

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Raven with nestling inside cave nest

This was the most difficult as the parent is inside the cave with the nestling. I think the parent bird is fairly easily visualized perched on the left side of the nest facing to the right. Not as clear is the nestling that is also in the nest, right in the middle of the pic, and just below and facing the parent bird. It is interesting how our eyes are better able to accommodate this as the birds inside the nest are better seen with a spotting scope than through this 400mm camera lens. It may help to enlarge this photo, done by double clicking on it. SeEtta

Common Raven at nest in cave

I have been monitoring a pair of Common Ravens that have nested in a small cave in the side of a cliff near Canon City. I suspect this is the same pair that I followed last year as they nested only a few hundred yards away and have been staying in this territory over the winter. I have found it is very difficult to take photos that show the inside of caves, especially those that are 600-800 feet away and high up the cliff that provides shade all day long. Here is one of the parents perched at the opening to the cave. The nest is somewhat visible in this pic. SeEtta

Monday, May 21, 2012

Bobolink: what sharp tail feathers you have

Still the same Bobolink singing on the line above me. In this pis the very sharply pointed rectrices/tail feathers show up nicely.  Birds of North America online describes Bobolink: "Distinctive features in all plumages include rigid, sharply pointed rectrices and long hind toenails."  The long hind toenails show up better in the pics below.  SeEtta

Bobolink: a tailfeather view


While observing several male Bobolink as they engaged in their territorial behavior, this guy flew onto a power line above me providing a rather different view. As is very clear in these photos, this Bobolink has fluffed up his tail feathers as part of his display. I was surprised at he very contrasting buff edging to it's feathers on it's underparts that give it almost a scalloped appearance. He is engaged in a singing bout with other males in the area. SeEtta