Friday, August 31, 2012

Interesting Pewee, pic showing more crest

Since I thought this was a very unusual looking bird when I spotted it, I took a lot of photos (18 pics in less than 2 minutes per the data on my photos). Going back through them I found this one that shows more of a crest. SeEtta

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Greater Pewee field marks from established online sources

Excerpted descriptions from noted sources with my response in {italics}
Cornell Lab's 'All About Bird' webpage for this species states ,
"Adult Description
  Large, stocky flycatcher. {YES}
  Large head with slight crest. {YES, see photo below}
  Drab gray plumage. {YES, on upperparts}
  Faint wingbars. {YES}
  No eyering." >>> {YES, see photo below}


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National Audubon Society description on AudubonBirds species website:

"7-7 3/4" (18-20 cm) {?}
Large-headed flycatcher with slight crest. {YES}

Olive-brown above, slightly lighter below.  {LOOKS MORE GRAY}

Small light gray throat patch, {?}

yellow lower mandible, {YES, see photo below}



and indistinct wing bars. {Probably, see photo below}



Olive-sided Flycatcher is similar, but has olive-brown flanks, giving it a "vested" appearance. {NOT VESTED, see photo below}


Wood-pewees are smaller and lack slight crest.">> {LARGER & HAS SLIGHT CREST}
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Birds of North America online 'Distinguishing Characteristics:

"Large flycatcher, 18 cm long, mass about 27 g. {PROBABLY}

 Drab, unpatterned gray plumage, darker above, {YES}

tufted crest, {PROBABLY}

no eye ring, {YES}

and bicolored bill (blackish maxilla, yellow-orange mandible)." >>{YES}

SeEtta

Greater Pewee field marks in The Sibley Guide

The Sibley Guide to North American Birds (p.322):  {with my comments in italics}
"Differs from Olive-sided Flycatcher by longer tail, {YES,see photo below}

rounder wingtips, {?}
thinner bill, {?}
and pointed crest." {YES, see photo below}
Sibley also notes a "long notched tail" {?}
and "plain grayish" noting underparts {YES}
plus he states at bottom of page "...so fall adults are very worn." {reason for lack of yellow on underparts}
SeEtta

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Now considering a pewee species


Ok, so now we are considering wood-pewee. Below is a Western Wood-Pewee I photographed this morning, actually within 50 feet of where I photographed the bird above yesterday. Birds of North America online describes W Wood-Pewee bills: "Upper mandible is black; lower mandible is mostly black, or black-tipped, pale toward base. Gape yellow". That is my experience and what the photo below of a Western Wood-Pewee shows.
SeEtta

A Greater Pewee?


Bottom pic shows what appears to be a long primary projection on a long-winged bird.  SeEtta

Interesting Pewee


I found this bird yesterday morning on the Canon City Riverwalk. I thought it might be a Greater Pewee but a Colorado birding hotshot shot that down. SeEtta

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ladder-backed Woodpecker, nice view of field marks

This photo shows the extensive red that extends from crown to nape of male Ladder-backed Woodpecker, the black stripes on it's face and black barring down it's back.  And it shows the broadly barred on 3 outermost tail feather plus some of the spotting/streaking on it's flanks show here too.  SeEtta

A fairly rare (in Colo) Ladder-backed Woodpecker


Ladder-backed Woodpeckers are rare in most of Colorado. Though this species is found occasionally around Canon City,CO where I live, they are hard to find. I spotted one last winter just southeast of Canon City but some years I don't see any around here. So I was delighted to spot this male, appears to be an adult, just southwest of town in some nice cholla cactus. SeEtta

Monday, August 27, 2012

Male Williamson's Sapsucker, why are you here?


This is one of the two male Williamson's Sapsuckers. I didn't see any sapsuckers this morning, but the cemetery employees were mowing and using noisy weed-eaters. So I returned early this evening and had a brief view of one of the male Williamson's. There is some ponderosa pine stands just over 5 miles from the cemetery so maybe this is not too far for this species to fly in to feed in this relatively lush environment. Though I have never found them migrating around Canon City before October, can't rule out that they are migrating through here early and stopped over to feed here. SeEtta

Williamson's Sapsucker-surprise in CanonCity in August


I decided yesterday to look in Lakeside Cemetery to see if any migrating landbirds might have decided to go through there since though there is no lake there is frequent watering of vegetation and lots of trees. I did see a Cassin's Vireo in the canopy of some mature cottonwoods, an insect eater I thought might find this area more productive during our continuing severe drought. However I also found this female plus 2 male Williamson's Sapsuckers, a species that comes to Canon City in fall and stays to late winter. I have never seen them this early here though Birds of North America online states, " In s. Colorado, birds move down-slope in late Aug and early Sep...." More to come. SeEtta

N. Waterthrush, what bright eyes you have


Though the surrounding vegetation made it dark, I don't like to use flash and these non-flash photos show what very bright eyes come out when using natural light as I did. SeEtta

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Handsome Northern Waterthrush


I found this Northern Waterthrush in some vegetation a few feet above the water in the Arkansas River this morning. It appeared to be grooming while several other warbler species including the MacGillivray's Warbler actively fed around it. These photos show how much difference there is when the sun is shining on a bird. More pics in next post. SeEtta

Female MacGillivray's Warbler, stop-over during migration

Yesterday I spotted this female McGillivray's Warbler in the vegetation adjacent to the Arkansas River along the Canon City Riverwalk. Today I found a female MacGillivray's Warbler in the same location so I expect it is the same bird that is making a stop-over to fuel up on insects before continuing her migration.

Yesterday she was alone but today she was actively feeding with several other warblers including the Northern Waterthrush in a post above. SeEtta