Friday, October 26, 2012

A second Harlan's Hawk in Canon City

I spotted this Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk today perched in a tree about 150 feet on the other side of an agricultural field. The one I found several days ago appeared to be a dark morph while this one is more an intermediate morph. Though it's possible that with that darker appearing hawk being high in the sky and back-lit it might have causing my view and photo to look darker on the darker parts of the hawk. Since these are pretty rare in my area it would seem more likely that it would be the same hawk. But I would think I could have seen some of the white on it's breast and underwing coverts if it was this hawk. Maybe the recent high winds have brought two Harlan's to Canon City.
Though not close-up photos, these show some details of this hawk. It's head is brown/black with white streaks and with a white auricular area and throat. It's upper tail is reddish on the distal portion and whitish basally. Brian Wheeler, in Raptors of Western North America, states: "When seen at close range, most harlani have some tinge of rufous on the dorsal surface of the distal portion of the rectrices." It's white breast has a lot of dark streaking as found on more intermediate plumaged Harlan's. SeEtta

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Snow Geese, off the beaten flyway, in Canon City


I found this adult and juvenile Snow Geese feeding in a previous planted corn field that has been tilled under. It was being watered so both insects and seeds were drawing not just these guys but hundreds of American Crows (one in pic), about a hundred Canada Geese plus 8 Greater White-fronted Geese (first of the season). Snow Geese are rare here as we are right up against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, away from their usual flyway haunts. SeEtta

Video: Way too cute orphaned walruses


Orphaned walruses cared for at Alaska SeaLife Center from anchoragedailynews on Vimeo. According to a news article: “We figure (leaving baby walruses behind) is probably a common situation,” said SeaLife Center President Tara Riemer Jones. “It just happened close to a community this time.” Pacific Walruses, an estimated 200,000 of them, migrate along with the southern edge of pack ice from the Bering Sea to the Chukchi and Beaufort seas as it expands and recedes through the seasons. Shrinking ice means less walrus habitat. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has recommend they be protected under the Endangered Species Act." So the two amazingly cute baby walruses shown in this video, named Pakak and Mitik, were 4 to 6 weeks old when they lost track of their herd and fortunately rescued. They were brought to the Alaska Sea Life Center where this video was taken. Walruses are running out of habitat thanks to Climate Change and many more baby walruses are at risk of being orphaned but most won't survive. SeEtta (click on the work 'Vimeo' in far right bottom corner to view full screen-best view)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lots of Evening Grosbeak

While birding around Colorado City,CO yesterday I found a large flock feeding in large conifers. They were feeding high in the canopy so not easily seen (or photographed) but I believe there were a good 60 of them. I usually see these birds eating at my feeder so enjoyed watching them feeding naturally. SeEtta

Unusually light and unmarked Ferruginous Hawk


I spotted this very white hawk in Colorado City, Colorado along the southern front range. As soon as I stopped my car to photograph it, this very wary bird took off flying high then distant. I tried to follow after it in my car but it was far out of sight.

Besides it's bright white plumage, it has distinct dark wrist commas but I cannot see any patagial markings.  There is no indication of a belly band.  There are narrow black bands on the distal half of it's otherwise white tail.  White windows on primaries and legs are feathered all the way to the feet (in white feathers). As white as it is and so minimally marked, I thought it was a Krider's Red-tailed Hawk. Wrong, I have been informed that this is a very pale juvenile Ferruginous Hawk. SeEtta

Wetmore,CO Wildfire (photos 7-8)


These are the last 2 photos that were fairly clear, taken at 6:45 and 6:48 pm respectively. It was getting too dark so not as crisp as earlier photos but they show how the conflagration blew up in the winds. SeEtta

Wetmore,Co Wildfire (photos 3-6)


These are the next sequence of photos taken from about 6:40 pm to 6:45 pm.

Winds had picked up and flames exploded on what I think is the ridge behind the town of Wetmore. More to come. SeEtta

Wetmore,CO Wildfire (photos 1-3)


These are photos I took early this evening of the Wetmore Wildfire from about 5 miles north (and not in the way of firefighting efforts).

Photos are in time sequence from around 6:30 pm to 6:40 pm. Photos taken with very long dslr camera lens outfit (equivalent of 900 mm lens). More to come. SeEtta