Saturday, July 6, 2013

Immature female Cooper's Hawk nest with nestlings


Note: This photo is more than 50X the image you can see with your bare eyes as I used a long telephoto lens plus did a little cropping to enlarge it also. Today I found a Cooper's Hawk nest with nestlings in it and I was very surprised today to find an immature Cooper's Hawk defending the nest. I didn't think I was very close to the nest when I started taking photos but I heard alarm calls from a likely parent. After I took a couple of photos a large accipiter came from the nest and flew at me giving alarm calls--it was fast and I ducked because it came quite low. Over the next few minutes as I tried to walk away from the nest (it was in the middle of a bunch of tree limbs so I couldn't just walk straight off, I had to make my way around downed tree limbs) that accipiter came at me several more times, and each time low enough to make me duck for fear of getting my head raked by sharp talons. I barely got to look at the bird and this less than good photo showing this was an immature Cooper's Hawk. And when I uploaded my photos I was able to see that this immature bird had been in the nest with what looks like more than one nestling.

I found the following on the Birds of North America online site: "Usually 2 yr but year-old immatures reported as 6% to 22% of breeding females." I was unaware that less than adult accipiters were able to breed before this. In checking some references it appears that the immature female Cooper's is in the transition from juvenal to Basic plumage. Previously I have watched Cooper's Hawks nest on the Canon City Riverwalk and they even nested directly over the trail more than once. This was quite an experience and a good example of how individual birds have different tolerances to humans as today's bird clearly has a need for more space from human intrusion around her nest. SeEtta

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Green Heron at Holcim Wetlands

Though I frequently see one or occasionally two Green Herons at the Holcim Wetlands they are usually distant or flying quickly away so I don't get reasonable photos. This one flew out of the reeds to this open area for a few minutes. SeEtta

TRICOLORED HERON continues at Holcim Wetlands


I got these pics this morning. The TRICOLORED HERON has continued to be seen daily at Holcim Wetlands. I usually see it actively foraging as shown in the bottom pic. SeEtta

Mississippi Kite-super close-ups

The top pic shows that the beak of a Mississippi Kite does seem to take a beating.
The middle pic was just because I love their brown eyes.
And the last pic was the last photo I took-I left right after since the bird was now looking at me indicating the clicks of camera was causing it to focus on me instead of going about the tasks of daily living. SeEtta

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Ever wonder what birds do with the other foot when they stand on only one?

This Mississippi Kite I photographed in La Junta today is perching on one foot and the other is held up to it's body in the top pic.
This close-up photo just above shows the foot has the toes retracted into a ball or fist.
Bottom pic shows the kite with the unused foot pulled up close to it's body and almost covered with feathers--a good way to keep it warm (though it was not cold yesterday). SeEtta

Mississippi Kite: up very close


I drove to eastern Colorado yesterday and found a lot of Mississippi Kites including about 20 in the town of La Junta where I photographed this one in a tree. I used a very long telephoto lens and even cropped the photos a little more to get these super close-ups. I took the photos from my car in order to reduce disturbing the birds as much as possible (would have been easier to get out and use my tripod but might have flushed this and the 8 others in the tree over the street). I also don't like to draw attention to their location as I understand they get harassed--rocks thrown by children and even so-called adults. SeEtta

Monday, July 1, 2013

Very young Black Phoebe fledgling

This very short tailed bird behind vegetation, and with it's back to us, is a very recently fledged Black Phoebe. Note there is some vegetation in front of it's face but it's eye is visible in the photo though it may have to be clicked on to enlarge it for closer view. Sorry, but it was more important to not disturb this very young bird, than to get a good photo of it. I found it today while showing some friends from Colorado Springs (Jeanie, Mary Ellen, Lynne and Jackie) around Florence River Park. I have followed a number of Black Phoebe families in this area and from the very short tail it is likely fledged within the last day or two. The parent bird left it under overhanging vegetation over the Arkansas River to keep it out of sight and safe while the parent bird foraged for food for this and likely other fledglings nearby (an adult Black Phoebe was seen nearby but other possible fledglings were likely hidden from view by the vegetation). All of us got to see this fledgling without disturbing it--that, to me, is success. SeEtta

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Recording of Dickcissel singing in Canon City and comparison with recording of Prowers County Dickcissel

I recorded the Dickcissel shown in the photos below. And here is a recording made by Colorado birder Nathan Pieplow in Prowers County in a location about 175 miles east of Canon City. The song types that this Dickcissel sings are different from the one I recorded in Canon City. It has been my experience that the Dickcissels in Canon City most commonly sing a song like the one I recorded above and that Dickcissels I have listened to in far eastern Colorado including Prowers County sing different songs than the birds that come to Canon City. That is the reason I have wanted to record a Canon City Dickcissel to show the differences in the sonograms and to hear the differences in the recordings. SeEtta

Tricolored Heron is back east of Canon City, CO


This Tricolored Heron was seen yesterday at Holcim Wetlands after an absence of about a week. Interestingly a Tricolored Heron was seen 8 days ago about 125 east at Lake Hasty after the one I found at Holcim had not been seen for 5 days (last seen 6-17, one found at Lake Hasty on 6-22). Since Tricolored Herons are very rare in Colorado it seems most likely that the bird I photographed at Holcim today is the same one I found there on 6-14-13. The question is this the same bird that was at Lake Hasty--did it fly down there and return to Holcim??? SeEtta