Saturday, November 23, 2013

Two dark morph Harlan's Hawks


Yesterday I found two dark morph Harlan's Hawks on private property in Canon City. Both were more than 300 feet away so have cropped the photos tightly just to get these views.

The top two photos are of one Harlan's that has a small amount of white streaking on it's breast. As shown on the tree limbs, we had about 2 inches of snow at that point.

The bottom two pics are of the second Harlan's and it had more white streaking on it's chest. Interestingly these two were perched within a few hundred yards of each other though likely the trees obscured their view. SeEtta

Friday, November 22, 2013

Two late Greater Spreadwinged Damselflies, one munching on another insect


Greater Spreadwinged Damselfly (Archilestes grandis). After I found the Western Pygmy-Blue butterfly on November 21 I went looking near a pond on the Canon City Riverwalk for odonata and found two Greater Spreadwinged Damselflies (Archilestes grandis)-the one in the top two photos and a different damselfly at the bottom (see the difference in the ragged wings).

I didn't see until I cropped the top photo that this damselfly is munching on another winged insect!
This Greater Spreadwinged Damselfly has less damaged wings than the one in the top photos. SeEtta

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Western Pygmy-Blue: a tiny butterfly


Yesterday I found this Western Pygmy-Blue, a very small butterfly that is listed as having a wing span of only 1/2 to 3/4 inches--and it was very tiny and flighty so hard to photograph. Interestingly I found a record of this species photographed on October 17, 2011 in my county on the ButterfliesAndMoths.org website. It had this note from the person who verified the sighting: "Not uncommonly found in the Arkansas R. valley in late summer and early fall."

Thanks to my friends Dan, Lisa and John for identifying this butterfly for me. SeEtta

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Kind-of-late Buckeye butterfly also in Canon City


Two days ago I found this Buckeye butterfly in a location that was sheltered; however, there were not any flowers there but there were a number of clumps of rabbitbrush with a few flower blossoms on them a hundred + feet away.

Though it is battered some, it seems in good condition for this late in the year here. SeEtta

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hooded Mergansers with males displaying for a female

This is one of the male Hooded Mergansers I watched yesterday at Sell's Lake in Canon City as they displayed for females in hopes of being chosen as a mate. This guy has his head feathers all erect to show off his handsome plumage. Do click on the video clip below to watch how several males circle around a female doing their courtship display behavior. And listen for their interesting call that sounds almost frog-like or a gurgling noise. I strongly recommend that you click on the video settings button (looks like a wheel at the bottom of the video screen) and set to the highest HD setting your internet supports to get a crisp video stream. SeEtta

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Late small sulfur butterfly in my yard November 14-confirmed as Dainty sulfur species


I was quite surprised day before yesterday to spot a small yellow butterfly in my yard--though we have had pretty warm temperatures in Canon City this fall, the temps have fallen well below freezing on a number of occasions which has stopped flowering of most plants so not much for butterfly to nectar on. It was quite small, with a wingspan of about an inch.

I think it is a Dainty Sulfur (Nathalis iole) described here in BugGuide where I will submit it for expert identification. Also described in ButterfliesAndMoths.org which notes a documented sighting in my county (Fremont) of Colorado, albeit only one and several decades ago. SeEtta

Follow-up 11-17-13-BugGuide.org confirmed this as a Dainty sulfur butterfly.