Saturday, March 15, 2014

Sandhill Cranes take off to continue migration

I first found these cranes on March 10 (first day birding for several days as I had been out of town) and I watched them take off yesterday and gaining a lot of altitude to apparently provide the winds at higher altitude to continue their migration.
As the cranes flew in circles, they beat their wings often then started to glide as they got higher. SeEtta

Family of Sandhill Cranes--video of them feeding

These short video clips show the family of 4 Sandhill Cranes in the Canon City, CO area that made a stop-over from their migration north to feed. They would come into this fallow agricultural field where manure had been spread the week before. In the video clip the cranes can be seen turning the large pieces of manure and tossing clumps aside to get at insects and/or grain. Clearly shown is one of the cranes keeping a watch while the others eat. (note-the sound sucks because I am parked on the side of a busy road with a lot of traffic plus big wind gusts blowing a metal sign but I did turn the sound lower).  SeEtta

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Male Eastern Bluebirds Competing for the attention of a lady bluebird

)
 I heard these male bluebirds singing yesterday and was privileged to watch their competition for a female Eastern Bluebird. This species is very uncommon in my south central Colorado location but I did document a nesting by Eastern Bluebirds in my area a few years ago. These male bluebirds chased each other and had a song competition that enjoyable to hear (and I suppose the female bluebird thought so also). This series of short video clips start with the boys singing then the chase begins. )
    The males just sing from nearby perches in the second video clip. Sorry about the noise-though not that close to a highway the sound really carried when loud vehicles drove by. )
   Towards the end of the last video clip there are sounds of people approaching then a chickadee 'audio-bombs' (tried to find this term but didn't locate it as a term so you may have heard it hear first-just the same as photo bomb but for sound) the video with it's song. SeEtta

Surprise very early butterfly


I found this brushfoot butterfly yesterday on a dirt road next to some riparian forest in Canon City,CO.

So far two knowledgeable Colorado butterflyers have differing identifications of either a Satyr or a Hoary Comma butterfly.

Monday, March 10, 2014

A few Sandhill Cranes stop-over to feed


I spotted 4 Sandhill Cranes foraging in an agricultural field on the east side of Canon City today. Migrating Sandhill Cranes fly over this area and can be heard during both spring and fall migrations with their distinctive calls. Small family groups usually stop-over to feed though generally I have only seen them in less public (and thus less disturbed by people) fields in the area. These were feeding alongside a number of Canada Geese and 2 Snow Geese (that are vagrant to this area) in a field where manure was spread last week likely providing lots of insects plus some grain for a good crane feed.

Here is a very brief video clip of one of the cranes feeding. SeEtta

Funny looking in their breeding plumage-Double-crested Cormorants

Now that breeding season is upon us I think that Double-crested Cormorants are such funny looking birds with their feathers sticking out both sides of their heads reminds me of the member of the 3 Stooges called Larry.