Saturday, April 15, 2017

Pygmy Nuthatch excavating nest hole

I spotted this Pygmy Nuthatch excavating a nest hole in the town of Beulah, CO last week.  In the top pic the bird is seen with some of the tree material it was removing from the nest hole. If you enlarge that pic you can see the top of the inside of this tree cavity it is working on.
In the pic above here the Pygmy Nuthatch is seen inside the tree cavity it is excavating. It does not look like there is a lot of room in there yet so a lot more work to do.  
I heard a number of Pygmy Nuthatches singing during this trip.  SeEtta



Eastern Phoebe gathering nesting material

I spotted this Eastern Phoebe in Florence River Park (at the far eastern end of Florence,CO) today.  This is the first time I have seen this species here but I have been under walking restrictions for my knee so I have done little walking here for awhile.
The phoebe is holding grass stems or other plant fibers in her bill.  I say 'she' as in Eastern Phoebes it is the female who exclusively builds the nest. 

I spotted a second phoebe and on close inspection that bird looks to be a hybrid Eastern X Black Phoebe.  For those unaware there have been many hybrid nestings in the Canon City area of these two species and they have produced a number of offspring that have fledged.   I wasn't able to get a pic of that bird but will try to do so soon. SeEtta

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Acorn Woodpecker larder/'granary' tree

I took this cellphone pic of the Acorn Woodpecker larder tree from the parking area by Pueblo Mtn Park headquarters. This is quite a good sized tree and it has many holes where acorns have been stored. SeEtta

Monday, April 10, 2017

Acorn Woodpecker at Pueblo Mountain Park


 I drove up to Pueblo Mountain Park on Sunday, a beautiful warm day that was even in the 60's which is at about 6,700 feet. I didn't see any woodpeckers when I got to the location where their larder/'granery' tree is located so I walked down to it and was looking around the back side in case one was back there when this male flew in.

He landed about 50 above the ground. I took these pics with my 300 mm lens which provides a 450mm equivalent as my camera is not full frame, then cropped the pics severely to get these relative close up views.



The pic above shows the view of the larder tree with the Acorn Woodpecker on that large bottom right branch from the parking area which is about 50 feet away with the same zoom as just noted.  This was the only Acorn Woodpecker I saw that day.  SeEtta

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Video: Trumpeter Swan grooming

Trumpeter Swan in Colorado from SeEtta Moss on Vimeo.
This short video shows the Trumpeter Swan in Florence, CO grooming. It was interesting that it dipped it's bill in the water then to it's breast to wash it's feathers. A couple of times Mallard Ducks photo bombed the video. SeEtta

Video: Trumpeter Swan feeding

Trumpeter Swan from SeEtta Moss on Vimeo.

This short video clip shows the Trumpeter Swan feeding in the flooded agricultural field. They feed on aquatic vegetation. SeEtta

Rare visit from a Trumpeter Swan

A local birder called me today to let me know he had seen a swan he believed to be a Trumpeter Swan at Holcim Wetlands in Florence, CO. Swan visits to my area are fairly rare, the last visit was several years ago so I drove out that location. I did see the swan but since Holcim Wetlands has been closed to the public for several years due to flooding damage the view was from the roadside about 400 or so feet away. While I was putting up my spotting scope two fishermen entered the closed site and flushed the swan along with other waterfowl away. I then drove to other bodies of water from Florence to Penrose to Canon City looking for the swan. When I didn't find it I returned to Florence to look for other birds and was surprised to find this swan in a flooded agricultural field. Ironically after I left a phone message for the other birder to make him aware of this location I found he had texted me 2 1/2 hours earlier to tell me the swan was here (arggh, I am not attentive to texts).
As I did not want to flush the swan I didn't drive as close as possible but stayed on the road back aways to reduce disturbance so I took the pics from about 100 feet away and I stayed in my car and minimized noise. I shot from the 300 mm setting on my zoom lens which is,equivalent of 450mm as my camera is not full frame then cropped these pics severely to get these close up photos. Note the orangish color on it's neck and head, this is an adult swan and it gets this from foraging down into iron rich water that stains the feathers. I have seen this on swans in Yellowstone Park in the past. I hope it flies back to Holcim Wetlands to spend the night. SeEtta