Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Leucistic Red-tailed Hawk

I found this most leucistic Red-tailed Hawk today  in south Texas.  It was striking but the backlighting does not do it justice in these pics.
 I was surprised that it wasn't as shy as many of this species and let me stop along the highway to take pics (I did stay in my car both as my habit to reduce disturbance on the bird plus the danger of parking along a two lane highway).  SeEtta

Friday, December 8, 2017

Willamson's Sapsucker in bright, fresh plumager

Late posting as I found this male Williamson's Sapsucker on Oct 10. He was south of Canon City in a dry gulch that runs through an area with pinyon and some ponderosa pines. I have found Williamson's Sapsuckers in this dry gulch in fall in previous years as well as many sapwells to indicate these birds must be migrating down through dry gulches.  Interestingly in these dry gulches I have found them most of the time on Siberian elm trees like the one pictured here.  However, when they go into Canon City they spend a lot of time also on non native trees but mostly on conifers like Scots and Austrian Pine.  
These male Williamson's Sapsuckers are most handsome in fresh plumage.  SeEtta

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, a late fall/early winter visitor to Eastern Colorado

I found this sapsucker last week in Canon City, the first Yellow-bellied Sapsucker this year. Most years one or a couple of these sapsuckers spend the late fall and early winter in our town as well as in a few other cities in eastern Colorado. This sapsucker is in immature or Basic I plumage with some retained juvenal feathers. SeEtta

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Lewis's Woodpecker in fresh bright plumage

I was happy to find this Lewis's Woodpecker in such fresh plumage especially since the last one photographed, just a few weeks ago, was very rugged looking in it's molt.
While backshots are not often posted I think it is helpful for some birders to learn how birds look from behind since sometimes that is the only view one gets. On this species the wide silver-gray collar is distinctive.
The sun hit the face of this bird and it's bright raspberry face really popped out. The greenish back that so often looks black in photos looks more greenish with the sunlight.   SeEtta

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Bald Eagle-what is it doing on it's nest this early?

I spotted this Bald Eagle on a nest that has been used for several years. As I watched it for a few minutes it was doing something in the bottom of the nest--could it be already repairing the nest? It is early for this behavior. As the nest is at least 500 feet from the road I couldn't see what it was doing even with my spotting scope. I will have to check the nest again to see if I can tell what is happening. (click on each pic to enlarge to see eagle better) SeEtta

Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk in Otero County,CO

Not the best pics especially because they were so back lit but they do show the field marks for the harlani subspecies of Red-tailed Hawk.
Top 2 pics show the whitish tail, blackish belly, streaked white chest and white on face surrounding the eye. SeEtta

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Red-necked Grebe, a very rare visitor to Holbrook Reservoir

I spotted this Red-necked Grebe yesterday at Holbrook Reservoir in southeast Colorado. While fairly rare in the state with only a few showing up every year (though often at least one at Pueblo Reservoir) this is the first one that has been recorded in Ebird for this small reservoir.
This one appears to be transitioning from breeding to winter plumage with a little reddish still showing on neck. SeEtta

Rugged looking Lewis's Woodpecker

After an absense of almost 2 years from the Canon City area, I found a flock of Lewis's Woodpeckers have returned. I have no idea where they have been as I have checked the 3 reliable sites in and near town for them most of 2016 and this year with no luck. Previously they had been quite regular for much of the past 10 years.
This is molt time for this species and this one does look rather disheveled. SeEtta