Sunday, May 21, 2017

Ringed Kingfisher

 I spotted this Ringed Kingfisher on a power line over the irrigation canal last evening but the lighting sucked up all the color.  This is another neotropical specialty of South Texas.  While pretty big,just over a foot length. In order to see the colors it helps to enlarge, just click on a pic.  SeEtta

Ducklings of the Black-bellied Whistling kind

I photographed the tiny ducklings and  mom above at Estero Llano Grande State Park .  They are Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, a species only that are found in a few southern states in the U.S. but in Mexico, Central America and all the way well into South America.  They both perch and nest in trees and not uncommonly perch on overhanging wires. Their name fits their frequent calls that include a whistling sound.
There are more than 20 ducklings with this pair of Black-belllied Whistling Ducks, a species of 'tree ducks' . The AllAboutBirds.org website notes, "Females often lay eggs in the nests of other whistling-ducks—a behavior known as egg-dumping."  So it seems likely that some of these babies came from other ducks but that these parents don't seem to care.  SeEtta

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Neotropical nightjar: Common Pauraque

 I found this Common Pauraque at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge this morning. These are a specialty of the deep South Texas as this is the only location in the U.S. where this species can be found while it ranges through Mexico and down to South America.  Another species that blends in amazingly with the habitat in which it is found.  I think this may be a rufous type Common Pauraque and have done no post processing of these pics other than cropping to enlarge them in hopes that someone can confirm or disconfirm this.  The different shades of these pics I believe are due to the natural lighting which was going from clouded over to sun breaking through.  SeEtta

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Almost missed this Least Bittern

These Least Bitterns' plumage melds into the habitat so well, and stay so still until they lunge for their prey, I almost missed this bird.  This species is only about a foot tall. This was again from the South Padre Island Convention Center boardwalk and in same area where Javi Gonzales spotted the Least Bittern that I photographed a few days ago.  SeEtta

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Ovenbird-up close and personal

On Monday while birding at South Padre Island's Convention Center gardens I had the opportunity to spend more than 10 minutes less than 10 feet from this Ovenbird as it foraged.   I stood very very still and enjoyed this unusual opportunity, and got a number of good photos. SeEtta
  






No action at N. Beardless Tyrannulate nest

I watched the Northern Beardless Tyrannulet nest for an hour this evening with no sign of any tyrannulet.  I did not see the nestling in the nest entance either with my binoculars or via the pic above .  It seems likely that the nestling(s) have fledged. 
 A few more observations about the tyrannulet's nest. It was made by adding nesting material on a native ball moss.  In these pics taken from other side of the nest from the opening it can be seen how there is a nest attached at the bottom of this ball moss.  It is interesting to see when the bottom pic is enlarge that daylight can be seen through the nest material.  SeEtta

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

N. Beardless Tyrranulet adult and nestling


The bird inside this hanging nest is a nestling Northern Beardless Tyrannulet, a bird so small with such a long name.  Note: all the pics of the nestling were taken from behind the tape barrier at Estero Llano Grande State Park that protects the nestl

It was hot and windy so this nestling was perched near the entrance to the nest where it likely was less hot than further inside.
This species is found in the U.S. in only two small areas--in far south Texas and along the border with Mexico in SE Arizona and a bit of very SW New Mexico.
The photo below shows the parent bird when it came in to feed the nestling(s). It has some food in its' bill but the pic isn't good enough to tell what it is.
And this is the parent bird with it's head inside the nest as it fed the nestling(s).  SeEtta

Wayward Common Loon

While Common Loons winter along the Gulf Coastal area all but a few like this loon have to far north states and Canada.
This loon came to around 40 feet from the boardwalk where it extends over the water providing for these close up shots (I did also crop the pics buy best viewed enlarged by clicking on the pic. SeEtta