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

Yellow-rumped Warblers in muted fall plumage

One of a good number of migrating Yellow-rump Warblers stopping over during migration (actually 2 weeks ago). SeEtta

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Just a cute Mountain Chickadee

While I have 3 Mountain Chickadees coming to feeders in my yard I photographed this one elsewhere in town. I do enjoy these cute little acrobatic birds. SeEtta

Chihuahuan Ravens in south central Colorado


It is has been some time since I found clear Chihuahuan Ravens in my area. Usually I find ravens that are likely hybrid Chihuahuan-Common Ravens or just those whose characteristics are intermediate. Correctly identifying Chihuahuan Ravens in Colorado is fraught with hazards as explained in this Colo Field Ornithologists journal article and I am not inclined these days to call one a Chihuahuan without some definitive field marks. This raven and a second one showed the definitive field mark of having nasal bristles clearly more than half the length of the bill. Of less reliability they appeared to have thicker (deep) bills and the throat feathers look less shaggy than those found on Common Ravens. SeEtta

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Tarantula mating season

Fall is mating season for tarantulas in Colorado. Usually I find some in my town but this year I did not so I drove to just south of La Junta which has probably the most tarantulas on the move. Though I missed the big weekend for sex seeking tarantulas I still saw just over a dozen including this pretty brown one. I don't know if this guy lost part of a leg or what but see the circled area in the pic just above.
The local La Junta Tribune even had an article on this event: "The males typically are the most active, searching for the scent of females who are waiting in burrows, experts say. The male blonde tarantulas spend about 10 years reaching sexual maturity. They will mate once and then die — often at the fangs of the female whose eggs they have fertilized."
I put the pen down to provide a way to judge the size of this guy. SeEtta