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Clark's Grebe with crown feathers lifted up in courtship display

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This Clark's Grebe crown feathers are lifted up in a courtship display almost looks like it's wearing a hat. The red eyes found on both aechmorphorus grebes (Western and Clark's Grebes) really stand on this species as the eyes are surrounded by white feathers and white lores and thin red loral stripes.
Something I just learned from Birds of North America online: "Grebes are the only birds that are able to spend their entire lifecycle on water. Floating nests and back brooding their young make this possible. " SeEtta

Bald Eagle on humongous nest in Colorado

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When I looked through my binoculars at this nest today I thought the eagle wasn't on it as her head is so light and small--this nest is located more than 500 feet from the public road. Even at that distance I took the pics from inside my car and did not get so I didn't disturb the eagle. This nest has been used by Bald Eagles for a number of years as is evident by its' amazing size.
The above pic provides a little perspective on the size of this nest. As I took the pic with a 210mm lens this pic is approximately 4X enlarged. This is in Crowley County on Colorado's southeast plains. SeEtta

Overwintering Virginia Rail

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I found this Virginia Rail 2 weeks ago in a return-flow channel on private property next to a residential subdivision in Canon City. Because it was almost 6 pm I couldn't get any reasonable pics. I have looked for this bird a number of times but did not refind until today and fortunately it was sunny so I got some nice pics. Interestingly this location used to wetlands until a developed bought the property and illegally diverted the return flow channel so he could put in a very small subdivision adjacent to the Arkansas River (for which the Corp of Engineers slapped his hands with a piddly fine) While Virginia Rail sightings are not rare in winter in Colorado they are pretty uncommon. I haven't seen a winter rail in the Canon City area for a few years. SeEtta

Super Blood Wolf Moon 2019

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I got one good photo of the Super Blood Wolf Moon tonight and had to use my tripod to get it. Used my Sony RX10-4 hybrid camera with Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* f/2.4-4 Zoom Lens, a sweet camera. This pic is at 600mm focal length (35mm equivalent) SeEtta

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in Canon City

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I found this Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, my first of the season for this species, today in Canon City.  While we usually have several Williamson's Sapsuckers for the fall/early winter season, we usually get at least one Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and in most years a Red-naped Sapsucker.

This sapsucker is in juvenal plumage:  white wing stripe,  indistinct black and white striped face, and this one shoes the beginnings of the red crown found on this species.  SeEtta

Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk in Canon City

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(note click on 'Read More' below to see the other photos of this hawk)  I spotted this Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk today not far from the Arkansas River above a field right in town.  It was 150-200 feet away so had to crop severely to get these pics.
 The significant amount of white on this hawk's face, the white on it's breast and mottling on tail are field marks for this northern sub species of Red-tailed Hawk.
Some years we get a 5 or more Harlan's moving through or spending some of the winter.  This is the first one I have seen in the Canon City area this winter.  SeEtta


What the Cape May Warbler in Pueblo City Park is eating and where it has been seen

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I noted on the previous post that the Cape May Warbler appeared to be after some pretty small 'lumps' on a pine needle a few centimeters from it's bill as shown above.   Dave Leatherman, retired entomologist, shared the following in a post on Cobirds listserv regarding this bird's food sources: 

"Those look like the same aphids that have been attracting a lot of the late warblers along the Front Range.  I think it is the Powdery Pine Needle Aphid (Eulachnus rileyi or related species in the same genus).  Other warblers I have confirmed eating this same aphid of late are Blackburnian in Longmont, Yellow-rumped in Longmont, Yellow-rumped in Denver West Office Park, Palm Warbler in Denver West Office Park (per communication from Mark Chavez), Unknown warbler (probably Orange-crowned) in Denver West Office Park.  In autumn's past, I have seen a Blackburnian in Greeley, a Bay-breasted and Northern Parula in Boulder and a Pine in Loveland going for this sa…