Dedicated to the enjoyment and conservation of birds and nature.
Cedar Waxwings and young offspring in my yard
Last week while I worked in my backyard I kept hearing a soft bird call with which I was unfamiliar. I looked all around and could not locate the bird. Then I heard the distinctive high pitched 'zee-zee' trill call of a Cedar Waxwing and I located it high in one of my large deciduous trees. The other call I was unfamiliar with continued and came from the same area as the adult Cedar Waxwing.
Finally I located the source of the unknown calling--it was clearly a fledgling Cedar Waxwing. It had a head that looked like an adult Cedar Waxwing except the mask was abbreviated. And it had a broad streaking on it's underparts that is not found on adult birds. It didn't have a crest, at least not one that was visible. And it's tail was even shorter than the usual short tail of adult birds.
I watched as one or both parent birds would fly in to the tree to bring food for their offspring. I don't think they nested in my yard as I believe I would have heard the adult's calls before. This fledgling appears quite young, maybe only a few days out of the nest when I first saw it, so they likely nested in my neighborhood or in a greenbelt only a few hundred yards away. They must have brought their offspring to my yard where it would be safe while they foraged for food.
I watched the young fledgling and the parents over the next few days. The parent's brought fruit to their offspring, some they found in my yard and some from other locations in the area. After the first 2 days the fledgling flew to my neighbor's yard but returned to mine for roosting.
I had to go out of town for a few days and when I returned I went outside to listen for the calls of the parent or fledgling Cedar Waxwing but they were gone. I expect the fledgling improved it's flying skills and the family moved on. I certainly enjoyed their visit and I am glad I could provide habitat both for the safekeeping of the young bird and some of the fruit needed to feed it as well as the parents.
There are two birds in this photo. Can you see them? Can you identify them?
Click on 'Read more' to find out.
Two Common Pauraques, a neotropical bird species whose cryptic plumage makes it very well camouflaged. They are only found in the U.S. in southern parts of Texas with the highest numbers found in the Rio Grande Valley. Even so it is very unusual to find two of them roosting near each other and especially both the gray and brown…
I was very pleased to get the above photo of a Belted Kingfisher as it dove towards a pond to get a fish. Fortunately the light was good so I was able to take this as a very high speed pic, a setting I was already using since the kingfisher was a good 75 feet away. I hid in my car behind some foliage, some of which got in the view but is out of focus, in order to avoid flushing the bird. SeEtta
Yesterday I drove over to Florence River Park, a small nature park on the far east edge of Florence, CO. As I sat in my car for a few minutes I spotted a hummingbird 20-25 feet in front of my car. It hovered a few feet off the ground then went down to the ground which piqued my curiosity. When I got it in my binoculars I was stunned to see that it was on the ground feeding its baby. And, ye gads, it was in the parking lot where it was could be run over by a vehicle, grabbed by one of off leash dogs that are common here or even stepped on by someone as it was difficult to see. So I got out to move it, or get to move on it's own if it was able to fly, to a safer location. The pics above and just below show the young hummer on the ground in the parking lot.
It quickly became apparent this was a nestling that was not ready to fledge yet. I called Nancy Kelly at Second Chance Wildlife Rehab in Pueblo to ask her advice. She advised putting it back in the nest which was not poss…