Showing posts from June 2, 2013

Recently fledged Common Raven

At the end of March this year I spotted a Common Raven going into a crevice above a rock face of a local cliff area called Castle Rock (as part of it looks sort of like a castle). I started watching this area and observed a pair of Common Ravens spending time around this location. On March 27 I spotted one of the ravens inside the crevice which now had what looked like nesting material in it--the photograph of that is the second pic here.
I continued off and on to check this apparent crevice nest. At the end of May I saw what appeared to be a nestling inside the crevice. I continued birding in the riparian forest across the Arkansas River from this cliff area. When I was about a quarter mile away I heard a lot of raven racket and walked to a spot where I could see the cliff area through my binoculars. I could see a lot of raven action with the parent birds calling loudly so I expected that the nestling may have fledged or they were trying to get it to fledge. I went back to a…

Big spring for Evening Grosbeaks in Canon City area

I usually get Evening Grosbeaks at my feeders in the spring while many lowland areas only see them in the winter. This year was a big year for them with hundreds around Canon City and Florence including several dozen at least in my neighborhood. They were going through a lot of seed (I only feed safflower when the bears are out but they seem to love it) so I was buying it by the 25 lb bag at a feed store. Fyi, that is a Pine Siskin sharing the feeder in the top pic demonstrating how large these Evening Grosbeak are (which translates into how much they eat especially when there are 6-10 of them at your feeders at a time).

The number of Evening Grosbeaks has steadily decreased in the past 10 days as birds have presumably moved into their upland coniferous habitats documented in the Colo Breeding Bird Atlas I as preferred by them in this state. For the past 3 days including this morning I have only seen 2 birds, a male and female, at my feeders. It is time for them to be in their br…

Enlarged photo of Yellow-billed Cuckoo

I further cropped one of the photos below to super enlarge the face of this Yellow-billed Cuckoo to show it's grayish orbital ring. I haven't often either viewed a Yellow-billed Cuckoo up close or taken photos that provide the close-up views as I did with the bird I found yesterday in Van's Grove. I have seen in Sibley's and National Geographic (6th ed) that they have a yellow orbital ring and show drawings of both adult and juvenile birds with yellow orbital rings. When I cropped my photos to enlarge them it was clear that the bird I found did not have a yellow orbital ring-it was grayish. So I did some reading and now am confused. Birds of North America online states, "Orbital skin pale yellow in nestling; grayish in adult." McGill Bird Observatory (has banding photos) states, "A quick and reliable way to determine age in Yellow-billed Cuckoos is by the orbital ring, which is yellow in HY/SY birds (until late winter or spring) and grayish in ol…

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Though this is the second Yellow-billed Cuckoo I have found this year (actually in the past 3 days), I could only hear the other cuckoo giving it's 'coo' song but was unable to find it visually. I found this Yellow-billed Cuckoo this afternoon at Van's Grove in southeastern Colorado. SeEtta