Saturday, July 13, 2013

Rufous-necked Wood-Rail with food

After an absence of more than 30 hours the Rufous-necked Wood-Rail made an appearance last evening after 7 pm. I got the photo above showing the bird with a food item in it's bill that I believe is a very large crawfish (aka crawdad) or similar creature. They are said to eat crabs primarily in their native mangrove habitat but they don't have crabs in New Mexico. It is best seen by clicking on above photo to enlarge it.

No food in bottom pic but it shows the colorful yellow base to this bird's large bill.  SeEtta

Friday, July 12, 2013

Rufous-necked Wood-Rail: video of the bird foraging

This shows the Rufous-necked Wood-Rail found by Matt Daw, a highly skilled young birder, at the Bosque del Apache NWR. It is the first report of this species in the United States and has drawn birders from across the U.S. including Hawaii. In this video it is seen foraging in the open water in plain view by myself and other birders who were on a boardwalk over this wetland. Note video taken at 7:55 pm and the light was fading but I did not want to do any editing to avoid distorting this bird's natural and beautiful coloration. SeEtta

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mega-rarity: Rufous-necked Wood-Rail at Bosque del Apache NWR in NM

So I don't chase rare birds much anymore and have never chased a rarity more than 150 miles. But when I saw this mega-rarity Rufous-necked Wood-Rail was found at Bosque del Apache NWR south of Albuquerque, which is great birding hotspot I haven't been to in some years, and it was being seen with a Least Bittern and they were out in the open--well, I decided there were too many interesting birds there to not drive down. And it has been worth the almost 500 mile drive.

The top two pics show the Rufous-necked Wood-Rail as it foraged out in the open in shallow water. I love those bumble-gum pink legs.
Pics #3 shows the Wood-Rail in the top of the pic, a Least Bittern out in the open (wow) in the middle and a Green Heron at the bottom--nice foraging friends.
Pic # 4 shows the Wood-Rail with just the Least Bittern. SeEtta

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Recording of Gray Catbird fledgling begging calls

I recorded the Gray Catbird fledgling that I have heard a number of times giving the begging call (ie, parents, please feed me). It took me awhile to figure that this was actually the Gray Catbird fledgling calling and not an American Robin or other bird but I watched it as it gave this call on several occasions. Today it was back in my yard and giving it's begging call repeatedly and I got the following recording. SeEtta

Monday, July 8, 2013

My neighborhood Gray Catbird family visits

My neighborhood Gray Catbirds have been visiting me for a long time. It started a number of years ago when a pair of Gray Catbirds nested right under my dining room window–what wonderful intimate views I had. Unfortunately I had to clean up the very overgrown shrub in which they nested so they haven’t nested in my yard since; but they do come to visit–well, they come to eat here anyway. They like insects as well as small fruit and berries so planting those and avoiding the use of pesticides is important in having a catbird-friendly yard. And the male, or males, engage with me in duetting–or I engage them. They have also brought their offspring back to my yard each year–though I like to think they bring them to show them to me, it is most likely for the food and safety that is provided in my bird-friendly yard.
Two days ago I was visited by one or both adult Gray Catbirds and at least one fledgling. Both the male and female adults look alike so I don’t know if only one or both parents visited. The parent bird, shown below, worked hard at finding and providing high protein food (insects) to feed to the fledgling(s)-I've only seen one but there may be others hidden in the foliage.
Yesterday afternoon the Gray Catbird family visited my yard again. The photo below is the fledgling catbird (sorry the quality isn't great but it stayed in the shadows). You can see a little bit of the chestnut colored feathers that it is already has under it's tail.
The parent bird(s) left the fledgling (semi-hidden in the boughs of my blue spruce tree) my yard while they left (maybe they had another fledgling or still had nestlings located in another location to tend to) for awhile. I am glad they felt comfortable leaving their fledgling here. SeEtta
(posts with photos on visits from my neighborhood Gray Catbirds from previous years can be seen by clicking here)