Dedicated to the enjoyment and conservation of birds and nature.
Rare Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, and two of them, south of Florence,CO
A Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, the first in our county, was found my Rich Miller a little over a week ago south of Florence. I have been jammed with projects and then went out of town so had not gone out to see it. When I read last night that Mike Gaylord had seen two of them I got more motivated to go see if they were nesting as was suggested.
I drove by them a couple of times and pulled over a little when safe (narrow 2 lane highway with dirt shoulders) for a few photos but only saw one bird. I then parked in a pull-out over a hundred feet from the tree where the birds have most often been seen and watched--and it was an overcast morning so it didn't heat up quickly so I watched for just over an hour. After about 10 minutes the second Scissor-tailed Flycatcher flew into the tree where the first was still perched.
While I watched the flycatchers appeared to take turns watching the tree or maybe the nest in it that is shown in the pic just above. While this nest seems consistent with what a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher would build ("bulky stick nest" in isolated tree) it does look larger than those I read about.
But not only did the two flycatchers appear to take turns near this nest and tree but they twice fly after small groups of American Crows, as show in pic below, that flew too close to chase them away--it sure looked like they were defending their nest or at least their nest area. However I never saw either bird get into that nest or look like they were bringing food to babies in it--and though I checked it often with my spotting scope I never saw any indication that nest was occupied or that there were fledglings in the tree. It will be interesting to see what develops if they stay. SeEtta
There are two birds in this photo. Can you see them? Can you identify them?
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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…