Dedicated to the enjoyment and conservation of birds and nature.
Acorn Woodpeckers at Pueblo Mtn Park-confirmed nesting success
When I last checked on the Acorn Woodpeckers in Pueblo Mountain Park on July 8 the pair were flying in and out of the nest hole repeatedly so I had the impression they were caring for nestlings. This visit these rare woodpeckers were not near the nest tree but in another area of the park where I found them foraging. And I found 4 of them and it appeared that two were juveniles. The bird on the limb in the pic above has bluish eyes which are found on juveniles.
The center pic shows the parent bird on the far right as it was feeding the fledgling, the bird in the center. The bottom pic is a few seconds after the feeding and when enlarged the eye on the bird in the center is blackish, which is the color of very young juveniles. I think the bird on the far left is the other juvenile (the one with the bluish eyes) as it dropped down from a limb above when the parent came to feed the other young bird. SeEtta
I had arranged to meet Bob Rasa, who leads tours around the famous Neal's Lodges on the Frio River in Concan, TX. Bob graciously offered to work me in to his schedule and I spent the day benefiting from his experience with the birds in this area. We birded around Neal's Lodges in the morning which is where I photographed this Black-throated Sparrow. I also saw this Long-billed Thrasher at the Neal's. This species has a fairly limited range, mostly in Mexico but coming into south and central Texas. SeEtta
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
I found a bunch of this native Horsetail Milkweed (Asclepias subverticillata) in the far west part of Canon City. While Horsetail Milkweed is listed as native in Colorado the 'Floristic Synthesis of North America' lists it as a 'Native Species, but adventive in state.' Had to look that up--'adventive species' refers to "a species that has arrived in a new locality" which may have been with help of people or it may not (ie, range expansion). As a native milkweed it is an important plant for Monarch Butterflies as well as other insects.
These Tarantula Hawk Wasps (Pepsis sp., Pompilidae) are some of the largest insects in the U.S. "When a female is ready to lay her eggs, she seeks out a tarantula and injects it with paralyzing venom. She drags the tarantula to a burrow and stuffs it down the hole, then lays her eggs on top of the paralyzed spider. Several days later the eggs hatch and the larvae feed on the still living tarantula." (http…