Showing posts from January 4, 2015

Closer views of that Prairie Falcon--including a view of it's 'choanal slit'

Here are two more pics (and an enlargement of one) of that Prairie Falcon--I took these through my sun roof with my Canon dslr using my 400mm lens and a 1.6 extender (that means it multiplied the image a lot) which takes such good quality pics that I can crop them tighter. The pics above and enlarged below give a good view of the wide yellow eye ring that is found on adult birds that isn't seen often in the field. 
In the bottom pic the falcon has it's beak wide open. I wish I could say for sure if it was just yawning but unfortunately when looking through the viewfinder of dslr cameras such details are not apparent. It does provide a unique view of the inside of it's beak that shows it's 'Choanal slit'--"The slit in the roof of the mouth which connects to the bird's sinuses. " (from the Be honest, I bet most of you are like me and did not know they had such a structure. For a closer view of it just click on the pic as it…

Pretty Prairie Falcon

Let me note from the git-go that I am pleased to report I took these photos without flushing this falcon from it's perch in a walnut tree about 75 feet above me--I stayed in my car and did my best to avoid disturbing this bird as I try to do with all raptors I photograph. I took a couple of the pics through the sunroof of my toyota rav4. To me it is important to disturb birds the least amount possible and especially birds like raptors that choose perches for good reasons--they can see possible prey and predators. I did use long lens lengths and also cropped each at least a little to get closer photo.
I thought this super close up of it's talons was worth some extra cropping.
Most of the time the falcon did not look at me but when I used my Canon 60d dslr it heard the clicks and looked down-but did not fly. I moved on and saw the bird in the same tree when I got several hundred yards down the road. SeEtta

Harris's Sparrow, a rarish winter visitor to Canon City

I refound this adult Harris's Sparrow earlier this week in Canon City. I had spotted it briefly a few weeks ago but it flew onto private property. There is food resources there and interestingly I saw a Harris's Sparrow there last winter. The bottom pic is a very backlit photo I got when I first spotted this winter rarity. SeEtta

Pair of American Dippers just east of Canon City

I found this pair of American Dippers over the week-end working from the ice ledge in an irrigation canal. Actually I knew there was a pair when the one bird I was watching was 'strafed' (ie, an attack from low-flying aircraft') by a second dipper and they both flew out to the nearby Arkansas River. This location has had one or a pair of American Dippers every winter for the past several years as well as in the summer. SeEtta

A pair of Greater Roadrunners

I found this pair of Greater Roadrunners south of Canon City day before yesterday when the temps were quite cold (about 20 degrees F). The first two pics show the one roadrunner sunning itself with it's feathers fluffed and it's back to the sun to absorb the solar warmth.
The roadrunner above it the second bird in this pair. According to Birds of North America (BNA) online resident pairs of roadrunners, "Well-established pairs stay on their territory year-round." BNA further notes that roadrunners are found either singly or in breeding pairs.
Both roadrunners that had been foraging in some proximity to each other came together briefly as shown in the bottom pic. (sorry I could not crop the pics further to get them close up but the birds were about 150 -200 feet away) Below is a brief video clip of the first roadrunner as it moved across the snowy terrain. (I don't know for sure what that sound is as it was very quiet away from town and it may have been m…

Eastern Bluebirds near Canon City

For several years at least one pair of Eastern Bluebirds has nested near Canon City. Yesterday I found several Eastern Bluebirds on my friends farm just east of Canon City. They were in the company of several Mountain Bluebirds, a mix I have not previously seen. I refound the Eastern Bluebirds today and they were on their own--two males and at least one female though there was likely a second female staying somewhat distant and difficult to see. This eastern species is uncommon this far in south central Colorado while both Mountain and Western Bluebirds are both common in this area. SeEtta