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Showing posts from June 21, 2015

Male Dickcissel keeping company with female Dickcissel

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So as I watched the Dickcissels flying frequently around the hayfield yesterday it seemed that something was clearly different from previous days with less flying activity. One obvious difference was my observing female Dickcissels on 3 separate occasions yesterday when I had not seen any females on previous days. Each time I observed a female she was in close proximity (usually with a foot or two) to a male Dickcissel.

These two not-so-good pics show one of the occasions when I observed a female Dickcissel and with a male perched close by. Interestingly Birds of North America (BNA) online discusses how males behaves around females as follows: "Male begins almost continuous singing as soon as he is on territory, and when a female settles on his territory, he spends most of his time accompanying her as she forages and inspects nest sites. This close attentiveness persists through nest-building, egg-laying, and incubation, but wanes rapidly after hatching. " [Temple, S…

Dickcissel both close up and out in the hayfield

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I have spent at least a little time each day checking on the Dickcissels I found in Canon City last week-end but stayed over an hour this evening as there was a lot of action. The Dickcissels were singing maybe a little more than usual and definitely flying around a lot more than I had previously observed. I saw at least 4 territorial or sexual chases [Birds of North America BNA online defines sexual chases as "Sexual chasing is a rapid flight by male in pursuit of a female that ends abruptly on ground, where male makes physical contact with her and may pull her feathers."]--the chases were fast and too distant for me to tell if both males or male and female involved (I did observe one or more female Dickcissels today so at least one is present in this hayfield).
And the birds were coming to near the roadway to perch in the tall trees that line the fenceline so I was able to get the close-up pic above from about 20 feet away (handholding my camera). I think this close-…

Holcim Wetlands flooded by Arkansas River

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The Holcim Wetlands have been flooded for the second consecutive year, this time by flooding of the Arkansas River which has reached above it's banks due to big rains and lots of snowmelt. As can be seen in the bottom pic (outlined in grey) the bank has totally been demolished in one section so that the river is just running right through the wetlands and the wetlands are no longer separated from the river in that area. Due to the flooding it is closed and will be for some time. Very unfortunate as this is has a history of some very rare birds including previous breeding Least Bittern. SeEtta

Singing Dickcissel

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As Canon City is at the western edge of the breeding range for Dickcissel we do not get this species every year. A few did show up and right at the same time as when I had them in 2013. However they have not been cooperative in perching close to the road so I can photograph and video them. The above is the only pic that was reasonable and the video clip below is very short (and shaky as it was breezy)--but Dickcissel are fun to listen to. Dickcissel singing from SeEtta Moss on Vimeo. SeEtta