Showing posts from August 2, 2015

Harlequin Bug on sunflower plant

This bright orange and black insect is a Harlequin Bug which is usually thought of as a pest for a variety of food crops. However I found out it loves sunflower plants and sunflower plants are often recommended as a 'trap' crop to lure them away from food crops. I found this Harlequin Bug on this sunflower plant leaf in Red Canyon Park north of Canon City. I saw at least 2 of these on this sunflower plant but since this is a banner year for sunflowers in my area they should not present a significant problem. SeEtta

Dickcissels in sunflower field in El Paso County

After my medical appointment in Colorado Springs yesterday I decided to take a detour east on my way home to the southwest in order to do some birding in that area I haven't been to in a long time. While driving on Squirrel Creek Road in El Paso County (at the speed limit of 45 mph) I thought I heard a distant Dickcissel coming from a field filled with sunflowers. That seemed unlikely but... so I turned around , drove back by slowly--yes, not just one Dickcissel but several were singing in a field field with sunflowers on the south side of the road and more singing in a patch of sunflowers in a mixed field (a wooded area, a small pond, grasses that looked to be non native) on the north side.
I found this male Dickcissel on sunflower plants that made good singing perches for him (I rarely photograph them from the back so included the middle shot as it shows the back nicely). It seemed surprising to me to see them in these areas with sunflowers but they do like to have tall perch…