Showing posts from April 30, 2017

Golden-winged Warbler up close and personal

This Golden-winged Warbler has been seen at Sheepshead--the Valley Land Fund Lots since yesterday.  I have only seen a few of these very eastern warblers though my first one was a rare vagrant in far southeastern Colorado (Two Buttes black hole migrant trap). 
 This was my best observation of a Golden-winged Warbler as I watched it foraging for about a half hour late this afternoon.  When I stood very still it came to within 2 feet of where I was standing which is how I got the very close up view above. These pics can be seen closer by clicking on each pic as they enlarge nicely. SeEtta

Harris's Hawk--it's foot looks like a hand

It is not unusual to see hawks perched on one foot, tucking the other foot in it's feathers to keep it warm.  It was not really cold, around 70 F, so this Harris's Hawk didn't tuck it's foot in but held it up.  When I first saw this it looked like a hand held across it's belly.  This species has  large feet:

"They have powerful talons with curving claws and when they spot their prey and begin their feet-first diving descent to capture it, the talons lock onto the prey and tighten much like a zip tie. So a hawk’s feet are designed to catch their food. Struggle as they may, the seized prey very rarely can escape the powerful grasp of those talons." (from

Spotted this Barn Owl at Lake Hasty in far southeastern Colorado

Today I birded Lake Hasty, a birding hotspot in far southeastern Colorado and was delighted to spot this Barn Owl. The pic below is the same pic as the one above which I cropped severely to enlarge the owl. (for more perspective I took the photo with my 300mm lens which is like 6X enlargement, on my Sony 6300 mirrorless camera.)  Click on each pic to enlarge more for closer viewing.
I felt bad for this owl as it was not welcome in the trees where other birds harassed it to get it to move on away from their territory. SeEtta

White-throated Swifts stop over to feed on migration

I enjoyed watching a migrating flock of  about 50 White-throated Swifts engaged in frenzied breeding along the Arkansas River near the Florence River Park. I have observed similar feeding flocks at this location in previous years as they make their way to locations further west with cliffs.

Fyi-these pics are good enough quality to be enlarged for better viewing, just click on each pic.
I wonder if some of these are on their way to the Royal Gorge just west of Canon City and only 20-25 years west of this location.  SeEtta

American Pipits have arrived

I had been looking for American Pipits all week as is around the time they have stopped over on their migration to feed and rest--and yesterday I found about a dozen of them foraging in an agricultural field in Florence.
While most of the pipits had streaked chests, some were the 'light' adults as shown in the bottom two pics.
All four pics here are of excellent quality so they can be enlarged to view really close up and for best viewing. SeEtta

Clark's Grebe, an unusual visitor to my area, accompanying a group of 21 Western Grebes

Though not super rare it is quite uncommon to get Clark's Grebes in the Canon City area.  Of course as a semi arid area and without many bodies of water for them to use.  This grebe came in with a group of 22 Western Grebes, a species fairly common in larger bodies of water in my area.  SeEtta