Western Screech-Owls on the lines

I found these Screech-Owls in a residential section of Canon City just a half mile from me. I was driving home last night right at dark when I spotted 2 little owl shapes like the one in the pic below. I got turned around and got out to watch them and get a couple of pics.
The owl below is clearly a juvenile and I believe it is pretty young as it did not fly very well. It also vocalized frequently in the one note that I call 'family talk'. The other owl is likely a parent (at least it didn't act like a recent parent Screech-Owl that hit in the eye causing iritis). My neighborhood and the location where these owls were is about a quarter mile from the Arkansas River and there are number of Western Screech-Owls in this area. I have seen them a couple of times in my yard and have taken 2 to the Pueblo Raptor Center as neighbors found them injured. SeEtta

Bear, you stay there!

As I was walking on the Canon City Riverwalk close to 8 pm tonight my dog Chase alerted that he heard something in the vegetation just off the trail. Thinking it was maybe a squirrel or even a racoon--surprise, when I looked I was a little confused as I thought it was a bear but it looked like it had a blond overcoat on. This is the first 'blond' black bear I have seen (they do come in a number of colors). As it sunk it that I was only about 25-30 feet away from the bear (it was behind trees as shown in last pic) I got a few pics (this is what happens when I leave my camera in the car, these are cellphone pics) and started to walk away. As I did the bear started to come out from behind the trees which concerned me so I walked backwards so I could watch it. It kept looking a me as I looked it. When it came further I ordered (in a gruff voice as I would a dog) "Bear, you stay there." Fortunately as it came it further it became clear it just wanted to go the oth…

Very young Black Phoebe fledgings

I found these very young Black Phoebes in the vegetation around an irrigation ditch in the Canon City area this past week. I spotted an adult the day before and was looking for her again when found these 2 recently fledged young birds. You can see that these are recently fledged by the shortness of tails. and bright orangish gapes. I stayed in my car to take photos without disturbing the birds and fortunately no other vehicles came along until I had the pics I wanted. I was really happy as it has been a few years since I was able to get good Black Phoebe fledgling pics and even longer to get recently fledged phoebes like these. SeEtta

A dozen+ singing Dickcissels in the Canon City area

Canon City is a marginal area for Dickcissels with usually no more than 6 or 8 singing males so I was pleasantly surprised to find a total of more than a dozen today. And I found them in several agricultural fields where they have not been reported before.
Additionally I found 2 singing male Dickcissels in the hay field where I found the first of this species for Fremont County,CO 15 or more years ago but where they have not been found for some years--while it is still a hay field it has been purchased by our local Recreation District for future sports fields and is part of Pathfinder Park.
The pic above is interesting with the crown feathers standing straight out making a head piece for this bird. SeEtta
This map shows locations of Dickcissels viewable from public roads.

Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler with bright new plumage

The top pic shows several field marks for Yellow-rumped Warbler :  yellow rump showing, streaked gray upperparts,broken white eye ring and white corners on tail.  And, of course, it's fully yellow throat shows it is the subspecies found in the west, Audubon's.
The pic above adds the following field marks:  yellow patch on side and 2 white wing bars.
And the final pic shows the dark breast band and a little of the yellow crown patch.  FouSeEtta

Oh so lovely Lazuli Bunting

This pic is exactly how this brightly colored Lazuli Bunting looked like, all I did was crop the photo to enlarge it, nothing else. And this is the same turquoise blue that I saw when I took these pics, just a gorgeous bird. I didn't crop the pic just above as strongly as the other pics because I wanted to show how its turquoise feathers were reflected in the water.SeEtta

Cattle Egrets, both breeding and nonbreeding plumage

I found these Cattle Egrets, one in nonbreeding plumage and the other progressed into breeding plumage, feeding together in a flooded agricultural field in the south central town of Florence. They have provided an opportunity to view these two plumage stages side by side. {Click on Read More to read the rest of the description and see more pics} The bird in both the pic above and below is the Cattle Egret in nonbreeding plumage. Note the very small amount of buff colored feathers and it's blackish legs (best seen in pic below), characteristics found on nonbreeding birds. The light buff on it's crown may indicate it has begun transitioning into breeding plumage. The bird in the pic above has transitioned to a large extent into breeding plumage showing a lot of buff colored feathers on it's breast (shows in top pic) back and head. However it's legs are still fairly dark so still transitioning yellow or pink legs seen on this species during breeding season. SeEtta