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Oh so lovely Lazuli Bunting

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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

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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

The eyes have it--the lure of Burrowing Owls

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I found these cuties north of La Junta in SE Colorado.   I suspect their big eyes are what draws us to Burrowing Owls, the genetic trait that also makes human babies appeal to us which is part of how our genetics help them to survive. {click on Read More to see more photos} It is difficult to see anything but a dirt hill in the pic above but a closer view below shows two little heads peaking out of the den. SeEtta

Glossy in flock of White-faced Ibis

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I believe the ibis shown above to be a Glossy Ibis as it displays the following field marks: bluish-gray lines of skin (not feathers) framing the eyes but not extemd behind the eyes; dark versus reddish legs; and brownish not reddish eyes. (more photos by clicking on Read More)
The near ibis in the pic below shows the reddish skin on the face of a White-faced Ibis contrasting with the ibis in the back that has Glossy field marks.
The pic above shows the difference between the reddish legs on the White-faced Ibis on the left and the dark legs of the ibis on the right that shows Glossy field marks. SeEtta

Stopover by Snowy Egret

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I found this Snowy Egret at Florence River Park last week. This is the first of the year Snowy Egret I have seen. It didn't stay long so likely was just stopping over as it migrates. Birds of North American online provides a wonderful description: "Adults in breeding plumage develop long, delicate plumes forming wispy spray of feathers extending off breast, recurving off lower back (arising from lower scapulars), and forming short, shaggy crest off nape." Click on Read More for more pics SeEtta

Wood Ducks way high up in a tree

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[Click on Read More below to see close up pic] While walking on the Canon City Riverwalk a few days ago I was very surprised to spot a Wood Duck perched on a large cottonwood tree at least 70-80 feet above the ground. While I have seen a number of Wood Ducks in trees I have never seen one this high up. As I watched through my binoculars he walked around this large branch then jumped/flew down to a slightly lower branch. After several minutes a second Wood Duck, this one a female, appeared from behind a branch maybe 10-15 feet below the first duck and within a few seconds she flew off followed quickly by the male. Since Wood Ducks do nest in large cavities in trees near water (this location is less than 50 feet from the Arkansas River, see nest site info below), I suspect this is a pair and that the female was house shopping. Maybe since this location is near the Sell's Lake Trailhead and is a very busy area below she decided to look far up above all the human related disturban…

Eastern Phoebe along Tunnel Drive Rd

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I found 2 Eastern Phoebes along Tunnel Drive Rd on the far west side of Canon City last week. Eastern Phoebes breed in the Canon City area every year though they usually migrate out during the winter.
As is the norm with Eastern Phoebes during breeding season, the Tunnel Drive Rd is just quite near the Arkansas River and there is an irrigation ditch running through here. I have observed these 2 birds foraging near each other several days so feel comfortable calling them a pair. SeEtta
Last year I was able to follow a pair of Eastern Phoebes that nested on the other side of the Arkansas River. Here is the female on the nest.