SE Colorado Birding

Birding and discussion: A conservation-oriented birding blog that emphasizes low-impact birding and sustainable birding practices together with the enjoyment of birds. Southeast Colorado offers a diversity of habitats which provide premiere birding opportunities. Save Sabal Palm

Friday, June 02, 2006

Otero County

I moved on to Lake Cheraw in Otero County. This is still fairly productive. Today I saw 7 Snowy Plovers, 1 Baird's Sandpiper, 1 White-rumped Sandpiper, 1 Wilson's Phalarope, about 8 Semipalmated Sandpipers, 4-5 Black-necked Stilts and several American Avocets. There were more small shorebirds but too distant for me to identify. There were also a number of waterfowl including a small flock of Green-winged teal and at least one Eared Grebe.

After sitting in the car for hours, I took a walk around dusk in an area where I found nesting Short Eared Owls last June. To my surprise I heard calls from a Long-eared Owlinstead. The bird repeated the series of "hoo" calls several times so it seemed to be stationery and to be flying over. Though this species indeed inhabits grassland areas such as the where I heard the calls, but they breed in heavy shrubbed areas and I didn't see this nearby. However I just read in Birds of North Americathat these calls can be heard up to 1 kilometer away. It further notes that this "hoo" call is an "advertising song" emitted by males, given only at night right after sunset--indeed, the sun had just set when I heard these calls.


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