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

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Fledgling Western Kingbird and parent pics

This morning, while monitoring the remaining Dickcissel in Canon City, I watched a Western Kingbird fledgling sitting on a fence waiting for its' parent to return to feed it. As I noted for another species, it is hard to find photos of immature birds (or for that matter females) presumable because adult males are more photogenic and usually easier to find (not only do they have more colorful plumage generally, but they often stand out by perching out in the open and are often singing). The adult in the other photo is the parent that was feeding the fledgling. Note the the fledglings tail feathers are noticeably shorter than the adult's. The fledgling's bill is also lighter colored.

Just to make a point related to conservation, I took the photo of the fledgling from my car. I take a lot of photos from my car as it makes an excellent "blind" and is less disruptive for the birds. It is always my goal to take photos without disturbing the birds. Though I am not always successful, I still try hard to do this as I strongly believe that it is the responsibility of birders and bird photographers to keep their impacts on the birds to a minimum. It clearly takes more skill to take bird photos without flushing the subjects.

Western Kingbirds can be seen throughout SE Colorado where they common to abundant except for mountainous areas(and is true of most of the rest of the state). They overlap with Cassin's Kingbirds (in Colorado, a specialty of SE Colorado) in parts of SE Colorado. They also overlap Eastern Kingbirds in the riparian and agricultural areas where this species tends to breed. There is a significant area from Fremont and Pueblo counties south through Huerfano County and then east into Baca County where all three kingbirds can regularly be found during breeding season. All three kingbirds can also be found in SE Colorado along the Arkansas River corridor from Fremont County to the Kansas stateline.

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