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

Monday, April 16, 2007

Black Phoebes in Florence River Park

I drove to Florence to see what was around. In Florence River Park there were very few birds in the main part because they had completed a tamarisk removal project that took out 90% of the understory (a lesson to be considered for other projects). I only saw 1 Northern Flicker and heard a few House Finches there.

However, the pond area and the shore where they could not get their machine in to remove tamarisk was much more productive. There were 5 male and 2 female Cinnamon Teal in the pond. I saw 3 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 2 of which were Audubon's type that were in bright new breeding (Alternate) plumage. There were also a number of Red-winged Blackbirds there.

And I refound the Black Phoebe I found there a few weeks ago (though it's possible this is a new bird) plus it had acquired a mate. Interestingly each phoebe used a different call. One used what Birds of North America online calls the "chatter" vocalization that they say is "described as soft, wheezy sound" that is "used by males when approaching females and during Nest-Site-Showing Display." Now this is a surprise to me as there isn't any suitable nest sites in this location, at least from what I've read and also what I've seen for this species (ie, no wall or rock to which to attach their mud nests).

This makes the 2nd pair of Black Phoebes in Fremont Co so far this season, though more are likely to be found given historical numbers. I got this photo from about 30 feet away with my 12X digital camera.

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