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 15, 2007

Baby magpies in the nest

This week I had a water meeting in Salida so I stopped on my way back at several locations in western Fremont County to do some birding. I was disappointed at the location where Black Phoebes have nested for the past several years. This is the third time I have been unable to locate any Black Phoebes. Though I had found Black Phoebes there this spring, they appear to have moved away (and there are a lot of places with good habitat but with no acceess as much of western Fremont Co along the Arkansas River is privately owned.

I was also unable to find any Lewis' Woodpeckers that have previously nested near Valle Bridge but I did find a nest full of Black-billed Magpie fledglings. It was almost difficult to miss them as they were fairly noisy, calling out for their parents to come feed them.

In the top photo the entire nest can be seen but it is a little challenging to see the magpies. I enlarged two of the nestlings for the bottom pic and at least the magpie on the right is clearly visible. Black-billed Magpies were hard hit by the West Nile Virus when it showed up on the front range of Colorado several years ago and they are still struggling to make a comeback so it is always nice to see fledglings.

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