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

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Snow & Ross' Geese return



Snow and Ross' Geese are returning to their wintering grounds throughout eastern Colorado from their arctic tundra nesting areas. I saw about 1,000 of these white geese at Neegronda and Neenoshe Reservoirs on Sunday. Then while I was watching a late Greater Yellowlegs at John Martin Reservoir on Monday, a flock of about 500 white geese flew over and landed on the south shore and this photo is from this sight.Within the next few months, tens of thousands of Snow Geese and lesser numbers of Ross' Geese will make their way to SE Colorado where they will feast in the many grain fields during the winter months. These geese form the basis for the Snow Goose Festival held in February in Lamar.

I took the lower pic of a Great-tailed Grackle at Lake Meredith where it and others were feasting on some thistle plants.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Calif wildfire destroy wildlife habitat

>>>From: Reuters
Published October 29, 2007 10:00 AM
California Wildfires Destroy Animal Habitats : USFWS

Los Angeles - Wildfires that began last week and continue to burn in southern California have destroyed thousands of acres of vegetation and habitat on Hopper Mountain and San Diego National Wildlife Refuges, forced the temporary closure of the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, and spurred deployment of more than 40 Service firefighters to the region.

As of Wednesday, more than 1,500 homes have been destroyed by wildfires in five southern California counties. Property damage is estimated at $1 Billion in San Diego County alone. All Service employees in the affected areas are accounted for and no employees' homes have been damaged by fire.

The Ranch Fire in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties burned more than 70 percent of the vegetation on Hopper Mountain NWR, home of the Service's California condor recovery program. Fire spread to the 2,471 acre refuge Sunday evening (Oct. 21) and continued into Wednesday morning. Damage to vegetation was extensive, but miraculously, the fire spared Hopper Ranch, an historic and isolated ranch house that provides equipment storage and housing for the refuge's condor biologists. Although spared from fire damage, the ranch house and out buildings were damaged by debris propelled by near-record Santa Anna winds. Refuge staff evacuated the refuge Sunday, leaving behind the ranch, condor isolation pens and three condor chicks in their remote nest sites.

"News of the ranch house's survival was bittersweet as it became clear that the area burned included the condor nest sites," said Marc Weitzel, project leader at Hopper Mountain refuge complex. "The only complete fire loss was our iso-pen building, once used for rearing and as a temporary holding site for individual condors. A larger flight pen and blind are still sound even though the fire very clearly burned right through the pen."

Radio transmission signals from transmitters affixed to two of the three chicks indicated that two chicks likely survived the fire. The fate of the third chick will not be known until refuge staff can visually inspect the nest site which is in a remote area of the refuge. All adult condor parents are alive and in the area of the nests.

More than 3,800 acres (50 percent) of vegetation and habitat on the San Diego NWR was burned by the Harris Fire which has burned more than 70,000 acres in southern San Diego County. Service fire crews back-burned areas around the refuge headquarters building Monday (Oct. 22) which successfully spared the building from fire damage. Refuge fire staff also saved additional private residences by lighting back-burns off fuel-breaks established by the Service's Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) projects.>>>

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Migrating Great-tailed Grackles

videoThis video is of a relatively small migrating flock of Great-tailed Grackles moving through SE Colo. There were only about 150 in this flock but when they all fly into one cottonwood tree, they make quite a racket. This is not nearly as impressive as the flock of over 300 Great-tailed Grackles I found in Lamar as they were concentrated into a small area also.

Of course this species is well known for making a racket with the shrieks, rattles and sounds of breaking sticks they make. I took this video clip with my digital still camera, that has the capacity for short video recordings, so the picture quality is not great but the sound came out pretty good. And I jerked the camera around as I tried to keep up with the ever-moving grackles as they hopped around the tree branches. SeEtta

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Prairie Falcons today too


By taking the nice open grassland oute between lakes today, I saw a lot of raptors. In addition to the Golden Eagles I also saw several Prairie Falcons including the one in these pics. The distinctive dark axillaries, the base of the underwing or what's referred to as armpits, and wing coverts are one of the best field marks for Prairie Falcons. The dark mustache seen on most falcon species can be seen in the lower pic. SeEtta

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Golden Eagle Pair



Today I checked some of the larger lakes again to see if a recent cold front brought in any migrants. Indeed close to a thousand Snow Geese, with some Ross' Geese mixed in, had arrived at Neegronda and Neenoshe Reservoirs. Waterfowl numbers on these lakes have increased since I was there a few days ago but I didn't see any Am White Pelicans.

I drove next to Blue (aka Adobe Creek Res) taking a route I hadn't driven before. It ran through some large expanses of grassland in Kiowa Co. I saw several herds of Proghorns including one large herd with 27 Pronghorn.

And I found this pair of adult Golden Eagles. They were perched quite close together when I stopped my car I disturbed them. The top pic shows the female, her irregular grayish tail band barely visible in this pic, as she landed above the male. Golden Eagles often maintain pair-bonds throughout the year. SeEtta

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Rattlesnakes up close & personal

I almost ran over this Western Prairie Rattlesnake as it was lying in the road at John Martin State Park. It's light tan/yellowish coloration was such good camouflage that I almost didn't see it in time so I swerved hard to miss it. When I returned to my car for my camera, one of my group found a second Western Prairie Rattlesnake in the grass nearby.These snakes are definitely colored to blend in with the prairie vegetation. This snake was about 3 1/2 feet long. They are found throughout much of Colorado and I have run into them in about 5-6 counties. SeEtta

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

A late-ish Monarch Butterfly



I found this beautiful Monarch Butterfly late this afternoon at Blue Lake (aka Adobe Creek on maps). According to MonarchWatch.org, peak in Monarch abundance during migration should be the end of September at the latitude of Blue Lake (though that is an extrapolation since 38 degrees latitude is not specified). It was flitting around the tamarisks, an invasive plant, that ring the shore. It seemed to be settling-in for the night. SeEtta

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DarkMorph Red-tailed Hawk




I saw this immature Dark Morph Red-tailed Hawk as I drove around today birding in several areas in the lower Arkansas Valley. According to Sibley's Field Guide to Birds of Western North America, Dark Morph's make up 20% of Red-tailed Hawks in the west.

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Dueling Peregrine Falcons


Above the grasslands near Blue Lake (aka Adobe Creek)in Las Animas County, a Peregrine Falcon apparently saw an interloping Peregrine and sped towards it. What ensued was a winged duel as the Peregrine I had been watching flew at the second Peregrine starting a battle in the sky. The second Peregrine appeared to try to fly directly through while the first Peregrine dived intermittently at it until it flew out of the area. This happened too fast and too distant for me to get any pics unfortunately.

A little later as I drew closer to Blue Lake I was surprised to find the Great Horned Owl in this pic, out in the middle of the day.

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Wildlife and the California wildfires

Photo from EnglishPeople.com
I have been trying to find info about animals in the areas impacted by the massive California wildfires. Fortunately for birds, it is past breeding season so few birds will be directly affected. Birds will, however, be affected due to reduced habitat as will be a problem for herps, mammals and other critters. This especially problematic in southern California since humans are especially greedy in occupying far more land (such as those awful sprawling 35 acre sprawlettes)in these parts than they need, both gobbling up and fragmenting vital wildlife habitat.This is the first info I have found about wildlife resources and needs. SeEtta


October 23, 2007 : 8:23 PM
Thousands of people and pets evacuating

by Jaime Aalen-Dunn, Best Friends Staff

From San Diego to Malibu, more than 150 miles up the Pacific coast, fires are burning out of control. Nearly one million people in Southern California have been forced to flee their homes. More than one thousand homes have already been destroyed. Some fires are believed to have been started by downed power lines, while suspicion of arson exists for others. Gale force winds spread flames for miles as residents evacuated and fire teams battled the relentless fires.

Evacuees grabbed what they could from their homes, including pets, and fled to one of dozens of centers set up by the government. Many local animal rescue organizations across southern California have been asked to help assist with displaced animals. Qualcomm Stadium, home to the Chargers football team in San Diego, is currently the single largest shelter for both people and animals.

President Bush has declared a state of emergency in Southern California. Teams of national guardsmen and military soldiers have been dispatched to assist in supporting with efforts of firefighters and evacuating residents. The fires have overwhelmed crews of more than 5,700 firefighters supported by helicopters, bulldozers and water-laden aircraft. There are 13 wildfires in seven counties, from San Diego north to Malibu, outside Los Angeles, according to the website of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Best Friends is currently monitoring the needs of animals and rescue groups in the area. We are assessing what organizations and groups are in need of supplies, volunteers and donations. Best Friends is sending response resources including a climate-controlled vehicle for transporting animals, crates and supplies. The staging area will be located outside of the fire zones, but support staff will be on hand to help out if assistance is needed.

Evacuation information is constantly changing, and we will be providing updates as often as possible as circumstances evolve. We welcome your feedback and updates as known; please post them to the comment section below. If you have information about additional facilities, please list them below along with address and phone number if possible.

San Diego Area -
Qualcomm Stadium- 9449 Friars Rd (people, cats & dogs) - 619-641-3100. Bring leashes & carriers if possible. Need volunteers all levels of experience.

Mira Mesa High School-10510 Reagan Rd.

El Camino High School, 400 Rancho Del Oro Dr, Oceanside, - taking all small animals (no livestock)

Lakeside Rodeo Grounds located at Hwy 67 & Mapleview St. - Accepting large animals only

Fiesta Island 1500 Fiesta Island Rd - 619-235-1169 - Accepting both large and small animals

Camp Diggety Dog, 1835 Imperia Ave. 619-702-4090 – has room for dogs with proof of vaccinations. Dogs must get along with other dogs

Los Angeles Area –
Agoura Animal Shelter, 29525 Agoura Rd. Agoura Hills, CA, 818-991-0071 (small animals)

Castaic Animal Shelter, 31044 N. Charlie Canyon Rd. Castaic, CA 661-257-3191 (small animals)

Pierce College, 6201 Winnetka Ave., Woodland Hills, CA (large animals)

Antelope Valley Fair Grounds, 2551 West Avenue H, Lancaster, CA (large animals)

VCA Animal Hospitals offering free boarding for animals affected by the fires through November 5th. Contact the VCA in your area or visit this website

San Bernardino County –
San Bernardino Animal Control: 1-800-472-5609
Evacuation Center: Jerry Lewis Community Center 7793 Central Blvd., Highland

Riverside County –
Evacuation 24 Hr Hotline 1-800-500-8884

Temporary animal shelter at Temecula Valley High, 31555 Rancho Vista Road.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

More lower Arkansas Valley birding

I birded mostly in Kiowa County today and the weather remains beautiful with temps going into the 70's and lots of sunshine. Five Black-bellied Plovers worked the shore at Neegronda Lake, which is one of the lakes that make up the Great Plains Reservoir north of Lamar. There is state wildlife area surrounding all of the lakes and 4 male Ring-necked Pheasants fed in a grain field.

I found the pronghorn in this pic in an area with a large amount of grassland. This pic enlarges nicely by double-clicking to get a closer view. It's unusual in my experience to see a single pronghorn. SeEtta

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Birding by boat-Am White Pelicans


There are still several hundred American White Pelicans around John Martin Res and the small Lake Hasty that is the small impoundment below the dam. We only saw a few Double-crested Cormorants. In addition to a number of Western Grebes, there were a few Eared, Horned and Pied-billed Grebes. A number of waterfowl were present including some Ruddy Ducks, Gadwalls and Buffleheads. SeEtta

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Birding by boat-Great Horned Owl

This Great Horned Owl appeared comfortable with our approach by boat and, in my experience, let us approach closer than many of this species would usually allow if we were afoot. This owl was perched on the low cliffs that ring part of the shore and would not have been viewable except by boat.

We also saw a Bald Eagle when we came in to eat our lunch as well as an Osprey and a Redtail Hawk. There were several Northern Harriers working the area and sometimes they spooked some small shorebirds or waterfowl. SeEtta

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Birding by boat at John Martin Res

My Audubon chapter in collaboration with he Colo Div of Wildlife, and assistance from Colo State Parks, conducted a birding trip by boat on John Martin Res. That reservoir is quite difficult to bird as it is very large with heavy sand on the south shore and rugged 2-track roads on the north. Though it was windy, it warmed up to the 70's and was warm even though we were on the water. I'm a real wimp when it comes to being cold but I was warm enough to take off my coat in the afternoon.

The neat thing about being on a boat is that many birds are less concerned about an approach from the water than on foot or even by vehicle. So it is often possible to get closer and see species such as shorebirds that often must be viewed from a distance through a spotting scope.

The highlight was a small flock of American Pipits but I only got to see them in flight and didn't get any pics of them. But I did get this pic of a Greater Yellowlegs, one of several we saw along the shore. More in next post. SeEtta

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Late-ish Osprey and early-ish Am Dipper


I continue to see, and sometimes hear the thin cry, of a latish Osprey. Most Osprey leave the state by the middle of October according to "Colorado Birds." However we have had a very mild fall, with the first snow not falling until today, so lots of northern species like waterfowl are just still moving in so I guess this Osprey hasn't had a big need to move south. Today it perched on a large cottonwood overlooking not only the Arkansas River but also Four Mile Creek which is a major tributary. That is where I took this pic.

And I first saw an American Dipper on 10-15 on the Arkansas River adjacent to the Canon City Riverwalk. I didn't see the dipper today but heard a little of it's very melodic song.

There has been a lot of fresh bear scat on the Riverwalk which I have seen on the 5 times I have walked there this past week.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Early winter Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers




The issue of plumage on Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers in fall came up on Cobirds, the listserve for Colo Field Ornithologists. A sapsucker was seen today in Weld Co in the far north area of the state that was thought to be a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker with a lot of juvenal plumage.

I have had a number of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers in Canon City every winter for the past several including those still clearly retaining a lot of juvenal plumage in December and retaining juvenal feathers during transition to adult plumage well into the winter months. So I am posting a few of the pics I took of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers in Dec, 2003 in Canon City to help others identify these birds.

Unfortunately these were the only pics I could find of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers with a lot juvenal plumage and they were taken with my old 2.0 megapixel camera so the quality isn't great. However, double-clicking on each pic enlarges them for close-up viewing.

This reminds me that Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers should be showing up in Canon City soon. SeEtta

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Cryptic Brown Creepers


Fall is a lovely time in SE Colorado. I enjoy it's mellowness. It is a time of low precipitation and moderate temperatures throughout much of this area, with few storms. There is many pleasant days to go birding.

At the Canon City Riverwalk both Black-capped and Mountain Chickadees continue with their dee-dee-dee calls. Singing second soprano are the White-breasted Nuthatches. And the Brown Creepers provide the high pitched soprano "tseee, tseee, tseee" calls to complete the harmony.

These are pics of one such Brown Creeper I photographed as it probed between the ridges of the tree bark. If it wasn't for their high-pitched calls, they would avoid detection much of the time since their cryptic plumage helps them to blend in with the bark.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

White-faced Ibis in basic plumage



This is a late posting as I took this photo 3 weeks ago when I was having computer problems that kept me from posting. I took this pic at some ponds across from the Crowley feedlot near the town of Crowley in the lower Arkansas Valley. This was one of two White-faced Ibis that were late migrators.

This bird is molting so has some Alternate (breeding)such as the glossy body feathers and reddish legs as well as some Basic (winter) plumage such as grayish facial skin without white border and gray legs. In both plumages these adult birds have a red eye which can be seen in the middle pic.

I think the top pic shows an interesting view of the ibis as it was just taking off to fly away--it looks like it has knock-knees. Though this species suffered declines in the past, they have done better in the past few decades and are not considered at risk by National Audubon Society that also publishes some interesting natural history information at this link.
SeEtta

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A last moth pic

I just had to include this pic of the White-lined Sphinx Moth as it shows it's probiscus extended for about 2 inches. It also appears (though you have to double-click on the pic to enlarge it) that the probiscus is touching a flower stolon on one flower above the flower where it's probiscus is inserted. Since the probiscus is described as a tube, I wouldn't think that it could absorb liquid by touching a stolon in this manner but you never know.

According to CentralPets.com,
White-lined Sphinx Moths "can hover over flowers before zooming over to another area in a manner very similar to that of a hummingbird. Because this flight pattern requires so much energy and produces such large amounts of body heat, the White Lined Sphinx Moth usually emerges at dusk to seek out flowers whose nectar has a high amount of energy-giving sugar in the fluid. The White Lined Sphinx Moth may remain active all night and sometimes into the morning." SeEtta

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Nectar sipping White-lined Sphinx Moth


Check out these pics of the same White-lined Sphinx Moth as I posted on last night. It has it's probiscus extended to sip nectar from a Sunset Hyssop (Agastache rupestris), which is native to the southwest (including northern New Mexico, which is not too distant from Canon City).

Sunset Hyssop is considered to be a good plant for attracting hummingbirds that also enjoy it's nectar. White-lined Sphinx Moth

I think these pics also provide good views of this moth's face. You can learn more about these interesting moths here. SeEtta

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

White-lined Spinx Moth




Though this isn't a bird, it is a gorgeous flying critter is sometimes mistaken for a hummingbird though it is actually a moth--a White-lined Spinx Moth. Ajavascript:void(0)
Publish Posts can be seen by the top pic, these are very attractive and colorful moths. These moths are omnivorous that uses weeds as well as beneficial plants for hosts.

You can see it's proboscis in the bottom two pics as it sips nectar from the flowers. More tomorrow. SeEtta

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Woolly bear caterpillar

Photo from www.cirrusimage.comWhat an aptly named caterpillar! I saw one on the Canon City Riverwalk trail. It was getting dark so I didn't get a photo of it. I did stop to move it off the trail so it didn't get run over as there were still a few bicycle riders on the trail. Sadly, I found it the next morning--it had crawled back onto the trail and had been run over.

According to the website where this photo comes from, www.cirrusimage.com, "There is an old superstition one can predict the severity of the upcoming winter by the amount of black banding these caterpillars show in autumn. There is still a fair amount of controversy surrounding this "myth." Scientists say that the black portion changes gradually to reddish-brown as the caterpillar matures; others say the forecast can be about 80% accurate." Here is the link to the Farmer's Almanac page about this debate. SeEtta

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Just one more Mountain Chickadee pic

I just couldn't resist posting this neat Mountain Chickadee pic. It's interesting to compare this chickadee with the pics of the one in the post below. Though clearly all Mountain Chickadees have a similar appearance, they are also sometimes signficant differences in their plumage.
SeEtta

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Canon City Riverwalk hopping with chickadees



I birded the Sell's Lake entrance to the Canon City Riverwalk this morning and was greeted by multiple "dee-dee-dee" calls from several Mountain Chickadees including the one in tnese pics. They were performing their acrobatic foraging in the cottonwoods and other trees accompanied by a single Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

Check out the toenails that show-up fairly well in these pics--good thing these are small and sweet birds as those are some large (proportionally) and sharp looking.

Then this evening I walked my dogs at the far east end of the Riverwalk where the calls of some Black -capped Chickadees filled the air. This has been a beautiful and mild fall--temps all week got into upper 70's to mid 80's. SeEtta

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Draco Skipper ?



The two butterflies in this pic are members of the "grass skipper" family of butterflies. And I believe they are both Draco Skippers, likely a male and a female. They were chasing after each other on the marigolds in my yard.

They certainly have proportionally large eyes. And I believe that the long tube protruding from the butterfly on the right is it's tongue, which is a long hollow tube-like structure that functions like a straw so butterflies can drink water from damp sand as well as nectar. According to an National Audubon article, Gardening for Butterflies", Skippers have tongues that can reach one and one half times their wing spans!. This small (only about an inch long) butterfly is found in western parts of SE Colorado and throughout the intermountain west. SeEtta

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Common Buckeye-again?


I just couldn't resist. Today I saw that a big patch of volunteer marigolds were teaming with insect life. Most of the insects were bees, which is great--maybe they're making a come-back here in the Canon City area. But there among the marigolds was one beautiful Common Buckeye. With a small orange highlights in it's wings, it just made such a pretty picture among these orange marigolds so I just had to share these pics. Marigolds are native to many areas of the United States including several nearby states, they do not appear to be native in Colorado. SeEtta

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Common Buckeye-again?

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An another one-more Black-bellied Plover pic


I thought I had posted this great grooming shot that shows off some of the covert feathers often not easily seen (though when this species flies, the whitish rump is evident and helpful for identification).
SeEtta

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One more Black-bellied Plover pic



As much as I would have liked, I did not find any American Golden Plovers in this flock. The Black-bellied Plovers have much larger bills and a lack of yellow tones (except on juveniles) that is evident in these pics.

This additional close-up photo shows the coloration on their feathers during Basic plumage pretty distinctly. The only thing I cannot provide (at least directly) is their very distinctive call but you can listen to it on the All About Birds website.
SeEtta

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Black-bellied Plovers at Blue Lake

Today was a beautiful, mild fall day with temps going into the 70's throughout the lower elevation parts of southeast Colorado. I drove down to the La Junta/Las Animas areas to see what birds were about. At Blue Lake (aka Adobe Creek Lake, which lies in part in both Las Animas and Kiowa Counties)I ran into a flock of 12 Black-bellied Plovers evidently making a stop-over on their migration south.

I really almost ran into them as I was driving on the canal bank from the dam when I spotted them only about 40 feet away. They looked as surprised to see me as I was to see them (though this may just be an artifact of the size of their eyes which are large proportionally to their heads, giving that "deer in the headlights" appearance). I stopped and stayed quite still. Though they moved away at first, they soon accommodated to my presence and approached to within about 25-30 feet as they went about their foraging.The lower pic is an enlargement of the head of the bird in the upper pic. Though birds in juvenal plumage are similar, I believe this is an adult in Basin plumage (though there may be a few feathers that have not been replaced from Alternate plumage-this plumage stuff does get rather esoteric). More of these later, SeEtta

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Checkered White butterfly


Among butterfly species, the "whites" are a large group. The butterfly in this pic is a Checkered White, a very widespread species found throughout much of the United States and northern Mexico. I found this specimen also on the rabbitbrush along the Canon City Riverwalk, another critter enjoying the nectar from the pretty yellow flowers on this native plant.
SeEtta

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Rabbitbrush attracts honey bees too


Rabbitbrush, like many natives plants, attracts a variety of wild critters. Although I usually seek out butterflies on rabbitbrush, it also attracts wild honeybees and other insects. In fact, I was surprised to see many honeybees slurping nectar from the flowers on the many rabbitbrush plants on the Canon City Riverwalk, a good thing since there has been a lot of news about bee populations plummeting. It may be that I just hadn't noticed the many honeybees before because the yellow on their bodies blends in so well with the rabbitbrush blossoms.
SeEtta

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Just one more Common Buckeye pic


I just had to post one more pic of the Common Buckeye I photographed on the Canon City Riverwalk. Unlike many other butterflies, this species is attractive even when it has it's wings folded.

Like in the other pics I posted yesterday, this butterfly is drinking nectar from flowers on a rabbitbrush plant.
SeEtta

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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Common Buckeye butterfly & rabbitbrush

I think that Common Buckeye butterflies may be common but they are uncommonly beautiful as these pics show. It is speculated that the eyespots are used to scare away predators. This species has been seen throughout southeastern and other eastern areas of Colorado as well as several west slope and even one mountain county.

Common Buckeye can be found throughout much of the United States, parts of Canada, south into Mexico, Bermuda and even Cuba. Read more about them at the "ButterfliesAndMoths.org website.

As has been my experience, these as well as many other butterflies and insects are attracted to rabbitbrush, a native plant. Native plants are very important to many species as they have co-evolved to provide food and shelter when needed. And after the flowers on rabitbrush are gone, their seeds are available to the White-crowned Sparrows that have returned to lower elevation locations. So add some native plants to your yard and help provide proper habitat to birds and butterflies.

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