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, April 18, 2008

Horned Grebes+ in La Junta/Ordway area

I birded in the La Junta to Orway area in the lower Arkansas Valley this week. Lake Henry and Lake Meredith both had a few Horned Grebes in their gorgeous Alternate (breeding) plumage, several hundred American White Pelicans, several hundred Aechmophorus grebes, waterfowl dominated by Northern Shovelers, hundreds of Barn Swallows, white-headed gulls and hundreds of Yellow-headed Blackbirds. Holbrook Res had similar species.

Obvious in the American White Pelican pic at the bottom is an "epidermal plate" (that extension that rises up from the far end of it's bill--it kind of looks like a horn but is not, just fibrous tissue). According to Birds of North America online, it's purpose "plate not clearly defined, but it is probably involved in courtship or agonistic behavior during pairing and territory establishment." The other two pics are of a Horned Grebe that has a fish in it's beak. In the middle pic, the fish extends horizontally from it's beak as though it was a cigar. This middle pic shows the interesting way that it's plumage is arranged, reminding me of an improperly-fitting toupee. Their deep red eyes are almost as distinctive as the yellowish plumage "horns". SeEtta

Labels: ,

Save trees in the Boreal forest for birds, not for paper--Opt out of catalogues

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by

  • Blogarama - The Blog Directory