All posts by Sheila

I have a passion for the outdoors and I am most happy enjoying what nature has to offer. Hobbies include photography, birding, Pickleball, astronomy, biking, and hiking. I have been happily married, for 44 years, to an amazing person.

~Friday’s Feathered Friends

Yellow-Headed Blackbird

I went birding yesterday with a friend and we stopped at Jim Hamm Nature Area in Longmont, CO. These beautiful Yellow-headed Blackbirds entertained us with their singing and acrobatic  abilities. And, they also brought back fond memories of when I saw them for the very first time. They were in the ponds across the road from Jackson Lake Lodge.

That was in July of 1985. We were living in Louisiana and took another vacation to the Tetons in Wyoming. 

After many years of vacationing out west we decided to move from Louisiana to Colorado. So in January of 1986 we make the move. The magic and wonder of the west along with its wildlife captured our hearts. 

Thanks for the memories guys!

A little information on Jim Hamm Nature Area:
Originally developed in 1976, the Jim Hamm Nature Area comprises 24 acres, including a 14-acre pond. This land was donated in 1974 by the Hamm family in memory of USAF Captain Jim Hamm who was shot down over Vietnam in 1968 and to honor all St. Vrain Valley Veterans who fought in that war. Jim spent his youth exploring and appreciating the wild environment that once was part of his grandfather’s farm (Elmer Montgomery). The pond at the site is a designated bird sanctuary that welcomes a variety of waterfowl throughout the year.

~A feathered ember in a desert landscape…

~South Llano River State Park – April 2022

A feathered ember in a desert landscape, the male Vermilion Flycatcher is exactly what its name says: a brilliant red bird that hawks flying insects from conspicuous perches on shrub tops and fences.

This perfectly describes these birds. (taken from All About Birds).

I “chased” these birds around the park for four days. I was able to capture the female pretty well; however, the male was more difficult. He didn’t sit still very long. They are fun to watch. They land on a tree branch and fly up into the air to catch bugs.

Male

Females are delightful in their own way, subtle gray-brown birds with a warm salmon-red blush to the underparts. Though they barely reach the southwestern U.S., this species is common all the way through Central America and much of South America.

Female

I did see a male Vermillion Flycatcher at Torrey Island Campground near Belle Glade, FL. It is listed as rare for this area.

~~ Happy Birding~~

 

~Friday’s Feathered Friend

Pileated Woodpecker – Lake Louisa State Park in Clermont, FL – March 2022

Wood chips were falling from the air. I looked up and noticed the reason why. This beautiful woodpecker was, I presume, hunting for bugs in this Pine tree.

 

Taken from the Web…

“Pileated” refers to the bird’s prominent red crest, from the Latin pileatus meaning “capped”.

The pileated woodpecker’s breeding habitat is forested areas across Canada, the eastern United States, and parts of the Pacific Coast. This bird favors mature forests and heavily wooded parks. They specifically prefer mesic habitats with large, mature hardwood trees, often being found in large tracts of forest. However, they also inhabit smaller woodlots as long as they have a scattering of tall trees.

Pileated woodpeckers mainly eat insects, especially carpenter ants and wood-boring beetle larvae. They also eat fruits, nuts, and berries, including poison ivy berries.[15] Pileated woodpeckers often chip out large and roughly rectangular holes in trees while searching out insects, especially ant colonies.[12] They also lap up ants by reaching with their long tongues into crevices. They are self-assured on the vertical surfaces of large trees, but can seem awkward while feeding on small branches and vines. They may also forage on or near the ground, especially around fallen, dead trees, which can contain a variety of insect life. They may forage around the sides of human homes or even cars, and can be observed feeding at suet-type feeders. Although they are less likely feeder visitors than smaller woodpeckers, pileateds may regularly be attracted to them in areas experiencing harsh winter conditions.

Lots of trees for that Pileated Woodpecker and many others.

Dixie Lake, Lake Louisa State Park

~~ Happy Birding~~

 

 

~Question

 

On our travels this spring, I purchased these cards at Stephen F. Austin State Park in Texas. The art is called quilling.

I took this from the web to explain what quilling is:

Quilling is the art of rolled, shaped, and glued paper that results in creating a unified, decorative design. The name quilling is thought to come from the origin of the art; birds’ feathers, or quills, were used to coil the strips of paper around.

They express my love for photography and birding. I would like to frame them so I am looking for opinions on what color frame to use, should I use matting, direction of cards in frame, etc. The cards are about 6 inches square.

So please comment and let me know what you think!