Category Archives: Friday’s Feathered Friends

~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.

~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~~

 

 

~Friday’s Feathered Friend

September 2021

This gorgeous Red-tailed Hawk was flying over my house and decided to land at the top of this pine tree. Lucky for me! He/She sat there for the longest time looking for lunch. After awhile it flew off to hunt somewhere else.

~2021 Fall Hawk Migration is under way be on the lookout for them! Here is a nice site to checkout!

https://www.hawkmountain.org/visit/events/autumn-hawk-migration

~About the Red-tailed Hawk (taken from the web)…

The red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) is a bird of prey that breeds throughout most of North America, from the interior of Alaska and northern Canada to as far south as Panama and the West Indies. It is one of the most common members within the genus of Buteo in North America or worldwide.

The red-tailed hawk is one of three species colloquially known in the United States as the “chickenhawk”, though it rarely preys on standard-sized chickens. The bird is sometimes also referred to as the red-tail for short, when the meaning is clear in context. Red-tailed hawks can acclimate to all the biomes within their range, occurring on the edges of non-ideal habitats such as dense forests and sandy deserts.

The red-tailed hawk occupies a wide range of habitats and altitudes, including deserts, grasslands, coniferous and deciduous forests, agricultural fields, and urban areas. Its latitudinal limits fall around the tree line in the Arctic and the species is absent from the high Arctic.

It is legally protected in Canada, Mexico, and the United States by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The 14 recognized subspecies vary in appearance and range, varying most often in color, and in the west of North America, red-tails are particularly often strongly polymorphic, with individuals ranging from almost white to nearly all black.

Happy Birding!

~Friday’s Feathered Friends

August 2021

~Bushtits

On occasion a small flock of these tiny birds grace my yard. They flit around seemingly never resting, always active. This past week about ten or so flew in searching through the pine trees for aphids and other insects. They also enjoy suet cakes. It was fun seeing one resting. Perhaps it is a juvenile.

~An unusual fact:

The Bushtit is the only member of its family in the Americas; seven other species are found in Eurasia. All have similar complex hanging nests. A breeding Bushtit pair often has helpers at the nest that aid in raising the nestlings. This already rare behavior is made more unusual by the fact that the helpers are typically adult males.