Tag Archives: Birds

~Snow and record-breaking temperatures…

October 14, 2018, Loveland, Colorado

Received about three inches of snow overnight.  Before daylight, woke up to the sound of a snow ploy, on our hill. Tonight will be 15F, a record low for this time of year. Spend the day inside; cooked some dried Black-eyed Peas and drank lots of hot liquids. Brrrrr!

Starting tomorrow our temperatures will be more moderate.

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I took this photo looking south, in the backyard.

The birds have been flying in and out of this evergreen tree all day trying to stay warm.

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Backyard
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Young White-crowned Sparrow
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Adult, White-crowned Sparrow
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Spotted Towhee

The Juncos have been a challenge to capture, so no photos. Please excuse the poor quality of these bird photos, because I took them out the window.

 

~First Junco Sighting

October 11, 2018, Loveland, CO

blowing wind and snow

forcing birds down the mountain

signs of change

 

First Junco sighting today; I saw just one. Birds are moving to lower elevations. White-crowned Sparrows have been enjoying the feeders for a week now. Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos to share.

This week we enjoyed the first snow fall of the autumn season. Forecast for Sunday in Loveland – snow and 11 degrees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

~Birds in the yard…

~Loveland, CO, September, 2018

A few bird photos from my yard.

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A male House Finch looking a little scruffy.

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Seeing some migrating Robins, they sure are enjoying the water.

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A young Robin (note the yellow bill).

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A black and white of a Blue Jay drinking water.
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Photo taken through the window.

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A very young Red-Shafted (Western) Flicker. Photo taken through the glass.

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Black and White of a Downy Woodpecker.

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White-Breasted Nuthatch (not a good photo, testing a different lens).

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Common Grackle(?) (lots of them passing through).

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Only saw two Hummers today. Looks like a female Rufous.

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“I think I need to scratch.”

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Black and White of Western Scrub Jay.

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Sitting pretty!

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What a stern look she has going.

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Happy Birding!

 

~Water

~Grand Canyon, October, 2017

Water – I guess it seems like a strange subject to post about the Grand Canyon, but it is one I am still reflecting on.

After arriving and setting up camp, in The Trailer Village RV Park at the Grand Canyon, Howard and I noticed the birds, elk and deer hunting for water.

Not knowing anything about water resources within this national park, other than the fact the Colorado River flows through the canyon, after awhile I was complaining to Howard, “Why can’t the park service at least have a small pond for the birds to drink out of?”. Yeah, I beautiful pond with a water fall. Perfect!

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During our 4 night visit, I watched several species of birds trying to get a drip of water from the water faucets at the RV sites. Their size didn’t matter, from the smallest — Pygmy, White-breasted and Red-breasted Nuthatches, to the largest — Jays and Ravens, with every size in between. They expended a tremendous amount of energy for a few drops of water.

Red-breasted and White-breasted Nuthatches
Nuthatches

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Notice a drip at the faucet and a drip at the end of the bill.

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Red-brested Nuthatch

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One day Howard and I were sitting in the coach and noticed a small crowd gathering near us. “What are all these people looking at”, I asked Howard. I went outside and saw an Elk at an RV that had just pulled in. I man and his wife were in the process of setting up camp; connecting their electric and water.

Water was dripping from a compartment on the RV. They were quite upset with this young Elk when it began drinking from the open hatch. I heard the wife say, “How are we going to get rid of him?”. It was funny and sad at the same time.

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A very thirsty Elk.

This Elk wouldn’t leave the RV. The site between us and this RV was empty, so I ran over there and turned on the water faucet. The Elk heard the water running and eventually went to drink from it.

It must have liked the water from the RV better, because after awhile it went back to the RV. By this time the situation wasn’t amusing anymore to the owners of the RV, because the man retrieved a broom and tried to chase it away. The Elk was very persistent, but non-aggressive.

One evening after dark we came back to the RV Village from walking along the rim and watched a small herd of deer doing the something.

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One day as we were walking along the rim of the canyon we noticed this sign. I guess I’am not the only one feeling sympathy for these animals.

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“Please DO NOT turn on the water faucet for the Elk!”

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Another day we came upon these Elk drinking water from this “ditch”. I don’t know if this is what they call a water “seepage” or not.

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Grand Canyon Stream Train in the background.

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Where do wildlife get water?

Here is a web-site I found, one of hundreds probably, on water sources in the Grand Canyon.

Spring-Types

Seeps and springs – the true local water of Grand Canyon – offer significant resources to visitors and wildlife alike. The water from Roaring Springs, for example, provides the park with its entire domestic water supply. And at even the smallest seeps, abundant plant and animal life grows and flourishes. In fact, the ecosystems of seeps and springs represent some of the most complicated, diverse, productive, provocative, and threatened ecosystems on earth.

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The Colorado River is one of the principal rivers of the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico (the other being the Rio Grande). The 1,450-mile-long (2,330 km) river drains an expansive, arid watershed that encompasses parts of seven U.S. and two Mexican states. Starting in the central Rocky Mountains in the U.S., the river flows generally southwest across the Colorado Plateau and through the Grand Canyon before reaching Lake Mead on the ArizonaNevada border, where it turns south toward the international border. After entering Mexico, the Colorado approaches the mostly dry Colorado River Delta at the tip of the Gulf of California between Baja California and Sonora.

Known for its dramatic canyons, whitewater rapids, and eleven U.S. National Parks, the Colorado River system is a vital source of water for 40 million people in southwestern North America.[6] The river and its tributaries are controlled by an extensive system of dams, reservoirs, and aqueducts, which in most years divert its entire flow for agricultural irrigation and domestic water supply.[7][8] Its large flow and steep gradient are used for generating hydroelectric power, and its major dams regulate peaking power demands in much of the Intermountain West. Intensive water consumption has dried up the lower 100 miles (160 km) of the river, which has rarely reached the sea since the 1960s.[7][9][10]    (taken from wikipedia

 

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Gray-headed Junco, sitting on top of a water faucet.

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Water in the Grand Canyon, not easily found, not easily explained.

 

~Its Coming!

~Loveland, Colorado, October, 4, 2017

Yesterday, a small flock of White-crowned Sparrows landed in the yard to partake of the “buffet” I have setup. Also, a Mountain Chickadee was spotted at the Sunflower Station. A flock of Eurasian doves arrived Monday and ate everything in sight, it was a feeding frenzy. They decided to leave, with just a few long-term residents staying behind. (Flocking up to head south.)

This morning other visitors arrived, Juncos! They are leaving higher elevations, because of the weather.

Two Hummingbirds are still hanging out at their Hanging Station. I tell them everyday to head south. It has been getting down into the 30’s here, so they need to go! This morning, one was sitting in a big Blue Spruce preening! Just go!

A hawk flew by a window. I think he wanted to partake in a buffet of his choice (a live one). He was too fast and didn’t stay for identification.

Other birds in the yard this week: Scrub Jays, Blue Jays, Steller’s Jay, Mountain Chickadees, Black-capped chickadees, Mourning Doves, Downy Woodpeckers, Red-shafted Flickers, White-breasted Nuthatches, House Finches, House Sparrows, Spotted Towhees, Robins (flocking up), and Western Tanager.

We don’t usually see the Mountain Chickadees and the Stellar’s Jay, which means they are coming down to lower elevations. We are at 5,000 feet.

Howard and I know what these sightings indicate.

oOo – Winter is Coming!

~Happy Birding!

Remember to assist them during the winter, and with their migration south!