Thursday, August 6, 2015

SD Raptors

Quite a nice assortment of raptors in SD right now.  Thanks to my dad for taking me around to find them!
Female American kestrel.  Very typical.  Pic
is of of the bird flying away. 

Wow - this little male did not move at all!

Holy moly - this was amazing!  Ferruginous
hawk - just chill. 

What a beast!

Red-tail flying - check out the molt pattern
in the tail.

Pretty bird! Landed so you can see part of that
odd molt.

Swainson's everywhere. 

Check out how long the wingtips are -
almost even with the tail.
Prairie falcon with lunch!

Inspirational Thoughts from a Kingbird

I have to admit that one of my pet peeves are the inspirational posters with a random eagle on it.  Advice on success and pursuing your dreams is fine; eagles don't care, though. 

On a recent trip to SD, my dad and I came across a Ferruginous hawk - quite a find!  The bird was pretty chill for a while - until a Western Kingbird decided that for no reason whatsoever, other than he was a kingbird, that he should make the hawk move.  Probably the first time ever that I was a bit put out with a kingbird.  Although the experience did make me give props to the feisty little guys.

I had some fun with the inspirational quotes - enjoy!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Eastern Kingbirds

 I can't count the number of hours I've spent with my dad, "chasing" down Eastern Kingbirds.  It was always from within the pickup, on the road, and minimum forty feet or usually much farther. 

I was lucky enough to time things to find a family just arriving, then setting up shop, and finally getting to watch the day they fledged (three little ones).  These photos were taken just three days post-fledging, and already they are about the equivalent of a block away from the nest tree.  Two of the little ones huddled close together.

 This lucky one was fed a couple of times. 

 The adult arrives again!

 Only the chick closest to the parent got fed.
 The adult arrived again - and on the same side. 

 So again - same chick was fed. 
And the other one was not happy about it.  
The adults were working very diligently, so none of the youngsters will starve, I am sure.  What a great opportunity!

Kingbird Can of WhoopA&%

I told friends just the other day that I thought I had finally de-coded Kingbirds.  They really do see the world very simply.  If you are NOT cool enough to be a Kingbird, you then fall into one of two categories; one is something they can eat (actually this group is fairly narrow), and the other is something to be used for their punching bag.  I am not sure if I was believed as I related this new hypothesis. 

Just today, however, I think I might be vindicated.  I stopped by the recently fledged Eastern Kingbird family, and watched while the three fledglings were fed.  One adult took off very suddenly after what I thought was a bug; turns out it was an osprey.  Yes, folks - an osprey.  Or - since it wasn't a bug, it was a possible punching bag.


Monday, July 6, 2015

Baby Red-eyed Vireo

 Super bummed that I did not find the nest before this red-eyed vireo fledged, but still great to see! 

Baby House Wrens

 Yes, I do love digital - can take as many frames as I like and then see what turned out.  House wrens fledged, and feels like you are surrounded!  They are pretty loud and boisterous.  The baby "gape" can be seen on this little one.

Tropical Kingbird

 Yes you read that right.  Tropical kingbird in the metro area.  I did go see it with friend Mark.  Can't add it to year list though - saw tons of them in Mexico!  He was catching insects and dragonflies while we were there.