Sunday, January 18, 2009

Colorado Birding

I know it's been ages since I posted, but that doesn't mean I haven't been out birdwatching. I still have some pictures to post from a trip to the Chestnut Hill Reservoir in December, and I'm finally putting up the pictures from our trip to Colorado the first week in January.

I was anxious to see some new species, but in fact, some of my best sightings were birds that I could also see in right here in Massachusetts.

I was particularly excited about this Belted Kingfisher- a lifer!

Hungry fella? She has a fish (or something) in her mouth here:

You can tell it's a female in this picture (although very distant and out-of-focus) because of the rust-colored markings (red chest band) on her breast.

I read up on All About Birds and learned that Belted Kingfishers are one of the few species where the female is more brightly-colored than the male. They hunt by watching the water from their perch or hovering above, and then dive head-first into the water. They then fly to a perch and smash their prey then eat it (which is what can be seen in the middle picture).

Here are some other pictures from our walk around Twin Lakes with Steve's sister Lisa who lives there in Boulder.

American Robin

It seems all of the birds were in the middle of lunch! Here's a Hairy Woodpecker with a nut or bug in its mouth.
It can be difficult to tell the apart Downy Woodpeckers and Hairy Woodpeckers. I generally rely on size for these. It's tough because this picture was taken a few weeks ago so I can't remember the exact size, but I do think it was on the larger side.

Here's a Northern Mockingbird we saw during our hike at the
Flatirons. That was the only species I saw during the hike actually. I followed a couple of different mockingbirds hopping around on the rocks and low branches of the trees.

It was a great vacation, and it's also great to be home and catch up on stuff around the house and blogging of course!


Anonymous said...

Love the Kingfisher shots! Keep up the great work!

Patrick B. said...

Hey thee, great shots. I think you're mockingbird might be a Townsend's Solitaire.

Birdinggirl said...

@Tom- thanks for the props! And for introducing me to your blog- those are amazing pictures. I especially like the one of the downy woodpecker on the sumac.

@Patrick- thanks for the tip! I'll definitely look into it. They're very close, so I'll see if I can pull up some of the other shots I had of it and compare.

I also see on your blog that your friends were mentioned in a Patriot Ledger interview about the Ivory Gull- very cool!