It appears that you are currently using Ad Blocking software. What are the consequences? Click here to learn more.
Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Bear Canyon

May 28th, 2012 · No Comments

Print This Post Print This Post

My home in Boulder, Colorado, at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, is just two miles from a tropical paradise. It’s a paradise for the jungle birds of Central America that prefer to spend the summer here.

This morning Dave Sutherland, a Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks naturalist, led a tour of Bear Canyon. Half of the 30 species of birds that we saw or heard had recently arrived here on their long migration.

“Why fly to Belize or Costa Rica when their birds with come to us?” Dave asks. Good question.

The first bird that I photographed was one that I had heard a lot about but had never seen. Cowbirds often feed on insects stirred up by cattle, so I guess that’s how they got their name, although I’ve never seen any cows in Bear Canyon. Cowbirds are infamous for laying their eggs in the nests of at least 220 other species, often at the expense of their young.

The cowbirds I saw today were a female at left and a male at right. Since they seem to be studiously looking away from each other, I anthropomorphized that they just had an argument.

A Pair of Brown-headed Cowbirds Look Away

A Pair of Brown-headed Cowbirds Look Away

Click on the picture above to enlarge

More colorful is the next bird I saw, a Black-headed Grosbeak. This bird comes to the American West in the summer, but the Northern Cardinal is in the same family.

A Black-headed Grosbeak Sits

A Black-headed Grosbeak Sits

Click on the picture above to enlarge

Even more colorful is the male Lazuli Bunting. I think of it as a Boulder bird because it is one of the most beautiful that we see here, but like the others that I photographed today, it winters in Central America.

A Male Lazuli Bunting Sings

A Male Lazuli Bunting Sings

Click on the picture above to enlarge

Another migrant from the south is this Ruby-throated Hummingbird. This little bird is only about 3 inches long, but it winters in Central America and summers in the Eastern U.S. and Canada. Its usual migration path takes it through Kansas and rarely this far west.

A Ruby-throated Hummingbird Shows its Throat and a Wing

A Ruby-throated Hummingbird Shows its Throat and a Wing

Click on the picture above to enlarge

I was photographing another little hummingbird when it chose to fly off. I didn’t mind one bit, because I like to capture images of birds in flight.

A Hummer Flies

A Hummer Flies

Click on the picture above to enlarge

This special birds that I saw this morning are migrants. But I also saw an animal of a native species, this mule deer. This one looks like a young male.

A White-taile Deer Grazes

A White-taile Deer Grazes

Click on the picture above to enlarge

I glad that many of the birds of Central America are smart enough to come here for the summer. But my trip to Belize last year was great, and I still plan to go to Costa Rica next year.

Share

Posted in: Photography

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment