Monday, May 3, 2010

Springtime arrivals

Springtime means the return of many migratory bird species. The Dusky Flycatcher is always one of the early flycatcher arrivals.

The Western Wood-pewee has a bit of a crest, well, a very small bit, that can help in identification. I'm always a bit uncertain about the flycatchers.

Maybe I should stick to those that stand out from the crowd, like this Osprey at a nest.

Or this Osprey in flight.

A Great Horned Owl stands watch over the territory.

I wish it had not flown, but I came around a corner in a canyon and there we were, somewhat face to face. I suppose I could have backed away quietly, but as I focused for a photo the owl decided he'd had enough of my company and silently departed. You can see how the owl can hold its head very still, even though the powerful wings are a blur of movement in this photo. That helps them to keep an eye on prey as they fly.

Warblers are beginning to arrive, like this Nashville Warbler.

This was the first Lewis's Woodpecker of 2010 for me. I love their colorful appearance with a glossy green back, pink chest, and red face.

Cyndi spotted an Oriole first, and I used this photo for a Mother's Day card to my Mom. Of course the orange bird, blue sky and blooming flowers are very pretty, but what catches my eye is the small, flying insect in the lower right. Birds will drink tree sap, and nibble the flowers and leaves, but what they really crave after a long migration is protein. It is the awakening of the insects that means return of the colorful birds.

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