Monthly Archives: June 2022

June 30, 2022

Early this morning in the Bear Creek Greenbelt I finally got a look at all four Cooper’s Hawk nestlings:

Cooper’s Hawk nestlings

An adult showed up to feed them:

Cooper’s Hawk and nestlings

I also spotted the Indigo Bunting this morning:

Indigo Bunting

On our walk back home, my better half and I stopped to look at a raccoon sprawled out in a tree:

Raccoon

June 29, 2022

This morning we got a look at three of the Cooper’s Hawk nestlings in the Bear Creek Greenbelt.  Here’s one stretching its wings:

Cooper’s Hawk nestlings

Two mule deer bucks showed up in the field behind our house.

Mule deer

Mule deer

A little later in the morning an exterminator showed up in the field behind out house (the property is owned by a developer keen to capitalize) and put poison in the prairie dog holes. This is the the third time I’ve watched this happen.  Last year, the second application wiped out the entire colony (at least a couple of dozen) save two adults.  This year there’s a brood of four young, plus two adults.

 

June 28, 2022

This morning I watched four House Wrens fledge from the nest box in our back yard.

When I first sat down to watch, I heard both adults making chatter noise for about ten minutes in trees several feet from the nest box.  The nestlings were silent.  Just as I was beginning to wonder whether the adult House Wrens had had enough of delivering food to the nest box, they began plying the nestlings with food.  Every few minutes an adult either delivered food or did light housekeeping at the nest.

House Wren with prey

House Wren with prey

House Wren with prey

A pause to remove a fecal sac:

House Wren with fecal sac

House Wren bearing away fecal sac

House Wren feeding nestling

House Wren feeding nestling

A quick dive inside to remove another fecal sac

House Wren with fecal sac

House Wren back with prey

House Wren feeding nestling

House Wren with prey

At one point during the feeding frenzy, three Blue Jays alighted on a tree and began yelling their heads off.  I looked around the yard and spotted a Cooper’s Hawk on the fence.  It took off.  The Blue Jays flew off.  And then the feeding frenzy stopped.

The adults would alight on top of the box, without food, stay a few seconds, and then fly off.

Adult House Wren without food on top of the nest box

“What happened to the gravy train?”

Nestling considering making the leap

Landing!

The first one fluttered down the shrub below the box and quickly disappeared inside it.  Two American Crows showed up across the yard.  I have noticed that crows have been hanging around my yard for the last week or so–they’re not usual visitors.  In a couple of minutes, they flew off toward a neighbor’s yard.

An adult landed on the nest box, again without food.

House Wren adult, with nestling contemplating the situation

Two nestlings considering the options

One decides to get out of Dodge

But it quickly reconsiders and clambers back inside the box

The braver one works up its nerve

Touchdown as the other one watches

A split second before fluttering down into the shrub

The third one swiftly follows

The fourth nestling flew straight out of the box into a pine tree a few feet away, and then flew-fluttered into the shrub.  It was so fast that I didn’t get a picture.

A short while later, an adult alighted on the pine tree with prey.  It delivered the caterpillar to the nestlings within the shrub.

House Wren with prey

All quiet at the nest box:

Nest box

 

June 26, 2022

This morning I went on a DFO field trip, led by Karen Drozda, to Genesee Park.  The weather forecast not looking favorable, half the participants bowed out.  That left six of us stalwarts, including Karen, to enjoy a cool, cloudy morning (though not rainy!) with lots of birds in a beautiful place with lots of ponderosa pines and Douglas firs.

One highlight was seeing dozens of Pine Siskins, many immature, feeding along a hillside and perching with feet of us.

Pine Siskin

Pine Siskin feeding on the buds of a mountain maple

Pine Siskin feeding on the buds of a mountain maple

Many birds were looking for (and finding) meals:

Chipping Sparrow

Green-tailed Towhee

Western Tanager

Lesser Goldfinch

Some birds were having food delivered to them:

Plumbeous Vireo just after feeding nestlings

Some birds were just sitting, looking pretty:

Western Bluebird

Here’s a young mule deer buck:

Mule deer

June 24, 2022

On an early morning walk in the Bear Creek Greenbelt with my better half and the dog, I heard an unfamiliar bird song.  Eventually, with the help of my better half, I tracked down the bird, a first for me in the greenbelt:

Blue Grosbeak

We also saw one of the adult Cooper’s Hawks:

Cooper’s Hawk

Back at home, the House Wrens are staying busy:

House Wren with prey

House Wren feeding a nestling

House Wren with prey

House Wren flying away with fecal sac

House Wren with prey

House Wren with prey

House Wren with prey

June 23, 2022

This morning on an early morning walk with my better half and the dog in the Bear Creek Greenbelt we saw a Cooper’s Hawk, presumably mama, feeding two nestlings at the nest.

Cooper’s Hawk with two nestlings

A little later I went to Bear Creek Lake Park to see if I could find the Dickcissels that have been reported there recently.  Affirmative!  I heard three and had good looks at two.

Dickcissel

Dickcissel

June 22, 2022

House Wrens are again nesting in a box in our back yard.  When I peeked in the other day, I saw at least three nestlings.  This morning I watched two adults go back and forth with prey for the young ones.

House Wren with prey

House Wren with prey

House Wren with prey

Singing break

House Wren with prey

House Wren with prey

June 20, 2022

This morning I joined a Denver Field Ornithologists field trip, led by David Suddjian, to Clear Creek County.  There, at the privately owned Singing Ranch, we saw a variety of birds:

American Dipper

Red-naped Sapsucker

Black-headed Grosbeak

Cordilleran Flycatcher

June 17, 2022

First photograph of this year’s Cooper’s Hawk family in the nest in the Bear Creek Greenbelt (between Estes and Kipling St.):

Cooper’s Hawk (two eyases, or chicks, are sitting in the shade of mama’s tail)

After work, my better half and I walked the dog in the greenbelt.  We looked in on the Cooper’s Hawks:

Cooper’s Hawk with chicks

Cooper’s Hawk with chick

A little later, my better half spotted a White-breasted Nuthatch:

White-breasted Nuthatch