Camera Critters - Birds of Boulder

american avocet1


My first stop exploring Boulder's trails last Friday was the Sawhill Ponds Wildlife Preserve. I watched several waterfowl swimming and feeding and this one with the cinnamon-colored head caught my eye. It is called an American Avocet. This reddish plumage on the head appears during the breeding season.

american avocet photo by Adrienne in Ohio


Next, as I was walking along the trail, I scared up another bird I'd never seen before. It flew up so fast, that I was surprised I actually caught in the frame. As best as I can tell, this is an American woodcock. Typically nocturnal, I must have startled it from its resting place. [Update 4-13-09--Thanks to Hap from MN for identifying this bird for me. It is the female red-shafted variety of Northern flicker. (We have the yellow-shafted form in Ohio.) Apparently they eat ants, which is probably why it was on the ground before I startled it.]

northern flicker photo by Adrienne in Ohio



red-winged blackbird on cattail photo by Adrienne in Ohio


There is a boardwalk winding through the edge of the wetlands and I found an observation area with a bench and proceded to watch the red-winged blackbirds. This male was singing his heart out for a female off-camera to my left. After about 5 minutes of this, she decided he was "the One" and they noisily paired off.

red-winged blackbird calling photo by Adrienne in OHio


My next destination was the trailhead on Table Mesa Drive at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Upon pulling into the parking area, I was immediately distracted by a pair of black-billed magpies who were gathering sticks. They flew off towards the other side of the lot, so I drove over that way. I lost sight of them briefly, but followed their calls to a pine tree in the midst of the parking rows. Sure enough, they were busily building a nest in the upper interior of the tree.

magpie photo by Adrienne in Ohio


Spring is such a great time for bird-watching. Jeff and I drove back up twice more to check on the progress of their nest.

magpie photo by Adrienne in Ohio


As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I ended up in Betasso Nature Preserve. I didn't see too many birds, but then again I wasn't there very long before I realized I shouldn't be up there alone. Jeff and I drove up together later and we saw a few of these dark-eyed juncos flitting about. Different than the juncos we have back home in the winter, this variety is called a "gray-headed junco."

dark-eyed junco


Be sure to head over to Camera Critters to view more creatures, be they feathered, furry or otherwise.

Comments

Karen said…
Wonderful photos.

I particualy like the ones of the red-winged blackbirds. So pretty.
i beati said…
all too wonderful The pipers always make me happy sandy
Bruce said…
Finally...some birdies...I LOVE you for posting pretty little birdies:)
Sue said…
All awesome photos! I love birds and bird watching too. We have all of those where I live (dark-eyed juncos though) and we do not have the magpies. Those are awesome, I'd love to see one of those.
Bryan said…
Great captures, particularly of the magpie. Its underbelly looks like one of the snow clumps in the trees.
Snap said…
Adrienne,

These photos are just gorgeous. Thanks for being the adventurer and sharing with us!
Great series of shots
Janie said…
Wow, those are fantastic bird photos, so crisp and clear. I especially like the one of the bird in flight.
Norm said…
excellent shot!! they are all wonderful..

mine here..http://www.gudcatch.com/2009/04/10/camera-critters/
Babooshka said…
Your birds are very different to the birds get. Beautiful captures.
Wonderful bird photos.

I'm so glad you decided not to stay up there alone. Better to be safe than sorry, as the saying goes!
ivars krafts said…
Great photos Adrienne! Thank you.
srp said…
These are wonderful shots of the birds.. especially the redwinged blackbird. The colors show up best when they are in flight and it is so hard to get both the red and the yellow components. Thanks for stopping by.
Shey said…
Lovely shots! Well done. Thanks for sharing these with us.

:)
Manz said…
It sounds like you really know how to take time out - away from the computer and all of todays modern technologies - and really enjoy the birdlife in your area!

I love your photos. The second last is my favorite - beautiful image, beautiful bird.
Anonymous said…
Beautiful photos! I especially like the red-winged blackbird and the snowbird.
Michele said…
Gosh, you have such beautiful photography skills and these bird pictures are amazing! Such great colors and clarity! I love the red on the blackbirds, so striking!
Tulip said…
lovely photos. thanks for sharing. happy easter!
Denise said…
I would have loved that walk. You have gotten some awesome shots of the most wonderful birdlife. Thank you for sharing them.
Anonymous said…
Greats shots! The one of the woodcock on the wing was a really good capture!
Willard said…
A wonderful series of photographs! The Redwings and The Magpie are my favorite, but all are very good.
Anonymous said…
Hi, came over from the Birdchick's blog
regarding that woodcock. The photo of
the bird in flight is a Red-shafted form
of the Northern Flicker. Excellent flight
shot. I enjoyed all your awesome photos,
some of the best I've ever seen, especially
the fabulous Magpies. Nice work, thanks!

Hap in New Hope (MN)
ROSIDAH said…
Stunning photos! I especially love the one with the fast flying bird. That's a very difficult shot. Have a great week :)
Monica said…
I really love the bird with the red on the wings - very beautiful!
theArthurClan said…
These are all amazing Adrienne, but photo #4 is my very favorite. Beautiful! I love the way you framed the shot with your camera...it could be a postcard!
Russ said…
Very nice! I really like the flicker in flight and the black bird - beautiful shots. I hope you've enjoyed Colorado!
Ali said…
Beautiful, I just love your pics! Wish I could go out west, what great photo ops!
Carletta said…
You captured some really gorgeous images! I love that reflection and the red-winged blackbird.

Thanks for your visit to my soaring vulture. :)
Tabib said…
Beautiful birds series!
Salty said…
Good work on your bird shots Adreinne! The magpie shot in particular is excellent!

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