Sunday, August 22, 2010

Blue Jay

This Blue Jay was a bit of a puzzle to me when I saw it. First of all, its body and tail appear to be fully matured. At the same time, its head appears to be that of a newly-hatched bird. Could it be that he just has a wet head for some reason? Is it some sort of genetic defect? I don't know.

Another puzzling thing is that it was imitating the call of the Mississippi Kite - a very good "PIT-tooooooooooo"! I've never heard anything like it before. It was very clear, albeit with a little "smaller" sound as if the volume was turned down a bit.

If you have any insight as to these mysteries, please post here or Email me (at the address on the photo) and let me know.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Mississippi Kite

"Our" little one has been exploring his new world today, taking note of everything that moves. His parents are pretty active today, presumably teaching their little one to hunt and survive.

Studying his surroundings - watching everything.

On the wing. Stretching his wings? Learning to hunt? Both?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Mississippi Kite

This young kite was hatched and raised in a neighbor's tree. I've been anxiously waiting for signs of the fruits of his parents' labor. This is it. I have been keeping close watch on their tree and the aerial activity in the neighborhood. Apparently his first trip out of his nest, this Immature Mississippi Kite perched in the top of the elm tree in our back yard much of the day today. His parents have been very active, tending to him quite well as he experiences this big world for the first time. Before you know it, they will be on their way to South America again.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Black-Necked Stilt

Here is another shot of the Black-Necked Stilt.

(Click on the label "Black-Necked Stilt" below for more images and information.)

Chihuahuan Raven

Chihuahuan Ravens have white neck feathers, but they are usually hidden from view. They are rarely seen unless the wind ruffles their feathers just right. This is the main thing that differentiates them from the larger Common Raven. Chihuahuan Ravens inhabit the flat, scrubby grasslands that are common in the panhandle - brushy land, dry grasslands, garbage dumps, and yucca. They were once thought to be a bother to cattle and wildlife, but this simply isn't true. Their feeding habits are similar to crows, in that they eat carrion, eggs, insects, grain, berries, and garbage.