06-03-14 Bird Field Note

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06-03-14 Bird Field Note

June 3, 2014

Debbie Leick's Field Note describes a roosting Great Horned Owl, a Vesper Sparrow ground nest, and a Yellow-headed Blackbird.

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Bird Field Note 6/1/14 Debbie Leick

Protective Black-billed Magpies mobbed a roosting Great Horned Owl near the stock tank in lower Tongue Creek.

A Great Horned Owl baby enjoys a prey item larger than itself, maybe a Common Raven.

Arrowleaf balsamroot’s oversized leaves provide shelter above a Mourning Dove’s nest.

A Vesper Sparrow flushed from a ground nest underneath sagebrush. The bird flew to a nearby perch and kept a watchful eye on me.

Agitated Red-tailed Hawks flew overhead and disclosed their nest in lower Baldy Draw.

A pair of Mountain Bluebirds perched near a new nest box north of Baldy Draw. Later, the female flew in for a closer look.

Forest Service biologist Dave Lockman and Kate set up mist nets for our annual field trip with Florence-Carlton High School Juniors. Yellow Warblers dominated the captures.

Dave recaptured this Song Sparrow, originally banded by the Avian Science Center in September of 2013, on the northern floodplain. Though an adult at the time, the banders could determine its sex. The development of a cloacal protuberance since then indicates a breeding male.

A transient Yellow-headed Blackbird foraged far from its preferred wetland habitat. White-tipped wing feathers identify it as an immature male.

An immature male Bullock’s Oriole sang from its bitterbrush perch near a draw with few deciduous trees. Younger males tend to occupy the less optimal habitats.

A bull snake sunbathed in the middle of the road. With gentle encouragement, it moved to a safer location.

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05-20-14 Field Note