06-11-14 Bird Field Note

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06-11-14 Bird Field Note

June 11, 2014

Eric Rasmussen's Bird Field Note shows hummingbird courtship, a Long-billed curlew breeding update, and field observations.

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Hummingbird courtship, Long-billed Curlew update, observations from the field Bird

The white lores above the base of the bill help distinguish this female Calliope from females of other species.

An adult male Black-chinned Hummingbird pivots at the neck as his body catches up to his bill. He feeds quickly between courtship flight displays and territory surveillance.

A flight display of a Black-chinned Hummingbird involves a horizontal back-and-forth motion directly over the watchful eye of a female.

The male, blurred in the foreground, produces a loud buzzing sound and spreads his feathers wide for the entire display. The female watches closely for twenty seconds from the ground.

After three consecutive courtship displays, the male Black-chinned Hummingbird returns to his high post to watch over his territory.

The three pairs of Long-billed Curlews vary in their breeding stages.

The nest north of the Top House fledged. The only sighting occurred on May 28th when we spotted both parents with three young birds.

The pair close to the Rockpile abandoned their nest in mid-May, but show signs of a second nest attempt. The Sheep Camp female is missing in action. The determined male incubated alone for two weeks. His nestlings hatched this week.

I spotted a single McCown’s Longspur foraging amongst Horned Larks on lower Indian Ridge. This is a new species for the ranch.

The first adult male Sage Thrasher observed during the breeding season sings from bitterbrush and sagebrush.

We detected three other Sage Thrashers during migration, outside of breeding habitat. This male explored the rich sagebrush habitat that it typically breeds in.

A Cedar Waxwing peers through aspen leaves.

Coyote pups nap and lounge in Partridge Alley.

A marmot finds suitable refuge in the log piles above the high river banks near the north center pivot.

Previous Field Note

06-03-14 Bird Field Note