08-13-14 Bird Field Note

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08-13-14 Bird Field Note

August 13, 2014

Eric Rasmussen's Bird Field Note describes a hummingbird and wasp showdown, fox pups, and a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

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Hummingbirds and observations from the field August 8, 2014, Eric Rasmussen

A wasp faces off with a juvenile Calliope Hummingbird. The wasp thwarted the young bird at every turn.

A diagnostic black crescent next to a white spot above the base of the marks Calliope Hummingbirds.

Rufous in the upper tail coverts (circled) distinguish this Rufous from the less common Broad-tailed Hummingbird.

An adult male Rufous Hummingbird’s rufous body contrasts with a white chest and iridescent throat gorget.

A juvenile Rufous Hummingbird preens between feedings bouts. The small patch of rufous on the throat suggests a male.

Hummingbirds seek shade and rest in the heat of the day.

Black-chinned Hummingbird observations increased due to recently fledged young. The curiosity of young birds showed when this one came within two feet of me.

Fox pups roughhouse in the floodplain.

A Great-horned Owl wakes from a nap as the fox pups play.

A young Bald Eagle surveys the scene from the floodplain bench.

On July 28th I spotted a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher near the entrance gate. Common in Texas, this bird is considered accidental in Montana. According to the MNHP, only 17 verified observations exist. This is the first in Missoula County.

This bird is likely immature. Adult males have much longer forked tails and salmon colored underbellies. The bird hung-out at MPG for two days.

Previous Field Note

08-05-14 Bat Field Note