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Wildlife

I can fly!

A Double-Crested Cormorant launches from its roost.

A cormorant launches from a tree in northeastern Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A cormorant launches from a tree in northeastern Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Baby turkey in the thick of things

Who knew baby turkey’s were so cute? There was a hen with eight little ones that made visits a couple of times to where I was camping on Colorado’s northeastern plains. The little ones really were cute and much to my surprise, could even fly for a little ways. I didn’t know they could do that.

In the thick of things. (© Tony’s Takes)

In the thick of things. (© Tony’s Takes)

Killdeer in flight

Kill what?  A killdeer that is! While walking along the South Platte River earlier this week I came across a few of these.  While I never saw any little ones, I suspect I must have come close to them given how agitated the pair seemed to be with my presence.

The killdeer is a common shorebird that lives year round in all but the coldest parts of the contiguous United States.  It is very vocal and actually derives its name from the high-pitched sound it makes.  It is also known to put on a ‘broken wing act’ to distract predators from its nest and lead them away.

You can read more about the killdeer and hear samples of its distinctive (annoying!) call here: http://bit.ly/Uxm4nw

Killdeer in flight. (© Tony’s Takes)

Killdeer in flight. (© Tony’s Takes)

Nest building double crested cormorant

I’m not sure why but I find these relatives of boobies pretty darned cool.  Their dark feathers, orange beaks and amazing turquoise eyes are just pretty cool. There is a massive rookery of them at Denver City Park and they are a lot of fun to watch.

A nest building double crested cormorant today in Denver City Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

A nest building double crested cormorant today in Denver City Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

American Kestrel holds on in strong winds

North America’s smallest falcon – the American Kestrel. Haven’t had much time to take pictures the last couple of weeks so today I forced myself to make time. Took a walk along the South Platte River in Adams County, Colorado and managed to see this little guy hanging on in some stiff wind. Gray skies made for a poor background but I was pleased to get some pics as I have not had much luck getting pictures of them before.

North America's smallest falcon - the American Kestrel. (© Tony’s Takes)

North America’s smallest falcon – the American Kestrel. (© Tony’s Takes)

Breakfast is served: Osprey enjoys a meal of fish

My plan was to find some bald eagles in northern Colorado where I had luck last weekend.  Today they were more elusive and nowhere to be found so I found a few other subjects including a hungry osprey.

The goslings, great blue heron and red-winged blackbird are quite common in Colorado this time of year.  The heron, as usual, proved to be the most difficult to get close to and as usual, I ended up with only a parting shot.

The osprey is the male of a pair that nests at the Boulder County Fairgrounds.  She was sitting on her eggs while he had the opportunity to roam around.  He flew off soon after I arrived but returned with his breakfast – a fish.  It was fun watching him eat but I do wish he had cooperated for some good flight shots.

An osprey enjoys his breakfast on a light pole.  (© Tony’s Takes)

An osprey enjoys his breakfast on a light pole. (© Tony’s Takes)

Soft and fluffy

Up in Longmont (Colorado) today looking for bald eagles and while I had no luck with them, I did find a much smaller bird to take pictures of.  My daughter says it looks ‘soft and fluffy’ and I reckon indeed this gosling does.  😉

A gosling walks through some grass. (© Tony’s Takes)

A gosling walks through some grass. (© Tony’s Takes)

Maybe if I’m very quiet that guy with the camera won’t see me!

Great Horned Owlet this past Sunday in Thornton, Colorado.  This is one of the owlets I have been documenting in recent weeks and it won’t be long before it and its sibling are gone.  Just in the past week they have moved from the tree with the nest to a separate stand of trees about 25 yards away.

“Maybe if I’m very quiet that guy with the camera won’t see me!” (© Tony’s Takes)