On the Trail of Oregon

Ahhhh, my first day of the holiday season vacation!   Of course, this just means I swap career work items for honey do work items but it sure feels great to be able to sleep in a bit.  Knowing all the things I have to get done over this break, figured it would be prudent to get some December posts out of the way.  So, I bring you today’s featured feathered friend.
Oregon Junco - Nevada

I took this while out hiking the Red Rock Canyon in Nevada (outside of Las Vegas).  We’ve been there a couple of times now and based on the previous posts and some that are still in the hopper, I must say it has produced a surprising number of checks in the bird list – add in the marks gained from Henderson and Nevada has been very very good to me – they obviously have better wildlife than they do politicians.   For those not aware, this particular specimen comes from the Dark-Eyed Junco family.  Their long black hood is pretty distinctive in the birding arena.  The Dark-Eyed Juncos have been featured on the blog a number of times now (links here, here and here).  Because of they are relatively common (they show up in droves here every Winter).  I usually don’t get too excited about capturing them but as a rule, “never pass up a bird shot”.  Once again this principle has likely led to a new mark in the bird list.

Oregon Junco - Nevada

If you look at the specimens in the links above or live in the Midwest you are familiar with one variation of the Dark-Eyed Junco – the Slate Colored group.  They are aptly named in that they are pretty much dark gray colored from head and top feathering through to the tail. Typically they have a white underbelly with some variation in gender.  There is a White-Winged group, a Gray-Headed group and a Pink-Sided group to name a few, but none of those variations have the distinctive executioner hood.  It is this specific feature that led me to the determination that this is an Oregon group Dark-Eyed Junco.

Hit the jump to see a couple more pictures of the Junco (a different one to be specific) and learn a few facts about this little bird.

Continue reading On the Trail of Oregon

Reaching for a Kestrel

Hope your holidays season is going well for those who take part in the festivities.  Things are winding down at work, well, let’s put it in a more accurate manner – my workdays are coming to a close this year but work is definitely not winding down and 2015 is looking to be back on the SAP roller coaster once again.  As for now, I’m enjoying taking the last of my vacation days and thought I’d spend a bit of that working on the blog quota.  As mentioned previously, I have a number of posts in the queue in the Halloween decoration arena and thanks to an awesome recent gift from my brother looks like I’ll be adding additional chapters to that project – more to come!  I try to keep a variety around here, and therefore weaving in other topics among Posey posts.  In that vein I give you a bird that has a history of taunting me.

K

This bird of prey may be small in stature, but what it makes up for in size is more than compensated by its elusiveness.  For those not familiar with this ornately colored bird it is the American Kestrel.  Living out in the country I have the benefit putting eyes on these cool birds fairly often.  Typically they are spotted hanging out on a high overhead wire or on top of a tall sign.  Whenever I’m driving I’ll routinely scan those areas looking for a solitary bird staring intently at the ground.

Kestrel

Hit the jump to see and read more about the Kestrel.

Continue reading Reaching for a Kestrel