Group Walk Report for August 17, 2013

Only two people joined me on the monthly bird walk yesterday: Shelia Hargis and Laurie Foss. Shelia and Laurie are long-time local birders who lead walks and teach classes for Travis Audubon almost every weekend, and it was a pleasure giving them what turned out to be a private tour of the preserve.

The highlight was finding one of the immature Great Horned Owls near the spring. I was lucky enough to spot it before we got close enough to scare it away. So we got great looks at it and I got this not-so-great photo.

Great Horned Owl

A common theme of the morning turned out to be molting tail feathers. It seemed like half the birds we saw had partial or uneven tails. This time of year young birds are molting into their first adult plumage and adult birds are molting into their winter plumage. Here's one of the Carolina Chickadees we saw yesterday with a full, normal looking tail:

Carolina Chickadee - 2

And here's a molting Chickadee we saw in the same tree:

Molting Carolina Chickadee - 2

See how different the tails look? The molting bird has feathers of different lengths, making its tail look fanned and sparse. We saw several House Finches and Carolina Wrens with incomplete, or almost complete missing, tails as well.

Here's our complete bird list for the morning:

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S14945142

And here are the Observations I posted.

Nalle Bunny Run Observations for August 17, 2013

Posted by mikaelb mikaelb, August 18, 2013 18:18

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Thank you very much Mikael for our private tour! It was a great morning of birding and very fun to FINALLY see Nalle Bunny Run. I also loved seeing the various birds in different stages of molt. Shelia

Posted by sheliahargis about 7 years ago (Flag)

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