Observations

lcarrigan_55
 

A few observations from this weekend. Have seen that Bald Eagles take advantage of soaring with large groups of White Pelicans. Nearly every larger Pelican group I saw the last few days had at least one, & in another case 3, Bald Eagles soaring with the group over the Snake River. Wondering if they use the Pelicans to hide themselves in, to make a sudden dive toward a rising fish? Or, if it's just that the same thermals attracting Pelicans, also attract the Eagles? 

Another obs is of dandelions. I do try to keep dandelions under control in the lawn, but never kill out all. Have found that Lazuli Buntings, Pine Siskins & Am Goldfinches like the seeds in fluff. At one point today, had 3 male Lazulis all eating dandelion seeds at the same time. Striking colors!

And, lastly, learned a new sound. While the male Black-chinned Hummingbird was displaying to a female perched on the feeder, kept hearing distinct & rapid bell-like tones as it would buzz past the feeder, in addition to the usual trill of air through its feathers. Finally, found on Cornell University's bird site the exact description of what I was hearing. The males don't always make the sound and it's also caused by air rushing through the feathers during descent & straight flight. The male did this about 10 times, back & forth, over a distance of about 50 yds. His previous display flights to the female were only made up of trills. So, can obviously control the sound, just with its feathers & speed. Plainly...fascinating.

Brian Carrigan
Blackfoot
 

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