Content & Photos © Bill Schmoker unless noted otherwise. Thanks for visiting- drop me a comment!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Black-winged Redbird

I headed over to Barr Lake State Park today, just north of Denver International Airport. I was meeting my parents Jim & Karen and my niece Abby, with my little guy Garrett in tow. He idolizes Abby and was pretty psyched to see Grandpa and Grandma, too. I was anticipating a pretty mellow outing, birding a little but mostly wrangling the kid and just enjoying a nice day in the sun. We were about 5 minutes from the rendezvous when my phone rang- my dad was calling. I figured he was just calling to say he was there, which was half right, but he also mentioned that they were looking at a Vermilion Flycatcher out their windshield at the Nature Center parking lot!! Bonus!!! Abby had seen the red dart fly into a tree right in front of their parking spot- serendipity, baby! Here's the spotter and spottee, respectively:

The bird was quite cooperative, offering great looks as it dived on small moths on the ground from mullein and cottonwood perches. I hope it fully topped off the tummy- a foot or more snow is forecast for tomorrow. It is only the second VEFL I've seen in the state (indeed, it is a review species here), and my reel of pics from the day has better shots than any I've gotten before in TX & AZ. As a birding companion from Australia once commented, What A Crippler! My retinas are blistered by that unbelievable red, a most welcome focal point on a stage of browns and grays.

6 comments:

John Carlson said...

Very nice Bill. The contrast with the cold gray and THAT red is nice. Montana's only record to date was eaten by a Northern Shrike - probably one of the few times the species have ever interacted!

wellregardedbirds said...

Great shots of one of the best birds ever built. One of my favorites.

Beverly said...

All I can say is WOW!

What a treat, thanks for sharing. I especially like that spikey-red head, shown in the middle photo of the bird. Sheeshhhhh, that IS some red, huh? It must be a real delight to see one in person...

Great photos, too (as usual).

dAwN said...

Wow..how cool ..you saw a Vermillion in Colorado..
who would a thunk..

Anonymous said...

No wonder you never want to go on hut trips anymore ; Haven't had a gander at your site in a while - looking good...
Keyek

nina at Nature Remains. said...

Wow, again.
Such a welcome change from the gray.