Hey “Tiny”

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Getting face-to-face with a male Calliope Hummingbird who we  affectionately call  “Tiny”.

As in…… hey, Tiny is here, when we see them perched in the trees or at the hummingbird feeders.

Calliopes are smallest bird around yet unmatched in energy, spunk and attitude and this guy was no exception especially.  Especially on attitude.

Named after Calliope the muse of eloquence and epic poetry “Tiny” is poetry indeed.

Variations

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Seeing variations on a theme along the trails we hike. Similar shapes yet different colors on fully display in white, yellow and purple. Each color selected over time to keep the wildflowers flowing, bees buzzing and the forest just that much more beautiful.

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Nature in action.

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Along the edge of the pond

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Frogs and Toads along the edge of the pond. Us looking at them. Them looking at us.

On that day we walked along the edge and counted eight frogs looking up enjoying an summer day. This little guy was especially curious and we spent a bit of time staring into each others eyes.

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Next we came upon this Western Toad looking a bit cranky so just a quick hello and we moved along the edge until we came upon another toad.

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This guys was a bit less cranky but still with that full toad personality on display…”leave me alone I’m catching bugs can’t you see. ”

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And we weren’t the only ones staring at the wildlife that day as these two little frogs were having quite a stare down upon a small rock.

Happy Friday and perhaps you can spend a bit of time along the edge of a pond this weekend.

Upland Sandpiper

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It’s hard to believe but the  Upland Sandpiper will begin its journey south less than a month from now. Upland Sandpipers breed in the northern prairies yet spend most of the year (8 months or so) in Central and South America. Standing about a foot tall with that big eye and relatively short bill these birds forage on foot through short grass habitats looking for insects.

“Upland Sandpiper’s association with native prairie is so strong that scientists consider it to be an “indicator species,” along with Sprague’s Pipit and Baird’s Sparrow, that can indicate the quality a habitat. Thus, the absence of these three birds in a patch of prairie would indicate to biologists that there is likely a problem with the habitat.1

We were thrilled to be able to watch this bird foraging for several minutes before they moved into the tall grass a short distance away and disappeared from sight. Now you see them now you don’t.

Reference:
1. All About Birds: Upland Sandpiper.

Red-naped Sapsucker

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A Red-naped Sapsucker appeared out of the aspen forest to perch on the shrubs for just a moment before flying off into the forest.

“Red-naped Sapsucker nest holes make good homes for other species. Many species that nest in holes don’t have a specialized bill needed to carve out their own home, including Mountain Bluebirds, nuthatches, and chickadees. The small holes excavated by sapsuckers provide safe places for smaller hole-nesting birds to nest.1

Reference:

  1. All about birds: Red-naped Sapsucker.