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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

April snowfall forces birds to roadside

      While we are enjoying spring weather (almost), my son Bryan, who is currently living in Longmont, Colorado, experienced 13 inches of snow overnight. So he decided to do a little birding, like any rational person would do. He drove out to the rural fields not far from is house. Since there was nowhere for field birds to feed, because the fields were buried under snow, the birds chose to feed on the roadsides of the less traveled roads. Bryan was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. He managed to find a large flock of Horned Larks and commingled with the larks were three species of longspurs, Chestnut-collared, Lapland and McCown's. He managed a few good photos.

Chestnut-collared Longspur

Chestnut-collared and McCown's Longspur
     After scrutinizing the flock, Bryan noticed that one of the longspurs was sick or injured, but was still able to fly. It was struggling to keep up with the flock and was obviously hanging out on the edge of the flock. Then an American Kestrel came flying in and chased the flock. It dove into the flock of Horned Larks and longspurs. Unfortunately for the longspur, the Kestrel took advantage of its weakness and chased it across a field and snatched it mid-flight. 
American Kestral with Longspur

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