Saturday, June 16, 2007

Yellowstone Birding 3: Back to the birds

We did see a few birds during the snow storm on Tuesday. Besides for lesser scaup we also did see a couple of yellow-rumped warblers. I believe that this is a male of the Audubon's variety. There were a few of them scavenging the beach of Yellowstone Lake.

On Wednesday after we finished photographing the male black bear near tower I noticed a guy taking pictures of a blue grouse. The bird seemed to stand still and very close to the photographer as though it enjoyed having his picture taken. I stopped to get a couple of shots myself. As the other photographer moved the grouse seemed to follow him. This happened for a couple of minutes with the bird following behind the photographer.
It was pretty apparent that this bird was very habituated to human contact. I am guessing that he had been fed in the past and was looking for a hand out. He finally stopped following the poor guy and decided to try some more natural food.

While photographing the coyote den on Wednesday I spotted a female mountain bluebird flying around. I managed to snap a shot when she stopped to pose on a branch. We saw several male mountain bluebird during the trip but were not able to get close enough to get a descent shot this time around.
Floating island lake is named because of the small island which appears to be floating in the middle of the lake. Every spring that we have been there we have seen sandhill crane nesting on this small island. This year was no exception.
Since the nest is a little ways from the road I decided to break out the scope and digiscoped a couple of pictures instead of using my Canon.

We also spotted the male foraging the fields to the east of the lake.
Talk about foraging. Birds like crows, ravens, and american magpie, as shown below, were always around the gift shops, visitors centers, and picnic grounds waiting for food to drop. The little beggars reminded me of my cat, always begging for food.

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