Saturday, July 12, 2008

Yellowstone Birding

We did see a few other birds in Yellowstone that we do not see back in Minnesota.
We do have northern flickers in Minnesota however the ones that we usually see are the yellow-shafted variety compared to this one which is of the red-shafted variety. The differences between the two types are the yellow-shafted has a yellow tint on the underside of the wings and a red crescent on the nape of the neck. Yellow-shafted are prevalent in the eastern portions of North America. The red-shafted version, which is prevalent in the west, has a reddish tinge to the underside of the wings and a red malar, as you can see above.
The sage thrasher is related to the brown thrashers that we see in Minnesota in the summer time, except they are found most commonly in sagebrush, as their name would suggest. There have been a few sage thrashers spotted in Minnesota over the years but these have been very rare, probably because there is not very much sage in Minnesota.
We found this female blue grouse as we were driving back from the Lamar Valley on Tuesday evening. She was very territorial. When we drove up she was in the road chasing away cars. I was worried that someone might hit her so I got out to try and coax her off of the road. Then she began to follow me around. She followed me for a while which attracted several other people to stop. Finally she quit following me and we got her off of the road. We did not see her again for the rest of the trip. Hopefully she learned that it is not wise to chase cars.


troutbirder said...

As I've been following your Yellowstone adventures I'm beginning to think I need to go out there in the spring rather than summer or fall as I usually do.

Shellmo said...

I love all these wonderful creatures you are sharing w/ us from yellowstone. Do you think the grouse developed a crush on you? Ha,ha!

Ecobirder said...

I would definitely recommend a trip to Yellowstone in the sprint TB. Our first couple of trips to Yellowstone were in late September. The fall is great if you want to see elk in the rut and a lot of moose but we found out that you see a lot more in the spring. A bonus is that you get a lot more daylight to explore in.

Maybe Shellmo. Last year we saw a different bird following a photographer around over by Tower so it seems to be a common thing.