Color in North Dakota

There appears to be a general lack of comments after the last entry. Non Birding Bill said the reasons was that all the birds were just brown, brown, brown, brown.

After all the brown birds in the previous entry, I wanted to post some of the colorful things we saw. This red-winged blackbird was in full on mating mode. A female was working her way through the cattails and he wanted her attention in the worst way.

Yellow-headed blackbirds were all over the place. I never get tired of these guys, they are just so cool. Their song isn't that musical, but I still enjoy that throaty screech.

Any farm that had a shelter belt of trees was just covered in birds like this yellow warbler. When trees are few and far between, a shelter belt is prime real estate.

Not all the color came in the form of birds. This sphinx moth was covered in a delicate blushy pink. Incidentally, this is the same type of moth that the eastern kingbird was trying to eat last week.

All the brown on many of the bird species serves an important purpose--they blend in very well with the surrounding vegetation. There's a nest here, can you see it?

Move the grasses and it there are two eggs. A mourning dove flushed from this spot as we were walking along. I've never seen one nest on the ground.

On Sunday, I did do some driving around before I hit the highway home. I was meandering down this gravel road following the map--passing some great birds. I kept following the map, came to an expected intersection and then noticed that the condition of the road seriously deteriorated...

According to the map, this goes on for at least another five miles. I decided to head south instead of continuing east.

Which I was so glad that I did! I came upon the uber colorful ruddy duck! I love these ducks and the boys were close to the road and displaying for a female lurking nearby. I think the male in the middle totally embodies this description by Arthur Cleveland Bent:

"He knows he is handsome as he glides smoothly along without a ripple, his saucy sprigtail held erect or even pointed forward till it nearly meets his upturned head; he seems to strut like a miniature turkey gobbler."

Bent continues, "His mate knows that he is handsome, too..."

"...he approaches her with his head stretched up to the full extent of his short neck and his eyes gleaming under two swollen protuberances above them like the eyes of a frog; with his chest puffed out like a pouter pigeon, he bows and nods, slapping his broad blue bill against his ruddy breast; its tip striking water and making a soft, clucking sound."

Hoo-wee. Is it me, or is it getting hot in here?

Anyway, as you can see, there were some very colorful birds in North Dakota.