20210721 b field notes

A male rufous hummingbird among ferns and fireweed.

Jennifer Dorsey reports seven cedar waxwings near Bert’s Bench outside the Visitor Center on July 11. And for the second time this summer she saw a rabbit hopping across a road; this second one was crossing Gregory Lane at about 6 on a weekday evening.

On the Game Creek trail, July 11, Judy Frumkin was surprised to find a gray catbird singing and chatting in the early morning. She is familiar with these wonderful birds back east, and delighted to learn that they breed here in these parts of the West.

Black capped chickadees fledged July 16 and left the nest hole in the side of his house, reports Bernie McHugh.

Birdsong in Deb Patla’s yard (Buffalo Valley) has become scant other than brief outbursts from the house wren, but shady forests and wetland areas this past week were still serenaded by Swainson’s thrush, Lincoln sparrow, MacGillivray’s and yellow warblers. A companion from the eastern U.S. noted how different the common yellowthroat song sounds here. Amphibian surveys observed that boreal chorus frogs had completed metamorphosis and were leaving their natal pond in northern Grand Teton park; a robin pair looked very interested in that. Many wetlands are dry this year or going that way fast unless beavers are at work.

Wes and Shirley Timmerman have been entertained this week by the interplay between a “king-of-the-feeder” male rufous hummingbird and numerous other hummingbirds of various age and sex, including broad-tailed, black-chinned and calliope.

Frances Clark reports a huge patch of dogbane with its pinkish-white flowers wafting its fragrance down Death Canyon, thereby attracting dozens and dozens of butterflies — over five species. A mother mule deer with two tiny fawns were walking along the pathway near the Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis Club, and 11 marmots were out grazing the greens early July 17.

From the Hoback Nation, Ron Gessler reports the rufous hummingbirds are back in droves, being their typical, ornery selves. Jen Hoffman had the pleasure while heading to town of watching an osprey dive into the water near the Evans Snake River Bridge. The “yard grouse” is still hanging around, taking advantage of the dog water bowl. Ron saw what was obviously a rufous/black-chinned hummingbird hybrid. No other explanation for it. And there have been a couple cedar waxwings hanging around — unusual.

Susan Marsh reports two prairie falcon families in vicinity of the Elk Refuge, the young yelling for food. More broad-tailed hummingbirds in the town neighborhood than earlier in the summer; getting set to leave already?

Doug Brown and Lorie Cahn enjoyed watching and hearing a sora rail at the Oxbow. Two adult sandhill cranes came down to the water’s edge with two colts. Compared to the four heron chicks nearby, the colts seemed small.

A very bossy but brilliantly colored male rufous hummingbird has been patrolling K.O. Strohbehn’s feeder this week. What a bully!

Kay Modi noticed a pair of northern flickers near Flat Creek this week in the area behind Smith’s Grocery and a routine visit by a pair of cedar waxwings in a tall blue spruce. Kay has been enjoying the early evening stormy winds to clear the annoying mosquitos along the creek.

In the north end of Teton Valley, Idaho, Susan Patla reports hummingbird activity at the feeders has been intense the past week; both male and female rufous hummingbirds, adult and immature broad-tailed, black-throated and calliope all competed for feeder access. Gray catbirds began to vocalize again early morning after a few weeks of silence, but mostly partial and subdued songs. The neighborhood American robin chorus has dropped dramatically. Swainson’s thrushes are the dominate songsters now. At the Teton River, late July 16 afternoon, a flock of 24 sandhill cranes foraged in a meadow near Cache Bridge.

Dennis and Marian Butcher have a light resurgence in backyard and feeder birds with black-capped chickadees, red crossbills, robins, black-headed grosbeaks, house wrens appearing a bit more. A stunning lack of gulls on the South Fork despite a heavy stonefly hatch. Dennis and Marian ask: Anyone else feel butterfly numbers are greater this summer?

Got sightings? Report them to fieldnotes@jhnewsandguide.com.

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