Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Brown-Headed Nuthatch

This image of a Brown-Headed Nuthatch (Sitta pusilla) was captured at a feeder in May of 2006 near Russellville, Arkansas. The group of 4 of them included my first sighting of this bird and they were much smaller than I had anticipated

The National Geographic Complete Birds of North America indicate that the year round range map of this bird just reaches this area from the south.

As far as identification the sexes are identical, it is a small bird and maybe 4 inches in wingspan. It is known for using tools for foraging and commonly visits birdfeeders and is fairly common.

The Brown-Headed Nuthatch has a brown crown and given the right angle of view has a white stripe on its nape.

It is a tiny bird and easily distinguished from the other nuthatches and sparrow.

According to the National Geographic the population declining throughout its range.

It is a charming and beautiful bird to add to your life list and observe at the feeder.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Glendive, Montana

This was an area I had no idea about before I got there but then again everywhere has something.

Makoshika State Park in eastern Montana was one of those serendipitous places that one doesn't know about until one gets there.

It reminded me somewhat of my early childhood growing up in Rangely, CO with the look of the primitive terrain and fossils around for the gathering, with the exception of the fossils.

It also reminded me of the badlands in the dakotas. Makoshika meaning badlands in the Lakota language is certainly appropriate. In our comfortable world of vacationing today it seems to be more beautiful than bad as we do not have to base our survival on the land.

It is a state park and when my visit occurred it was not crowded at all. One had their choice of just about any picnic spot or campground just for the taking.

If you do not know about this park and love the look and feel of a primitive park, this is the place. There are several shops in town that offer rock and fossil specimens - and an excellent museum just north of the town.

The Grand Canyon? The Badlands?

No - it is Makoshika State Park in Montana.