Lee Metcalf NWR, Part 3

Today’s post is the final one from the Lee Metcalf NWR and includes some other friends I met there, during my stopover on the way to Alaska. One of the cool birds that resides there is the Yellow-headed Blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus). We normally only see these birds back home (Missouri) for short periods of time, during the migrations. This female spent a lot of time across the road from me, foraging in the tall grasses that edge the pool:


Yellow-headed Blackbird


Yellow-headed Blackbird


Yellow-headed Blackbird



In addition to the Yellow-headed Blackbird, I also saw a couple of Bald Eagles (soaring too high to photograph), a few Double-crested Cormorants flying in/out of the refuge, a Trumpeter Swan (at a long distance), and a few Ring-necked Pheasants running in/out of the tall grasses.

I also ran upon this interesting wildflower, growing along the side of the refuge road:


Montana Wildflower


So far, I have not identified this beauty. If you know what it is, I’d appreciate any information you can give me.

Note:  A couple of my readers have identified this as a Knapweed, an apparent invasive and non-native species … still pretty!

By the way, I failed to mention some interesting information about the osprey in yesterday’s osprey post. Did you know that juvenile ospreys have red eyes, while the adults have yellow? Here is another image, showing both the adult (left) and juvenile (right). Although not the best image, you can see this difference:


Adult and young Ospreys in nest


Tomorrow, we’ll move on towards Alaska!






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