Taken on Thursday morning, this
week's photo features one of our area's year round
feathered residents, the Hairy Woodpecker.
The Hairy Woodpecker (Dendrocopos
villosus) is a medium sized woodpecker fairly
common throughout the United States. Recognized by
the vertical white stripe on its back and long
bill, the Hairy Woodpecker is sometimes confused
with the Downy Woodpecker which is smaller and has
a shorter bill.
The Hairy and Downy woodpeckers
occur together throughout most of their ranges.
The Downy Woodpecker uses smaller branches while
the Hairy Woodpecker tends to spend more time on
the trunk. It might be thought that the larger
woodpecker excludes the smaller one from more
productive foraging spots, but it appears that
just the reverse is true. In the Bahamas, where
the Downy Woodpecker does not occur, the Hairy
Woodpecker uses the branches more frequently.
The Hairy Woodpecker shows a
great deal of morphological variation across its
broad range, with more than 17 recognized
subspecies. Northern birds tend to be larger than
those farther south. Western birds are dark
underneath and have few spots on the wings, while
eastern birds are white underneath and have
extensive spotting. Hairies in the Rocky Mountains
are white below, but have few spots on their
wings. Populations on islands often are
distinctive. Sexes are similar, but the female
does not have a red patch on the back of its head.
Their call is a loud peek, and also a loud
Listen to this article
Larimer County Sheriff's
April 28th - Two Juveniles Missing From Loveland..
Two juvenile boys were reported
missing from Prairie View, a Reflections for Youth
group home at 6:45 P.M. on Thursday evening. The
two juveniles left the home located at 8233 East
County Road 18 in Loveland and headed east to Weld
County Road 13 then south. The two boys left on
Jeremy Shawn Keith, age 12, is
described as 5’ 7”, 160 lbs., brown eyes, and
short brown hair. He was last seen wearing a white
sleeveless shirt, blue jeans, and a dark gray long
sleeve shirt tied around his waist.
Ryan Rouston, age 17, is
described as 5’ 11”, 260 lbs., brown eyes, and
short brown buzz-cut hair. He was last seen
wearing a red short sleeve shirt with blue
horizontal stripes, blue jeans, and brown tennis
shoes. Ryan has a scar on his left eyebrow from a
piercing, a pierced left ear with a gold hoop, and
wears a plain silver band on both ring fingers.
Ryan left with a light gray and black
No photos are available at this
If anyone has information on the
location of these two juveniles, please contact
your local law enforcement agency or the Larimer
County Sheriff’s Office at 970-416-1985.
A movement is
underway by consumers Nationwide to fight back
against high fuel prices with a boycott against
Exxon/Mobile, refusing to buy gas from them until
their prices at the pump drop below $1.50/gal.
unofficially started by a Texas
judge, is picking
up steam as consumers understand the theory behind
this action. This theory is very simple. If
consumers across America completely stop buying
fuel from Exxon/Mobile, the oil giant will see
losses almost equal to their outrageous profits in
a relatively short period of time, eventually
forcing Exxon/Mobile into bankruptcy. Even when
the Exxon/Mobile prices fall below the others,
hold your ground and refuse to buy their products.
This boycott of Exxon/Mobile would continue until
the price at the pump drops to the $1.50/gal mark.
They would be forced to drop their prices to this
level or go out of business in America.
Each of the
other major oil companies would then in turn
be targeted by the boycott forcing prices down to
an average of $1.50/gal. This theory would
absolutely work. We as consumers do hold the
ultimate trump card over the oil companies.
Through selective purchasing American consumers
can dictate what prices they will pay simply by
choosing who they give their money to.
would also force oil companies to spend some of
their precious profits on more cost effective
means of refining and delivering fuel to American
consumers, something they have avoided doing for
far too many years.
consumers are fighting back include only
purchasing $10 of fuel at a time, buying only fuel
and no other items at gas stations and changing
long distance vacation plans to local ones.
Note: We at SMN believe in and fully
support this pro-active approach by American
consumers and have requested that all of our staff
refrain from purchasing any fuel or other products
at Exxon/Mobile until further notice. We The
People absolutely have the power to bring fuel
prices and oil company profits into balance. So
why not exercise it? We encourage all of our
readers to follow suit and refuse to buy any more
fuel from Exxon/Mobile until prices and profits
both drop to a more realistic level.
Listen to this article
Larimer County Sheriff's
April 25th - Two Found Dead In Apparent
Sheriff’s Office Investigators responded on
Monday to a report of what appears to be, at this
time, a murder/suicide on McKenna Court in the
Glacier View area.
was reported by a visitor to that address early
Monday morning. The exact location and the names
of the decedents are being withheld pending
notification of the family.
believe the decedents to be husband and wife,
approximately 50 to 55 years of age. Both
appear to have died from gunshot wounds.
However, the Larimer County Coroner’s Office
will determine the exact identity of the decedents
and the manner and cause of their death.
Listen to this article
April 24th - Comet On Course For May Appearance...
Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3
is beginning to brighten as it approaches the Sun
and is expected to be visible to the naked eye by
3 (S-W 3) is a comet in its dying stages and
has broken apart into several pieces or fragments.
Astronomers are currently tracking 19 of these
fragments will further breakup expected. The above
photo, taken early Sunday morning on Storm
Mountain, captured two of these fragments.
S-W 3 is currently located in
the constellation of Corona Borealis and is
positioned high in the eastern sky just around
midnight. Sky watchers can already view these
dying comet fragments in binoculars and backyard
Map). S-W 3 is expected to reach a brightness
of magnitude 3, or about that of an average star
by mid May of this year.
More information on Comet
73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann3 can be found in a NASA
article via the link provided below. For the
latest photos of S-W 3 and other astronomical
events be sure to visit www.spaceweather.com.
This week's photo features a
pair of Common Mergansers, one of the several
species of waterfowl in our area, swimming in the
Big Thompson River on Thursday morning.
The Common Merganser (Mergus
merganser) is a large diving duck-like bird
measuring 22 -27 inches with a wingspan over 30
inches. The male has flashing white sides, green
head, white breast, and long, thin red bill. The
female has a gray body and sides; reddish-brown
crested head sharply set off from white throat.
Although preferring to feed on
lakes, Common Mergansers are often driven to
rivers by cold weather; where they are sometimes found in
flocks of 10 to 20 birds, all facing upstream and
diving in pursuit of fish. The narrow bill, with a
hooked upper mandible and fine, saw-like teeth
along the edges, is specialized to catch slippery
fish. Pairs are formed in late winter, and until
then one is likely to find flocks composed
entirely of males or of females.
The Common Merganser usually
nests in tree cavities, either those made by large
woodpeckers or from where a limb broke off. It
will also use a nest box. Infrequently a Common
Merganser might make its nest in a rock crevice, a
hole in the ground, a hollow log, in an old
building, or in a chimney.
Young Common Mergansers leave
their nest hole within a day or so of hatching.
The mother protects the chicks, but she does not
feed them. They dive to catch all of their own
food. They eat mostly aquatic insects at first,
but switch over to fish when they are about 12