Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Colorado Birding

Eric writes: I spent a couple weeks in SE Colorado surveying breeding birds earlier this June.  After finishing up, I headed for the mountains and all the specialty species that come with the elevation. 

Before heading into the mountains, I spent a night listening to Black Rails in the John Martin marshes and an afternoon watching Mountain Plovers at a prairie dog town.  Colorado has some amazing diversity in birds!

Just a couple hours from the rails and plovers are Three-toed Woodpeckers and Pine Grosbeaks.  My main target was Gunnison Sage-Grouse, which is a bird I had never had a chance to look for before this summer.  Within about 20 minutes of searching, 3 chicks with 2 adults showed well.  I finished up my birding by heading above treeline; within a few minutes I had great looks at a White-tailed Ptarmigan and not such good looks at a couple Brown-capped Rosy-Finches.

Treasure Falls - A Black Swift nesting location.
Do you see the White-tailed Ptarmigan?