Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Colorado Birds

I got eighteen life birds on my Colorado trip, which is more a sign of a dearth of western trips than any great birding endeavor. Still, life birds are to be celebrated with great joy.
Cinnamon Teal (Anas cyanoptera)
White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura)
Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis)
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)
American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana)
Wilson's Phalarope (Phalaropus tricolor)
Broad-tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus)
Red-naped Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus nuchalis)
Cordilleran Flycatcher (Empidonax occidentalisv)
Violet-green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina)
MacGillivray's Warbler (Oporornis tolmiei)
Green-tailed Towhee (Pipilo chlorurus)
Lark Bunting (Calamospiza melanocorys)
Chestnut-collared Longspur (Calcarius ornatus)
Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana)
Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus)
Bullock's Oriole (Icterus bullockii)
Brown-capped Rosy-Finch (Leucosticte australis)
Always, there are the birds that got away. Maybe next time. ;) (Oh, the Sage Grouse on their lek, the Mountain Plovers, the Long-billed Dowitchers, the McCown's Longspurs that could have been, and many others.)

Green-tailed Towhee at Fish Creek Falls in Steamboat Springs. He sounded like a strange Song Sparrow to me.

Wilson's Warbler at Rabbit Ears Pass. These warblers seemed to be the most common warbler at times, even competing against Yellow Warblers. They do pass through Indiana, but I don't get to see them too much. I knew their song, and they would drive me to distraction when I would hear them. This individual was very cooperative, but unfortunately, my camera was not feeling cooperative and was out of focus on almost every other photo. Maybe the warbler knew this, and felt no fear of me that day.

Yellow-headed Blackbird was almost a lifer, except one blew in to Summit Lake, Indiana one year. Their song was subsequently burned into my memory. They were everywhere at Arapaho NWR.

The Colorado State Bird, the Lark Bunting. I drove to Pawnee National Grasslands to see these guys. They were fairly common there, but they seemed a little camera/binocular shy for me.

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