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Articles related to Birds of the Western Slope


Birds of the Western Slope Oct. 4, 2017
Birds of the Western Slope Oct. 4, 2017

Since the Festival at Steamboat Springs, it seems that all I think about is travel. And so I think of the marvelous trip to Aransas to the Whooping Crane Festival.

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Birds of the Western Slope Sept. 13, 2017

The last column that I wrote was about George Archibald. Now, after the festival at Steamboat Springs, I need to write another column about George. He was born in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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Birds of the Western Slope Aug. 30, 2017
Birds of the Western Slope Aug. 30, 2017

George Archibald is the keynote speaker of this year's Yampa Valley Crane Festival, of course!

I'm at a loss to begin!

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Birds of the Western Slope Aug. 23, 2017
Birds of the Western Slope Aug. 23, 2017

It's that time again, and I can hardly wait! The Yampa Valley Crane Festival begins on Thursday, Aug. 31, and continues until Sept 3. There are scheduled events to fit most anyone's tastes and there are shuttles to take you there -- all of it in Steamboat Springs.

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Birds of the Western Slope Aug. 9, 2017

Well, the time has arrived. And hummingbird warfare has begun. The black-chinned was here but now he's gone and the rufous has come back ... again.

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Birds of the Western Slope July 12, 2017
Birds of the Western Slope July 12, 2017

What was that? Orange . . . sort of. No, I think it was yellow. The bird flies up into the cottonwood.

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Birds of the Western Slope April 12, 2017
Birds of the Western Slope April 12, 2017

I have seen prairie falcon on many occasions, but I've never seen one so bedraggled! Or so annoyed. Poor thing.

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Birds of the Western Slope April 5, 2017
Birds of the Western Slope April 5, 2017

I can hear them calling. I see them in the clouds above ­-- when they aren't there! And I know that I will continue to hear them.

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Birds of the Western Slope Mar. 22, 2017
Birds of the Western Slope Mar. 22, 2017

What a pretty little bird! And I've never met one! That would be a treat for me, but the range maps show that he lives out of our range (more's the pity).

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Birds of the Western Slope Mar. 8, 2017
Birds of the Western Slope Mar. 8, 2017

And here it is -- March already! And cranes! I can't get enough of them! And they are cooperating. As I gaze out of our dining room window, I know there are cranes at the reservoir. And I am happy!

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Birds of the Western Slope Mar. 1, 2017
Birds of the Western Slope Mar. 1, 2017

It is that time of year, and the Crane Hotline will be up and running on March 1. Our Greater Sandhills of the Rocky Mountain Population will soon pass through Hart's Basin Reservoir (also known as Fruitgrowers Reservoir).

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Birds of the Western Slope Feb. 22, 2017
Birds of the Western Slope Feb. 22, 2017

It was at the end of July or was it in early August . . . I don't quite remember, doesn't matter anyhow. The Vela's had kindly invited me down to their place to see the fledgling barn swallows. What a treat!

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Birds of the Western Slope Feb. 15, 2017
Birds of the Western Slope Feb. 15, 2017

Blue sky! It's hard to believe, but it is blue sky! I revel in the warmth of the sun coming through the car windows!

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Birds of the Western Slope Jan. 11, 2017
Birds of the Western Slope Jan. 11, 2017

This is the first serious snow that we've had -- I wish it would go away! I never liked the cold or the snow, but it means water for us in the summer so I'll just have to put up with it. But I can't go anywhere. So I'll just think about my birds.

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Birds of the Western Slope Jan. 4, 2017
Birds of the Western Slope Jan. 4, 2017

No snow today -- clear sky without a single cloud, and I always wonder, "How long will this last!" But after yesterday's storm, this change is most welcome!

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Birds of the Western Slope Dec. 28, 2016
Birds of the Western Slope Dec. 28, 2016

The little birds are very busy in our ornamental pear tree. There was plenty of blossom last spring and our little tree was the prettiest we've ever seen it.

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Birds of the Western Slope Dec. 21, 2016
Birds of the Western Slope Dec. 21, 2016

Another gray day. But the wind is not blowing. As we pull into the driveway, there is bird motion to our left . . . and there go two doves.

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Birds of the Western Slope Nov. 30, 2016
Birds of the Western Slope Nov. 30, 2016

As we sit at the dining room table, I admire the new snow on Grand Mesa, even though I can't see it all because the clouds are very lazy on this November morning. In the pasture across the road, I count five horses . . . there were six last night. Wait . . . watch . . . oh, there it is!

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Birds of the Western Slope Nov. 23, 2016
Birds of the Western Slope Nov. 23, 2016

I am hoping to find the wild turkeys that I found a few years ago along this backroad. They were "new birds" for me then because they were named "wild turkeys."

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Birds of the Western Slope Nov. 16, 2016
Birds of the Western Slope Nov. 16, 2016

The weekend before Thanksgiving was always reserved for my Bosque trip. I made hotel reservations in Socorro and since the town isn't large, rooms were sometimes difficult to find.

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Birds of the Western Slope Nov. 9, 2016
Birds of the Western Slope Nov. 9, 2016

My cattails are in full "seed dispersal mode" and I delight in watching them. I drove up to the top of the hill east of Hart's Basin where I could see a bit of water at the far end of the reservoir. It's low, but I've seen it lower!

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Birds of the Western Slope Oct. 12, 2016
Birds of the Western Slope Oct. 12, 2016

Here comes one . . . a swift flash of blue is all I can see. I know that it was a scrub jay because Dave Gallinat called me to say that they were eating everything in sight.

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Birds of the Western Slope Sept. 21, 2016
Birds of the Western Slope Sept. 21, 2016

It seems like it was only yesterday that I was driving along this road on my way to Palisade to connect with Karen. We were headed for the Colorado Fish & Wildlife Commission hearing to speak in opposition to the proposed hunting of our greater sandhill cranes.

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Birds of the Western Slope August 24, 2016
Birds of the Western Slope August 24, 2016

I was writing about my shorebird trip to the state of Washington, but Linda Croft's Century Plant came into bloom ... spectacular! So now I'm resuming the Washington trip.

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Birds of the Western Slope August 10, 2016

And here we are, walking along a boardwalk with lots of other birders. And it's starting to rain again (I think this is part of the local scene).

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Birds of the Western Slope July 27, 2016
Birds of the Western Slope July 27, 2016

How strange it all seems! I know that it's morning, but everything looks hazy . . . fog?

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Birds of the Western Slope July 20, 2016
Birds of the Western Slope July 20, 2016

I know that this is not going to sit well with our leader, but I want to experience this rain forest - alone! We are running late (very late) and the group is going to walk up to the fen to see the Pitcher Plants.

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Birds of the Western Slope-Herons
Birds of the Western Slope-Herons

Great Blue Heron

There he goes again ... flying toward the Grand Mesa. I've often wondered, is he flying homeward? Is he out to raid someone's fish pond? Or has he eaten already and just headed for his roost?

This bird appears regularly and I always wonder.

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Birds of the Western Slope June 1, 2016

The phone just rang ... it was Jim Wallace, our most-reliable craniac. He said there are cranes at Hart's Basin. He said that there are 10.

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Birds of the Western Slope May 25, 2016
Birds of the Western Slope May 25, 2016

The Grand Mesa is vanishing ... the clouds are moving in from the west and I can barely see Crag Crest. Now it's gone, too. And the mesa is all gray -- again!

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Birds of the Western Slope May 18, 2016
Birds of the Western Slope May 18, 2016

I'm looking out of our front window ... And here's Lewis. I usually call this bird "Lewis" although know that it is properly, Lewis' Woodpecker.

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Birds of the Western Slope April 27, 2016

I pull off of N Road into the widened area where the Black Canyon Audubon sign depicts our shorebirds. They've already begun to arrive: pelican and ibis, avocets and godwits.

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Birds of the Western Slope April 13, 2016
Birds of the Western Slope April 13, 2016

Yes! Spring is here! Our pelicans are back!

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Birds of the Western Slope April 6, 2016
Birds of the Western Slope April 6, 2016

There's a bird shadow across our driveway ... fairly large, so a hawk or a raven. And now there's the bird, landing in the west cottonwood tree. It settles in and the yellowing leaves flutter down.

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Birds of the Western Slope March 23, 2016
Birds of the Western Slope March 23, 2016

What a difference a day makes! Yesterday there were cranes, cranes and more cranes. Today nothing. I can usually hear them calling from our back porch.

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Birds of the Western Slope March 16, 2016
Birds of the Western Slope March 16, 2016

And the time is NOW! As I admire Peter's photo, my mind races back to the spring of 2015, and then to all the springs before.

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Birds of the Western Slope February 17, 2016
Birds of the Western Slope February 17, 2016

During the first weeks of March these familiar birds begin arriving in our area. Keep your eyes and ears open and you might see or hear them.

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Birds of the Western Slope February 3, 2016
Birds of the Western Slope February 3, 2016

The second day of February was "Groundhog Day." I've wondered for years about the groundhog and I just found www.stormfax.com/ghog.htm so now I know a bit more! Since this common rodent hibernates for the winter, its appearance indicates spring (well, sometimes).

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Birds of the Western Slope January 27, 2016
Birds of the Western Slope January 27, 2016

Another day of snow. I keep thinking of Mesquite, Nevada!

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Birds of the Western Slope January 13, 2016
Birds of the Western Slope January 13, 2016

Allen says, "Quick ...look at the pasture elm ... big bird!" I snatch the binoculars from the dining room table -- Big Bird!

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Birds of the Western Slope December 23, 2015

But of course, it really isn't -- winter's only just begun. The Winter Solstice is the 21st of December which marks the shortest day of our year in the Northern Hemisphere, and we think of it as "winter."

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Birds of the Western Slope December 2, 2015
Birds of the Western Slope December 2, 2015

I've been watching the horses and sheep in the pasture across the road. It's a lovely day, doesn't look like November at all.

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Birds of the Western Slope November 11, 2015
Birds of the Western Slope November 11, 2015

Where are the Cranes?

I wish I knew! The senior biologist for our Rocky Mountain Flock of Greater Sandhill Cranes, Rod Drewien, shared with me that the number of cranes at the Monte Vista Wildlife Refuge was much lower than it has been in the past.

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