May Birding at Hallam Lake-VIRTUAL
Mountain Bluebirds & Other Breeding Birds
Keeping in touch with your birding friends and local birding community is more important than ever. One way that ACES is supporting this connection is by providing brief Virtual Morning Birding mini lessons in lieu of our usual Tuesday outings.
Special thanks to Mark Fuller, Samantha Stovall, and Matt Thomas for photos and footage.
Mountain bluebirds are among the earliest-arriving migrants, and males may be seen occasionally during winter. The mountain bluebird is hardy and well-adapted to its high-elevation habitat: open meadows, burned areas, fields, and avalanche paths adjacent to open forests as high as 12,000 feet elevation. These birds typically nest in tree cavities and are also known to use earthen burrows, nest boxes, and holes in mining buildings and other structures.
Local and Regional Notes
Migratory birds are rolling in daily! Recent arrivals in the Roaring Fork Valley include: swallows, ruby-crowned kinglets, hummingbirds, warblers, pipits, Say’s phoebes, soras, orioles, willets, sandpipers, and many more.
Lucy’s Warblers have been observed in Mesa County, and local experts say they may breed there, potentially adding to the scant breeding presence of this species in the state of Colorado. *Please note: if you or your birding friends live in Mesa County and would like to see the Lucy’s Warblers, it is asked that you do not play recordings to attract the birds, as this has historically caused them to leave.
Global Big Day, a celebration of birds and citizen science
Join the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for an annual Global Big Day on Saturday, May 9th through eBird. You are invited to participate in this citizen science event that is open to everyone around the world! The goal is to gather bird observations around the world to capture a snapshot on a single day, and celebrate these feathered friends.
This year, participants are directed to put safety first and follow local COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions. Since participants will be birding from home or very close by, the event’s focus will be on the number of checklists submitted (rather than the number of species reported, as in past years). Results help us understand global bird populations, inform conservation efforts, and create educational products like these animated abundance maps.
Last year’s Global Big Day collected 92,284 checklists from 35,209 participants in 174 countries. This year, Cornell hopes to set a new checklist record of 100,000 or more! And you can help – Here’s how– 1- set up your eBird account, 2- watch birds on May 9th, 3- report them to eBird.
Even 5 minutes of birding from your window is enough to submit a checklist. Join the biggest day of global birding, and watch the results roll in.
About the instructor: Rebecca Weiss is a Naturalist specializing in birding, botany, and interpretive program development. She first came to ACES as a Summer Naturalist in 1993, later directed the Naturalist Field School and worked with ACES’ Naturalist Programs. She currently guides for ACES’ Birding Program outings and is involved with the center’s interpretive and custom programs. Rebecca is also a professional writer, developing trailside natural history interpretive signs in the Roaring Fork Valley and elsewhere in Colorado, as well as other writing projects. Rebecca is the author of Birds of Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley. She holds a BS in Biology and an MA in Environmental Education, and loves exploring the natural world with her husband, Austin, and their children Anders and Elsie.