ACES Birding By Habitat: Crystal River Valley Species List | July 3, 2019

ACES Staff

July 15, 2019

ACES Birding By Habitat: Crystal River Valley Species List | July 3, 2019

Wednesday, July 3, 2019
Weather: Sunny
Location: Crystal River Valley

Species Identified
White-throated Swift
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Turkey Vulture
Northern Flicker
American Kestrel
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Western Wood-pewee
Cordilleran Flycatcher
Say’s Phoebe
Western Kingbird
Plumbeous Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Common Raven
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Mountain Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
House Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Mountain Bluebird
American Robin
European Starling
House Finch
Green-tailed Towhee
Spotted Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln’s Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Western Meadowlark
Bullock’s Oriole
Red-winged Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orange-crowned Warbler
Virginia’s Warbler
MacGIllivray’s Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Gray Warbler
House Sparrow


This field trip had many highlights, including the wonderful group of participants and the special locations and habitats we visited. Overall, our experience was characterized by lots of practice with ear-birding or identifying bird sounds. At this point in the summer, birds are busy with breeding activities and observing them can be tricky as they go about their business among foliage. We did see a few instances of adults feeding fledglings, which can be easy to spot as the birds make contact calls and move about in little family groups.  

We began at a ranch south of Carbondale where we had excellent opportunities to observe a roosting turkey vulture at close range, Say’s phoebes, hummingbirds, kingbirds, swallows, and meadowlarks. The ranch compound was an oasis of cottonwood and conifer trees with a varied understory of boxelder, vine-covered shrubs, and gardens surrounded by grassy fields and pinyon-juniper woodland. Another private property further up the Crystal River Valley gave us the opportunity to walk a loop trail through prime pinyon-juniper woodland with sparse understory, where we found our main target birds:  black-throated gray warbler, Virginia’s warbler, and plumbeous vireo. We had an excellent auditory study of the two warblers when both sang alternately at close range. In the Redstone Campground, we peeked at a female broad-tailed hummingbird on her nest. Up Coal Creek Road, we stopped to see white-throated swifts at the sandstone cliffs and we finished up the trip with an olive-sided flycatcher. The main take-away from this field trip was appreciating and enjoying the somewhat ‘strenuous’ ear birding that we did with so many birds darting out of sight and staying hidden in foliage. All of us came away with new/improved skills in this important facet of birding in the field. Join us on August 15th for the last Birding By Habitat series field trip with Mark and Rebecca when we will spend the day birding at Capitol Creek Ranch.

~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide 


Photo by Jeff Finesilver

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