Birding By Habitat: Riverdance, 7/12/23

Rebecca Weiss

July 12, 2023

Birding By Habitat: Riverdance, 7/12/23

Wednesday, July 12th, 2023, 7-11:30am
Weather: Sunny
Location: Riverdance, Ashcroft, CO

This was ACES’ first birding outing to the Riverdance property near Ashcroft, along Castle Creek where the base of the mountain meets extensive willow riparian habitat with meadows, forests, and spring-fed beaver ponds. At active Sapsucker wells in the willows, we saw the Sapsuckers visit to feed as well as a female Broad-tailed Hummingbird; it was fun to see other species using the sap wells as evidence of the importance of these wells as general food resources in this ecological community. We enjoyed excellent observations of a singing Swainson’s Thrush and Fox Sparrow, taking time to watch them through the scope and learn their field marks and song traits. We were surprised to see a Black-headed Grosbeak this high in elevation; it was seen in the edge of the aspen forest both early and late in the field trip. Other highlights included Tanagers, Flycatchers, and Warblers, and recently fledged families of Black-capped and Mountain Chickadees. Red-tailed Hawks soared over the valley floor and Warbling Vireos were abundant in the willows and aspens. Beavers have been cutting small aspens and creating trails between the river and forest, enhancing this rich habitat area. Join us tomorrow for the Hummingbird study at West Buttermilk Road!

Species List:

Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-naped Sapsucker
Northern Flicker
Western Wood-Pewee
Dusky Flycatcher
Warbling Vireo
Black-capped Chickadee
Mountain Chickadee
Violet-green Swallow
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Red-breasted Nuthatch
House Wren
Swainson’s Thrush
American Robin
Fox Sparrow
Lincoln’s Sparrow
Green-tailed Towhee
Orange-crowned Warbler
MacGillivray’s Warbler
Wilson’s Warbler
Western Tanager
Black-headed Grosbeak

~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide

Featured photo: Black-headed Grosbeak.

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