ACES Birding Field Class, How to Know the Birds with Ted Floyd | July 25-26, 2019

ACES Staff

July 25, 2019

ACES Birding Field Class, How to Know the Birds with Ted Floyd | July 25-26, 2019

Thursday, July 25 – Friday, July 26, 2019
Weather: Mostly sunny

Species Identified
Ring-necked Duck
Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Black-chinned Hummingbird
American Coot
Cooper’s Hawk
Red-naped Sapsucker
Northern Flicker
Western Wood-Pewee
Cordilleran Flycatcher
Dusky Flycatcher
Warbling Vireo
Plumbeous Vireo
Steller’s Jay
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Mountain Chickadee
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
House Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
European Starling
Swainson’s Thrush
American Robin
Cedar Waxwing
House Finch
Pine Siskin
Song Sparrow
Green-tailed Towhee
Red-winged Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
MacGillivray’s Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-headed Grosbeak
Lazuli Bunting



Ted Floyd, Editor of Birding Magazine, author, and renowned birding expert, taught a comprehensive two-day birding field course for ACES Naturalist Field School. Ted’s classroom content included an overview of digital resources many birders use, including Song Sleuth, Xenocanto, iNaturalist, eBird, and Merlin. Ted taught participants how to use spectrograms (graphs providing visual representations of bird vocalizations) to learn about bird sounds and how scientists are using them to dive more deeply into understanding bird communication. He also gave a brief talk about evolutionary relationships among birds and our growing understanding of the avian family tree, as well as new research and findings behind the connection between birds and dinosaurs. In the field, we visited a variety of sites including Hallam Lake, Sunnyside Trail, Difficult Trail, a private property in Snowmass Village off Divide Road, and the Aspen Community Garden. In the field, Ted covered identification tips, field craft tips, and natural history information, with birding highlights being a pair of newly fledged blue-gray gnatcatchers being fed by parents and western tanagers in excellent light. We spent time practicing birding without binoculars or other gear, as well as birding with all of our gear including phones and cameras. Participants practiced making photographs and recordings of bird vocalizations and learned how to edit and upload them to ebird and other online sites. Ted followed up with slideshows of photos taken during the class experience (birds and much more!) as well as resources and tutorials to help participants continue to learn and practice new skills. Thank you, Ted, for a rich class experience!

~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide 


Photo by Mark Fuller

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