ACES x Pitkin County Open Space: Moore Open Space 9/15/23

Rebecca Weiss

September 15, 2023

ACES x Pitkin County Open Space: Moore Open Space 9/15/23

Tuesday, September 15, 2023, 7:30-9:30am
Weather: Low cloud ceiling and occasional rain
Location: Moore Open Space, Aspen, CO

The weather made bird activity especially interesting today! Migrating flocks passed overhead at different altitudes, some identifiable and others too far to see well enough. At one point we looked up to see a flock of 22 Sandhill Cranes circling overhead, seemingly blocked by the low cloud ceiling and general inclement weather from their route over the high peaks. Sparrows were the primary birds on the landscape at the Moore property, seeking shelter in the scattered shrubs and foraging on the ground when the rain let up. We got a lot of experience with Vesper Sparrows, learning their field marks (white earrings, white outer edges of the tail, and unique facial pattern, along with their ground-foraging behavior) and their call notes. Chipping Sparrows were also abundant. Most of these birds were in non-breeding plumages, giving us deeper experience with them. We spotted a few birds as they sat out the rain in the shelter of foliage, including a Mourning Dove and a Sage Thrasher. Although a bit rainy, it was a spectacular morning for observing birds and their behaviors. Join us next week for Morning Birding at Hallam Lake!

Species List:

Duck sp.
Sandhill Crane
Mourning Dove
Accipiter sp.
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Mountain Chickadee
Sage Thrasher
Chipping Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Green-tailed Towhee
Brewer’s Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Lincoln’s Sparrow
Passerine sp.

~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide

Featured photo: Sage Thrasher.

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