August Hummingbird Study
August 4, 2021
Thursday, August 4, 2021 7:30am-9:30am
This was ACES’ third hummingbird study of the summer, added due to popular demand. Our study began at the base of West Buttermilk Road where we watched birds near a small pond in a rich nook of riparian and meadow habitat, with the goal of observing hummingbirds in a natural setting. We saw broad-tailed, black-chinned and rufous hummingbirds as they flitted among willows and flowers in the meadow. Several females were observed hawking insects over the pond where swallows joined to feast on insects in the airspace above the water. Warblers, sparrows, and waxwings foraged among the willow foliage, and we had a brief look at a lazuli bunting that perched on branches above the pond. After birding at the pond, we went to a private residence up West Buttermilk Road where we watched a throng of 150-200 hummingbirds from a garden patio setting surrounded by high quality native shrubland and wildflower meadow ecosystems. We were successful in seeing all four species of hummingbirds that occur in the Roaring Fork Valley at this time of year, and took time to soak in the sights and sounds of this amazing spectacle. Information was shared on hummingbird physiology, hovering flight, diet and foraging, nesting, migration, and specific field marks of the various species for adult males, adult females, and immatures. We enjoyed seeing pollen dusted on some of the birds’ bills, foreheads and throats, and watching the birds interact as they crowded the feeding ports on the feeders and rested on nearby branches. Join us next Tuesday for Morning Birding at Hallam Lake!
~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide
Photo by Dale Armstrong