Birding on Independence Pass Species List | July 16, 2015

ACES Staff

July 17, 2015

Birding on Independence Pass Species List | July 16, 2015

Thursday, June 18, 2015, 7AM – 3PM
Weather: sunny
Location: North Star Nature Preserve, Difficult Campground, Grottos, Braille Trail, Lower Lost Man, Top of Independence Pass

Species Identified        
Canada Goose
Great blue Heron
Red-tailed Hawk
American Avocet
Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Red-naped Sapsucker
Northern Flicker (pictured above)
Western Wood-peewee
Warbling Vireo
Steller’s Jay
      Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
House Wren
Mountain Bluebird
Swainson’s Thrush
American Robin
Cedar Waxwing
MacGillivray’s Warbler
      Yellow Warbler
Green-tailed Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Lark Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln’s Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Western Tanager
Red-winged Blackbird
House Finch
Pine Siskin


Filled with exciting, high quality observations, the day began with lots of bird action at North Star Nature Preserve. Juveniles and parents were foraging actively, presenting us with excellent views of plumages, calls and behaviors, including mountain bluebirds, house finches, red-tailed hawks and house wrens. We also saw tree and violet-green swallows at active nest cavities.  Through these observations, we were able to experience the sensitive events that take place at North Star, and understand the value of this unique parcel of open space. At Difficult we had glimpses of MacGillivray’s warblers and shared birding resources and tools over lunch. Dr. Preece of University of Maryland shared the Nature Net project she helps direct at ACES, and how it engages the public in nature study, including birds and their habitats. We headed to the Pass next, where we observed an avocet on one of the ponds near the highway- a first for us at that location. The tundra was relatively quite bird-wise, but wildflowers were in full swing and a herd of 30+ mountain goats on a nearby peak were a thrill to watch.

~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide