Birding the Burn at Basalt Mountain Species List

ACES Staff

June 4, 2021

Birding the Burn at Basalt Mountain Species List

Friday, June 4, 2021 7am-12pm
Weather: Sunny
Location: Basalt Mountain 



This trip took us on a loop hike through a mosaic of habitats on the north side of Basalt Mountain where conditions ranged from green and unburned to a spectrum of burn severity levels from the 2018 Lake Christine fire. We learned about how different habitats such as aspen forest, mountain shrublands, and conifer forests recover from wildfire and how birds use these places during the stages of succession. An interesting take-away from recent wildfire ecology research is that birds do not just “make do” with burned landscapes, there are many species that actually seek out these unique places as secondary habitat. Such species that we saw on this field trip included western wood-pewee, American three-toed woodpecker, western tanager, mountain bluebird, and olive-sided flycatcher. With the abundance and activity of birds on our hiking route, we enjoyed many special moments, such as two male MacGillivray’s warblers that sat and sang in view and in great light, providing excellent opportunities to study this species that is often difficult to see. We were also treated to excellent views of olive-sided flycatchers and an American three-toed woodpecker. Dusky and Hammond’s flycatchers offered comparisons for learning these look-alike species’ unique vocalizations that are key to identifying them on breeding grounds. Overall species count was 38. Wildflowers are beginning to bloom and the lush, post-fire understory appears ready to burst into bloom.  Join us for other upcoming birding outings and for a repeat of this field trip to this fascinating area in early July!

Species List: 

Canada Goose
Mourning Dove
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Turkey Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-naped Sapsucker
American Three-toed Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Western Wood-Pewee
Hammond’s Flycatcher
Dusky Flycatcher
Warbling Vireo
Steller’s Jay
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Common Raven
Tree Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Mountain Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
House Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Mountain Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Pine Siskin
Green-tailed Towhee
Spotted Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Orange-crowned Warbler
MacGillivray’s Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Western Tanager


~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide

Photo by Dale Armstrong

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