Birding the Burn Field Trip Species List
July 8, 2020
Wednesday, July 8, 2020, 7 AM – 10AM
Weather: Hot and sunny
Location: Basalt Mountain
American Three-toed Woodpecker
empidonax flycatcher sp.
Today’s birding hike explored a patchwork of habitats on Basalt Mountain near the edge of the 12,000-acre 2018 burn. We birded in green, unburned areas and areas that had experienced various levels of burn, and the birds were as diverse and abundant as the lush wildflowers, young aspens and shrubs growing beneath charred snags. We saw many newly fledged bird families, especially flickers, sapsuckers, wrens, solitaires, and juncos. Pine siskins were also abundant in the conifer forest areas. Additional highlights were a pair of hermit thrushes carrying squirming insects to feed to nestlings, lesser goldfinches in the lower creek drainage, and a brief look at a three-toed woodpecker that did a little drumming which helped confirm its identification (rapid and fading at the end). We lunched beneath an aspen canopy, sitting on fallen logs among wildflowers, while we discussed bird and burn-related questions. The afternoon was predictably quieter with regard to bird activity, but delivered excellent views of western tanagers, western wood-pewees, yellow-rumped warblers, and more sapsuckers. ACES plans to conduct birding field trips on this loop trail every summer as we continue to observe the successional stages within the burn and how birdlife responds. Meanwhile, join us for Morning Birding outings on Tuesdays through this summer!
~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide
Photo by Dale Armstrong