Morning Birding at Hallam Lake 8/30/22

ACES Staff

August 31, 2022

Morning Birding at Hallam Lake 8/30/22

Tuesday, August 30, 2022, 7:30am-10:30am
Weather: Sunny
Location: Hallam Lake, Aspen, CO


Bird behaviors and movements are fascinating as we get deeper into fall migration season, and today we lucked into several good pockets of birds which made it a spectacular morning! We began with a flock of crows and magpies that had found lots of fried chicken somewhere behind the post office. They were vocalizing and flying about, many of them carrying pieces of fried chicken in their bills. These birds were busy making the most of their amazing food find! We’re still not sure where the fried chicken came from, but this flock truly showcased the curiosity and flexibility of corvids that exploit all sorts of unusual foods, especially around the activities of people. On the upper post office trail, we saw fledgling house finches begging and being fed by adults, a flock of evening grosbeaks feeding on chokecherries, pygmy nuthatches in the cottonwood forest canopy, and many juvenile robins. A family of deer foraged close to us while we watched the birds in this food-rich habitat nook. The fledgling osprey from the Hallam Lake nest gave ongoing begging calls and was later seen eating a fish delivered by an adult. We observed hummingbirds feeding on the nectar of clematis flowers on a vine growing in the cottonwood forest and on sagebrush flowers, noting that broad-tailed hummingbirds are known to feed at unusual flowers that we do not typically associate with these birds. As we approached Hallam Lake, we noticed a large flock of ducks circling overhead before landing on the main lake. With the scope, we carefully checked the field marks of these ducks in their eclipse plumages and were excited to see that the majority were blue-winged teals along with two northern shovelers. Join us tomorrow for birding on the Moore Open Space where we expect to see a variety of migratory birds including several species of sparrows along with possible shrikes, warblers, tanagers, and buntings!

Species List: 

Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Great Blue Heron
Belted Kingfisher
Red-naped Sapsucker
Northern Flicker
Steller’s Jay
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Mountain Chickadee
Pygmy Nuthatch
House Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
American Robin
European Starling
Evening Grosbeak
House Finch
Green-tailed Towhee
Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Yellow Warbler

~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide

Featured photo: Steller’s Jay

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