Morning Birding at Rock Bottom Ranch 9/6/22
September 6, 2022
Tuesday, September 6, 2022, 7:30am-10:30am
Weather: Sunny & hot
Location: Rock Bottom Ranch, CO
Migration and fall molting and foraging behaviors were today’s themes. We saw migrating Wilson’s warblers, white-crowned sparrows, and Brewer’s sparrows that were underway with their migration. These birds nest in very different elevations and habitats compared to where we found them today, indicating that these individuals are on the move, heading south toward their wintering ranges. We also saw some very scruffy birds that were molting: a song sparrow with no tail, starlings with white-tipped body feathers, crows with neck feathers missing, and red-winged blackbirds that were growing in their buffy-edged, fresh plumage that gives them a scaly appearance. We also observed cedar waxwings hawking insects the same way that flycatchers do, and robins eating fruits to take advantage of seasonally available foods. Highlights included a Wilson’s snipe that flushed near us, an osprey, and an active kingfisher. Fall would not be complete without some mystery birds, and today we had a mystery sparrow in great light for long, clear observations. As a group, we flipped through the sparrow pages in the Sibley guide and considered other sparrow-like species, and this bird remained unidentified! Join us for more exciting fall birding this Thursday at North Star Nature Preserve.
~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide