Morning Birding at Rock Bottom Ranch Species List
Tuesday, August 4, 2020, 7:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Weather: Mostly cloudy
Location: Rock Bottom Ranch
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Today's mini-lesson featured Jennifer Ackerman's new book The Bird Way and the mid-molt juvenile plumage of Starlings. Highlights of the outing included an excellent comparison of three swallow species: northern Rough-winged, barn, and violet-green; up-close looks at a number of female and/or juvenile hummingbirds; many observations of Lewis's woodpeckers; and an active violet-green swallow nest. We also checked a Cooper's hawk nest that had several nestlings two weeks ago, and it was empty. We saw one juvenile Cooper's hawk perched in a nearby tree, and we assume the family of fledglings is dispersed in the area and learning to become independent. One question that arose was whether northern Rough-winged swallows excavate their earthen burrows. Research shows that most appear to take over abandoned burrows created by other species, including bank swallows, rather than digging new burrows. It was a fun day in the field, full of interesting experiences and learning. Join us next Tuesday at Hallam Lake!
~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide
Photo by Dale Armstrong