Morning Birding Species List | July 25, 2017
July 25, 2017
Tuesday, July 25, 2017, 6:30AM – 9:30AM
Location: Hummingbird Study at two private residences
The study began with a visit to a local Aspen backyard where a female Broad-tailed Hummingbird is incubating her eggs in a nest on a bough of a huge spruce tree. We observed the female incubating, leaving the nest to feed, and returning to settle in on the eggs. Her nest materials and placement taught us about how these birds construct their tiny nests and how they find protection from weather and potential nest predators. We then drove to West Buttermilk Road where we made a stop at the small wetland at the bottom of the road to see Song Sparrows, Yellow Warblers, Mallards with ducklings, and Red-winged Blackbirds. The bulk of the outing was then spent at a private residence on West Buttermilk Road, where many feeders in a backyard with plenty of flowerbeds and surrounding natural shrub land and wildflower meadows attract hundreds of hummingbirds. This close-up viewing opportunity with so many individuals to study, allowed us to look for and see various field marks that are often difficult to see in purely natural settings in the ‘wild.’ We saw variations in female plumages, including the central iridescent spot of the Rufous; and we were able to see sub-adult males with their scattered iridescent feathers in the gorget area. We also studied differences between black-chinned and broad-tailed males and females. The various wing-trills made by the different species were also evident. A Calliope visited flowers and feeders, and then perched in an oak, providing a great look at this choice species that is uncommon in the Roaring Fork Valley. Lots of natural history information was covered about hummingbirds to fill us in on their many unique attributes. Join us next July for another special Hummingbird study!
~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide
Photo by Dale Armstrong