Morning Birding Species List | May 17, 2016
May 18, 2016
Tuesday, May 17, 2016, 6:30AM – 9:30AM
Weather: partly cloudy, cool.
Location: Hallam Lake, the Library, and Woody Creek
This outing focused on field trips to specific nesting sites to observe some exciting birds with active nests during this last chance for great visibility before trees fully leaf out. We began with a look at the great horned owl family nesting near the temporary location of Pitkin County Library in Aspen, along the Rio Grande Trail. We had excellent views of the chick in the nest and both adults nearby. After observing the owls, we went to a residence in lower Woody Creek where about 20 heron nests are located in a cottonwood gallery above the creek. There were chicks in nests, and we were able to observe adults preening and chicks being fed. At that same location we observed three red-tailed hawk chicks in a nest in a cottonwood only about 1,000 feet away from the heron nests. The chicks were active and feeding, and were covered in white fluffy down. Many other great songbirds were all around us at this side, including chipping sparrows, tree swallows, yellow and yellow-rumped warblers, Bullock’s oriole, and white-breasted nuthatch. A common yellowthroat was heard but not seen. We then went to the Rio Grande Trail where we could view the osprey nest on a pole recently installed by Holy Cross Electric in order to accommodate the ospreys safely (away from electric lines). The pair had attempted unsuccessfully to nest there last year, and they seem to be constructing a decent nest this year. This was an excellent experience for today’s birders, and we look forward to more great birding in the coming weeks as flycatchers and more warbler species return for the breeding season.
~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide
Photo by Mark Fuller