Pitkin County Open Space Birding at The Gorge 8/19/21

ACES Staff

August 23, 2021

Pitkin County Open Space Birding at The Gorge 8/19/21

Thursday, August 19, 2021, 7:30am-11:00am
Weather: Rain, low-cloud ceiling
Location: Pitkin County Open Space: The Gorge

Swallows perched on utility wires above the gorge of the Roaring Fork River, gathering as they do in mid-August before they depart on migration. We spotted one cliff swallow among the 75+ violet-green swallows. The mountain shrubland habitat was full of bird activity, including many songbirds that flitted too fast for us to identify. Highlights in this habitat included a warbling vireo family, many jays and juvenile robins, juvenile and adult green-tailed towhees, and a curious weasel that entertained us for a full five minutes as it peeked out at us from various rocky vantage points by the trail. By the river, western wood-pewees gathered to feed on the abundant flying insects over the water, and yellow warblers and chickadees foraged in the cottonwoods. We made a good attempt to see dippers but they were not in this reach of the river while we were watching today. Light but steady rain began at this point, sending most birds into cover. The rain will support insect abundance and plant life, providing birds and other animals with critical resources. We look forward to a second field trip on this excellent loop route in the gorge–join us on August 27th!

Species List: 

Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Northern Flicker
Western Wood-Pewee
Warbling Vireo
Steller’s Jay
Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay
Black-billed Magpie
Common Raven
American Crow
Violet-green Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Mountain Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
House Wren
American Robin
Gray Catbird
House Finch
Pine Siskin
Green-tailed Towhee
Song Sparrow
Yellow Warbler
Western Tanager

~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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