Tuesday, June 14, 2011

East Meets West

We live in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and thus we generally run among western birds. This spring and summer, we have about three weeks of work for the Colorado Breeding Bird Atlas on the Eastern Plains of Colorado. From June 2-9, we did our initial survey and this put us in the company of not only some of our everyday bird species, but also some birds considered to be eastern, as well as the expected Great Plains specialties. Our atlas blocks are far enough from home that we live on the road (eat, sleep, work/observe birds, and of course, run).

Running Wheat Fields

We ran most days and this took us through several habitats - wheat fields, short grass prairie, tall grass prairie, sand hills, and riparian. We imagined we'd be running on pancake flat terrain, but that was hardly the case.

Arickaree River


Western Kingbird - Joel Such

Eastern Kingbird - Marcel Such

Orchard Oriole - Joel Such

Western Meadowlark with Nesting Material
by Marcel Such

Ring-Necked Pheasant - Marcel Such

Grasshopper Sparrow - Marcel Such

Common Nighthawk - Joel Such

New SWSA Birds:
Ring-necked Pheasant
Wild Turkey
Northern Bobwhite
Common Nighthawk
Red-headed Woodpecker
Eastern Kingbird
Western Kingbird
Warbling Vireo
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Cassin's Sparrow
Lark Bunting
Grasshopper Sparrow
Indigo Bunting
Great-tailed Grackle
Orchard Oriole

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