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Morning Birding Species List | December 1, 2015

Tuesday, December 1, 2015, 8AM - 11AM
Weather: mostly clear
Location: Hallam Lake and Rio Grande Trail

Species Identified
      

Canada Goose
Mallard
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
Belted Kingfisher
Steller's Jay

 

Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Mountain Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
American Dipper (pictured above)

Comments: 

The morning began with a juvenile bald eagle perched above Hallam Lake, which we determined to be an older juvenile, perhaps 4 years old and ready to molt into full adult plumage next spring (salt-and-pepper head, broad eye stripe, light-colored iris, and very little white in the bird's dark wing plumage).  We were able to study it with the scope from several angles and distances for a good long time before it flew.  When it flew we were ready to observe plumage patterns on its underwings, which would reveal more information about the bird's age (mostly dark, indicating an older juvenile).  This was followed by a perched red-tailed hawk, which we studied in a similar way.  Through the morning, birds became more active as the sun warmed the day, and we observed a belted kingfisher, American dipper, black-capped and mountain chickadees, Steller's jays, and a bold magpie that was hanging around very close to both the eagle and hawk at times.  True to winter birding, we saw a short list of species, but were treated to very high-quality observations that brought up excellent discussions about behaviors.  Today's mini-lesson was about New Zealand kiwi birds, coming from Rebecca's recent trip and to learn more about the amazing diversity among birds and their wildly different adaptations.  Our next birding event is the Christmas Bird Count on Sunday, January 3rd- join us for this day of birding and citizen science!.

~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide