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Morning Birding Species List | February 4, 2014

Throughout the fall, winter and spring ACES offers monthly Morning Birding classes at our Hallam Lake site in Aspen. Class outings venture to local birding hotspots and the birds never fail to impress. Take a look at the below species list and notes from one of the recent classes and register today for upcoming birding classes!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014, 8AM - 11AM
Weather: clear skies, morning after the largest snow fall yet this winter
Locations: Hallam Lake and Rio Grande Trail

Species Identified  
Canada Goose
Mallard
Ring-necked Duck
Downy Woodpecker
Steller's Jay (pictured above)
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Mountain Chickadee
  Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
American Dipper
American robin
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
House Finch
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch

Comments: Birding in winter is often less about the number of species seen, and more about observing the fascinating and unique behaviors and strategies birds use in response to winter's weather and food availability.  On this crisp morning following the biggest snowfall of the year, our outing yielded 18 birds species, but more importantly, we learned first-hand about food cacheing, benefits of mixed-flock foraging, broad versus narrow lifestyle requirements, and the year-round importance of riparian habitat and open water for many species including dippers and waterfowl. Two dippers provided delightful shows, one at Hallam Lake and the other on the Roaring Fork River: both were foraging at fairly close range to us, and we were able to get great views of one dipper's white eyelids as well as the insect larvae prey in the other bird's beak nearly every time it emerged from the water. Join us for more winter birding on Tuesday, March 4th at 7:30am!

~Rebecca Weiss, ACES Naturalist