Birding By Habitat Series Species List | May 24, 2018

Tuesday, May 24, 2018, 7AM - 2PM
Weather: Sunny
Location: Rock Bottom Ranch, USFS parcel near Crown Mountain Park, Crawford Ranch (Blue Ponds), and Spring Park Reservoir.

Species Identified

Canada Goose
Northern Shoveler
Ruddy Duck
Rock Pigeon
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Mourning Dove
White-throated Swift
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Sandhill Crane
Wilson's Snipe
Spotted Sandpiper
Bonaparte's Gull
Franklin's Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk
Golden Eagle
Lewis's Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
American Kestrel
Western Wood-Peewee
Willow Flycatcher (probable)
Cordilleran Flycatcher (heard only)
Say's Phoebe
Western Kingbird
Plumbeous Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
House Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (heard only)
American Robin
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
House Finch
Spotted Towhee
Song Sparrow
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Bullock's Oriole
Red-winged Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
Yellow Warbler
Black-throated Gray Warbler (heard only)
Western Tanager
Black-headed Grosbeak


Late May is prime time for seeing returned migrants in full-swing with breeding season, as well as a few migratory species that are still lingering in the mid-valley as they make their way to their breeding ranges to the north or at higher elevations. Today's itinerary included Rock Bottom Ranch, USFS parcel near Crown Mountain Park, Crawford Ranch (Blue Ponds), and Spring Park Reservoir. We birded in different types of riparian habitats, cattail wetlands, sedge/rush wet meadows, cottonwood galleries, ranch/agricultural land, pinyon-juniper woodlands, grasslanda, oak shrublands, open water, and mud shorelines.  

At RBR, we focused on watching Wilson's Snipes as well as Lewis's Woodpeckers on Hooks Spur Road. The USFS parcel was full of Yellow Warblers and Song Sparrows, with an active Osprey nest and blooming lady's slipper orchids. Crawford Ponds provided a chance to see an active Plumbeous Vireo's nest as well as a great diversity of riparian and pinyon-juniper species. Two Sandhill Crane colts were the main highlight at Spring Park Reservoir, where we watched the crane family foraging across a grassy expanse. These colts are likely the first evidence of cranes breeding in the Roaring Fork Valley. Join us for two upcoming classes in this series on June 25 and July 2, in addition to Morning Birding outings and classes taught by Bill Schmoker on June 27 and 28.

~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide 

Photo by Dale Armstrong