Morning Birding Species List | July 16, 2019
Tuesday, July 16, 2019, 7AM - 10AM
Weather: Mostly sunny
Location: Hallam Lake & West Buttermilk Road
Mid-July is a great time for hummingbird diversity in the Roaring Fork Valley, when south-bound post-breeding rufous and calliope hummingbirds come through our area. Today's outing was our annual 'hummingbird study,' with our mini-field trip to a private residence on West Bulttermilk Road where feeders attract hummingbirds in numbers for an excellent opportunity to observe and compare three or possibly four species. We began at Hallam Lake with a mini-lesson to introduce the four species of hummingbirds (broad-tailed, black-chinned, rufous, and calliope) and do a little birding around the preserve. We experienced broad-tailed hummingbirds there as well as families of Canada geese, violet-green swallows, yellow warblers, cordilleran flycatchers, and more. At West Buttermilk Road, we had the luxury of watching many hummingbirds at close range for a length of time that allowed us to practice discerning some of their subtle and relative field marks that are otherwise difficult to see well. We learned about hummingbird anatomy, behavior, vocal and non-vocal sounds, migrations, winter ranges, life history, and how their iridescent feathers work. We saw birds with pollen dusted on their bills and foreheads, and watched them feed and occasionally extend their long, specialized tongues. It was a treat to have an immersion experience with these unique birds. Join us next Tuesday for Morning Birding at Rock Bottom Ranch!
~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES' Bird Guide
Photo by Dale Armstrong