Blog Archives

Keep Local Wildlife Wild

A red fox spotted near the Maroon Bells visitor center.

Saturday, August 18 was a beautiful day at the Maroon Bells. A much-needed rain greeted us in the morning, with the entire Maroon Creek valley overflowing with clouds. As the clouds lifted, the vegetation felt lush and animals soon began to stir. Before long, a red fox emerged to enjoy the freshly moistened montane meadow in the shadow of the picturesque Maroon Bells. Surprisingly, this fox showed little to no fear of humans, walking right up to a group of people waiting for the bus.

Morning Birding at Rock Bottom Ranch Species List | August 21, 2018

Tuesday, August 21, 2018, 7:30AM - 10:30AM
Weather: Partly sunny, brief rain showers
Location: Rock Bottom Ranch and Rio Grande Trail

Morning Birding Species List | August 14, 2018

Tuesday, August 14, 2018, 7:30AM - 10:30AM
Weather: Sunny
Location: Hallam Lake and Aspen Community Garden/Marolt Open Space

North Star Birding Series Species List | August 13, 2018

Tuesday, August 13, 2018, 7:30AM - 9:30AM
Weather: Sunny
Location: James Smith Open Space

Species Identified

Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Great Blue Heron
Red-tailed Hawk
Gray Flycatcher
Warbling Vireo
Black-capped Chickadee
House Wren
American Robin
Pine Siskin
Chipping Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Yellow Warbler
Black-headed Grosbeak
Lazuli Bunting


Smokey Skies

Smokey Skies from Aspen Mountain

Persistent smoke the past few days isn’t just from local fires. Due to an extremely unusual configuration of the jet stream, much of the West is being blanketed in smoke from wildfires raging in California.

Morning Birding Species List | July 31, 2018

Tuesday, July 31, 2018, 7:00AM - 10:00AM
Weather: Sunny
Location: Hallam Lake and Aspen Community Garden

Morning Birding at Rock Bottom Ranch | July 24, 2018

Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 7:00AM - 10:00AM
Weather: Sunny, with wildfire smoke
Location: Rock Bottom Ranch and Rio Grande Trail

Hummingbird Study | July 17, 2018

Rufous Hummingbirds observed during Morning Birding with ACES.

Walking through the forest in and around Aspen, it is not unusual to hear the loud, high-pitched vibration of a male Broad-tailed Hummingbird whizzing past. The males of this species have specialized primary feathers that taper out and away from its body to create this sound, announcing its presence while aggressively defending its territory. The Broad-tailed “hummer” is commonly-recognized as our resident species, but is actually one of four hummingbird species that can be found in the Roaring Fork Valley. 

Morning Birding Species List | July 2, 2018

Tuesday, July 2, 2018, 7:00AM - 10:00AM
Weather: Sunny
Location: Hallam Lake and Aspen Grove Cemetery,

Fire Danger: Putting this year in perspective

Smokey the Bear high fire danger

There’s no doubt that fire danger in the Roaring Fork Valley is high. Today the US Forest Service along with Pitkin and Eagle counties put a fire ban in place. And by now we’ve all seen a Smokey the Bear sign with the words “Very High” or “Extreme” but how serious is the danger? The news isn’t good.