Birding by Habitat: Pinyon-Juniper Woodlands & Riparian
Pinyon-juniper woodlands and lower-elevation riparian and open water habitats offer excellent birding in late spring, as migratory species arrive and breeding activity ramps up for these birds as well as resident species. Open water sites with areas of shallow shoreline and deeper water attract a variety of shorebirds and waterfowl, and late spring migrants may be seen along with birds that breed locally. We will visit these habitats at various mid-valley locations to be determined depending on bird activity at the time of class. Birds we are likely to observe include blue-gray gnatcatcher, spotted and green-tailed towhee, plumbeous vireo, mountain bluebird, black-throated gray warbler, Virginia’s warbler, orange-crowned warbler, red-tailed hawk, turkey vulture, osprey, belted kingfisher, gadwall, American wigeon, northern shoveler, grebes, white-faced ibis, and more.
This class requires advance registration to ensure appropriate planning for the field experience.
Birders of all experience levels are welcome! Special attention will be given to orienting beginning birders to local habitats and their associated bird species, and basic field craft skills. Mark Fuller, former Independence Pass Foundation Director, and ACES Birding Guide Rebecca Weiss will be your instructors. Mark and Rebecca are photographer and author, respectively, of Birds of Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley.
This class meets at the Rio Grande Trail parking lot at Hooks Spur Road. We will carpool from there to field trip locations.
What To Bring:
Come prepared for a full day in the field, including non-strenuous hiking on and off trails. Please wear layered clothing for both the chilly morning and warmer daytime temperatures. Wear sturdy footwear and bring rain gear, sun hat, sunglasses, sunblock, a hearty sack lunch, snacks, and plenty of water. Bring your binoculars (or borrow ours) and your field guide (optional). We will provide binoculars, a scope, reference books, and handouts.