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Birding at the Chico

The Chico Basin Ranch is a major flyway for migratory birds, due to the abundant springs, lakes and bird habitat on the ranch. The ranch works closely with Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory and has over 300 birds on the ranch bird list. Many people come to the ranch in the spring and fall to bird.

Bill Maynard is one of birders that comes most frequently. When we asked him if he would keep the ranch birding journal, he was pleased and agreed to do it. Thank you Bill! Bill has taught high school biology, worked as a naturalist for the National Park Service and as a biologist for a variety of government agencies. He has also worked for the American Birding Association at their national headquarters in Colorado Springs. 

Click Here to download the Ranch Bird Checklist

Click Here to download the Birding Trail Map (4mb PDF)

Click Here to download the Ranch Dragonfly and Damselfly Checklist



Summer Bird in the Winter
Northern Mockingbird is a common breeder on the Chico, but it retreats to the south for the winter, flying south to New Mexico and northern Mexico, although in southwestern Colorado somemockingbirds are resident.  During about 30 percent of winters a mockingbird seems to find enough to eat and therefore winters during some years on the Chico.  This one was seen today feeding on Russian olives, the tree birds love because of the amount of available fruit, but a tree designated as a noxious weed by the Colorado Division of Wildlife. 
Posted by Bill M. on 01/17/2014

Golden Eagle Hunts Prairie-dogs
Golden Eagles are most common during winter months on the Chico.  Their food consists of black-tailed prairie-dogs, desert cottontails, and black-tailed jackrabbits.  This bird was seen soaring over a prairie-dog town, the prairie dog cries alerting me to the bird flying overhead.  A bit technical, but if you examine the primaries, the 10 most outer wing feathers, you can see light bases on the inner most three primaires.  The feathers interior to those feathers, called the secondaries, are all the same color and a few have chips on the tips.  These feathers are retained juvenile feathers, about one year old.  The flight feathers from the wing tips to the light-based primaries are new feathers.  This examination makes it possible to age this bird as a one year old.  It takes five years for a Golden Eagle to attain adult plumage.
Posted by Bill M. on 01/17/2014

   
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CONTACT US 719.683.7960 info@chicobasinranch.com