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

Cryptic Coloration
If it didn't belie it location with periodic, double-noted teesee calls resembling Golden-crowned Kinglets, the cryptically colored Brown Creeper would be much harder to see.  A rare migrant on the Chico, many may be just overlooked as they hitch up or down the furrowed bark of a large cottonwood while using its specially designed, long curved bill to look for spiders and other arthropods. 

Songs and calls of eastern birds are noticeably different from those of western birds like the ones found in Colorado. 
Posted by Bill M. on 10/23/2010

Waterbirds in Flight
Sometimes it isn't until you actually look at your photographs that you realize what you were watching.  In this photo, two Wilson's Snipes fly with Mallards and Gadwalls on Rose Pond.
Posted by Bill M. on 10/23/2010

Bird Watcher
While trying to sneak up on a Marsh Wren, I was outflanked by another birdwatcher.  Neither of us were successful with our main objective.   Waterfowl are beginning to arrive with Buffleheads and Lesser Scaup joining the Northern Shovelers, Mallards, teal, and American Wigeon. 

Hopefully the cow I found stuck in the marsh was extracted by Duke and Jonathan.  It appeared to be in good shape still.
Posted by Bill M. on 10/23/2010

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