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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



Today's Rarest Bird
This Veteran's Day produced a rarely recorded bird on the Chico, an Eastern Phoebe.  As the name implies it is an eastern species and a few do breed as far north in Colorado as southern Pueblo County.  These flycatchers, phoebes, are hardy birds and so it is not all that surprising that one has stayed this long in Colorado.  Most flycatchers leave the state for southern locations were insects will be around during winter months. As recently as 15 years ago, there were only a couple records of this species from Colorado in November.
Posted by Bill M. on 11/11/2011

Ducks on the Move
During last week's cold spell, some ice formed on the shallow, wind-free areas of the Chico ponds.  Cold weather and ducks occur together. Today, all of the Chico reservoirs were loaded with ducks with Lesser Scaup, Buffleheads, Northern Pintails, Ring-necked Ducks, Ruddy Ducks, American Wigeons, Gadwalls, and Mallards being the most common.  Here, a female Northern Pintail comes in to land at Upper Twin Pond, joining over a hundred American Coots and just as many ducks on this scenic pond.
Posted by Bill M. on 11/11/2011

Marsh Wrens on Winter Territory
Marsh Wrens do not breed on the Chico but a few spend the winter here exclusively in cattail marshes where they give away their prescence with their chattery scolds. If the observer is patient, the wren will eventually come into view to investigate who or what is in their territory. Some authors believe that eastern birds with their darker crowns and whiter supercillium and with a slower, less varied song are a different species than their western counterparts.
Posted by Bill M. on 11/11/2011

   
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CONTACT US 719.683.7960 info@chicobasinranch.com