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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

Where Are the Waterfowl?
So far a dismal fall migration for waterfowl due to the extended mild weather to our north and here.  Today, however, there was a flock of Canada Geese which included some of their smaller relatives, Cackling Geese with the short necks and smaller bodies, at Rose Pond.  As expected, the flock of about 55 birds flew over to Headquarters Pond when they saw me. 
Posted by Bill M. on 11/06/2014

Here for the Winter
Marsh Wrens are back for the winter but you will have to get lucky to get a good view of one.  This currious bird came in to see what was walking in its winter territory.  This skulker is easy to hear, sometimes calling and sometimes even singing.  Interestingly, the Marsh Wrens who breed in the eastern states have as many as 20 different songs but the western supspecies, including those breeding in the northern marshes of Colorado may sing as many as 100 different songs. Although they look almost identical, there may be two different species involved.
Posted by Bill M. on 11/02/2014

Newest Arrival
Right on schedule, this American Tree Sparrow with the 2-toned bill was seen feeding in the weeds near the Chico Banding Station on the 1st day of November.  This Spizella sparrow, related to Chipping, Field, Clay-colored, and Brewer's sparrows which migrate south earlier in the fall, is a regular wintering sparrow on the Chico.  Look for it in weedy areas by water.
Posted by Bill M. on 11/02/2014

Sharp-shinned Hunting
Raptors are still on the move heading south.  The smallest accipiter, Sharp-shinned Hawk, is seen here launching itself and chasing the recently arrived sparrows feeding near the banding station.  This species was named for its very thin legs, less than the width of a pencil and a feature used to help separate it from Cooper's Hawk. 
Posted by Bill M. on 11/02/2014

November Dragonflies
On normal years all dragonflies should have expired by November.  But because of the unusually warm days and evenings, mostly above freezing, there are still 7 species of dragonfly/damselfly remaining and almost all of them are in the sedge meadows of Rose Pond. One of the more common species is the brightly colored and aptly named Variegated Meadowhawk.
Posted by Bill M. on 11/02/2014

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CONTACT US 719.683.7960 info@chicobasinranch.com