Northern Bobwhite is an eastern game bird that breeds east to eastern Colorado. At the end of April, pen-raised birds were released near Lower Twin Pond. A covey of 10 have found suitable habitat about 7 miles from the release spot on the Chico and they are currently feeding on olive berries that have fallen to the ground while fleeing inquisitive coyotes near the banding station. The bobwhite tracks in the snow gave away their presecence and eventually the covey walked into an opening.
Two raven species are found on the Chico, the southern Chihuahuan that nests sporadically on the Chico, likely the northernmost breeding area for this species in Colorado. The other mostly mountain species, Common Raven, moves to the plains during the winter. It is larger with a longer bill and gray-based vs. white-based neck feathers. Both species are highly intelligent birds taking advantage of any food source, here a dead Horned Lark which will be added to its diet.
The recent snowfall has made foraging difficult for seed-eating birds. The Curve-billed Thrasher was foraging at the main ranch building where the heat of the sun melted snow at the foundation. Curve-billed Thrasher is normally a secretive bird, nesting in the summer in the densest cholla cactus on the ranch. Today, this thrasher was only interested in finding food, allowing close approach.