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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



Tumbling Tumbleweeds
See them tumbling down
Pledging their love to the ground
Lonely but free I'll be found
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.

Cares of the past are behind
Nowhere to go but I'll find
Just where the trail will wind
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.

Sons of the Pioneers
Posted by Bill M. on 12/26/2011

Tracks in the Snow
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.
Posted by Bill M. on 12/25/2011

Ravens - Opportunists
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.
Posted by Bill M. on 12/25/2011

Snow and Birds

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.

Posted by Bill M. on 12/25/2011

   
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CONTACT US 719.683.7960 info@chicobasinranch.com