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

New Ranch Bird #334 - Trumpeter Swan
A large swan was seen on the 1st of December by John Drummond while he was showing a visiting group of birders a Ladder-backed Woodpecker.  Hoping the swan would still be present after the cold nightime temperatures, I arrived early on the 2nd and there it was a juvenile Trumpeter Swan.  Separating Trumpeter from the more common (but still rare on the Chico) Tundra Swan is not easy. The differences are in the shape and length of the bill and the amount of gray in the plumage at different times of the year plus leg color if seen well.  Also the calls (usually silent) of the Trumpeter Swan sound like...drum roll... an out of tune trumpet.  American Coots and two American Wigeons are dwarfed by the exiting Trumpeter Swan.
Posted by Bill M. on 12/03/2014

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