Date: 2/26/17 2:41 pm
From: David Suddjian <dsuddjian...>
Subject: Re: [cobirds] Front Range Bushtits-What's Up Wtih That?
I'm not an old timer here, but the urban areas also have suet feeders,
which Bushtits along the Front Range seem to favor. And elsewhere in the
species' range, cottonwood riparian is a frequently used habitat.

David Suddjian
Ken Caryl Valley
Littleton, CO

On Sun, Feb 26, 2017 at 11:31 AM, Doug Ward <dougward...> wrote:

> “Long time Colorado birder, first time CoBirds poster”. After being away
> for 17 years, I find myself back in the Front Range of Colorado on a
> regular basis now. Being born and raised here, I had over 25 years of
> birding experience before heading north to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho in 2000;
> actually splitting time between Colorado & Idaho now. With family down
> here, we were back for holidays, but never really got out to do much
> birding – plus after 25 years, I had a pretty good idea of what, and how
> many, were where, or so I thought.
>
>
>
> Ted’s post last night (25 Feb.’17), “magpies, flickers, bushtits, and Bill
> Kaempfer”, prompted me to write this note based on one of the significant
> avian changes I’ve noticed along the Front Range since being away. Last
> summer, my wife and I were working in the yard here in Denver (Denver, Co.)
> and I heard the distinctive “twittering”, then “Holy s&#$, BUSHTITS!!!”
> (she still thinks the AOU needs to change the common name of these guys; I
> for one like it as I’m a perpetual adolescent). I immediately ran to eBird
> to check recent occurrences as I was sure this was huge. Turns out, not so
> much. Growing up, finding even a couple of Bushtits in the juniper patches
> west and south of town (Waterton, Red Rocks, Dinosaur Ridge, …) was a real
> nice surprise, and only happened once or twice a year.
>
>
>
> So what happened in the interim? As you all know, they are now common in
> numerous locations all along the Front Range. What gets me is that these
> guys have hopped habitat preferences, as opposed to expanding along with
> habitat creep like the Blue Jay following “forestation” across the Great
> Plains. Up until that little pack of Bushtits came through the yard, they
> were always a “specialty” of the piñon/juniper belts of the southeast and
> West Slope in my mind in Colorado. Now I can see a growing population, for
> whatever reason, spilling into the urban areas with all of the native and
> ornamental conifers, but an outright move into cottonwood riparian areas,
> that makes no sense to me – I smell a thesis in there somewhere.
>
>
>
> Any thoughts from the “old timers” who have been here throughout this
> shift would be welcomed. While stumbling on a rarity every so often is
> fun, these little evolutionary mysteries are what I very much enjoy about
> our hobby that is so linked to Nature.
>
>
>
> Happy to Be Back,
>
> Doug Ward
>
> Denver
>
>
>
>
>
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