Date: 4/16/17 6:53 am From: JohnT <j.eclectus...> Subject: [cobirds] Boulder County raptors, owls, passerines
I did my annual owl and raptor tour yesterday in Boulder County with several participants. Here are some notes and highlights:
Great horned owls - many of the best observable nest sites are gone from last year, due to destroyed nest sites, red tailed hawks taking over, or desertion. All viewing was done with scopes due to far distances. Nonetheless we saw at least 10 adults and chicks at nest sites.
Bald eagle nest sites are active with chicks on nests.
The Golden Eagle nest site at Meadow Park in Lyons is active.
Ospreys are thriving in Boulder County, and almost all platform poles we visited had ospreys.
Red tailed hawk nest sites are active. I've noted to others that the red tails have started nesting (in Boulder County) 4 weeks earlier than usual in some cases.
Swainson's hawks are present.
Turkey vultures were observed, and have been present since last week at least.
American White Pelicans have been present for several weeks. Walden \ Sawhills had several.
Great Blue Heron rookeries are very active at Crane Hollow Road and Boulder Reservoir (northwest side). There was one lone great blue heron building a nest near Laggerman Reservoir near the horse ranch.
Other notes: House wrens, common grackles, mourning doves, yellow rumped warblers, blue gray gnatcatchers, mountain bluebirds, have all returned. Wildflowers are blooming in the foothills. Snakes are out. Coyote activity is increasing, even during daylight. Flickers are drumming. Spotted towhees have staked out territories and females have arrived. Western meadowlarks and red winged blackbirds are actively singing and chasing now. Large numbers of robins have returned and songs can be heard early mornings in suburban neighborhoods.