Date: 2/3/18 8:59 pm
From: Mindy Hetrick <prairiepal7...>
Subject: [cobirds] Re: Mountain Bluebirds at Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR and a newly opened Auto Tour route.
Wonderful new and easy Ebird hotspot to do the Great Backyard Bird Count
Feb 16-19. Shameless plug, but it is a mecca of changing avian activity!

On Friday, February 2, 2018 at 1:48:05 PM UTC-7, Joe Roller wrote:
> There is an nice, paved auto tour that was opened at Rocky Mt Arsenal NWR
> last October.
> I checked it out and found a few raptors:
> 3 Bald Eagles,
> 5 Red-tails,
> 1 Ferrug Hawk
> and a Prairie Falcon.
> I toured there for less than an hour, but was surprised to see only one
> Western Meadowlark and no Horned Larks.
> Plus two Mountain Bluebirds. Although that species was found here and
> there in Colorado during the winter,
> these males were the first reported to eBird in the Metro area so far this
> year.
> The route I followed was the newly opened Auto Tour, which covers a lot of
> untrammeled land on the north side of the Arsenal.
> AND you get to cross First Creek twice - once on a sturdy bridge, then
> closer to its "headwaters," through a little swale.
> This is a one-way drive and for much of the route, you are advised to stay
> in your vehicle, so as not to bother
> the local herbivore - *Bison bison, *which roam unfenced. (I guess the
> bison could reciprocate and bother you, too).
> One shaggy beast was right on the shoulder of the road, which made it seem
> more like Yellowstone than Genesee Park.
> Being alone out there on the prairie was inspiring, in a landscape little
> altered by "us." I usually need to get up to the
> Pawnee Grasslands to get that same feeling.
> Joe Roller, Denver
> PS IF you go, please compile a separate checklist for the new eBird
> hotspot, "Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR--East Auto Tour."

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