Date: 7/8/19 12:19 pm
From: Eric DeFonso <bay.wren...>
Subject: [cobirds] Grace's Warbler, Costilla County (private ranch)
Hi all,

While doing a survey for the Bird Conservancy on a private ranch near Fort
Garland in Costilla County this morning, I heard and recorded a Grace's
Warbler at around 9200' in an area of mixed ponderosa pine/Douglas-fir
habitat with a fairly developed understory of sage and serviceberry. It
caught me quite by surprise and unfortunately the bird was not close by,
but I did manage a fairly lousy recording of it from a range of about
70-100 meters (I'm guessing). Based on past experience with this species I
knew it would take a while to visually locate, and unfortunately I was
still in the middle of my scheduled survey and needed to stay on time since
I was on private property. But I think my recording will confirm its
identity, as the spectrogram of the sound matches GRWA exactly and rules
out other (somewhat) sound-alikes like Dark-eyed Junco, Chipping Sparrow,
and Virginia's Warbler.

According to eBird, there are currently no accepted records of GRWA in
Costilla County, and the Colorado County Birding page currently does not
include GRWA on its Costilla checklist. However, the site for this bird is
only about 25 miles from Spanish Peaks SWA and its known GRWA locations,
and only 50 miles from known locations in northern New Mexico as well as
Pueblo Mountain Park.

I wanted to share this not so much to provide a chasing opportunity, but
rather to raise awareness of what seems like a broader pattern of
occurrence for this species in south central Colorado. Put it on your radar
as a possible find in appropriate habitats of San Luis Valley!

Good birding,

Eric DeFonso
near Lyons, Boulder County, CO

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