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ACES' Birding Program: Special Recon Trip | January 16, 2019

Tuesday, January 16, 2019, 8:15AM - 2:30PM
Location: Mid-valley, various locations

Species Identified

Canada Goose
Ring-necked Duck
Lesser Scaup
Common Goldeneye
Barrow's Goldeneye
Hooded Merganser
Wild Turkey
Pied-billed Grebe
Rock Pigeon
American Coot
Great Blue Heron
Bald Eagle
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Golden Eagle
Belted Kingfisher
Northern Flicker
Jay sp.
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Common Raven
Black-capped Chickadee
Mountain Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
American Dipper
Mountain Bluebird
American Robin
European Starling
Pine Siskin
Spotted Towhee
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco


This was a recon trip toward developing a mid-valley winter birding blitz that we plan to make an annual event. Stay tuned for details next winter! We began at Rock Bottom Ranch where we were dazzled by mountain bluebirds, a roosting turkey, a herd of elk, a hooded merganser, and many more great sightings. Bald eagles were seen along the Roaring Fork and Frying Pan Rivers, as expected. Highlights in the Frying Pan River Valley were many dippers, a pair of golden eagles, and a pair of Barrow's goldeneyes. We saw lesser scaup, gadwalls, a pied-billed grebe, mallards, and other waterfowl, as well as juncos, jays, and chickadees in the upland surroundings. At a private pond in Missouri Heights, there were many common goldeneyes, hooded mergansers, buffleheads, gadwalls, lesser scaup, and a juvenile Cooper's hawk perched on the roof of a chicken coop. Additional highlights were the experiences of seeing mountain bluebirds here in mid-winter, and learning about the courtship displays and vocalizations of waterfowl, including the high-pitched calls of male mallards and the head pumping, crest waggling, chasing, and high-speed scooting of other ducks. Thirty-five species were documented on this very snowy day and six checklists were submitted to eBird.  


~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide