Birding the other Side at North Star Species List
Tuesday, July 22, 2021 7am-10:30am
Weather: Sunny, hot
Location: North Star Nature Preserve
This field trip took us to the "other side" at North Star Nature Preserve, into the landscape south of the Roaring Fork River which is managed as a wildlife-only space. In conjunction with Pitkin County Open Space, ACES offers a series of birding outings each summer, with one venturing into this special area to provide a special opportunity for birders to experience these extensive and unique habitats. We began with a fledgling red-naped sapsucker with an adult on cottonwood trees surrounding the parking area, and a cedar waxwing eating serviceberries nearby. From the bridge, we saw a kingfisher, song sparrows, and a beaver. In the upland area on our way toward the base of Richmond Ridge, we encountered house finches, lark sparrows, and tree swallows. We also noticed red-winged blackbirds giving a certain call that we don't usually hear, and after a Cooper's hawk flew through the meadow, we realized it was the blackbirds' special alarm call for that type of potential threat. From here, we also spotted a bull moose with velvet antlers that trotted across the sedge wetlands, through a section of forest, and emerged near us in the dry meadow. The moose was obviously attentive to something else back in the forest, which we later learned was likely a black bear that had been noted there earlier in the morning by residents. After feeling the thrill of this excellent moose experience, we went on to find more birds... In the aspen grove on the alluvial fan, we saw families of fledged house wrens, chipping sparrows, red-naped sapsuckers, swallows, and yellow warblers. Join us next week for Morning Birding at Hallam Lake and a special outing in Castle Creek Valley.
~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide
Photo by Dale Armstrong