December 10, 2011

Boulder County Audubon Teen Naturalists - Winter Raptors

This morning was the Boulder County Audubon Teen Naturalists' inaugural event, a wintering raptor survey in Boulder County.  With three participants - myself, Joel, and Skye Lewis - and our able guides Steve Jones and Sarah Bexell, it was a great beginning of what looks to be an excellent group.

Left to right:  Sarah Bexell, Marcel Such, Skye Lewis, Steve Jones, Joel Such
photo by David Such

We surveyed Boulder County Nature Associations' South Rabbit Mountain route north of Boulder, and had a good number of hawks, kestrels, and eagles, marking the locations of the birds on a topographical map for a county-wide database of such sightings.  And though raptors were our main focus, we also enjoyed the other wintering bird species that we happened across.  As we gathered back at our meeting point, Joel spotted an adult Bald Eagle flying over, a fit end to a wonderful morning.  Too bad it wasn't countable for the survey!

photo by Joel Such

Immature Ferruginous Hawk
photo by Marcel Such

Male American Kestrel
photo by Joel Such


"White-cheeked" Goose - 100
Red-tailed Hawk - 12 (including one dark-morph bird, and one eastern borealis bird)
Ferruginous Hawk - 3 (the most I've ever seen in the county on one day)
Golden Eagle - 1
American Kestrel - 12
Rock Pigeon - 10
"Red-shafted" Northern Flicker - 1
Blue Jay - 2
Black-billed Magpie - 6
Common Raven - 2
American Robin - 2
European Starling - 60
Dark-eyed Junco - 6
Red-winged Blackbird - 5
American Goldfinch - 6

16 species

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