Camera Critters - Birds of Boulder
My first stop exploring Boulder's trails last Friday was the Sawhill Ponds Wildlife Preserve. I watched several waterfowl swimming and feeding and this one with the cinnamon-colored head caught my eye. It is called an American Avocet. This reddish plumage on the head appears during the breeding season.
Next, as I was walking along the trail, I scared up another bird I'd never seen before. It flew up so fast, that I was surprised I actually caught in the frame.
There is a boardwalk winding through the edge of the wetlands and I found an observation area with a bench and proceded to watch the red-winged blackbirds. This male was singing his heart out for a female off-camera to my left. After about 5 minutes of this, she decided he was "the One" and they noisily paired off.
My next destination was the trailhead on Table Mesa Drive at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Upon pulling into the parking area, I was immediately distracted by a pair of black-billed magpies who were gathering sticks. They flew off towards the other side of the lot, so I drove over that way. I lost sight of them briefly, but followed their calls to a pine tree in the midst of the parking rows. Sure enough, they were busily building a nest in the upper interior of the tree.
Spring is such a great time for bird-watching. Jeff and I drove back up twice more to check on the progress of their nest.
As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I ended up in Betasso Nature Preserve. I didn't see too many birds, but then again I wasn't there very long before I realized I shouldn't be up there alone. Jeff and I drove up together later and we saw a few of these dark-eyed juncos flitting about. Different than the juncos we have back home in the winter, this variety is called a "gray-headed junco."
Be sure to head over to Camera Critters to view more creatures, be they feathered, furry or otherwise.