June 3, 2023

This morning I birded with friends in Genesee.  A few birds we saw:

Black-headed Grosbeak

Western Tanager

Mountain Bluebird

Afterwards, on the way to getting my vehicle serviced, I happened by a Red-tailed Hawk nest:

Three juvenile Red-tailed Hawks

In the two hours before sunset I walked with a friend in the Bear Creek Greenbelt.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird nesting

Great Horned Owlet (right eye still wonky)

Great Horned Owl

Indigo Bunting

Here’s a recording of this Indigo Bunting:



Raccoon kit looking across the Bear Creek Trail . . .

Raccoon kit

. . . at mama raccoon.


May 31, 2023

After work I wandered into the Bear Creek Greenbelt.  A couple of hours later, I wandered back out, having observed 25 different species.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird (male)

Broad-tailed Hummingbird (nesting female)

The Great Horned Owlet apparently has developed an issue with its right eye again.

Great Horned Owlet

Maybe it didn’t fall far from the tree?

Great Horned Owl

Seriously, I think the adult’s eyes are just fine:

Great Horned Owl

The owlet’s better side:

Great Horned Owlet

A nearby Western Wood-Pewee:

Western Wood-Pewee

Recording of this Western Wood-Pewee:


When I checked on the nesting Broad-tailed Hummingbird again, she was tending to those in her nest–two, it looks like.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird tending to nest

Broad-tailed Hummingbird tending to nest

And back to protecting those on her nest:

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

A couple of other birds that I heard but did not see.

Yellow-breasted Chat:


Common Yellowthroat:

May 29, 2023

Today I co-led, with David Suddjian, a Denver Field Ornithologists trip called Bear Creek from the Mountains to the South Platte.  The weather was gorgeous, even a little toasty in the afternoon.

On the way to the mountains, we stopped at Lair O’ the Bear, before the hordes of mountain bikers, picnickers, dog-walkers, runners, and hikers showed up (we were the third car in the parking lot when we arrived, and when we left drivers were circling the lot, looking for someone to vacate a spot).  We got a nice look at a Macgillivray’s Warbler:

MacGillivray’s Warbler

Here’s a recording of this Macgillivray’s Warbler:


We also stopped at Evergreen Lake, again before the parking lot got too full.  Here’s a Broad-tailed Hummingbird with gorget beautifully lighted:

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Then up to Singing River Ranch, and down to the Bear Creek Greenbelt.

House Wren

We heard (and saw) a Lazuli Bunting.  But MerlinID would sometimes identify it as a Lazuli Bunting and sometimes as an Indigo Bunting, and sometimes both . . . just as it has for the past week or so.  As we were leaving, David paused to listen to what seemed like a song very similar to that of the Lazuli Bunting we’d seen, but just a bit different.  Turns out it was in fact an Indigo Bunting!

Lazuli Bunting

Here’s a recording of this Indigo Bunting:

And for comparison, here’s a recording of a Lazuli Bunting we saw at Lair O’ the Bear:

We ended up at the confluence of Bear Creek and the South Platte.  Dozens of Barn Swallows and Cliff Swallows were building nests under a bridge over the South Platte.

Cliff Swallows building nests

Finally, here’s an American Robin with a bill full of food.  It didn’t move while we were looking at it, probably because it didn’t want us to see the nest to which it almost certainly was going to make a delivery.

American Robin with worm

May 27, 2023

Today I went on a Denver Field Ornithologists birding hike, led by David Suddjian, at Ken Caryl Ranch.  It was a marvelous opportunity to listen closely to birdsong.

Here is one of the star singers, an Ovenbird, whose loud volume is matched only by the difficulty in spotting the bird (let alone photographing it, as you’ll see by my picture).


Recording of this Ovenbird:


Another singer:

Warbling Vireo

Recording of this Warbling Vireo:


Another singer:

Virginia’s Warbler

Recording of this Virginia’s Warbler (at 6s, 15s, and 22s–also singing are Black-headed Grosbeak, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, and Spotted Towhee):


Another singer (but no recording):

MacGillivray’s Warbler

Here’s a couple of other birds who were vocalizing, if not always singing.

Hammond’s Flycatcher

Recording of this Hammond’s Flycatcher:


Brown Creeper

In the afternoon I went into the Bear Creek Greenbelt and found two of the owls.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owlet

Looks like this Broad-tailed Hummingbird is still incubating:

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

May 26, 2023

A female Black-chinned Hummingbird stopped by my nectar feeder this morning:


In the afternoon I ventured into the Bear Creek Greenbelt.  After three days of hearing a Lazuli Bunting, I was finally able to train my lens on one:

Lazuli Bunting

Here’s another singer, much more visible usually:

House Wren

I found the coyote pups again, all five of them, in a yet another makeshift den.  Here are three:

Coyote pups

A coyote cub returning to its siblings

May 25, 2023

Today dawned bright and clear (and blue!) after days of smoke from Canada wildfires.

Coyote pups in the Bear Creek Greenbelt:

Coyote pups emerging from a makeshift den

Curious coyote pup

May 23, 2023

Here’s a Broad-tailed Hummingbird who visited my nectar feeder this morning:


After work I led a Denver Field Ornithologists trip to the Bear Creek Greenbelt.  We were able to see all three Great Horned Owls.

Here’s one of the adults:

Great Horned Owl

And here’s the owlet, with its right eye looking much better!

Great Horned Owlet

A nesting Broad-tailed Hummingbird:

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

A Bushtit waiting for us to move on.


Who can resist baby prairie dogs?

Black-tailed Prairie Dogs

A Red-tailed Hawk carrying off an immature lagomorph (aka, a baby bunny):

Red-tailed Hawk with prey

May 21, 2023

I began the morning by meeting a friend in the Bear Creek Greenbelt.  She was able to find all three Great Horned Owls.

Great Horned Owl and owlet

Great Horned Owl (Papa)

A little later, I went back into the greenbelt, and spotted a Northern Parula.

Northern Parula

Northern Parula

And a Broad-tailed Hummingbird being saucy:

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

And my first Mallard ducklings of the season:

Mallard and ducklings

I saw my first prairie dog pups of the season, too.  But I was on my mountain bike at the time, so no pictures.

In the afternoon I returned to the greenbelt to look in on the owls.   On the way, I saw Manky Mallard and a suitor:

I found Papa Owl perched, inscrutable as always.

Great Horned Owl

Mama Owl was more active, flying from tree to tree.  At one point when she was perched over Bear Creek, she coughed up a pellet.  Considering how fast and high Bear Creek is running, it’s probably in a different state by now.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl on the wing

Great Horned Owl

Maybe it was my imagination, but I thought she was looking for the owlet.  I know I was.   And I left the greenbelt before I could find it.

May 20, 2023

Today I joined a Denver Field Ornithologists team to do a Big Day within in the Deer Creek watershed.  We assembled at 3:15 a.m. at South Valley Park and birded non-stop until 4:15 p.m.  We saw 93 different species.

Here are some highlights from the day:

Evening Grosbeak (male)

Evening Grosbeak (female)

Red-eyed Vireo

Eastern Phoebe X Black Phoebe hybrid

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Red-tailed Hawk eyasses

Great Horned Owls


Canada Goose and goslings