Monthly Archives: April 2019

April 28, 2019

This morning a friend and I hiked six miles at Mt. Falcon. In addition to joggers, hikers, and mountain bikers, we saw mule deer, Dark-eyed Juncos, Black-billed Magpies, Black-capped Chickadees, American Crows, Steller’s Jays, a Broad-tailed Hummingbird, and these birds:

Scrub Jay
Pine Siskin

There were lots of mule deer out, including this one:

Mule Deer

And on the descent back on Castle Trail, we walked by these wild plums, which gave off the most intoxicating scent:

Wild plums at Mt. Falcon

April 27, 2019

To Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge this morning:

Bison Herd
Lone Prairie Dog
Prairie Dog Nursery

Speaking of prairie dogs, we were hoping to spot a Burrowing Owl that had taken over a prairie dog burrow. No such luck, but we did spot one interloper:


Many, many birds were present, including Red-tailed Hawks soaring overhead, as well as another type of hawk–possibly Swainson’s Hawk. We spotted an American Kestrel high in a tree. Red-winged Blackbirds were ubiquitous. Closer to the ground we saw these (as well as a Vesper Sparrow, of which I got no good shot):

Western Meadowlark
Horned Lark

April 23, 2019

After work my better half–now using an all-terrain knee scooter–and I headed west on the Bear Creek Greenbelt. First we checked on the Cooper’s Hawk nest:

Cooper’s Hawk

Then we checked on the Great Horned Owl nest:

Great Horned Owls

April 21, 2019

Today a friend and I hiked ten miles at Deer Creek Canyon Park, a mere twenty-minute drive from my house. On the hike toward Golden Eagle Trail, we saw (and heard!) a few creatures:

Spotted Towhee
Spotted Towhee, singing
Pine Squirrel (I think)
Hairy Woodpecker (thanks, R.M., for sending me this shot)

And the view:

View from Golden Eagle Trail at Deer Creek Canyon Park

Late this afternoon I took the dog for a walk in the Bear Creek Greenbelt. We had hardly left our neighborhood when I spotted our first bird:

Say’s Phoebe

Just a short distance away I saw this collection of Prairie Dogs in a field of several dozen:

Prairie Dogs

And then we walked west on the Bear Creek Greenbelt, where I spotted a Cooper’s Hawk sitting in a nest that my better half and I had happened upon a couple of weeks ago, when construction was still underway:

Cooper’s Hawk

We checked on the Great Horned Owl nest on the greenbelt west of us:

Great Horned Owls

Then we checked on the Great Horned Owl nest on the greenbelt east of us. I saw two chicks stirring in the nest, and I saw Mama, presumably, snoozing away in a nearby tree:

Great Horned Owl

April 20, 2019

Yesterday a friend and I went to Staunton State Park and hiked 12 miles roundtrip to see Elk Falls. It was just below freezing at the start, but sunny and in the 60s when we finished.

View on the way to Elk Falls
Elk Falls
View on the way back from Elk Falls

April 19, 2019

Back to the Bear Creek Greenbelt to check on the Great Horned Owl nest east of our house. One of the chicks was gingerly making its way back into the nest after taking some air:

Great Horned Owl nestling

April 18, 2019

This afternoon I went back to the Great Horned Owl nest east of us on the Bear Creek Greenbelt, where I could see only two of the three of the Great Horned Owl nestlings clearly:

Great Horned Owl nestlings

The adult–mama, presumably–was sleeping soundly in a nearby tree.

West of the nest on the Greenbelt, just before Estes, a cyclist and I spotted a Cooper’s Hawk at the same time. We both stopped to watch. It was adding to a nest above the creek. Back and forth it flew with twigs.

April 17, 2019

To the Bear Creek Greenbelt after work today, where one of the Great Horned Owl chicks east of our house is branching out:

Great Horned Owls

Spotted this Cooper’s Hawk on the Greenbelt just east of Estes:

Cooper’s Hawk

And who can resist a standing prairie dog?

Prairie Dog

April 15, 2019

This morning I put up the first hummingbird feeder of the season, and then my better half and I drove two and a half hours west to go hiking at Hanging Lake:

Hanging Lake
Hanging Lake
Chipmunk at Hanging Lake