Early birders flock to Evergreen Lake to hear dawn chorus

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By Sandy Barnes

“Conk-la-ree! Conk-la-ree!” called the red-winged blackbirds perched on cattails in the marsh at Evergreen Lake on Sunday morning.


Perhaps these birds with their colorful markings knew they were participating in the International Dawn Chorus Day. Members of Evergreen Audubon who planned the local gathering at the lake were keenly aware of the event and its significance in the avian community.

“The first Sunday in May, birders from all over the world get together,” said Brad Andres, president of Evergreen Audubon. 

International Dawn Chorus Day is organized by a group of wildlife trusts based in the United Kingdom.

Andres and other Audubon members had been at the lake since 6 a.m. noting species of birds they saw and heard, which ranged from a pigmy nuthatch to a turkey vulture.

“At the wetlands, there are more places for the birds to hide,” Andres said while explaining the location of the event.

Later in the morning at the Evergreen Nature Center, Andres tallied the bird list for the day. Audubon members had recorded 40 species, including a belted kingfisher, blue-winged teal, Western bluebird, chipping sparrows, the American dipper, ruby-crowned kinglet — and a great blue heron.
“I love them. They’re my favorite bird,” Lisa Hamm-Greenawalt said of the heron she’d seen.

While not an Audubon member, Hamm-Greenawalt said she always enjoys birdwatching, especially in Evergreen.

“It’s nice to have these resources all around you,” she said.

Hamm-Greenawalt also said she likes getting up early in the morning when it’s quiet and going outdoors.

By 8 a.m. Sunday, the Lake Park was alive with people walking their dogs, fishing and boating. Despite the human activity, the birds kept on chirping and calling to one another from treetops and the marsh. 

After all, it is mating season for them.


Evergreen Audubon is a chapter of the national society and meets the first Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Church of the Foothills in Buffalo Park Road. The group also sponsors field trips and other events.

For more information, visit  www.evergreenaudubon.org.


Contact Sandy Barnes at sandy@evergreenco.com or call 303-350-1042.