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Outdoors

  • Migrating nighthawks fill the evening air

    There is a small order of birds known as goatsuckers. The scientific name is the Caprimulgiformes, which comes from the Latin Caprimulgus, a milker of goats and forma or form.

  • Barn swallows are another visitor to the area

    Two weeks ago, I wrote about the tree and violet-green swallows that nest in this area. They are the swallows that have dark blue-black backs and white under parts as they flash by.

  • Staunton State Park prepares to open to public in October

    Staunton State Park is on track to open to the public in October, as volunteer recruitment, partner development and construction progress.

    A firm date for the opening of Colorado’s newest state park — on 3,500 acres north of Shaffers Crossing — will be set sometime in August, said park manager Jennifer Marten.

    Community partners and volunteers

    The Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife hosted two open houses in April to recruit volunteers to help build and maintain the park and partners to raise money for it.

  • Cormorants at Evergreen Lake a majestic sight

    One of the most prominent and therefore most asked-about bird at Evergreen Lake is the double-crested cormorant. This big bird often is seen sitting on the dam or on the sandbar that accumulates at the inlet. They are big black birds that people cannot fail to see, especially when they have their wings spread out to dry.

  • Reader reports rare sighting of rose-breasted grosbeak

    A phone call from a reader of this column on Thursday, July 12, brought some exciting news. The call was from Susan Pellegrini, who lives out Brook Forest Drive. She was calling to tell me she had seen her first rose-breasted grosbeak at her feeder. It was an adult male, not all that unusual in itself, but it was the date that excited me.

  • Squirrels and bird feeders not a good mix

    Another question from a reader this week asked how to keep squirrels out of bird feeders. Any of you who have read this column regularly recall that I wrote some time ago that I had given up trying to outsmart the squirrels.

  • Books provide important bird-identifying information

    The questions I am most frequently asked are, “What is the best bird book for this area?” or “What is the best bird book for identification? or “What book do you use?” Actually, I use three books most frequently.

  • Cottonwoods, aspen grace landscape on midsummer’s eve

    Today, June 20, is the summer solstice, the day that people of many races and cultures around the world celebrate as midsummer night’s eve, the longest day of the year and thereby the shortest night of the year.

  • Three basic rules to feed hummingbirds

    Although many species of bird return to nest in this area at various times, the hummingbirds seem to be very regular in their arrival dates, and most everyone who lives here seems to agree that when the hummingbirds arrive, it is truly summer.
    Although they return at lower elevations a bit earlier than they do here, the broad-tailed hummingbirds that nest in our immediate area usually arrive between April 25 and April 27, and they have done so for close to the 50 years I have lived here.

  • House wrens working their way into the foothills

    The little brown house wren has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. They always nested in a box in our yard on the farm where I grew up, and they were common nesting birds in most every yard in the village.