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Outdoors

  • Starlings showing up at feeders

    Every winter, I receive a phone call or letter from someone, asking about the strange beautiful bird at a feeder. Apparently, the unusually cold weather gives starlings the drive to investigate feeders, and many people see them for the first time during the cold days of winter.

  • Dove sightings becoming common

    During the holidays, I received word from a reader of this column, Brian Parsons, that he had what he believed to be a pair of turtle doves at his feeder south of Evergreen. He described the birds as being “a pair of light-colored doves with a black neck ring.”

     

    I talked to Mr. Parsons on the phone, but I have not as yet been able to see the birds myself. His description could be either of two birds, both of which have been seen in Colorado in the past.

  • Gray-colored birds visit feeders during winter

    Reprinted from Jan. 6, 2010

    It is winter again this week. Snowflakes have been in the air several times, but so far, we haven’t accumulated much, just added clean sheets to the snow bed that was already on the ground.

  • Counting crows … and a few other winter birds

    "Another crow! There’s too many to count,” Hannah Crangle said while gazing into the wintry sky on Saturday morning.

    Hannah was the lone but enthusiastic participant in Evergreen Audubon’s first Kids Bird Count. Surrounded by Audubon members, the young girl was checking out the area around Kittredge Community Park with an experienced eye.

    Hannah has a family history of birding. Her great-grandmother is Louise Mounsey, who founded Evergreen Audubon with Sylvia Brockner, the longtime nature writer for the Canyon Courier.

  • Balancing outdoor recreational needs with wildlife preservation

    Getting outdoors in wide-open spaces can have health benefits for people. However, converting wild, unspoiled lands into recreational venues for humans can have a questionable impact on wildlife

    Finding a balance between outdoor recreational needs and wildlife protection was a focus of the PLAN Jeffco conference on Nov. 16 in Golden.

    “Can wildlife survive in these areas humans tend to develop?” Dr. Mat Allredge, wildlife researcher with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, asked during his presentation. “Will all wildlife be tolerated?”

  • Why are some plants weeds and others not?

    We hear a lot about noxious weeds these days, which makes me wonder why some plants are called weeds, and others are not. Just what is a weed?

  • Check out scrub-jays at Red Rocks Park

    One of our most interesting birds is the western scrub-jay. This bird is not regularly found in Evergreen, but it is found in Kittredge and in Red Rocks Park. It is not a forest bird, but it is a bird of the scrub-land area. You can tell if you are in good jay country just by looking at the shrub growth. It can be found regularly in the scrub oak along the road, which is the Morrison entrance to Red Rocks Park.

  • Remembering Clarence, a Capitol fixture

    There are people we encounter in life who achieve notoriety and influence beyond what any reasonable person would expect. Clarence Miller, who passed away last week at the age of 64, was one of those people.

  • Kinnikinnick provides green during gray of winter season

    Green is not a color you expect to see this time of year when you look out the window. Ponderosa pines are nearly totally dormant and give an appearance of being black when seen against the snow.

  • After the holiday, turn your Christmas tree into a bird tree

    This year’s Christmas Bird Count was held on Sunday, Dec. 15. All in all, it was just about an average count with totals of 4,690 individual birds observed and counts of 45 different species. There were no rare or unusual birds observed and no major decline or increase in any species.