Category Archives: Wild Bird Company Blog

Cinnamon Teal – Anas cyanoptera. Wild Bird Company Bird Walk, Bird of the Day 04.14.18

Bird of the Day: Cinnamon Teal – Anas cyanoptera

Wild Bird Company Saturday Morning Bird Walk at Sombrero Marsh & Pond, City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks Cherryvale Office area, and Eldorado Springs (town), Boulder, US-CO, April 14, 2018. We Are Wild About Birds!

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April 14, 2018 Bird Walk Count and Newsletter

Photo Gallery: April 14, 2018 Bird Walk

Slide Show: April 14, 2018

April 14, 2018. Sunny and mild. 50°F. 2-10 mph. 10 participants.
At the top of the local bird news was a sighting of an Anna’s Hummingbird at Alison’s home (she’s a Saturday Birder). We planned our route so we would end up over there in hopes of seeing this rare hummingbird. We missed on the hummer, but it was great to spend some time in Alison’s beautiful yard. Thanks Alison. She sent me some pictures of the Anna’s that are included in this week’s slide show.

Bird of the Day – Cinnamon Teal – Anas cyanoptera – Boulder, CO
A male cinnamon teal is a most striking bird. You can see that warm reddish brown color from across the pond. When you get a closer look you can see long gold and black feathers that lay on their back and the almost creepy red eye. Cinnamon teal are a small duck, but their long body shape and big shoveler-like bill gives them the appearance of a larger duck. Female teal are an id challenge, but you can separate out female cinnamons by their same bill and body shape combined with a plain face.

Cinnamon Teal ©Kevin Rutherford
Cinnamon Teal By Kevin Rutherford

Wood Duck – Aix sponsa. Wild Bird Company Bird Walk, Bird of the Day 04.07.18

Bird of the Day:  Wood Duck – Aix sponsa

Wild Bird Company Saturday Morning Bird Walk at Pella Crossing Open Space, Crane Hollow Road and ponds, and Foothills Reservoir & McCaslin Lake area, Boulder, US-CO, April 7, 2018. We Are Wild About Birds!

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April 7, 2018 Bird Walk Count and Newsletter

Photo Gallery: April 7, 2018 Bird Walk

Slide Show: April 7, 2018

April 7, 2018. Cloudy and chilly. 28°F. 2-6 mph. 4 participants.
This morning was quite a departure from the bird watching I was doing last week in Mexico (at least weather-wise). All those migrants I saw making their way northward along the Gulf Coast are starting to show up here now. Over the next few weeks there will be a lot of changes!

Bird of the Day – Wood Duck – Aix sponsa – Boulder, CO
One of the fun things about this morning was watching a pair of Wood Ducks exploring the big trees around the Crane Hollow Heronry searching for a nest site. Wood ducks get their names because they nest in tree hollows. At one point this morning, the female wood duck was clinging onto the side of a broken off branch. Supporting herself with her webbed claws and pressing her tail against the tree – woodpecker style. Then she would tilt up and poke her head into the cavity to see if anyone else was using it! I’m sure that is a very anxious moment.

Wood Ducks ©Neal Zaun
Wood Ducks by Neal Zaun

Steve’s Spring Break in Mexico Bird List – March 25 through April 1, 2018 – Wild Bird Company

Wild Bird Photos from our Steve’s Spring Break in Mexico 03.25.18 through 04.01.18 – Tamaulipas, Mexico.

Dear Customers & Friends – Over Spring Break this year my family had the pleasure of spending our vacation with our friends from Mexico. They live in Monterey, but also have a ranch on the Gulf Coast, where we spent most of our time. I had never been to Mexico so I really enjoyed seeing some new birds. Many thanks to my family, and to Paloma, Javier and family, all his siblings and their families, and their friends. It was fantastic.

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Steve’s Spring Break in Mexico Bird List – March 25 through April 1, 2018 – Tamaulipas, Mexico.

Photo Gallery: March 25 through April 1, 2018

Slide Show: March 25 through April 1, 2018

Sunrise Over the Gulf of Mexico ©Steve Frye
Sunrise Over the Gulf of Mexico by Steve Frye

Peregrine Falcon – Falco peregrinus. Wild Bird Company Bird Walk, Bird of the Day 03.31.18

Peregrine Falcon – Falco peregrinus

Bird of the Day. Wild Bird Company Saturday Morning Bird Walk at Walden Ponds Wildlife Habitat and Sombrero Marsh & Pond, Boulder, US-CO, March 31, 2018. We Are Wild About Birds!

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March 31, 2018 Bird Walk Count and Newsletter

March 31, 2018. 11 participants.
Looks like I missed another fine bird walk. I will send my Spring Break report out in a few days. Once again, I would like to thank those who went out on the bird walk and for sending me (us) images. A special thanks to Jane for sharing her checklists.

Photo Gallery: March 31, 2018 Bird Walk

Slide Show: March 31, 2018
(Note: For some mobile devices, you may need to enable Javascript and download Flash Player. If your mobile device does not support Flash Player, please view the Photo Gallery.)

Bird of the Day – Peregrine Falcon – Falco peregrinus – Boulder, CO
This very special bird was a little far off, but still a thrill to see for many. It was even a life bird for a few!

Peregrine Falcon ©Jane Baryames
Peregrine Falcon by Jane Baryames

Great Horned Owl – Bubo virginianus. Wild Bird Company Bird Walk, Bird of the Day 03.24.18

Great Horned Owl – Bubo virginianus

Bird of the Day. Wild Bird Company Saturday Morning Bird Walk at Walden and Sawhill Ponds, Boulder, US-CO, March 24, 2018. We Are Wild About Birds!

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March 24, 2018 Bird Walk Count and Newsletter

March 24, 2018. I was out of town for this walk. Looked like a good one. Thanks to all my Saturday Birders for going out and for sending images.

Photo Gallery: March 24, 2018 Bird Walk

Slide Show: March 24, 2018
(Note: For some mobile devices, you may need to enable Javascript and download Flash Player. If your mobile device does not support Flash Player, please view the Photo Gallery.)

Bird of the Day – Great Horned Owl – Bubo virginianus – Boulder, CO
I was just guessing about the Bird of the Day. I think it could also have been a black-capped chickadee or one of the teals. Watch the slide show and make your own determination of which bird should get Bird of the Day honors.

Great Horned Owl ©Neal Zaun
Great Horned Owl by Neal Zaun

Mountain Bluebird – Sialia currucoides. Wild Bird Company Bird Walk, Bird of the Day 03.17.18

Mountain Bluebird – Sialia currucoides

Bird of the Day. Wild Bird Company Saturday Morning Bird Walk at Joder Ranch and Boulder Reservoir complex Boulder, US-CO, March 17, 2018. We Are Wild About Birds!

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March 17, 2018 Bird Walk Count and Newsletter

Photo Gallery: March 17, 2018 Bird Walk

Slide Show: March 17, 2018
(Note: For some mobile devices, you may need to enable Javascript and download Flash Player. If your mobile device does not support Flash Player, please view the Photo Gallery.)

March 17, 2018. Sunny and pleasant. 40°F. 2-4 mph. 14 participants.
It was a great day to go looking for bluebirds in the foothills because we didn’t have any wind! We found some eventually despite my hacking cough – sorry. This morning really felt like the first spring walk of the year.

Bird of the Day – Mountain Bluebird – Sialia currucoides – Boulder, CO
Spring is in the air and with it comes territoriality. We saw two male mountain bluebirds face off in a little skirmish this morning. While I don’t feel that either of these birds were actually on territory, the hormones are still pumping and they get after each other no matter where. So even the seemingly mild-mannered bluebirds have a squabble once in a while.

Mountain Bluebird ©Neal Zaun
Mountain Bluebird by Neal Zaun

Louisiana Birding Portal – Local Louisiana Bird Watching, Bird Feeding and Birding Resources

Louisiana Birding Portal

Brown Pelican – Pelecanus occidentalis − Louisiana State Bird
(click to Brown Pelican reference page by Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds)

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Brown Pelican – Pelecanus occidentalis − Louisiana State Bird − Birding in Louisiana

Wild Bird Company is your friendly resource for Louisiana birding, backyard bird watching and bird feeding since 1989. We welcome you to our Louisiana portal for bird watching and backyard birding resources. We are always available to answer questions about Louisiana wild birds and birds across the US − and to learn about your birding experiences.

Shop Our Wild Bird Company Online Store to Enhance Your Louisiana Birding

Identify Your Louisiana Wild Birds

Brown Pelican - Pelecanus occidenta

Brown Pelican – Pelecanus occidenta

Need help identifying the birds in your yard, your region or beyond? Visit “All About Birds” from Cornell Lab of Ornithology to help you in your search for Louisiana wild bird identification, habitat, audio, video and similar species − and for information focused on birds worldwide.

All About Birds, Online Bird Guide (Cornell Lab of Ornothology)

Louisiana Wild Bird Watching Resources

Audubon Louisiana
Louisiana Bird Sightings − Powered by eBird
Louisiana Birding Hotspots Near You by BirdWatchingDaily.com
Louisiana State Parks
Nature Conservancy − Louisiana
Sierra Club − Louisiana
US National Park Service − Louisiana
US National Wildlife Refuges − Louisiana

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Wild Bird Company − Louisiana Birding Portal − “We’re Wild About Birds!”

Turn Your Backyard into an Entertaining Wild Bird Watching & Feeding Sanctuary . . . . for Louisiana Wild Birds.

Expert birding advice for Louisiana birding, bird watching, feeding, and attracting various species of wild birds to your backyard.

1.844.442.1322 (toll free) or 303.442.1322

info@wildbirdco.com

Wyoming Birding Portal – Local Wyoming Bird Watching, Bird Feeding and Birding Resources

Wyoming Birding Portal

Western Meadowlark – Sturnella neglecta − Wyoming State Bird
(click to Western Meadowlark reference page by Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds)

“Western

Western Meadowlark – Sturnella neglecta − Wyoming State Bird − Birding in Wyoming

Wild Bird Company is your friendly resource for Wyoming birding, backyard bird watching and bird feeding since 1989. We welcome you to our Wyoming portal for bird watching and backyard birding resources. We are always available to answer questions about Wyoming wild birds and birds across the US − and to learn about your birding experiences.

Shop Our Wild Bird Company Online Store to Enhance Your Wyoming Birding

Identify Your Wyoming Wild Birds

Western Meadowlark - Sturnella neglecta

Western Meadowlark – Sturnella neglecta

Need help identifying the birds in your yard, your region or beyond? Visit “All About Birds” from Cornell Lab of Ornithology to help you in your search for Wyoming wild bird identification, habitat, audio, video and similar species − and for information focused on birds worldwide.

All About Birds, Online Bird Guide (Cornell Lab of Ornothology)

Wyoming Wild Bird Watching Resources

Audubon Wyoming (Audubon Rockies)
Nature Conservancy − Wyoming
Sierra Club − Wyoming
US National Park Service − Wyoming
US National Wildlife Refuges − Wyoming
Wyoming Bird Sightings − Powered by eBird
Wyoming Birding Hotspots Near You by BirdWatchingDaily.com
Wyoming State Parks

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Wild Bird Company − Wyoming Birding Portal − “We’re Wild About Birds!”

Turn Your Backyard into an Entertaining Wild Bird Watching & Feeding Sanctuary . . . . for Wyoming Wild Birds.

Expert birding advice for Wyoming birding, bird watching, feeding, and attracting various species of wild birds to your backyard.

1.844.442.1322 (toll free) or 303.442.1322

info@wildbirdco.com

Bald Eagle – Haliaeetus leucocephalus. Wild Bird Company Bird Walk, Bird of the Day 03.10.18

Bald Eagle – Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Bird of the Day. Wild Bird Company Saturday Morning Bird Walk in Boulder, US-CO, March 10, 2018. We Are Wild About Birds!

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March 10, 2018 Bird Walk Count and Newsletter

Photo Gallery: March 10, 2018 Bird Walk

Slide Show: March 10, 2018
(Note: For some mobile devices, you may need to enable Javascript and download Flash Player. If your mobile device does not support Flash Player, please view the Photo Gallery.)

March 10, 2018. Very Nice and sunny. >8 participants.
I was missing from the line-up this morning, but the intrepid Saturday Birders struck out on their own to bring you this week’s slide show. Thanks to all who participated and particularly to those who sent me pictures.

Bird of the Day – Bald Eagle – Haliaeetus leucocephalus – Boulder, CO
I really don’t have any idea about which bird was the most memorable this morning, but I do know that both groups of Saturday Birders got good looks at bald eagles. Eagles in the county are very busy these days with nest building, courtship, and even egg laying and incubation. I watched an intruder bald eagle get escorted out of the Foothills Reservoir nest site by the occupying couple on Friday evening.

Bald Eagle ©Kevin Rutherford
Bald Eagle by Kevin Rutherford

Make Your Own Breaks by Steve Frye – Wild Bird Company Newsletter 03.12.18

Make Your Own Breaks by Steve Frye

Make Your Own Breaks – March 2018 Wild Bird Company Newsletter

My college roommate Roube used to say “Sly, you’ve got to make your own breaks”. He meant things don’t always happen completely by chance, having fortune smile on you requires putting yourself in a position where you can take advantage of what life brings. He was usually referring to school or women when he made this statement, but I think it works well for bird watching. You’ve got to make your own breaks.

We have had some good fortune on the bird walk lately. On January 20th, I announced to the Saturday Birders, as we were gathered to go out for the morning, “we are going to look for a snowy owl this morning”. One of the group facetiously remarked “not another snowy owl chase”. You see, we had looked for the snowy owl that was frequenting Stanley Lake in Westminster the month before, but we dipped as some birders say, we didn’t see the bird. I fell into the bird walk leader trap of announcing that you are just going after one particular species. If you don’t see that bird, then it’s hard for the walk not to seem a failure. Anyway, on the 20th I tempered my announcement by saying we were going to go to places where it would be more probable to see a snowy, and if we didn’t see it, we would find plenty of other great birds. The risk of dipping on the owl was great because I had never seen a snowy owl in Boulder County. Within a few minutes of arriving at Boulder Reservoir, I spotted what looked like a melting snowman on the ice about half a mile away. A very curious lump. We walked down to the Reservoir and put the scopes on it, a snowy owl. After a few minutes of reveling in our find, we saw another lump on the ice. A second snowy! What are the odds of that? To add to our luck, one of the birds flew right at us, passed us, and landed on some sailboats grounded for the winter. We enjoyed some nice views of this owl and it was a pleasure being in its presence. Both of these owls spent the day at the Reservoir and they both moved on by the next day. Snowy owls are known for their nomadic behavior and these two were no exception.

A couple of weeks after the snowies, again on the Saturday Bird Walk, we were having a rather lackluster outing. The wind had been with us all morning so the birds were hunkered down just like most people. Why battle the wind if you don’t have to (unless you’re a bird watcher). We decided to stop by one of the places I visit going to and from work. Bird watchers often refer to these little pockets of habitat as local patches. This local patch of mine is where Nimbus Road crosses over Left Hand Creek, just west of Niwot. We saw a few good things at this stop including a distant and very camouflaged great horned owl, but still not a lot of birds. I said my good byes to the group and climbed into the car heading for the Wild Bird Company to start the retail portion of my day. As I was driving off, I looked in the rearview mirror and noticed some of the Saturday Birders looking up into the trees. This was not a casual scanning or glancing, something about the intensity of their gazing combined with the unity of their focus told me they had found something. I put the car in reverse and backed up quite a ways until I was just about where they were. One of the group came around to show me the back of her camera. It looked like an immature northern goshawk! I quickly got out to investigate. Sure enough, they had found a northern goshawk. It had flown in just as we were getting set to leave. I have seen goshawks in Boulder County on many occasions in the summer in the mountains, but never on the plains in winter. Serendipity had smiled on us again. One of the values of bird watching in a group comes from all the collective eyes and ears. If all the members of the group are actively searching for birds you will discover many more compared to the situation where the group is depending on the leader to find and point out everything. You can’t ignore sightings and expect to find “interesting birds”. If you see something and aren’t sure what it is, you have to pursue it. Blowing it off as probably “just” another junco is a good way to miss seeing some unusual birds.

My mom swears that birds come out of hiding whenever I am around. Sometimes, my Saturday Birders have claimed the same thing. To which I will sometimes break out into the cheesy Carpenters song “why do birds suddenly appear, every time you are near? Just like me, they long to be, close to you”. I have been on bird walks with expert birders and I am amazed at how they can find so many birds including unusual or rare ones. What seemed like normal or mediocre birding conditions suddenly transform into memorable sightings. What I have come to realize is finding birds is not all accidental. With knowledge of the season, habitat, and even weather conditions you can anticipate certain possibilities. Combine that with field experience, book knowledge, earnestness, and a certain amount of intuition and the birds will suddenly appear. You’ve just got to make your own breaks.

P.S. Here are links to the two bird walks referenced above. To sign up for the weekly email and slide show, so you too can take a virtual bird walk every week, click on the link below.

Snowy Owl Slide Show

Northern Goshawk Slide Show

Email Signup
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Woodpecker Problems at Home?
Visit this link from a past Wild Bird Company Newsletter to help solve your Woodpecker problems

See the "Ask Steve" article in the current Newsletter (March 2018) to answer the following two questions:
Q1: I’m so excited about spring coming. What should I do in my yard to welcome the birds?
Q2: Where should I go to see the Sandhill Cranes?

Sand Hill Cranes ©Steve Frye
Sand Hill Cranes by Steve Frye

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