Earlier this year, RMBO hosted forums to gauge feedback on a new Decision Support Tool. The tool helps compare management options that ensure the economic viability of grazing lands with the habitat needs of sagebrush-dependent songbirds and grouse.
Bird banding brings us cool birds, interesting insights and always new questions, and this spring was no exception. We again shared these experiences with hundreds of visitors, from toddlers to school kids to adults of all ages. Without further ado, here are the birdy highlights from the spring.
In November of 2013, RMBO and the local birding community lost an extraordinary friend, Jim Duggan. In April, 50 of Jim’s friends gathered at RMBO’s Old Stone House to dedicate a bench in his honor. Board chairman Larry Modesitt writes about the ceremony and Jim’s lasting gift to RMBO.
Spring is right around the corner, and you know what that means … spring migration and bird banding! We’re getting prepared and excited for the upcoming banding season. But before we get the mist nets out for another season, we wanted to share some birdy highlights from the fall (a little late, we know, but better late than never, right?).
Despite sub-freezing temperatures and driving snow, 38 volunteers took part in this year’s Christmas Bird Count at Barr Lake. Count compiler Chuck Hundertmark offers a report on species observed that day, including a few rarities for Barr Lake.
Whew! The dust has finally settled after another fun BBQ for the Birds. Held Oct. 5 this year at the Old Stone House in Brighton, Colorado, the event was an opportunity for Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory to thank its members and raise funds for conservation and education programs.
Now that fall is upon us in the Rockies, RMBO biologists and technicians are finishing proofing data gathered this summer under the Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions (IMBCR) program. It’s not glamorous, but with proofing data comes the confirmation of cool new species for the program. Biologist Nick Van Lanen reports on the summer field season and species detected for the first time during IMBCR surveys.
Grassland bird populations have declined more steeply than any other group of North American birds. Since 2006, RMBO has partnered with the City of Fort Collins to inventory and monitor grassland birds on city-owned properties near the Colorado-Wyoming border. These properties represent some of the most significant grasslands in northern Colorado and support populations of more than 20 high-priority bird species. Communications Coordinator Teddy Parker-Renga writes about a day in the field surveying birds on these properties and discusses the impact of the Mountains to Plains Region project.
The shortgrass prairie surrounding RMBO’s Environmental Learning Center provides important habitat for birds and other wildlife. Unfortunately, non-native weeds have invaded the landscape. During field trips to the center this spring, students helped restore the prairie by removing weeds. Educator Emily Snode writes about this service learning component of RMBO’s education programs and the awesome help of all of these Weed Warriors.