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.
“Another nest has failed.” This is the recurring news that technicians monitoring Aplomado Falcons in Chihuahua, Mexico, have reported over the last 18 years. Private Lands Wildlife Biologists Roberto Rodríguez and Pedro Calderón report from Chihuahua on last season’s monitoring of this iconic, grassland species and efforts to conserve its dwindling habitat there.
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.
In early June, a LightHawk pilot and his wife volunteered their time and plane to help Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory with a census of Ferruginous Hawks and Golden Eagles nesting in the panhandle region of western Nebraska. How many birds were spotted on their nests? Wildlife Biologist Angela Dwyer offers results from the surveys, used to gauge population stability for these species.
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.
RMBO biologists and field technicians are once again preparing to fan out across mountains, prairies and high deserts to conduct breeding bird surveys under the Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions (IMBCR) program. Biologist Nick Van Lanen provides an update on trainings for IMBCR surveys, including a rare bird spotted by a crew member – and former RMBO camper – in South Dakota.
RMBO’s field crew discovered its first Mountain Plover nest of the season on May 8. After the cold start to spring, this newly laid nest with a clutch of three eggs was an important find. Biologist Larry Snyder writes about the find and RMBO’s plover nest conservation program on the RMBO blog.
The pine-oak and cloud forests of West Mexico are critical habitat for endemic and migrant bird species. In March, RMBO wrapped up its first year of surveying birds in the region. Our technicians offer a report from Jalisco, Mexico, on their experiences surveying in this challenging, beautiful terrain, including a list of unique species detected.
Eastern Screech-Owls are the most common owl species in North America, yet little is known about their habitat needs or population dynamics. To fill these knowledge gaps – and get citizens involved in science linked to their natural environment – RMBO launched a new project last month in Fort Collins, Colorado, to monitor Eastern Screech-Owls along the Cache la Poudre River.
There are few sights in life more majestic than a Bald Eagle soaring across a clear blue sky. Fortunately, this is a far more common occurrence today than it was 40 years ago. Educator Emily Snode writes about RMBO’s Bald Eagle Watch and its impact on Bald Eagle populations along the Front Range.