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.
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.
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.
Earlier this month, the sustainable tourism website Rumbos published a photo of an alleged Black Swift taken Dec. 2, 2012, during a birding rally in Tambopata, Peru. If it is indeed a Black Swift, this would be the first known sighting of the species in South America, outside of samples of a Black Swift subspecies collected in Colombia in 1993.
What a great banding season at Barr Lake State Park! It seems like only yesterday that bird bander Meredith McBurney and educator Emily Snode kicked off the season in August, banding 50 birds with only four of our 21 nets open. In retrospect, this proved to be an omen of the sensational fall migration that was to come.
A Royal Tern is a welcome and rare visitor at Barr Lake northeast of Denver and home to Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory’s headquarters. Since first sighted on July 29 by Steve Mlodinow, this tern has shown off its bright orange bill to many interested gawkers.