Thursday, September 29, 2011

Colorado Birds

I was expecting to see more and different birds on our Colorado trip than we actually saw. We see many birds around our Tallahassee yard, neighborhood, town and surrounding countryside and I had assumed that it would be that way in Colorado. It was not the case. There were times when could hear birds that remained unseeen, but there was just not a lot of birds to be found. Here are what we saw:
Song Sparrows
Various Ducks, mostly mallards
Black vultures
Crows and, perhaps, ravens
We think we saw a golden eagle

We saw a few of these Western Tanagers around water. They were always solitary. Their colors are stunning.

 These magpies are common.

We thought they were so striking.

We were surprised to spot this bunch of white pelicans on a fresh-water, mountain lake. We knew that the white pelicans that we occasionally see in Florida, summer in Utah, but we had heard it was at the Great Salt Lakes out there. While we might see them in brackish water here, we have never seen them on a fresh-water lake.

Another surprise was coming upon a flock of large turkeys in the Rocky Mountain National Park one evening, which helps to explain the lack of quality in the pictures. They were also constantly moving. I don't think there were two that were the same color.

We had never seen a wild turkey with this coloring.

On the road to Maroon Bells, we came upon this mama grouse and her babies. We are pretty sure of this ID. I wanted it to be a ptarmigan, but I think it is a grouse. Either way, an unusual sight for us.

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