USA   -   COLORADO   -   APRIL/MAY 2011   -   PART II

Passerines, 27 photos


Mountain Chickadee - Poecile gambeli
Mountain Chickadee
Poecile gambeli gambeli
Silverthorne, Summit County, Colorado, USA.
(S6)


Canyon Wren - Catherpes mexicanus
Canyon Wren
Catherpes mexicanus conspersus
Two Buttes, Baca County, Colorado, USA.
Caught in mid-song. This little bird has one of the most recognizable songs of any bird in North America. It ranges from far SW Canada south through the US, reaching all the way to southern Mexico. (S6)


American Dipper - Cinclus mexicanus
American Dipper
Cinclus mexicanus unicolor
Morrison, Jefferson County, Colorado, USA.
While not as ornate as its South American brethren, this fascinating bird is much bolder, frequently sompletely submerging itself or even swimming like a duck. See some youtube video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQ-MPvsu-EQ. (S6)


American Dipper - Cinclus mexicanus
American Dipper
Cinclus mexicanus unicolor
Morrison, Jefferson County, Colorado, USA.
(S6)


Mountain Bluebird - Sialia currucoides
Mountain Bluebird
Sialia currucoides
Jackson County, Colorado, USA.
Male. The last time I such a bright blue bird frolicking around in the snow was the Grandala of the mountains of central China. (S6)


Sage Thrasher - Oreoscoptes montanus
Sage Thrasher
Oreoscoptes montanus
Oxbow Wildlife Area, Moffat County, Colorado, USA.
A small, delicate thrasher that breeds in dense patches of sagebrush in the western US. Wintering birds reach central Mexico. (S6)


Chestnut-collared Longspur - Calcarius ornatus
Chestnut-collared Longspur
Calcarius ornatus
Pawnee National Grassland, Weld County, Colorado, USA.
Male. I had only ever seen this species in winter plumage before, and seeing like this was a shock! It's gotta be one of the most beautiful North American passerines. Here in Colorado it was at the very southern limit of its breeding range. Most breed in the US states of Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota as well as the southern parts of the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.  Wintering birds reach central Mexico. (S6)


Chestnut-collared Longspur - Calcarius ornatus
Chestnut-collared Longspur
Calcarius ornatus
Pawnee National Grassland, Weld County, Colorado, USA.
Male. (S6)


Chipping Sparrow - Spizella passerina
Chipping Sparrow
Spizella passerina arizonae
Moffat County, Colorado, USA.
(S6)


Vesper Sparrow - Pooecetes gramineus
Vesper Sparrow
Pooecetes gramineus confinis
Moose Visitor Center, Gould, Jackson County, Colorado, USA.
North American sparrows frequently pose ID challenges, but this bird was showing off two key features, the white outer tail feathers and chestnut shoulder patch. Vesper Sparrows breed in the US and Canada, but wintering birds reach most of Mexico, and vagrants have been found as far south as Belize and Guatemala. (S6)


Sage Sparrow - Artemisiospiza belli
Sage Sparrow
Artemisiospiza belli nevadensis
Oxbow Wildlife Area, Moffat County, Colorado, USA.
A very distinctive sparrow of dense sagebrush of the western US and northwestern Mexivo. (S6)


Sage Sparrow - Artemisiospiza belli
Sage Sparrow
Artemisiospiza belli nevadensis
Oxbow Wildlife Area, Moffat County, Colorado, USA.
(S6)


Dark-eyed Junco - Junco hyemalis
Dark-eyed (Gray-headed) Junco
Junco hyemalis caniceps
Moose Visitor Center, Gould, Jackson County, Colorado, USA.
There are many distinctive races of Dark-eyed Junco that may eventually earn species status. This one is the common race though much of the Rocky Mountains, with some wintering birds reaching NW Mexico, (S6)


Yellow-headed Blackbird - Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus
Walden, Jackson County, Colorado, USA.
An instantly recognizable of  western North America. It's highly migratory, wintering in the SW US and most of Mexico north of the Isthmus. (S6)


Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch - Leucosticte tephrocotis
Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch
Leucosticte tephrocotis littoralis
Silverthorne, Summit County, Colorado, USA.
Rosy-finches winter in large numbers in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, where it is not unusual to see all three New World species together in one flock, congregating around seed feeders put out by curious humans. This is one of  the coastal subspecies, which are less numerous here than the nominate, identified by the compete gray cheek. The mottling on this bird's cheak indicate it is either a female or young male. Gray-crowned is the most widespread of the North American rosy-finches, with breeding birds reacking northern Alaska. (S6)


Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch - Leucosticte tephrocotis
Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch
Leucosticte tephrocotis tephrocotis
Silverthorne, Summit County, Colorado, USA.
Male. This bird is of the nominate interior subspecies, with the gray restricted to a wide stripe going from behind the eye to the hindcrown. (S6)


Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch - Leucosticte tephrocotis
Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch
Leucosticte tephrocotis tephrocotis
Silverthorne, Summit County, Colorado, USA.
Two males bathing, with a female poking her head in from the right. (S6)


Black Rosy-Finch - Leucosticte atrata
Black Rosy-Finch
Leucosticte atrata
Silverthorne, Summit County, Colorado, USA.
Male. The least common and most distinctive of the rosy-finches that were in this particular flock; only a few were present. This species is endemic to the mountains of the western US. (S6)


Black Rosy-Finch - Leucosticte atrata
Black Rosy-Finch
Leucosticte atrata
Silverthorne, Summit County, Colorado, USA.
Female. (S6)


Brown-capped Rosy-Finch - Leucosticte australis
Brown-capped Rosy-Finch
Leucosticte australis
Silverthorne, Summit County, Colorado, USA.
Male. Brown-capped was by far the most numerous member of this rosy-finch flock. It has quite a restricted range for a temperate species, almost endemic to the state of Colorado. (S6)


Brown-capped Rosy-Finch - Leucosticte australis
Brown-capped Rosy-Finch
Leucosticte australis
Silverthorne, Summit County, Colorado, USA.
Male. (S6)


Brown-capped Rosy-Finch - Leucosticte australis
Brown-capped Rosy-Finch
Leucosticte australis
Silverthorne, Summit County, Colorado, USA.
A small flock bathing in a puddle created by melting snow. There is one Gray-crowned in there as well. (S6)


Brown-capped Rosy-Finch - Leucosticte australis
Brown-capped Rosy-Finch
Leucosticte australis
Silverthorne, Summit County, Colorado, USA.
Female. (S6)


Cassin's Finch - Haemorhous cassinii
Cassin's Finch
Haemorhous cassinii
Moose Visitor Center, Gould, Jackson County, Colorado, USA.
Male. (S6)


Pine Grosbeak - Pinicola enucleator
Pine Grosbeak
Pinicola enucleator montana
Moose Visitor Center, Gould, Jackson County, Colorado, USA.
Male. A tiny hint of yellow on the breast indicates this bird is about to finish molting out of juvenile plumage. Pine Grosbeak occurs in high northern latitudes throughout the world. (S6)


Pine Grosbeak - Pinicola enucleator
Pine Grosbeak
Pinicola enucleator montana
Moose Visitor Center, Gould, Jackson County, Colorado, USA.
This bird is also a  juvenile male, still showing a small yellow patch on his crown. (S6)


Red Crossbill - Loxia curvirostra
Red Crossbill
Loxia curvirostra (ssp?)
Silverthorne, Summit County, Colorado, USA.
Female. Subspecies variation is very complicated, and apparently many subspecies are only identifiable based on call notes. (S6)


Evening Grosbeak - Coccothraustes vespertinus
Evening Grosbeak
Coccothraustes vespertinus brooksi
Routt County, Colorado, USA.
Male. A very ornate species that has seen a large decline in much of its range. I remember seeing them at our bird feeders in southern Connecticut when I was very young, but now they are rare anywhere in that state. They are permanent residents as far south as central Mexico, but I haven't seen them there. (S6)
















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