Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory

The kids and I had a very fun and informative field trip this morning. Last weekend when we were camping at Eleven Mile Reservoir we attended several sessions with a park naturalist named Amanda, and Emma ended up earning her Jr. Ranger badge by completing a number of activities in the park, including picking up trash, hiking, kayaking, and observing nature. Amanda told us about a bird banding program held near our house and invited us to participate.

This morning we headed down to the Audubon Center at Chatfield State Park and hiked a short way into the park where the “Banding Station” (picnic table) was located. When we arrived, the volunteers had just caught a house wren, which was a bird Amanda had pointed out to us at Eleven Mile.

We watched as the volunteers banded, measured, and weighed the bird, and made observations and notes about the bird, which our friend Amanda recorded in a notebook.

The kids were allowed to gently pet the wren before it was set free.

We headed out with the volunteers to check the nets again. They are hard to see as they are black and very fine. Eragon spotted a large hole in one of the nets, which Amanda told us was probably caused by a deer running through it (they can’t see the nets well either).

Emma and Amanda discovered a beautiful yellow bird in one of the nets, a male yellow warbler. After untangling it from the net, Amanda allowed Emma to carry the bird in a bag back to the Birding Station. After the weighing a measuring and recording of observations, Emma and Atticus were allowed to set the little guy free.

The last catch of the day was a Dusky Flycatcher, which was very interesting because it had whiskers, of all things. It also had a much different beak and was larger. Emma and Atticus were also allowed to hold this bird until it flew away, but it rested contentedly in their hands until the volunteer prompted it to take flight.

Where was Aramis during all this? He was at school, for his last day of Kindergarten. Poor guy missed all the fun! But we’ll go back again.

We also spotted a Great Blue Heron and a huge turtle on a log while checking the nets, but the heron flew away before I could get a good shot.

One Response to “Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory”

  1. robarb75 Says:

    That looks like soooo much fun! What a great opportunity!

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