May 222013
 

Unfortunately the Boulder County Fairgrounds Osprey Camera suffered another outage, and it’s season is over. That said, it presents the opportunity for those in the surrounding area to go visit it, and share updates. Here is one…

Osprey at Cattail Pond, Longmont, Coloardo

Because in the real world these Osprey are easy to find, it was harder than expected to do so online. After finding reference to the Osprey being at Cattail Pond in some news articles, we found that on the Boulder County Fairground map. That said, when driving along Hover Road we easily spied the nesting structure and could park very close; just North/East of the Outdoor Arena.

After weeks (almost months) of watching these birds only from the perspective of the camera it was fun to see their pond, and the whole structure (including solar panels.) The first thing we learned was that while one bird is on the nest, the other is likely hanging out on the pole at the far end of the pond (see that pole/bird far right in the photo above?)

We were treated to a nest exchange and so got wonderfully close views of both the male and the female. They seem so much smaller off camera. Clearly they are incubating. I wonder how many eggs they are sitting atop now.

This is a small (and urban) setting, but was well worth a visit. Great Blue Heron, Geese (with Goslings), Huge Carp, Swallows, Red-winged Blackbirds, Robins, Butterflies and Dragonflies … and, of course, Osprey.

Male Osprey

Female Osprey

Female Osprey

Apr 012011
 

Back in February, when things were cold and snowy, this season’s raptor watch began. Boulder County Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) organize closures and monitoring for a number for nesting species, and when I volunteered I was lucky enough to get Peregrines. I hardly knew that Peregrines were in Colorado, and now I get to watch them. Closely.

Peregrine Falcons by Andrew Baksh

Peregrine Falcons by Andrew Baksh @BirdingDude

Last year I watched a pair preen, feast on prey, mate, and ultimately fledge two chicks. Last week I heard a stoop (loud above my head.) This week I watched an unsuccessful stoop. I feel so privileged to be able to write those words. Peregrines are amazing creatures, and I am lucky to be able to get to know this species. The ‘scream’ of a Peregrine is now in my blood for life. :)

This week’s hike up to the birds was quiet. A belted kingfisher greeted me at the trail head. A few spotted towhee are back to claim the airwaves with their song. A small group of Scrub Jay were a nice bonus for the hike, as were the rafter of Turkey at the top.

Last week the millipedes were out in force on the trails, and this week they were joined by grasshoppers, wasps, butterflies and caterpillars. Luckily for them, the bluebirds have been, flocked, staged and moved on up into the mountains, but with these staples of the food chain here, the other birds will soon be back. Not here, not quite yet, but the Meadowlark are back in town. Bugs beware.

Here is to a nice long season, welcoming in both spring and summer, and to lots of Peregrines.

This summer (after the Peregrine chicks have fledged) I’ve signed up for the Bat Monitor program, and I’m excited at that opportunity. Volunteering is a great way to regularly get outdoors. Give it a try where you are.

Note: OSMP have granted permissions for me to write about my Falcon Watch experiences. I do NOT post locations nor timing details in an effort to preserve critter privacy.