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Outdoors

  • Bears springing into action after winter hibernation

    By Christie Greene

    Last fall, as the days grew shorter and the sun moved lower in the sky, the bears listened to their instincts and began eating, really eating, up to 20,000 calories a day. As their foods sources dwindled and the temperatures began to sink, they ambled into the woods to make a den.

    In the meantime, we adjusted our clocks, made soup and readied the snowblowers. While we settled in front of the fire with a book, the thick-coated, fat-laden bruins curled up inside cozy dens and began living off their acquired fat stores. 

  • Mountain community remembers Chow Down’s friendly felines

    By Christie Greene

    Visitors to Chow Down Pet Supplies in Bergen Park may wonder why the store counter seems so wide and empty. Instinctively, we turn to the right, expecting to see two lethargic, lounging cats that were a fixture in the store for more than two decades. Butch and Sundance were a constant presence at the store, presenting lazy tummies and chins for obligatory scratches.

  • Tent caterpillars help more than hurt wildlife

    (Reprinted from March 10, 2010)

    If you are one of the many people who find tent caterpillars objectionable in your backyard, now is the time to control them.

    I know they do little harm in our forests, but I find it difficult to be tolerant of them. Their favorite food is the new leaves of apple trees, so they were very common and considered destructive pests in the apple-growing sections of New York state where I grew up.

  • Rosy finches flock to tundra in variety of latitudes

    (Reprinted from March 5, 2008)

    For many years when winter visitors to Colorado called us to inquire about where they could see rosy finches, we would either take them or send them to the top of Squaw Mountain to visit the Swanlunds.

    When we were faced with this request recently, we didn’t know a really “sure spot” to send these visitors.

  • County officials hope to focus on protecting recreational areas

    County officials plan to focus this year on better managing outdoor recreational amenities in light of the public’s overuse of Mount Bierstadt and other popular destinations in Clear Creek.

    “With the continued growth of the Denver metro area and the entire state, we realize the importance of effective forest and recreational area management,” County Manager Keith Montag said. “The county wants to balance that increased recreational use and tourism while recognizing the concerns of residents in terms of safety, privacy and quality of life.”

  • Bluebirds a happy arrival; nest boxes for sale March 11-12

    Editor's note: Evergreen Audubon will conduct its annual nesting-box sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 11-12 at the Bergen Park King Soopers. Bluebird boxes cost $25; chickadee cost $20. All proceeds support Evergreen Audubon education and conservation programs. Call Bud Weare at 303-679-8889 for more information. Most years, the boxes are sold out on Saturday.

     

    (Reprinted from March 5, 2014)

    Once more Evergreen Audubon has some bluebird and chickadee nest boxes for sale.

  • You can help with Great Backyard Bird Count

    (Reprinted from March 4, 2009)

    Editor’s note: This year’s Great Backyard Bird Count will be Feb. 17-20)

    I have just mailed in a count for the Great Backyard Bird Count to the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology at Ithaca, N.Y. This count is a joint effort of the Laboratory of Ornithology and Audubon. It is such an easy count to do that I thought some of you might be interested in taking part next year.

  • Red-winged blackbirds are a feisty bunch

    (Reprinted from Feb. 6, 2008)

    Usually cold and wintry, February is made bearable by the first signs of spring — nothing as showy as the first daffodil in bloom, but still good, dependable signs of spring.

  • Northern flickers make a big impression in the foothills

    (Reprinted from Jan. 30, 2008)

    Several times each winter, we receive phone calls from someone who has just seen a “large beautiful bird” at their feeder, which they have never seen before. They describe the bird, and I say, “Yes, that’s a northern flicker.” To which their usual reply is, “Oh no, it’s not a flicker; I see them around all summer, but they are not this big or here in the winter.”

  • Shrikes common in foothills, though not easy to identify

    (Reprinted from Jan. 23, 2008)

    For some time now, the birds at our feeders have been nervous, flying into the prickly thickness of a nearby blue spruce or darting into the lilac bushes every time anything moves in the yard or even inside the window. Such behavior, especially in cold, snowy weather, can mean only one thing. There is a predator of some kind working in the area. But what kind? That is the question.