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Outdoors

  • 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.

  • 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.”

  • 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.

  • Sugar, carbohydrates are a plant’s friend

    (Reprinted from Jan. 14, 2009)

    Down the hill from our house there are several giant mullein plants in various stages of growth. The most obvious are the old, dead stalks that bore flowers last summer. These stalks are hard, dry, dead. They have completed their mission in life. They have produced seeds to perpetuate the species.

  • Snowberries make an appearance despite little snow

    (Reprinted from Dec. 5, 2012)

    This has been an exceptionally warm, dry fall. We often have nice weather on Thanksgiving, but to have 60-degree days in December is unusual. Moist air coming in from the Pacific Ocean has soaked the West Coast with rain.

    It may reach here by the time this is published, and as it hits the higher mountains, it may well turn to snow. However, that still remains uncertain.

  • Squirrels, catbirds are among area’s autumn visitors

    (Reprinted from Nov. 11, 2010)

    There has been very little new at the feeder this week. This is because it is empty most of the time. The maintenance man here at Elk Run is very kind and he tries to keep it up and filled. However, some critter or critters seem to knock it down as fast as he can put it up. Since I hope to be going home in about 10 days, it is not worth the expense of an elaborate pulley system, so I must give up even though the birds bring me much joy.

  • Brown creepers have habit of climbing trees in spiral pattern

    (Reprinted from Nov. 26, 2008)

    Many people have asked recently about a little brown mottled bird with a white breast and a curved beak that they have seen circling around the trunks of their trees. The bird is a brown creeper, a fairly common resident in our woodlands. Why they have become so obvious recently probably has several causes.