Sunday, February 23, 2014

Rufous-crowned Sparrows in Canon City, CO area


My area of south Central Colorado is interesting in terms of biogeography--we have a lot of cholla cactus grasslands in addition to juniper grasslands with a major river providing a ribbon of lowland deciduous riparian forest cutting through the middle. It provides the proper circumstances for limited numbers of several bird species generally thought of as 'southwestern'. This includes a small ongoing resident population Rufous-crowned Sparrows that are found in our Tunnel Drive area that is at the mouth of the Royal Gorge canyon. Today was a perfect day for a hike up the trail to look for these birds as it was the first day in a week that we didn't have strong winds (this canyon makes even a little wind unbearable as it is like a wind tunnel) plus the temperature wasn't too cold (around 50 F during my walk). I had to walk more than a half mile to find them but I did spot at least 2, maybe 3. And is almost always the case for me in this location, they were in the company of Canyon Towhees. Wish the photos were better but these birds spent most of the time behind or inside foliage so hard to get a clear view. SeEtta