Soda Creek & Indian Hills—Juncos
On Tuesday, Nov 11, JoAnn Hackos reported, “With the snow and cold today, we have all of the juncos eating seed on the deck: White-winged, Gray-headed, Pink-sided and Oregon are all here today.”
Dan Frelka added, “I have all of them in Aspen Park, too, except I haven’t noticed the Pink-sided. Quite a gathering of Cassin’s Finches along with the juncos yesterday and something I haven’t seen here in Aspen Park before: several Clark’s Nutcrackers.”
On Oct. 26, about 9 a.m., Peggy Sandbak was at home about half a mile west of Alderfer/Three Sisters Park when she heard her miniature Aussie growl—a deeper growl than normal.
“I looked up, saw nothing, another growl. Went to the patio door and just beyond the mowed yard in the tall yel- lowing grasses, was this big cat head. I was frozen as I watched it, then grabbed my camera.”
Peggy took a photo through the window as the mountain lion kept moving slowly across the pasture. “I have been in Evergreen for 25 years and this is my first sighting,” she said.
Evergreen Lake — Hooded Merganser
Cathy Edwards and her husband spotted a Hooded Merganser in the creek running alongside Evergreen Lake on Nov. 1. “I watched it dip under water several times as it swam up-current to where there was a male and female Mallard feeding at the creek’s edge.
“It dipped once before it reached the male and pretty much came up right under the male Mallard, which made the male scatter off about 3 feet.”
On Nov. 8, peakviper posted on EvergreenBirders: “We have seen a female (Hooded Merganser) several times over the past month. Today we saw a pair hanging together, diving for food on the north side of the lake beside 74.“
Larry White got a look at the pair the same day.
Sherry Walker added, “Yes, the male has been around for weeks, but today was the first time I saw a female, too. The male has been hanging out with the mal- lards, and I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts on this. “Why is he alone? Is that normal or common for mergansers? Is it normal for a lone duck to take up with another type of duck? Why hasn’t he migrated?”
JoAnn Hackos responded, “Actually they may not migrate far until the water freezes.”
Red Rocks/Jefferson County
Two Golden-crowned Sparrows were reported by Cyndy Johnson at Red Rocks Trading Post on Nov. 1.
The following report was posted to CoBirds by Mark Chavez, Lakewood- Green Mountain, on Nov. 11:
“This morning, I went up to Red Rocks at 7:30 to throw down lots of millet and sunflower seed.
“It didn’t take long for the tons of juncos, American Tree Sparrow, jays, Spotted Towhees, Song Sparrows and House Finches to find the seed. Both the adult and immature Golden-crowned Sparrows came in for the millet under the apple tree.
Things were scattered for awhile in the 14-degree temperatures when a Sharp-shinned Hawk flew in.
“On Sunday, I birded Denver West for only an hour. The place was extremely birdy and had lots of Cedar Waxwings, Red Crossbills (35-plus), Bushtits, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Brown Creepers, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Ruby-crowned Kinglets.
“This place should be watched for some good birds in the next few weeks. There are lots of berry-producing trees and pines in this business park off I-70 and Denver West Parkway.
Volunteers needed to feed birds
“By having a schedule, we can avoid a significant gap in feeding followed by multiple birders going on the same day. We will feed starting now and go through mid-March. Please email me directly if you are willing to take one day a week, or to be an occasional volunteer on call. Our goal is to attract the usual juncos, towhees, Scrub Jays, chickadees and unusual sparrows, Townsend’s Solitaires and especially any hungry rosy-finches.
Boulder County — rare hummingbird
A female MAGNIFICENT HUMMINGBIRD was reported by Adam Jack coming to his feeders in Coal Creek Canyon on Oct. 27 through Nov. 9. Aptly named for its spectacular plumage, the Magnificent Hummingbird s one of several hummingbird species found in southeast Arizona but not regularly elsewhere in the United States.
The bird breeds in mountains from the southwestern United States to western Panama. It inhabits the edges and clearings of montane oak forests from about 6,500 feet in altitude up to timberline.
Photo credits: Mountain lion by Peggy Sandbak; Mallard by Cathy Edwards; Magnificent Hummingbird by Alistair Montgomery