A Visit to Castlewood Canyon S.P.

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Not to stay home on a gorgeous Saturday morning, I joined our Audubon chapter field trip to Castlewood Canyon State Park, located on the Palmer Divide between Colorado Springs and Denver. At elevations between 6,200 and 6,600 feet, the park includes ponderosa forest, dry shrubland, high prairie, and riparian areas. This diversity allows for plenty of birds, a colorful array of wildflowers, plus some pretty impressive scenery. Our loop trail along the canyon rim, down to (and across) Cherry Creek and through the riparian willows, then back up to the parking lot clocked in at 3.2 miles, but you could easily add some side trips. Continue reading “A Visit to Castlewood Canyon S.P.”

Limpkin

Limpkin_HernandoCo-FL_LAH_7709The answer to last week’s quiz is… Limpkin. Did you recognize it? I almost didn’t!

Here in the US, Limpkins are only found in Florida, although their range extends well into South America. It’s quite a plain bird, dressed mostly in brown with a few white spots, with a long, orange beak. Limpkins are so unlike other birds, this one species has its own family, Aramidae. It’s in the order Gruiformes, where you’ll also find rails and cranes.

In the Caribbean, Limpkins hang out in dry brushy areas. You can find them in the mountains of Mexico and Central America. Those in Florida, however, are normally found in freshwater wetlands. That’s because the Florida birds dine almost exclusively on apple snails, a very large species that lives in fresh water.

Continue reading “Limpkin”