Presidential Birds

What do Lincoln’s Sparrow and Wilson’s Warbler have in common? Do you know? Can you guess? You’re right—they were not named after presidents. However, since they do share a last name with a former president, it seems appropriate to learn about this Lincoln and this Wilson on President’s Day.

Lincoln's Sparrow_EchoLake-MtEvans_CO_LAH_5987

Lincoln’s Sparrow is a cute little bird. Its brown feathers are suffused with a coppery tint. (I use the copper color as a handy mnemonic—coppery bird, copper penny sporting a profile of Lincoln.)

Continue reading “Presidential Birds”

Mountaintop Birds

mtevans-co_lah_4844nef

My husband and I aren’t the only ones who escape the heat by fleeing to high altitudes. A number of bird species do the same thing. Instead of migrating to the arctic, they head for the hills.

I was a first-year birder, a mere fledgling. Our local Audubon chapter was offering a trip to the high country. Of course I signed up. Surely there were amazing birds to be seen at such rarefied heights. I was expecting something new and exciting— a Williamson’s Sapsucker, perhaps, or one of the rosy-finches. Maybe we’d even spot a well-camouflaged ptarmigan!

We piled out of the cars at the top of the first pass, and I raised my binoculars to scan the scattered patches of melting snow and dwarfed willows. There! What as that moving in that patch of wildflowers? It’s a… it’s a… robin? I came all the way up here to see a robin? I have plenty of robins in my yard, munching on my gooseberries and chokecherries!

Continue reading “Mountaintop Birds”