PUBLISHED BY THE ORNITHOLOGY GROUP, OUTDOOR NATURE CLUB, HOUSTON, TEXAS
THE TRAVELING BIRDER - by Wallace C. Melbane Jr.
What better place to find a new "lifer" than on the dome of the State Capitol
Building in Austin, Thanks to advice from Mr0 Fred Webster of Austin, I added
the Western Kingbird to my life list on July 23» 1969o
Almost anywhere we go there are fellow bird watchers willing to help us by
giving advice on local bird populations and habitat. The problem is to find the
local birdero The phone book is not much help in locating local clubs0 The
T.O.S. Roster is useful in Texas, The A.O.U, Roster is helpful when visiting
other stateso Sometimes the Chamber of Commerce can give advice. But after
exhausting these possibilities, there aren't many sources left.
Perhaps what we need is a nationwide list of bird watchers who are willing
to give assistance to the birder on vacation or passing through town on business.
BIRDING IN THE ROCKIES - by Nettie Busby
My daughter sat on the porch of our cabin at Sun Valley Ranch, her feet
resting on the log baluster rail while she lazily watched a pair of Black-capped
Chickadees just overhead in an aspen tree. They must have been equally interested
in her, as one of them hopped down onto the toe of her shoe, and sat there returning her gaze for perhaps 20 seconds0 I had tried to entice these Chickadees to
my hand filled with popcorn, which they loved. Obviously they put more trust in
the moving human foot than in the quiet hand,,
This ranch, near Grand Lake, Colorado, is an extraordinarily quiet and
peaceful place, yet an exciting one for the birder. The Townsendfs Solitaire
was not at all solitary there in June. They were quite numerous, and could
be seen several times a day feeding near the edge of the lake behind our cabin.
Tree Swallows, Violet-green and Cliff Swallows flying low to feed over the lake
created colorful kaleidoscopic patterns. Pussy willows growing beside the water
provide nesting sites for Wilson1s Warblers and Red-winged Blackbirds0 The Audubon1s
Warblers breed here, and their breeding plumage is unbelievably rich in color. We
saw nesting pairs of Audubon1s as high as 11,200 feet. Riding horseback up to this
height, we came upon two handsome male Pine Grosbeaks, bathing in a trickle of water
running down the mountain from a snowbank.
The Ponderosa and lodgepole pine trees in this area buzz incessantly with Pine
Siskins. They and the Gray-headed Juncos are the "House Sparrows" of the Rockies,
and Pm told the latter species is one which has never been seen on the ranch. There
are many other species which are common around Grand Lake in the summer, some of the
most abundant being the Yellow-bellied and Williamsons Sapsuckers, Mountain Chickadee,
Western and Mountain Bluebirds, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Gray and Stellar1s Jays,
Red-shafted Flicker, Western Flycatcher, Western Kingbird, Cassin's Finch, White-
crowned and Chipping Sparrows, and of course, the Robin. Mallard and Ring-necked
Ducks were present in good numbers on the lake this year, and Red-tailed Hawks and
Ospreys roasted in the trees along the shoreline. As fascinating as it is to bird
in Colorado at a time when birding has become dull at home, it's always good to be
back here on the Gulf Coast for the fall migration.