June Wildlife Photo Page: Hummingbirds, Songbirds and Waterfowl

Corinne Westeman
cwesteman@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 6/25/22

In honor of Colorado Parks & Wildlife’s 125th anniversary this year, the Clear Creek Courant and the Canyon Courier will have a monthly photo page celebrating the state’s amazing wildlife and parks. Each page will celebrate a different local animal or group of animals, including fun facts provided by CPW. For June, the mountain newspapers are celebrating Colorado’s hummingbirds, songbirds and waterfowl.

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June Wildlife Photo Page: Hummingbirds, Songbirds and Waterfowl

Posted

In honor of Colorado Parks & Wildlife’s 125th anniversary this year, the Clear Creek Courant and the Canyon Courier will have a monthly photo page celebrating the state’s amazing wildlife and parks. Each page will celebrate a different local animal or group of animals, including fun facts provided by CPW. For June, the mountain newspapers are celebrating Colorado’s hummingbirds, songbirds and waterfowl.

BIRDING AND HUMMINGBIRD FUN FACTS:

  • Colorado is home to more than 400 species of birds. Of the state parks in the Denver area, Barr Lake and Chatfield are described as the best birding spots.
  • Barr Lake is home to more than 370 species of resident and migratory birds, including waterfowl like white pelicans, cormorants, egrets, and blue herons. 
  • Chatfield State Park has 212 bird species recorded as living in or migrating through the park. Nesting least flycatcher and American redstart are spotted here more regularly than at any other location in Colorado.
  • Colorado is home to four species of hummingbirds: broad-tailed, black-chinned, Rufous, and Calliope.
  • Broad-tailed hummingbirds are most common in mountain meadows and open woodlands, as they typically breed between 5,000 and 10,500 feet in elevation. They only stay in Colorado between late May and early August. Their wings are said to sound like a cricket, as they make a distinct trilling noise when flying. They're known to eat any insects they can find and sometimes drink sap.
  • Black-chinned hummingbirds are more common in western and southern Colorado, as the state's a breeding area for the species. They are one of the most adaptable of the hummingbirds, and can be found in a variety of settings. In colder weather, they can drink up to three times their weight in nectar to stay energized and warm.
  • Rufous hummingbirds are known as the most aggressive species of hummingbirds, often driving away much larger species. They have one of the longest migrations of any bird in the world, traveling between Mexico and Alaska — which is 3,900 miles one-way — twice a year. In the spring, they fly along the Pacific Coast to their summer breeding grounds, and return by flying along the Rocky Mountains.
  • Calliope hummingbirds are the smallest birds in Colorado, as they're less than 4 inches long and weigh 2-3 grams. Despite their size, they've been seen attacking much larger birds during the mating season and sometimes hunt small insects. They prefer nesting in conifer trees, and their migration route is like the Rufous hummingbird's.

GOT WILDLIFE PHOTOS?

The July wildlife photo page will celebrate Colorado's mountain goats. To contribute to the July 28 page, email photos to cwesteman@coloradocommunitymedia.com before July 18. Include the photographer’s name, and the date and location the photo was taken. The photo can be of wildlife anywhere in Colorado and doesn’t have to be recent.

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