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Birding Colorado Springs: Winter Birds

Birds commonly seen in Colorado Springs and surrounding areas.

Winter Birds

Birds that winter in Colorado Springs and tend to be more noticeable in the winter season.

Black-Capped Chickadee

https://www.flickr.com/photos/stirwise/2450795738/sizes/m/
Author: stirwise (Kerry Lannert) Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic

Info (All About Birds Call (Macaulay Library) Video (YouTube)
  • Small, energetic, acrobatic bird
  • Relatively tame and bold; often seen at feeders, and usually investigates new feeders before other birds
  • Scolding call is a "chick-a-dee-dee-dee"; song is a simple two notes
  • Survives cold winter nights by going into torpor

Dark-Eyed Junco

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_t_in_dc/5523556217/
Author: MrTinDC. Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

Info (All About Birds) Call (Macaulay library) Video (YouTube)
  • Dark-eyed juncos are divided into several subspecies with some geographical and color variations; however, all have solid dark gray or brown heads and upper backs, white bellies, and pinkish beaks
  • Often spotted by the white edging on their tails as they fly
  • Seen in Colorado Springs in fall, winter, and early spring.
  • Will come to feeders, but prefers to feed on ground or low to the ground

Townsend's Solitaire

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Townsends-solitaire-lake-vadnais-3.jpg
Author: Jonathon Jongsma. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Info (All About Birds) Call (Macaulay library) Video (YouTube)
  • Winter bird in Colorado Springs; survives on Juniper berries
  • In shape, looks something like a slender robin or a long-tailed bluebird
  • Frequently perches on top of pine tree and makes short whistles
  • Runs on flat surfaces much like a robin does

Cedar Waxwing

https://www.flickr.com/photos/msmccarthyphotography/4407660326/
Author: Michael McCarthy. Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

Info (All About Birds) Song/Call (Macaulay library) Video (YouTube)
  • Small crest and distinctive mask; small red markings on wings and yellow on tip of tail; lemon yellow belly
  • Flocks move through trees searching for fruits and berries; often detected by their plaintive peeping
  • Waxwings may appear a little less streamlined and active than other songbirds

Blue Jay

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Blue_Jay_with_Peanut.jpg
Author:  Saforrest. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Info (All About Birds) Call (Macaulay Library) Video (YouTube)
  • Tends to be at mid-level of vegetation; blue and white plumage of this medium-sized songbird may be obscured by leaves
  • Loud, harsh call is the easiest way to identify
  • Sometimes imitates Red-tailed Hawk
  • Will come to feeders

American Crow

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jpmckenna/3177645376/sizes/m/
Author: J. P. McKenna.  Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0

Info (All About Birds) Call (Macaulay Library) Video (YouTube)
  • Larger than other commonly-seen songbirds
  • Most common vocalization is the “caw”; but crows make a variety of sounds including a low rattle. Immature birds make a higher-pitched caw
  • Motion of wings in flight resemble swimming
  • Often seen in small family groups much of the year; may congregate in large flocks ("murders") in winter.

Common Raven

https://www.flickr.com/photos/rick_leche/2039887838/sizes/l/
Author:  Rick Leche. Creative  Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic

Info (All About Birds) Song (Macaulay Library) Video (YouTube)
  • Larger than American Crow, with larger beak and wedge-shaped tail
  • Acrobatic flier; superior in flight to American Crows and Red-tailed Hawks, with which it often contests
  • Call is a throaty croak, more resonant than the caw of a crow
  • Male is larger than female. Frequently seen in pairs; they often display affection by touching each others' beaks.
  • Usually displays confident stance, in contrast to American Crow which often shows nervous, twitchy body language

Great Horned Owl

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Great_Horned_Owl_at_sanctuary_in_BC.jpg
Author: Brendan Lally. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Info (All About Birds) Song (Macaulay library) Video (YouTube)
  • Very strong predator with well-tuned senses
  • Have been known to visit CC campus and attempt nesting near Monument Creek
  • Listen for the "Who who who WHO are you" series of hoots
  • So-called horns are tufts of feathers
  • Look for regurgitated pellets at the base of trees in the area where owls are observed

Bushtit

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pazzani/6267472947/
Author: Mike’s Birds. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Info (All About Birds) Call (Macaulay library) Video (YouTube)
  • Tiny, acrobatic bird, often seen around houses and CC campus.
  • Flock movement is similar to a cloud of gnats travelling along lines of bushes or trees.
  • Birds are rather tame. If you stand in the path of the flock, they may pass very near you.
  • Female has yellow eyes
  • Eats insects and spiders; also berries, seeds, and suet.