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Green nemesis Canvasback obtained and a Sagebrush Sparrow!

March is typically not the birdiest time in the Denver metro and this year was no exception. I'll be honest, most of March is just plain awful. Most of the Cackling Geese have left by the third week and not much has moved in to make it feel like spring. There are a couple Mountain Bluebirds around to liven things up, but that's about it. I went for regular walks to my patch (Clement Park) and around my neighborhood over the last couple weeks, and did not have much to report (but at least I went for some nice walks). However, there have a been a few highlights other than getting my first Common Grackle and Barn Swallow on 29 March.  Before I get into the bird stories, please consider a tax-deductible donation or pledge per species (pledges do not need to be paid until the 2021 green big year ends). The pledges and donations are incredibly motivating. Once I hit 250 species, we will have topped $22,000! I'm in awe of the support. I really am. Thank you. I think we as a birdin
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The Joe Roller Green Memorial Green Big Year hits 100 species!

As predicted, work was very busy in mid- to late-February, so green birding was mostly limited to walks from my house, mostly to Clement Park, and a few bike rides to chase birds. This was fine since February is well, not the most riveting month for birding in the Denver area. Or is it?  I have a few fun stories from chases over the last few weeks to share, but the big news is I finally got a Northern Goshawk from my yard and it was Green Big Year bird #100!    Green Big Year species list: 102 Miles ridden: 431 miles (as of March 8) Walks to Clement Park where I haven't seen much yet this year: too many  2021 Joe Roller Memorial Green Big Year Species List Please consider a tax-deductible donation or pledge per species (pledges do not need to be paid until the 2021 green big year ends). The pledges and donations are incredibly motivating. Thank you. We are doing this for Joe and for budding ornithologists! Please pledge or donate. We are closing in on our goal of $20,000 once I hit

Big ride for big time green year birds.

First and foremost, thank you for all the pledges and donations! The total pledges so far have been astonishing! Between donations and pledges per species (assuming I hit 250 species), we are about 70% of the way to our $20,000 target! I think Joe would probably roll his eyes and tell a joke about the time we chased what would be his first Arapahoe county Brown Thrasher at Cherry Creek State Park. We saw the thrasher fly away and vanish and then Joe gave me slack for not getting him better looks!   Please consider a tax-deductible donation or pledge per species (pledges do not need to be paid until the 2021 green year ends). The pledges and donations are motivating me to get out and get birds. I'm truly humbled. Thank you. This is going to be such a fun year! Click the link (scroll to the bottom) to pledge or donate! January 2021 overview (and then the birds!). I thought I'd start off with a little overview of my general strategy for this green

A sparrow, a sapsucker, and a shrike, oh my!

I've been able to take advantage of dry roads and nice weather lately. I had a couple very successful adventures in the last week and picked up some green avian targets for the year. January 20, 2021 A Harris's Sparrow was frequenting a private residence in Littleton (JeffCo) and despite arriving in the early afternoon, to find no birds anywhere, a flock of White-crowned Sparrows showed up a few minutes later and the Harris's popped up! Talk about luck! I also had taken my camera (a first for a bike ride) and lucked out with a couple decent photos for the blog! A sharp looking Harris's Sparrow! Harris's Sparrow (Green year bird #75) With the grand luck on the Harris's Sparrow, I decided to swing by the ball fields at Kipling and 285 (still in Litteton) to see if there were any Snow Geese around. Not a goose to be found, so I kept going north to Bear Creek Greenbelt to look for either of Winter Wrens that had recently been found between S Estes St and S. Kipling

I'm back (mostly)!

January 17, 2021 I had a couple good days post the misery of shingles and decided I needed to try for the continuing rarities at Chatfield State Park: Golden-crowned Sparrow and Common Redpoll. I needed to take it easy on the bike and not push myself too hard, and I was largely able to do that. This was another typical January ride in Colorado as it was under 32 degrees F when I departed. I got to the horse stables area at Chatfield and found the Golden-crowned Sparrow in about 8 min with a group of others, whom I'm fairly certain didn't see the bird when it popped up and posed for about 10 sec, in spite of my calling it out immediately and giving very specific location information. The sparrow wasn't cooperative and I never got a photo, but I had a nice look. I stuck around for a few minutes hoping to get the other birders on the bird, but I saw it fly to the west with some juncos. I wished them luck and left. I quickly got back on the bike and went to S. Platte River delt

Cassin's Finch and Eastern Bluebirds!

Just a little update with a few nice Green Year Birds that I have gotten while I've been laying low at home while trying to recover from the shingles.  January 11, 2020 Bryan Arnold posted on CO-Birds about a Cassin's Finch at his feeder, and lucky me, he lives a half mile away in my neighborhood! I'd been watching my feeders for a Cassin's, with no luck. I emailed Bryan and he invited me over to take look. I found the bird almost immediately! This was the first time I'd met Bryan (after a lot of emails about birds and cycling over the last couple years) and it was a real pleasure. Not only did I get Cassin's Finch, but we had a great time chatting at a distance, masked, on his sidewalk. It was a wonderful morning. I look forward to cycling and birding with Bryan sometime. This is what birding is all about. Cassin's Finch was an early 2021 target as a few are still around town, which is fairly unusual. They'll be much harder to get once they return to th

January 1-2 Rarity Round Up!

2021 started off with a bang! I set out to try to see as many of the locally rare birds and other scarcer species that would require chasing at some point. It was a great (cold) day. I left my house on my bike in Littleton at 8am on New Year’s Day. It was 25 degrees F! However, I had to go for the White-winged Crossbill near Holbrook park (Jefferson Co). I arrived about 9 am and there was NO ONE THERE! My heart sank. I didn't see the bird right away. Fortunately Brian Johnson showed up a couple minutes later and said a birder who was leaving said they’d seen it, but it flew south. Ten minutes later o r so the bird shows. Huge start to the year! Horrible phone-binoc (digibin) photo. Here's a better photo from a couple days earlier (and it was a lifer for me!) After celebrating the big crossbill score (which wasn't even on my list of birds I thought I could get), I looked briefly for the Winter Wren that had been around and decided I was too cold and it was better to keep rid