Friday, March 23, 2007

Burrowing Owls Back along DIA Owl Loop

March 23, 2007

Bryan Ehlmann & I returned early this morning and timed the trip to look for Short-eared Owls and Mountain Plovers south and east of Colorado Springs (along Squirrel Creek Road). Unfortunately, we did not locate any.

After dropping Bryan off at DIA, I drove the DIA Owl loop. Burrowing Owls are back! Two Burrowing Owls were at the prairie dog village located at 3.4 miles east of 96th avenue and Tower Road (Adams County).

Afterwards, I walked Buckley Road from 88th avenue to 56th avenue (east side of Rocky Mountain Arsenal). Another Burrowing Owl was observed at 2.0 miles south of 88th avenue & Buckley Road. East side of Buckley, Denver County. This is halfway along the 4.0 mile hike.

Other sightings included a Lincoln's Sparrow at the creek 1.0 miles north of 56th avenue and Buckley Road. A Ferruginous Hawk and Red-tailed Hawk hunting over the many prairie dog towns. The prairie dogs have definite expanded their towns this year.

I also observed a hawk on a nest. Not enough of the hawk was seen to positively identify it. If I had to guess it looked more like a Red-tailed Hawk than Swainson's Hawk. However, Swainson's Hawks have nested there for the past three years; will return later for another look.

Quite a few Horned Larks were in the cultivated fields along the Owl Loop today. At least 5 McCown's Longspurs were among them.

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