White-tailed Ptarmigan


Denver Area
July 20-27, 2003
- narrated by Henry Detwiler
101 species total

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

Although hot by Denver standards, it was outstanding weather for this Yuma resident.  I flew up to the mile-high city for a week of Dreamweaver & Cold Fusion training, and took advantage of ˝ day on Sunday, time before & after class, and the Saturday following training to find all the birds, bugs, and beasts I could.  

Can you see the ptarmigan?
(click it for the full-sized version)

White-tailed Ptarmigan

I was fortunate to have Richard Stevens join me on Sunday afternoon to help me find the elusive White-tailed Ptarmigan at Rocky Mountain National Park.  We marched through mist & light rain & cold, and finally, sunshine!  As I was about to give up, I just about stepped on this fine fellow (1st picture).  A short while later, as Rich was trying to relocate our original bird for Tom & Carol from Wisconsin, I found this second individual in a picturesque setting.  It was a life bird for me—and for Tom!  

Cherry Creek Reservoir was close to my motel & class, so  I went there several times to look for both birds and dragonflies, like this Striped Meadowhawk.

Striped Meadowhawk

American White Pelican

The reservoir harbored many American White Pelicans, Double-crested Cormorants, and both Western & Clark's Grebes.  Black-billed Magpies, meadowlarks, and Yellow Warblers plied the fields &  trees.


 Prairie Dogs

Not a mile from my motel and the Denver Tech Center was a large colony of prairie dogs.  Both Swainson’s & Red-tailed Hawks patrolled the area, watching for an easy meal

A shallow, cat-tail-ringed pond a few miles from the Denver Tech Center yielded some of the best dragonflies of the trip, including a 12-Spotted Darner and this Common Whitetail.

Common Whitetail

American Goldfinch at Cherry Creek

At the south end of Cherry Creek Park were thousands of sunflowers, which provided food for hundreds of American Goldfinches.  Other nice birds in the area included a pair of Eastern Kingbirds and a Gray Catbird. 

A trip up to Reynolds Park in the Rockies, at about 7500', yielded many beautiful wildflowers and birds.  This lightly-used park (compared to others I saw) was less than an hour from my class, and offered fine trails through the meadows and forests.  This Cordilleran Flycatcher was too intent on snapping up insects to worry much about me.  I was searching for rare woodpeckers, but found only Hairies & Downies. 

Fields of flowers - Rudbeckia

Cordilleran Flycatcher

PAGE 2 - More Pictures

Denver area, Mt. Evans, Rocky Mountain National Park, 20-27 July 2003

Pied-billed Grebe
Western Grebe
Clark's Grebe
American White Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron
Canada Goose
Trumpeter Swan
Common Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Swainson's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Golden Eagle
American Kestrel
Prairie Falcon
White-tailed Ptarmigan
Virginia Rail
American Coot
American Avocet
Spotted Sandpiper
Wilson's Snipe
Turkey Vulture
Ring-billed Gull
Rock Dove
Mourning Dove
Northern Pygmy-Owl
Common Nighthawk
Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-naped Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Western Wood Pewee
Dusky Flycatcher
Cordilleran Flycatcher
Say's Phoebe
Western Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird
Gray Jay
Stellar's Jay
Clark's Nutcracker
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Common Raven
Horned Lark
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Mountain Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Rock Wren
Canyon Wren
House Wren
American Dipper
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Western Bluebird
Mountain Bluebird
Townsend's Solitaire
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
American Pipit
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Wilson's Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat
Yellow Warbler
Western Tanager
Green-tailed Towhee
Spotted Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Black-headed Grosbeak
Lazuli Bunting
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Brown-capped Rosy Finch
Pine Grosbeak
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow


Photos © Henry D. Detwiler