Birds in Colorado (non-passerines)

Colorado has an official State Bird -- the Lark Bunting. (Tom Grey photo )

Bill Schmoker's bird photos:www.schmoker.org/BirdPics/index.html
Ken Conger's bird photos:www.kencongerphotography.com/Nature
Tom Grey's bird photos:tgreybirds.com/
USGS Patuxent Bird identification:www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/Infocenter/

These families are in other orders.
Family Ardeidae Herons and Egrets.
Family Cathartidae New World vultures.
Family Cerylidae Kingfishers
Family Charadriidae. Killdeer, Plovers, dotterels, and lapwings
Family Columbidae. Pigeons and Doves
Family Cuculidae Roadrunner
Family Falconidae. Falcons and Caracaras
Family Gruidae Cranes
Family Laridae. Gulls and Terns
Family Meleagrididae Wild Turkeys
Family Odontophoridae Quail
Family Pandionidae . Osprey.
Family Pelecanidae Pelicans
Family Phalacrocoracidae Cormorants
Family Picidae. Woodpeckers
Family Podicipedidae. Grebes.
Family Rallidae Coots & Rails.
Family Recurvirostridae Avocets
Family Scolopacidae Sandpipers
Family Strigidae -- Owls
Family Trochilidae Hummingbirds

Family Pelecanidae, Pelicans

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos). This picture was taken on 17 August 2007 at Elevenmile lake. They do not get too nervous as long as the boat keeps moving, and is not moving directly toward them.

The second and third pictures were taken at Elevenmile Lake on July 11, 2008.

The fourth picture was taken at Elevenmile lake on 23 June 2009. It shows a lump growing out of the top of the beak. The older males grow these lumps during the mating season. Some have been seen which looked like three fingers growing out of the beak. www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/Infocenter/i1250id.html

This video www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JFrMgW2JG4 was taken at Eleven Mile lake in Colorado on 17 June 2011. The bird was annoyed, but not injured.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Pelecaniformes
Family: Pelecanidae
Genus: Pelecanus
Species: P. erythrorhynchos





Cormorants and Shags. Family Phalacrocoracidae.

A pair of Cormorants, on Elevenmile Lake on May 20, 2008. Wikipedia discusses 40 different species of Cormorant; en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cormorant
According to the Colorado Wildlife Department, the ones we have in central Colorado should be the Double-Crested Cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus, and that species should have a large orange throat pouch.

The second picture is of a nesting tree, with multiple cormorant nests. This tree is out in Pueblo Lake, so predators can not get to it. This picture was taken July 1, 2008.

This Video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAr2slKrwwc shows a Cormorant escaping from my boat on the Elevenmile Lake.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Pelecaniformes
Family: Phalacrocoracidae
Genus: Phalacrocorax
Species: P. auritus



Grebes. Family Podicipedidae.

Western Grebe. The Clark's Grebe is very similar, but has the eye clear of the black cap, and the black stripe on the back of the neck is narrower.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Podicipediformes
Family: Podicipedidae
Genus: Aechmophorus
Species: A. occidentalis

The first picture was taken by Alyssa Erickson at Pueblo Lake in June 2007, and clearly shows that this is a Western Grebe, not a Clark's Grebe. Alyssa has a much better camera than I.

The second picture was taken in April 2008, also at Pueblo.

The next two pictures show a Western Grebe eating a fish, and the mate carrying two babies on his/her back. These pictures were taken on Eleven Mile lake, near Lake George, Colorado on 17 August 2007.

Western Grebe: www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/Infocenter/i0010id.html




Clark's Grebe, at Pueblo Lake. Same scientific classification as the Western Grebe, except this is species Aechmophorus clarkii. The Western Grebe is similar, but with the eye in the black area of the head. This Clark's Grebe has the eye in the white area of the head. This picture was taken in May 2005.

Clark's Grebe: http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/Infocenter/i0011id.html


A Pied-Billed Grebe, at the Fountain Creek Nature Center on 17 February 2010. It is small, and spends lots of time diving and feeding on bottom dwellers.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Podicipediformes
Family: Podicipedidae
Genus: Podilymbus
Species: P. podiceps


A Horned Grebe, seen on 6 November 2010 at Pueblo Lake, Pueblo county CO. It was identified by the group of birders that were with me.

The second picture seems to be of another Horned Grebe, this one at the Fountain Creek Nature Center on 2 March 2011.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Podicipediformes
Family: Podicipedidae
Genus: Podiceps
Species: P. auritus



Family Rallidae. Coots and Rails

An American Coot on Lake Pueblo. Fulica americana. This picture was taken by Alyssa Erickson in June 2007.

The second picture is of a large group of Coots taken 28 September 2006 at Pueblo.

The Coot refers to any of ten species of ducklike water-dwelling birds of the genus Fulica in the rail family, Rallidae. Coots are found throughout the world in larger inland waters and streams, where they swim and bob for food, mostly plants, seeds, mollusks, and worms. Coots have greenish or bluish gray feet, the toes of which are fringed by a lobed membrane.

When I was a kid back in North Dakota, we called them mud hens.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Rallidae
Genus: Fulica
Species: americana


Another Coot, this one was looking for food with a flock of Pigeons, near the shore of Prospect Lake in Colorado Springs, on 26 December 2011.
This small bird is a Sora, the most common and widely distributed rail in North America. It kept moving rapidly checking for insects on the cattails growing out of the water, so it was hard to get good pictures of it. It spends so much of its time wading around in the Cattails that they are seldom seen. It rarely flies. These photos were taken on 14 April 2010, at the Fountain Creek Nature Center. The identification was provided by the experts at the Colorado Birder web site.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Rallidae
Genus: Porzana
Species: carolina ( Sora )



This is a Virginia Rail. The picture was taken at the Fountain Creek Nature Center, near Fountain, Colorado, on June 26, 2016. They are secretive by nature, and not often seen. For some reason, this one was in the middle of a hiking trail, and stayed to pose for pictures until some noisy kids approached.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Rallidae
Genus: Rallus
Species: R. limicola



Family Ardeidae. -- Herons and Egrets.

Great Blue Heron. Ardea herodias. This was taken by Alyssa Erickson in June 2007 at Pueblo Lake, CO. Many water birds will stand in the sun with their wings spread out to dry them, and also to warm up in the sunshine.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Ciconiiformes
Family: Ardeidae
Genus: Ardea
Species: A. herodias

The picture of the Blue Heron in flight was taken at Pueblo Lake on October 9, 2007. The next picture was taken on 1 July 2008 at Pueblo Lake, and shows a Blue Heron nest with a pair of young Herons, on a tree out in the water. The fourth picture was taken on 30 May 2009 at the Fountain Creek Nature Center, Fountain Colorado.

The fifth picture was taken on 19 June 2009, at the Fountain Creek Nature Center. This picture of the Blue Heron looking for his lunch won a Blue Ribbon at the photo competition at the El Paso, Colorado County fair in July 2009. This bird was standing at the edge of a pond, and finally decided that I was getting too close, so it flew off. The next picture shows why it is named the Great Blue Heron.

Click here for more Blue Heron pictures.

Other people's photos of this bird:
www.schmoker.org/BirdPics/GBHE.html




Green Herons. The first and second pictures were taken on 5 September 2009 at the Fountain Creek Nature Center. There was a lot of luck involved with me getting these photos; luck that another photographer told me where it was, or I wouldn't have noticed it. Luck that I was able to sneak up on it without scaring it off. Luck that the automatic focus on my camera focused on the bird instead of on the leaves in the foreground.

The third was taken on 10 August 2009 at the same place.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Subclass: Neornithes
Infraclass: Neognathae
Superorder: Neoaves
Order: Ciconiiformes
Family: Ardeidae
Genus: Butorides
Species: B. virescens


A Snowy Egret. Picture taken on 23 April 2009 at the Fountain Creek Nature center. It was about the size of a duck. According to Wikipedia: At one time, the beautiful plumes of the Snowy Egret were in great demand by market hunters as decorations for women's hats. This reduced the population of the species to dangerously low levels. Now it is protected by law, under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, this bird's population has rebounded.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Subclass: Neornithes
Infraclass: Neognathae
Superorder: Neoaves
Order: Ciconiiformes (disputed)
Family: Ardeidae
Genus: Egretta
Species: E. thula


A Great Egret. Picture taken on 30 May 2009 at the Fountain Creek Nature center. It was almost the size of a Great Blue Heron.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Subclass: Neornithes
Infraclass: Neognathae
Superorder: Neoaves
Order: Ciconiiformes (disputed)
Family: Ardeidae
Genus: Ardea
Species: A. alba


Gulls and Terns. Family Laridae.

Sea Gull. This Gull is probably the California Gull (Larus californicus), which is the one that has a statue in Salt Lake city, and the same one that followed the plows when I was a kid in North Dakota. The Salt Lake City statue is because a large flock of these gulls saved the Mormons from a large plague of grasshoppers in 1848. This picture was taken on 17 August 2007 at Elevenmile Lake.

The second picture shows some juvenile California gulls, with the picture taken on 11 July 2008 at that same island in Elevenmile Lake, Park Co., Colorado.

Scientific classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Laridae
Genus: Larus
Species: L. californicus

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Gull


California Gull (Larus californicus), near the boat ramp at Eleven Mile Lake on 21 July 2011.
This is an immature Ring-billed Gull. Larus delawarenis. The first 3 pictures were taken at Prospect Lake, Colorado Springs, on 29 October 2007. The next 3 were taken on 5 December 2007.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Laridae
Genus: Larus
Species: L. delawarensis




An American Herring Gull. This one was photographed on 6 November 2010 at Pueblo Lake, Colorado, It is a large gull, with characteristic black wing tips. The group of birders I was with indentified it for me.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Laridae
Genus: Larus
Species: L. smithsonianus



Family Strigidae -- True or typical Owls. Not including Barn Owls.

A Horned owl. Picture taken at the Fountain Creek Nature Center on 11 July 2009.

The second picture shows three young Horned Owls, still too young to leave the nest. This picture was taken on 30 April 2010, at the Fountain Creek Regional Park.

The third picture was taken on May 6; maybe one had left the nest, or the third one is behind the other two. By 23 May 2010 they had all left the nest.

Thanks to John Barry for pointing them out to me.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Strigiformes
Family: Strigidae
Genus: Bubo (Horned Owls, Eagle-owls, and Fish-owls.)
Species: B. virginianus



The spring 2011 crop of Horned Owls. They are in the Fountain Creek Regional Park, close to where they had the nest last year, and even closer to the hiking trail. This picture was taken on 18 April 2011. There is at least one more owlet in the nest.


A Western Screech Owl, at the Pueblo Raptor Center at Pueblo, CO on 12 February 2010. The picture was taken through the screen on the poorly lit cage. This one has his/her ear tufts fully erect. They have excellent camoflauge, so they are seldom seen.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Strigiformes
Family: Strigidae
Genus: Megascops
Species: M. kennicottii


Family Cuculidae -- Cuckoo family.

On 11 September 2012, five Greater Roadrunners crossed Skaguay Road south of Victor, Colorado in front of me. The pictures were not good, since it was heavy forest and they were moving in grass.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Cuculiformes
Family: Cuculidae
Subfamily: Neomorphinae
Genus: Geococcyx
Species: G. californianus



Family Columbidae -- Pigeons and doves.

Mourning Dove. According to Wikipedia, The bird is also called the American Mourning Dove or Rain Dove, and formerly was known as the Carolina Pigeon or Carolina Turtledove

Go to www.youtube.com/user/don5erickson?feature=mhsn#p/a/u/1/NukTI98KVn0 for a video taken on 9 May 2011 in Colorado Springs.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Columbiformes
Family: Columbidae
Genus: Zenaida
Species: Z. macroura


A Eurasian Collared Dove. This Picture was taken in Colorado Springs, Colorado on 16 June 2008. This Dove is originally from Southeastern Europe. According to Wikipedia, it was introduced into the Bahamas in the 1970s and spread to Florida by 1982. Now, it is in most of North America. It has a call that sounds like Morse code for the letter "r" ( .-. ) (di-dah-dit).

Go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHLBmGu-6hk for a video taken on 11 May 2011 in Colorado Springs.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Columbiformes
Family: Columbidae
Genus: Streptopelia
Species: S. decaocto

Rock Pigeon. This picture was taken in Colorado Springs CO May 5, 2008.

This bird is not native to Colorado. It is a Eurasian species, introduced in Nova Scotia in 1606, and it quickly spread across North America. (ref. the rticle "Alien Invasion" by Mary Taylor Young, in the July/August 2010 issue of the Colorado Outdoors magazine.)

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Columbiformes
Family: Columbidae
Genus: Columba
Species: C. livia


30 November 2007 at Prospect Lake, Colorado Springs CO
On 21 March 2011, a Homing Pigeon joined our flock of wild Rock Pigeons in Colorado Springs. Articles found on the internet say that wild flocks will sometimes take in a stray homing pigeon that is not quite smart enough to find its way back home. It is a domestic pigeon, descended from Rock Pigeons.


Family Odontophoridae. Quail. There are 32 species of Quail in this family.

A family of California Quail, 25 July 2009 at the Fountain Creek Nature Center. This was the male and female, with 7 or 8 very small babies. They did not seem to be afraid of the photographers, but since the young ones would be too small to fly, the parents were not willing to fly away.

They look almost identical to the Gambel's Quail, but the Gambel's Quail male will have a dark patch on his breast, and the California Quail does not.

Click here for more quail pictures.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Odontophoridae
Genus: Callipepla
Species: C. californica





Family Charadriidae. Plovers, dotterels, and lapwings

A Killdeer, pictures taken 7 June 2008 in Elbert Co., CO. This is the bird that will pretend that it can not fly due to a broken wing when a predator gets close to the nest. It will continue to lead the predator off until it is safely away from it's nest, then will fly off normally. Many children and other predators have been led away from a nest in this manner.

The third picture was taken at the Arkansas River, just east of the dam at Pueblo Lake on 12 February 2010.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Charadriidae
Genus: Charadrius
Species: C. vociferus



Family Recurvirostridae.

These are American Avocets, (Recurvirostra americana) a wading bird or shore bird. During the spring breeding season, their heads are orange or golden brown. This photo was taken on 26 September 2007 at Pueblo.
Ken Conger, web site at the top of this page, identified them for me.
More pictures, by Tom Grey, here

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Recurvirostridae
Genus: Recurvirostra
Species: americana

American Avocets, in their spring breeding colors. The birds in the first picture were found on 14 May 2011 at the Fountain Creek Nature Center, just south of Colorado Springs, and the second picture was taken on 28 May 2001, same place.

Family Scolopacidae Sandpipers.

This is a Wilson's Phalarope. This small wading bird moves quickly back and forth catching insects. One of the people who works at the Fountain Creek Nature Center told me what it was. These pictures were taken on 19 May 2011.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Suborder: Scolopaci
Family: Scolopacidae
Genus: Phalaropus
Species: P. tricolor



Spotted Sandpipers. Both were found on 21 May 2011. The first one was at the Fountain Creek Nature Center, and the second at the Fountain Creek Regional Park, both near Fountain, CO.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Scolopacidae
Genus: Actitis
Species: A. macularius



Family Picidae. Woodpeckers.

A Woodpecker working on a Red Maple tree in our side yard. This one is a male Red-shafted Northern Flicker. The picture was taken on 15 April 2005. The second picture, sitting on a fence post, was taken 1 November 2004.
The third picture was taken at Prospect Lake, 29 October 2007.

The male is identified by the red mark starting at the base of the beak.

The fourth picture with two females was taken 28 June 2009 in Colorado Springs, CO

This sound is often heard in the spring.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Piciformes
Family: Picidae
Genus: Colaptes
Species: C. auratus




This picture is a close-up of a female, taken on 12 February 2011. Normally, they do not come to the bird feeder, but this one made an exception for the suet.

This female Northern Flicker was at my bird feeder with a deformed bill, on 23 March 2011. She probably has trouble feeding, and certainly would not be able to make holes in trees. But, she is able to handle the suet at my bird feeder. Both I and my neighbor saw one last year with a bill that was even more deformed than this one.

This woodpecker is on Youtube.com at www.youtube.com/watch?v=OolvnN7mv1s so you can see her difficulty eating. She comes back almost every day.

These pictures show a Downy Woodpecker, found at the Fountain Creek Nature Center, on 30 December 2010. The Hairy Woodpecker ( P. villosus ) also looks like this, but has a longer bill.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Piciformes
Family: Picidae
Genus: Picoides
Species: P. pubescens



Another Downy Woodpecker, found at the Fountain Creek Nature Center on 26 December 2011. This one is a female, since she does not have the red mark on the back of her head. Again, the Hairy Woodpecker looks like this, but has a longer bill.
Another Downy Woodpecker, this one at my front yard in Colorado Springs on 20 April 2014. Again, the Hairy Woodpecker looks like this, but has a longer bill. I still do not have a good picture to look at bill length, but I think this is the shorter version, which makes it a Downy woodpecker.

Family Trochilidae. Hummingbirds

A female Rufous Hummingbird, at the Bear Creek Nature Center, on the west side of Colorado Springs, CO on 1 September 2009. The male of this species is slightly smaller, and has a different color pattern.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Subclass: Neornithes
Infraclass: Neognathae
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Selasphorus
Species: S. rufus


Another one found at the Bear Creek Nature Center in the west side of Colorado Springs on 1 September 2012. People at the Colorado Birder web site think that this is a Rufous, maybe a female or juvenile. This one let me get fairly close, and posed for pictures.

This appears to be a female Black-chinned hummingbird. It was found at the Bear Creek Nature Center in the west side of Colorado Springs on 22 May 2011. That species is reported to be common at this locaation. There were two hummingbirds flying back and forth in some brush, and when I approached, this one perched on a branch, and I could not see where the other one went to. It was a very small bird.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes[1]
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Archilochus
Species: A. alexandri

This appears to be a male Black-chinned hummingbird. It was found at the Bear Creek Nature Center in the west side of Colorado Springs on 22 May 2011.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes[1]
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Archilochus
Species: A. alexandri

This one was at the Bear Creek Nature Center on 5 August 2010. It is probably another Black-chinned hummingbird, but not for sure.

This looks like a female Black-chinned hummingbird. It also looks like the pictures of the female Ruby-throated hummingbird, but I don't think that species comes to Colorado. Seen at the Bear Creek Nature Center, Colorado Springs, on 6 August 2011.
I think that these are Broad-tailed hummingbirds, based on the color pattern I see in the tail. They also seem to be just females. The first picture was taken on 11 August 2011 at the Bear Creek Nature Center in Colorado Springs, and the next two at the same place on 28 August.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
(unranked): Cypselomorphae
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae
Subfamily: Trochilinae
Genus: Selasphorus
Species: S. platycercus



On 11 August 2011, at the Bear Creek Nature Center in Colorado Springs, CO, the Hummingbirds were plentiful, and I was fortunate enough to get a photo of this nest. Very hard to find.

Vultures and Condors. Family Cathartidae.

A Turkey Vulture, AKA Turkey Buzzard or just Buzzard. The first picture was taken by Alyssa Erickson.

The second and third pictures are interesting. The second picture was taken on 6 August 2008, while the buzzard was circling over Colorado Springs looking for any dead animals it might find in back yards.

The third picture was taken almost 8 years later, this time at Skaguay Lake on July 7, 2016. In both cases, when I took the pictures, I thought that the difference in color of the left wing was due to the way the sunlight was shining. But when I look at the most recent one, I am starting to think that we have a buzzard in Colorado that has a left wing much lighter in color than the right wing.

The fourth was taken on 29 August 2008 at Elevenmile Lake.

The fifth was taken near Elevenmile Lake on 9 September 2008. They have some animal on the ground. The face on that animal looks like a Badger.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Ciconiiformes
Family: Cathartidae
Genus: Cathartes
Species: C. aura




A Turkey Vulture near Brush Hollow reservoir, Fremont county, Colorado on 4 June 2010. A Prairie Dog had been run over on the road, and this bird was staying close to it. As a result, I was close enough for a good photo.

Family Falconidae. Falcons.

A Peregrene Falcon, at the Pueblo Raptor Center at Pueblo, CO on 12 February 2010. The picture was taken through the screen on the poorly lit cage. This bird had been at the Air Force Academy at one time.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Falconiformes
Family: Falconidae
Genus: Falco
Species: F. peregrinus

A Prairie Falcon, at the Pueblo Raptor Center at Pueblo, CO on 12 February 2010. The picture was taken through the screen on the poorly lit cage. This bird had also been at the Air Force Academy at one time.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Falconiformes
Family: Falconidae
Genus: Falco
Species: F. mexicanus

Another Prairie Falcon, found on September 11, 2014, in rural Elbert County, Colorado.
An American Kestrel, at the Pueblo Raptor Center at Pueblo, CO on 12 February 2010. The picture was taken through the screen on the poorly lit cage. This is the smallest falcon, not much bigger than a robin.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Falconiformes
Family: Falconidae
Genus: Falco
Species: F. sparverius


Family Accipitridae. Hawks and Eagles.

Golden Eagles, at the Pueblo Raptor Center at Pueblo, CO on 12 February 2010. The picture was taken through the screen on the poorly lit cage.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Accipitriformes (or Falconiformes, q.v.)
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Aquila
Species: chrysaetos

A Bald Eagle, at the Pueblo Raptor Center at Pueblo, CO on 12 February 2010. The picture was taken through the screen on the poorly lit cage.

The second picture was taken on the same day, just north of Pueblo Lake. There were several of them flying circles, but not close enough for good pictures. These Eagles often spend the winter at Pueblo Lake, then return further north in the spring. They usually nest in the northern part of Colorado.

Here is some live video of a nesting Bald Eagle in Iowa.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Haliaeetus
Species: H. leucocephalus


Another Bald Eagle, this one near the intersection of Teller county roads 1 and 11, Teller county Colorado. Photo taken 22 May 2012.

Red-Tailed Hawks. The first two pictures were taken in Elbert Co., Colorado on 11 August 2008. The "comma, dash, dash, comma" pattern on the leading edge of the wing is a distinguishing feature of the Red-Tailed hawk.

The third and fourth pictures were taken in Eastern El Paso county on 17 March 2010.

Here is some live video of a nesting pair of Red-Tail hawks at Cornell University in New York.

Here is a link to Youtube www.youtube.com/watch?v=33DWqRyAAUw for a screaming Red-Tailed Hawk.

Click here for more Red-tail hawk pictures.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Falconiformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Buteo
Species: B. jamaicensis



Another Red-Tailed Hawk, watching the prairie for any movement of a possible meal. This was in Elbert county Colorado on 13 September 2011.

A Ferruginous Hawk, found in rural Elbert county, Colorado on 28 September 2010.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Falconiformes (or Accipitriformes)
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Buteo
Species: B. regalis

This is a Cooper's Hawk, part of the Accipiter Genus. These are called Bird Hawks, and have long tails. Found at the Fountain Creek Nature Center on 20 August 2009. This one looks like some photos of a Juvenile Cooper's hawk seen on the internet. It is also a nice match to a photo of a Cooper's Hawk on the Colorado Birder web site at coloradobirder.ning.com/photo/coopers-hawk .
It seems to have a very long and flexible neck.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Falconiformes (or Accipitriformes, q.v.)
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Accipiter (Bird Hawks)
Species: A. cooperii


Another Cooper's Hawk. This one visited my front yard on 29 October 2011. It seemed to think that it had seen something that looked like a meal. I think it is a juvenile. It started on my fence, and then moved to my mailbox.
This Cooper's Hawk came by my front yard on 23 September 2013, trying to catch some Sparrows that were at my bird feeder.
A Swainson's Hawk, at the Pueblo Raptor Center at Pueblo, CO on 12 February 2010.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Subclass: Neornithes
Infraclass: Neognathae
Superorder: Neoaves
Order: Falconiformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Buteo
Species: B. swainsoni

Another Swainson's Hawk. Found in the northern part of El Paso County Colorado on 10 August 2010, near Ramah, Colorado. At first, I thought it was a Redtail Hawk, since that is what we normally find in rural Colorado. The experts at the Colorado Birder web site corrected me. Normally, a Redtail Hawk will leave their perch if your car stops or even slows down, but a Swainson's Hawk will often stay and pose for pictures, like this one did. This one stayed put even when I leaned out the drivers window to take it's photo.

Family Pandionidae. Osprey.

An Osprey. They are large raptors. This one was found at Lake Pueblo on 18 September 2008. They are also called Fish Hawks or Sea Hawks. Some specialists say that this species should be divided into four sub-species, and if so, this one is the sub-species P. h. carolinensis, found in North America.

Look at this site for some live video of an Osprey nest near Longmont, CO.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Falconiformes
Family: Pandionidae
Genus: Pandion
Species: P. haliaetus

This Osprey was found in a large nest on the south side of Brush Hollow reservoir, in Fremont county Colorado on 21 May 2010. When I approached, three Great Blue Herons in a tree close by left. The people on the Colorado Birder web page identified it for me. This is an adult, sitting on eggs, which is why it didn't leave. These nesting sites are built specially for the Ospreys.

I wonder why the Great Blue Herons were there; maybe they were waiting for the Osprey to leave the nest, so they could eat the eggs? Would Great Blue Herons do that? I don't know, but it wouldn't surprise me.

These pictures were taken with my Fujifilm FinePix S1000fd camera.


A return trip to Brush Hollow was taken on 28 May 2010. Everything looked the same, except this time both Ospreys were present. I presume that once the eggs hatch, the adults will stay busy bringing meals to the youngsters.

Another return trip was made on 4 June 2010. No changes were obvious. The bird on the nest stood up and did something with the eggs, probably turning them, and then sat on them again. Only the one Osprey was seen.

Another return trip on 10 June, no changes.

Another return trip on 17 June. Mama was sitting on the nest. When I got out of the car, she stood up. After a while, she flew off. So I still don't know if the eggs had hatched.

Later weekly return trips found no activity at the nest.

Two return trips in the spring of 2011 and 2012 showed no activity. The water in Brush Hollow was very low; maybe they are emptying the reservoir.



Family Gruidae. Cranes

A Sand Hill Crane. We count this as a Colorado bird since they stop off here on their migratory routes, mostly around the Montrose, Colorado area. This one was at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, in Colorado Springs, CO on 27 June 2008. It looks a little strange since it's wing feathers have been clipped to keep it from flying away.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Subclass: Neornithes
Infraclass: Neognathae
Superorder: Neoaves
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Gruidae
Genus: Grus
Species: G. canadensis


Family Meleagrididae. Turkeys.

Wild Turkeys, (Meleagris gallopavo) at the Air Force Academy on 30 October 2007. The third picture was taken near Ramah, Colorado on 2 November 2006, and the fourth picture was taken there on 29 May 2009, and includes six newly hatched turkeys.

The last picture was taken on 28 September 2010 at Ramah, El Paso county, Colorado.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Meleagrididae
Genus: Meleagris
Species: M. gallopavo
and there are several sub-species, with subtle differences.




Pictures of the Ramah flock, 7 November 2014. There seems to be about 10 turkeys in the flock this year.


May 9, 2016, near Ramah, Colorado. This Tom is all decked out and strutting around in his finest courtship fashion, but the hen does not seem too interested so far.

I saw only 5 or 6 birds on this day. The flock may be smaller than two years ago.


Family Cerylidae. Kingfishers. Other families of Kingfishers are not found in North America.

A Kingfisher, found on 13 August 2009 at the Fountain Creek Nature Center. It was far off, and behind some branches. The red color on it's breast probably indicates it is a female Megaceryle alcyon (Belted Kingfisher). Better photos would help identify it for sure.

The second picture was taken at the same place on 10 August 2009, but it was cloudy, so the picture was not good.

The third picture, taken on 18 January 2010 at the fountain Creek Nature Center, shows two Kingfishers and one Hooded Merganser duck. Click on the picture of the male Belted Kingfisher to see the full version.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Coraciiformes
Suborder: Alcedines
Family: Cerylidae
Genus: Megaceryle
Species: M. alcyon