SE Colorado Birding

Birding and discussion: A conservation-oriented birding blog that emphasizes low-impact birding and sustainable birding practices together with the enjoyment of birds. Southeast Colorado offers a diversity of habitats which provide premiere birding opportunities. Save Sabal Palm

Friday, April 18, 2008

Long-billed Curlews stop-over to feed

A large area around, and some in, the small and economically-depressed town of Ordway (north of Rocky Ford)experienced a catastrophic wild fire this week. A very sad situation for this area, especially the loss of 2 firefighters, several homes and a number of animals, the fire will likely have beneficial effects on the grasslands it burned. Grasslands evolved over many centuries with fire or other disturbances, which are essential to the health of these prairies. And some species have evolved to benefit from the burns including Mountain Plovers.

While birding in that area this week, I did not find any Mountain Plovers in the burned grasslands but did find a flock of at least 10 Long-billed Curlews including the one in this pic seen foraging in the burned area. Unfortunately this pic is not as high quality as I prefer, but the curlews were several hundred feet away and this pushed my zoom lens (about 420 mm equivalent with lens extender) to it's limits.

These curlews likely made this stop-over from their migration to feed on the roasted insects. Long-billed Curlews are a species of significant concern so I am always pleased to find them. SeEtta


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