John Martin Reservoir


brochure John Martin Reservoir - Birds
John Martin Reservoir FIELD NOTES State Park Discovering... Western Tanager Birds CHECKLIST of Birds of John Martin Reservoir State Park and Bent County, Colorado. John Martin Reservoir and surrounding Bent County, Colorado, is one of the premier birding locations in the interior United States, and is recognized nationally as an “Important Bird Area” (IBA). The great majority of birds in Bent County are found within the boundaries of John Martin Reservoir. Many bird species are restricted to a very specific habitat. The key to finding species diversity is looking in proper habitat. Bent County is home to many different birding areas including, but not limited to the areas that are listed in this brochure. This checklist includes birds that can be seen at John Martin Reservoir and other areas of Bent County as well as birds that can only be found in certain areas of the county. We would like to thank Duane Nelson for his help toward the creation of this brochure. His hard work created this list of birds that can be seen in all of Bent County. Killdeer ABUNDANCE CODES KEY TO SYMBOLS * confirmed breeder ^ probable though unconfirmed breeder Res: yearlong resident breeding Mig: present during migration only Su: John Martin Reservoir State Park 30703 Road 24, Hasty, CO 81044 (719) 829-1801 E-mail: CSP-JM-18M-5/06 Roadrunner migrant bird that remains through summer A: Abundant, seen in numbers on every visit to appropriate habitat C: Common, seen in smaller numbers in appropriate habitat U: Uncommon, present but may not be seen on all visits R: Rare, predictable in occurrence, but may be absent some years Sp: Spring migrant only Fa: Fall migrant only VR: not expected, but multiple county records SV: summer visitor, with no evidence of nesting X: Accidental, only one or two records, few records for Colorado Wi: migrant bird that remains throughout the winter I: Irruptive, usually absent, but can be common in flight years BIRDING SITES IN BENT COUNTY John Martin Reservoir State Park includes Lake Hasty Campground and much of the northeast portion of John Martin Reservoir. Both sites provide excellent birding opportunities throughout the seasons. John Martin State Wildlife area includes the entirety of the reservoir, and adjacent marshes, riparian forests and upland habitat west nearly to the city of Las Animas. 3. Fort Lyon State Wildlife Easement – only one mile south of Wood Thrush Grove, this may be the largest elm grove in Colorado. The best access is from Road HH, 0.2 miles west of County Road 16. A recent drought has killed many of the elm trees, increasing the population of woodpeckers, and possibly reducing the number of other land birds. This is another of Colorado’s premier land bird migration hotspots. Take care not to disturb nesting Great Blue Herons, recent colonists. Additional birding sites in Bent County: 1. Van’s Grove – Part of the John Martin State Wildlife Area, this birding site is located on County Road JJ 0.8 mile west of Bent County Road 18, and 1.2 miles east of Bent County Road 17. The low elm trees in this abandoned homestead make viewing skulking birds easy, while the isolated nature of the grove make it an oasis for migrant land birds. Most species of eastern warblers recorded in Colorado have been seen in this unlikely migrant trap. 2. Wood Thrush Grove – Part of the John Martin State Wildlife Area, this site is a tiny oasis of tall trees with abundant undergrowth on the southeast corner of Bent County Roads 16 and JJ. This site is only 2.2 miles west of Van’s Grove. Another of Colorado’s premier sites to look for migrant land birds. 4. Ft. Lyon Marshes – One excellent marsh is at the right-angle turn where Bent County Road 16 becomes Bent County Road HH. This is currently a good place to listen for rails and bitterns after dark. Marshes in this area have historically hosted rare sparrows (including LeConte’s) in the winter, but the invasion of cottonwood and tamarisk trees has greatly compromised this habitat. NOTE: Please follow American Birding Association ethical guidelines and refrain from playing tapes to draw these sensitive species into view. Listen quietly and consider counting marsh birds as “heard only”. 5. Green Heron Slough – located 0.25 miles south of Bent County Road HH, immediately opposite the Fort Lyon State Wildlife Easement. A perennial stream flows through the dike draining the Ft. Lyon Hospital/Prison, and provides habitat for water-loving migrants and resident birds. The huge cattail marsh east of the slough hosts almost every marsh bird species, including rails, bitterns, sparrows and wrens. 6. Adobe Creek Reservoir/Blue Lakes – located 13 miles north of Las Animas on Bent County Road 10. There is a stock pond on Road 10 8.1 miles north of State Highway 194 that, when containing water, can be excellent for longspurs (especially McCown’s) in winter, as well as ducks and shorebirds in migration. The short-grass prairie the first few miles north of the Ft. Lyon Canal hosts nesting Long-billed Curlews, while Mountain Plovers can be found, with diligence, along Road 10 between Roads UU and VV. Adobe Creek Reservoir is currently very low due to a current drought, and most of the remaining pool is in Kiowa County, but, when full, the best birding, especially for shorebirds, terns, gulls, waterfowl and herons, is in the Bent County part of the reservoir. When water levels are optimal, birding is often phenomenal. 7. Setchfield State Wildlife Area – Many birders do not know that southern Bent County is a land of canyons, cliffs, juniper woodlands and cholla cactus. Setchfield State Wildlife Area contains the only public access into this habitat in Bent County. If solitude is a goal, keep this site in mind; it has been described as the least-visited State Wildlife area in Colorado. While birds are thinly distributed and may take effort to find, the birds are very different from those found in the northern part of the county. Drive south from Las Animas on State Highway 101. Turn west on Road P, and follow it as it winds south and west. Upon entering the canyon country, continue south on Road 10. An obscure property boundary sign at a cattle guard just before a road fork marks the beginning of the State Wildlife area. Veer Right onto Road J just past the large red mailbox. The best birding is near the old broken dam on Muddy Creek, or up to the cliffs and junipers to the west. A great continuation of a vehicular tour of this area continues west on Road J through surprisingly scenic Road Canyon (great for birding from the car) to State Highway 109, where a short trip on a good paved road leads back to La Junta. Some Good-Sense Rules for Wildlife Watching Etiquette 1. Observe animals from a safe distance. Get close by using binoculars, spotting scope or a camera with a telephoto lens. You probably are too close if animals are looking at you with head up and ears pointed toward you or are “jumpy” when you move or make a noise. If you see these signs, sit quietly or move slowly away until the behavior changes. Be especially sensitive to adults with young. 2. Move slowly and casually, not directly at wildlife. Allow animals to keep you in view; do not surprise them. 3. Never chase or harass wildlife. Harassment of wildlife is unlawful. 4. Leave pets at home. At best they hinder wildlife watching; at worst they can chase, injure or kill wildlife. 5. Using the animals’ behavior as a guide, limit the time you spend watching if animals appear to be stressed. 6. Respect others who are viewing the same animals. 7. Do no feed wildlife. 8. Respect private property; ask first to watch on private land. 9. Resting is critical behavior for many animals; don’t encourage them to “do something” for your camera. 10. Avoid animals that behave strangely or aggressively. They may be ill. Mountain Bluebird This brochure made possible through the collaborative efforts of the following sponsors: Birding Areas in Bent County 6 2 3 1 Denver 4 Limon 5 Colorado Springs Bent’s Fort Inn Las Animas Pueblo La Junta BENT COUNTY John Martin Reservior State Park A long the Santa Fe Trail, Bent County offers historic and cultural attractions to enhance your bird watching experience. Come explore Boggsville National Historic Site, last home of Kit Carson; the Kit Carson Museum with exhibits from pioneer history to WWII; and the Old Trail Gallery where local artisans display and sell their art work. For more information about local services and activities visit 7 1 Van’s Grove 2 Wood Thrush Grove 3 Fort Lyon State Wildlife Easement 4 Fort Lyon Marshes 5 Green Heron Slough 6 Blue Lake/Adobe Creek 7 Setchfield State Wildlife Area American ican Goldfinch Las Animas (719) 456-0011 1-800-WESTERN Hot Eats Cool Treats At the Hwy 50 stoplight in Las Animas. Open 10 a.m. - 10 p.m., 7 days a week (719) 456-2345 SWANS, GEESE, DUCKS __Greater White-fronted Goose __Snow Goose __Ross’ Goose __Canada Goose * __Cackling Goose __Trumpeter Swan __Tundra Swan __Wood Duck * __Gadwall ^ __American Wigeon __American Black Duck __Mallard * __Blue-winged Teal ^ __Cinnamon Teal ^ __Northern Shoveler __Northern Pintail __Green-winged Teal ^ __Canvasback __Redhead ^ __Ring-necked Duck __Greater Scaup __Lesser Scaup __Surf Scoter __White-winged Scoter __Black Scoter __Long-tailed Duck __Bufflehead __Common Goldeneye __Barrow’s Goldeneye __Hooded Merganser __Common Merganser __Red-breasted Merganser __Ruddy Duck Ruddy Duck GALLINACEOUS BIRDS Mig R Wi A Wi C Wi C Wi R Wi VR Mig VR Res U Mig C Su R Wi R Mig A Wi U SV VR Res A Mig C Su U Mig C Su U Mig C Wi U Mig C Wi U Mig C Su R Wi U Mig U Wi R Mig C Wi R Mig U Wi R Mig R Mig C Wi R Mig R Wi VR Mig R Mig VR Wi VR Wi R Mig C Wi R Wi A Wi R Wi U Wi A Mig U Wi R Mig C __Ring-necked Pheasant * __Lesser Prairie Chicken ^ __Wild Turkey * __Northern Bobwhite * __Scaled Quail * Res C Res VR Res U Res U Res U LOONS AND GREBES __Red-throated Loon __Pacific Loon __Common Loon __Pied-billed Grebe __Horned Grebe __Red-necked Grebe __Eared Grebe __Western Grebe __Clark’s Grebe Su VR Fa R Mig U Wi VR Mig U Wi R Mig C Wi R Mig VR Mig C Wi R Mig A Wi R Mig A Wi R PELICANS AND CORMORANTS __American White Pelican __Brown Pelican __Neotropic Cormorant __Double-crested Cormorant * Mig A Wi R SV X SV X Su C Mig A Wi R HERONS, BITTERNS AND IBISES __American Bittern ^ __Least Bittern ^ __Great Blue Heron * __Great Egret __Snowy Egret __Little Blue Heron __Tricolored Heron __Reddish Egret __Cattle Egret __Green Heron ^ __Black-crowned Night-Heron __Yellow-crowned Night-Heron Su U Su R Res C Mig U Mig U Mig R Mig VR SV X Mig U, Su R Su R, Wi X Su U SV VR __White Ibis __Glossy Ibis __White-faced Ibis SV X Mig R Mig C VULTURES, HAWKS, EAGLES AND FALCONS __Turkey Vulture * __Black Vulture __Osprey __Mississippi Kite * __Bald Eagle ^ __Northern Harrier ^ __Sharp-shinned Hawk __Cooper’s Hawk __Northern Goshawk __Red-shouldered Hawk __Broad-winged Hawk __Swainson’s Hawk * __Red-tailed Hawk * __Ferruginous Hawk * __Rough-legged Hawk __Golden Eagle * __American Kestrel * __Merlin __Peregrine Falcon __Prairie Falcon ^ Su C SV X Mig U Su U Wi C Res U Mig U Wi R Mig U Wi R Wi VR Wi VR Mig R Su C Res C Res U Wi U Wi U Res R Res C Wi R Mig U Res U RAILS AND CRANES __Black Rail * __King Rail __Virginia Rail * __Sora * __Common Moorhen __American Coot * __Sandhill Crane Su U Su X Res U Res U Wi R Su X Res C Mig C SHOREBIRDS, GULLS, TERNS __Black-bellied Plover __American Golden-Plover __Snowy Plover * __Semipalmated Plover __Piping Plover (Endangered)* __Killdeer * __Mountain Plover * __Black-necked Stilt * __American Avocet * __Greater Yellowlegs __Lesser Yellowlegs __Solitary Sandpiper __Willet __Spotted Sandpiper * __Upland Sandpiper __Whimbrel __Long-billed Curlew * __Hudsonian Godwit __Marbled Godwit __Ruddy Turnstone __Red Knot __Sanderling __Semipalmated Sandpiper __Western Sandpiper __Least Sandpiper __White-rumped Sandpiper __Baird’s Sandpiper __Pectoral Sandpiper __Sharp-tailed Sandpiper __Dunlin __Stilt Sandpiper __Buff-breasted Sandpiper __Short-billed Dowitcher __Long-billed Dowitcher __Wilson’s Snipe ^ __Wilson’s Phalarope __Red-necked Phalarope Mig U Fa R Su U Mig U Su U Res C Wi R Su U Su U Su U Mig C Mig C Wi VR Mig C Mig U Mig U Su C Mig R Sp R Su X Su U Mig U Sp VR Mig U Mig VR Mig VR Mig C Mig C Mig C Mig C Wi VR Sp U Mig C Sp R Fa U Fa X Mig R Mig U Mig VR Sp VR Fa R Mig C Res U Mig C Mig R __Red Phalarope Mig VR __Parasitic Jaeger Fa VR __Long-tailed Jaeger Fa VR __Laughing Gull SV VR __Franklin’s Gull Mig C __Bonaparte’s Gull Sp R Fa U Wi VR Su X __Mew Gull Fa VR __Ring-billed Gull SV Res C __California Gull * Res U __Herring Gull Wi C Su VR __Thayer’s Gull Wi R __Iceland Gull Wi X __Lesser Black-backed Gull SV VR Res R __Glaucous Gull Wi R __Glaucous-winged Gull Wi X __Great Black-backed Gull Wi R __Sabine’s Gull Fa R __Black-legged Kittiwake Fa VR __Caspian Tern SV R __Common Tern SV R __Arctic Tern Mig VR __Forster’s Tern Mig C __Least Tern (endangered)* Su U __Black Tern Mig C DOVES __Rock Pigeon * __Eurasian Collared-Dove * __White-winged Dove __Mourning Dove * __Inca Dove Res C Res U SV VR Res A Wi R Fa Mig VR CUCKOOS AND ROADRUNNER __Black-billed Cuckoo __Yellow-billed Cuckoo ^ __Greater Roadrunner ^ Su R Su U Res U OWLS __Barn Owl * __Western Screech-Owl * __Eastern Screech-Owl ^ __Great Horned Owl * __Snowy Owl __Burrowing Owl * __Long-eared Owl __Short-eared Owl __Northern Saw-whet Owl FLYCATCHERS Res U Wi I Res U Res R Res C Wi I VR Su C Mig Wi R Wi R Wi R GOATSUCKERS __Lesser Nighthawk __Common Nighthawk * __Common Poorwill * Mig VR Su C Su U SWIFTS __Chimney Swift * Su C HUMMINGBIRDS __Black-chinned Hummingbird ^ __Calliope Hummingbird __Broad-tailed Hummingbird __Rufous Hummingbird Su U Fa VR Sp Fa R Fa R KINGFISHERS __Belted Kingfisher ^ Res U WOODPECKERS __Lewis’s Woodpecker * __Red-headed Woodpecker * __Red-bellied Woodpecker __Yellow-bellied Sapsucker __Red-naped Sapsucker __Ladder-backed Woodpecker ^ __Downy Woodpecker * __Hairy Woodpecker ^ __Northern Flicker * Res R Su U Wi R Mig R Mig R Res R Res C Res U Res C __Olive-sided Flycatcher __Western Wood-Pewee __Eastern Wood-Pewee __Willow Flycatcher __Least Flycatcher __Hammond’s Flycatcher __Gray Flycatcher __Dusky Flycatcher __Cordilleran Flycatcher __Eastern Phoebe * __Say’s Phoebe * __Vermilion Flycatcher * __Ash-throated Flycatcher ^ __Great Crested Flycatcher * __Cassin’s Kingbird * __Western Kingbird * __Eastern Kingbird * __Scissor-tailed Flycatcher __Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher Mig U Mig C Mig R Mig U Mig U Mig R Mig R Mig R Mig R Mig R Su R Mig U Su R Mig VR Su VR Su U Su U Su U Su A Su C Mig R Fa X SHRIKES AND VIREOS __Loggerhead Shrike * __Northern Shrike __White-eyed Vireo __Bell’s Vireo __Yellow-throated Vireo __Plumbeous Vireo __Cassin’s Vireo __Blue-headed Vireo __Warbling Vireo ^ __Philadelphia Vireo __Red-eyed Vireo ^ Res U Wi U Sp Mig R Mig VR Mig VR Mig U Mig R Fa R Su U Mig VR Mig U CORVIDS __Steller’s Jay __Blue Jay * __Western Scrub-Jay ^ Fa Wi I VR Res C Fa Wi I U Res U __Pinyon Jay __Clark’s Nutcracker __Black-billed Magpie * __American Crow * __Chihuahuan Raven * __Common Raven * Fa I Fa I X Res C Res U Res U Res R LARKS __Horned Lark * Res A SWALLOWS __Tree Swallow __Violet-green Swallow __Northern Rough-winged Swallow * __Bank Swallow __Cliff Swallow * __Cave Swallow (under review by CBRC) __Barn Swallow * Mig U Mig R Su U Mig U Su A Fa X Su C CHICKADEES, TITMICE AND BUSHTITS __Black-capped Chickadee * __Mountain Chickadee __Juniper Titmouse __Bushtit ^ Res R Wi I R Res VR Fa Wi I U NUTHATCHES AND CREEPERS __Red-breasted Nuthatch __White-breasted Nuthatch __Brown Creeper SV Fa I U WIU Wi U WRENS __Rock Wren * __Canyon Wren ^ __Carolina Wren __Bewick’s Wren * __House Wren * __Winter Wren Res C Wi R Res R Su VR Res U Su C Wi R __Sedge Wren __Marsh Wren Fa X Wi C KINGLETS, GNATCATCHERS __Golden-crowned Kinglet __Ruby-crowned Kinglet __Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Mig U Mig C Wi R Mig U Wi X THRUSHES AND THRASHERS __Eastern Bluebird * __Mountain Bluebird __Townsend’s Solitaire __Veery __Gray-cheeked Thrush __Swainson’s Thrush __Hermit Thrush __Wood Thrush __American Robin * __Varied Thrush __Gray Catbird __Northern Mockingbird * __Sage Thrasher __Brown Thrasher * __Curve-billed Thrasher * Res R Mig U Wi C Mig U Wi R Mig R Sp R Sp C Fa R Sp C Fa R Wi VR Mig VR Res C Fa VR Mig U Wi VR Su C Wi VR Mig U Wi I Su C Wi VR Res U STARLINGS, PIPITS AND WAXWINGS __European Starling * __American Pipit __Sprague’s Pipit __Cedar Waxwing Res A Mig C Wi R Fa VR Mig Wi I WARBLERS __Blue-winged Warbler __Golden-winged Warbler __Tennessee Warbler __Orange-crowned Warbler __Nashville Warbler __Virginia’s Warbler Mig R Mig R Mig R Mig U Mig R Mig R __Northern Parula __Yellow Warbler ^ __Chestnut-sided Warbler __Magnolia Warbler __Yellow-throated Warbler __Black-throated Blue Warbler __Yellow-rumped Warbler __Black-throated Gray Warbler __Black-throated Green Warbler __Townsend’s Warbler __Hermit Warbler __Blackburnian Warbler __Pine Warbler __Prairie Warbler __Palm Warbler __Bay-breasted Warbler __Blackpoll Warbler __Black-and-white Warbler __American Redstart __Prothonotary Warbler __Worm-eating Warbler __Ovenbird __Northern Waterthrush __Kentucky Warbler __Connecticut Warbler __Mourning Warbler __MacGillivray’s Warbler __Common Yellowthroat * __Hooded Warbler __Wilson’s Warbler __Painted Redstart __Yellow-breasted Chat ^ Mig R Mig C Su U Mig R Mig R Mig VR Mig VR Mig C Wi R Mig R Mig R Mig U Mig VR Mig VR Fa VR Mig VR Mig R Mig VR Mig R Mig U Mig U Mig R Mig R Mig U Mig U Mig VR Mig X Mig R Mig U Su C Wi VR Mig R Sp U Fa C Fa X Su U TANAGERS __Summer Tanager __Scarlet Tanager __Western Tanager Mig R Mig VR Mig U TOWHEES, SPARROWS, LONGSPURS AND BUNTINGS __Green-tailed Towhee __Spotted Towhee __Eastern Towhee __Canyon Towhee * __Cassin’s Sparrow * __Rufous-crowned Sparrow * __American Tree Sparrow __Chipping Sparrow __Clay-colored Sparrow __Brewer’s Sparrow __Field Sparrow __Vesper Sparrow __Lark Sparrow * __Sage Sparrow __Black-throated Sparrow __Lark Bunting * __Savannah Sparrow __Grasshopper Sparrow ^ __Baird’s Sparrow __LeConte’s Sparrow __Fox Sparrow __Song Sparrow __Lincoln’s Sparrow __Swamp Sparrow __White-throated Sparrow __Harris’s Sparrow __White-crowned Sparrow __Dark-eyed Junco __McCown’s Longspur __Lapland Longspur __Chestnut-collared Longspur __Northern Cardinal ^ __Rose-breasted Grosbeak __Black-headed Grosbeak __Blue Grosbeak * __Lazuli Bunting * __Indigo Bunting * Mig U Mig C Wi R Wi X Fa Wi I Res U Su C Res R Wi C Mig A Mig C Mig C Mig R Mig A Wi X Su C Sp VR Sp VR Su A Mig C Wi R Su U Sp VR Wi R Wi VR Mig U Wi C Mig C Wi R Wi U Mig U Wi R Mig U Wi R Mig A Wi C Wi C Mig U Wi R Wi I U Mig U Wi VR Res R Sp U Mig U Su C Mig U Su R Mig R Su R __Painted Bunting __Dickcissel * Mig VR Su I C BLACKBIRDS AND ORIOLES __Red-winged Blackbird * __Western Meadowlark * __Yellow-headed Blackbird __Brewer’s Blackbird * __Common Grackle * __Great-tailed Grackle * __Brown-headed Cowbird * __Orchard Oriole * __Baltimore Oriole __Bullock’s Oriole * __Scott’s Oriole Res A Res A Mig U Wi R Res U Su C Wi R Res U Mig U Wi R Su U Su R Su C Su VR FINCHES __Purple Finch __Cassin’s Finch __House Finch * __Red Crossbill __White-winged Crossbill __Pine Siskin __Lesser Goldfinch ^ __American Goldfinch __Evening Grosbeak Wi R Wi I R Res C Fa VR Wi X Wi I C Su R Res C Fa I VR WEAVER FINCHES __House Sparrow * __Greater Roadrunner ^ Res A Res U Belted Kingfisher

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