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3076Yellow-billed Cuckoo Presentation Thursday

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  • Bill/Cheryl Day
    Oct 1, 2008
      Sorry for getting this out so late!   In early summer of 2008, Jason Beason conducted field research (with his brilliant assistants Jacob Cooper and Bill Day), and confirmed breeding of Yellow-billed Cuckoo near Hotchkiss by finding a nest with young.

      Thursday night Black Canyon Audubon Society will be having a program at Memorial Hall in Hotchkiss, at 7pm about the YBCU. Please come join us. Details below.

      Cheryl Day

      Black Canyon Audubon Society will host a free audio-visual presentation on the Yellow-billed Cuckoo on Thursday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m.,  at Memorial Hall in Hotchkiss. Jason Beason of the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory will present the program on the cuckoo, which is considered an imperiled species west of the Continental Divide. On July 21, a cuckoo nest with two
      nestlings was discovered in the North Fork valley near Hotchkiss, the first confirmation since 1998 of the bird's breeding in western Colorado. For more information, call Jason  at 970-527-4625.

      The Yellow-billed Cuckoo is considered an imperiled species west of the continental divide because of significant population declines during the 20th century.  In western Colorado, in the 1950s and 1960s Yellow-billed Cuckoos were found breeding annually near Grand Junction.  Also, cuckoos were regularly detected as recently as the early 1980s along the Uncompahgre and Gunnison Rivers near Delta.  However, during the Colorado Breeding Bird Atlas (1987-1994), breeding was confirmed in only one location on the western slope, on the Yampa River in Routt County.  Since then, only one potential breeding location in the range of the Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo has been identified in the San Luis Valley of south central Colorado.

      In 2008, Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory (RMBO) received funding from three sources (Bureau of Land Management, Colorado Division of Wildlife, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) to survey for Yellow-billed Cuckoos in western Colorado.  The objective of this project was to determine if Yellow-billed Cuckoos breed in the North Fork of the Gunnison River (North Fork) valley in Delta County and measure the extent of the population throughout western Colorado.

      RMBO surveys detected cuckoos at six locations in the North Fork valley and at three other locations in western Colorado (Moffat and Montrose Counties).  Also, during the course of the effort, incidental sightings of cuckoos came from four locations in the North Fork valley and one other location in western Colorado (Mesa County).  Perhaps the most exciting result of the 2008 surveys was finding a cuckoo nest with two nestlings in the North Fork valley near Hotchkiss on 21 July.  Prior to this summer, Yellow-billed Cuckoos had not been confirmed breeding in western Colorado since 1998.