Black Phoebes on Audubon Trail
- Hello Spring birders!!! Well, I will tell you the rare news first. I just got back from a long bike ride and came back on the Audubon trail. Just before I got to the Audubon storage shed, an unusual bird flew in from the east and landed pretty high in a cottonwood tree. I knew instinctively I had something good, but I couldn't figure out what it was at first. I rode up just a little bit closer on my bike and one bird flew across the trail and into the brush by the canal. But the bird I had just spotted flew down onto a lower limb in an adjacent cottonwood and I just got the binoculars on it before it flew down where the other bird went. There was no mistaking this bird-black phoebe, plus I could hear the other bird calling like no flycatcher I usually see around here. The bird in the tree never stopped pumping its tail. If any species of bird is extending its range north, it's got to be the black phoebe! I hope these birds stick around here somewhere close by to nest. They would be a great addition to our local bird population!More later, but that's it for now.Lee StigenGrand Junction
- Hi All,Neat to see black phoebes moving into the area.The black phoebe presence along the lower San Miguel River is well-documented.Plus numerous sightings along the lower Gunnison, Escalante Creek and nearHotchkiss is exciting. Jon Horn and I reported a pair of black phoebesnear the Relief Ditch east of Delta last year, so want to see if they return this year.Bill Harris
- I saw two black phoebes today about a mile below the confluence of the North Fork Gunnison and the main river (below Gunnison River Pleasure Park). They were near the south river road, in some large rocks between the road and river.
Also seen out in that country were vesper sparrows (several), lark sparrow (one), scrub jay, canyon wren, rock wren, gadwall, common merganser, mallard, canada goose, peregrine falcon, red-winged blackbirds, and we heard but did not see the chukars just upstream from the confluence on the east side of the main river.Dennis Garrison
- Hi fellow birders! Say, I have a request that I hope doesn't offend anyone. Please do not use playback near the Black Phoebe site on the Audubon Trail! I was down there again on my bike around 5pm and the phoebes are still there(they were feeding high up amidst the tassels in a nearby cottonwood tree). They seem to be acting a lot like a pair, so we do not want to challenge their possible new-found territory by introducing the voice of another black phoebe. Thanks a bunch, guys and gals!!! Enjoy the birds down there if you can find them.Lee StigenGrand Junction
To follow up on what Bill and others have been saying about the expansion of Black Phoebes in our area, I was out recording the headgate on the CP Lateral on the Montrose & Delta Canal of the Uncompahgre Project, west of 5875 Road and Maple Grove Road above Shavano Valley near Montrose on April 4 and saw a Black Phoebe feeding along the canal. Water had only gone into the canal system about two weeks before, so Black Phoebes may be also following larger irrigation canals as part of their expansion and may not just be following natural stream courses.