FRBC: A Nature Center For You and Your
|SPRING TIPS from our friends at Duncraft
Each spring, there are many things you can do to
prepare for the return of birds that had migrated
south to escape the cold winter.
Remove last year's nests from any existing birdhouses
and put out any new houses you may have early.
Birds are already scouting for nesting spots.
As migrating birds begin arriving, they will be very
hungry from their long journey. Make sure you have
plenty of seed and suet available for them and don't
forget water. Birds need to regain their strength for
mating and nest building.
Mating will begin for most birds in early spring.
Sometimes you will see a female quivering her wings
at a male, and he will bring her seeds or suet. This is
one of the ways he will court her. After mates have
been chosen, scouting for a nest site will begin.
Providing nesting material is also a good idea; it
makes nest building less stressful. A Large Woolie will
provide the birds with sheep's wool which is perfect
for lining nests. You will enjoy watching them pull and
tug to retrieve the material.
Make your birds' homecoming a happy one and they
will reward you with a summer of color and
|THE DAY TRIPPER by Caroline Hancock
On March 28, 2006 I visited the Denver Botanic
Gardens at Chatfield located on Deer Creek Road SW
of C-470 and Wadsworth. The birds were abundant
this day. I started on the paved trail going south of
the Visitors Center, this took me to a bridge over a
dry creek surrounded by Cottonwood trees. The air
was filled with the sounds of Northern Flickers
drumming on trees and their mating calls. South of
the bridge I took the dirt trail to the right into the
cottonwoods where I spotted Downy Woodpeckers,
Juncos and Canada Geese in the field off in the
I followed the trail back around to the bridge and
crossed over to take another trail east along the dry
creek bed. There are many nest boxes along these
trails but no nesting birds as of yet. Walking east I
saw many Juncos and Black-capped Chickadees. The
Chickadees were so busy chasing each other they did
not notice me and perched a couple feet away, what
I made my way to the pond with a viewing blind so as
not to scare any waterfowl with my presence. At the
pond there were Killdeer, a Great Blue Heron, Canada
Geese and Gadwall. On my way back to the Visitors
Center I also spotted Magpies, a Red-tailed Hawk,
American Robins, House Finches and Starlings.
I drove over to Chatfield Lake across the way just
looking for one bird. From the gates I took the road
south and around towards the marina. There was the
bird I was looking for. Actually it was more than just
one for there were about 20 Mountain Bluebirds in the
field. That made my day!
|KIDS AND NATURE - ENJOY IT WITH THEM! by Sara Nelson
If you love birding and nature, you may be looking for
ways to get your kids interested and involved as
well. If kids grow up with an appreciation for nature,
not only do they have a life-long hobby, but our
environment and world will be a better place for it.
In this article I want to talk about some of our
different products made especially for kids. I have
personally used a lot of these products and can
vouch for how much fun they are (and your kids
might learn a little bit too!).
First is our newest product, OWL PUKE The
sounds gross, but this is one of the best hands-on
activities I have ever done. The kit comes with a
great book which talks about owl pellets, or
owl “puke”, which is a kind of hairball owls regurgitate
containing the bones and fur of small mammals they
eat whole. It also has one pellet, guaranteed to
contain at least one skeleton, and a dissecting tray
for separating bones. Kids get to learn about owls
and their lives, and have fun playing with owl puke at
the same time!
Next is the great line of products by the company
Insect Lore, such as the Live Butterfly
Ant Hill. The Butterfly Pavilion comes with a
certificate to send away for live caterpillars. Kids get
to watch the life cycle of butterflies happen right
before their eyes, as the caterpillars spin their
cocoons and emerge as beautiful butterflies. The Ant
Hill also comes with a certificate to send away for
live ants. Then watch the ants as they settle in, dig
tunnels and make new homes. Don’t worry though;
there is no way for the ants to get out!
We also have a whole line of books for kids, as well
as bug keepers, bug kaleidoscopes, and bug
magnifying glasses. Also check out bird feeder and
houses that your kids can build themselves and then
paint. All these kid products make great gifts,
summer activities, and family fun get-togethers.
Stop in anytime and we will be happy to help you pick
out something you and your kids will love.
|AVIAN FLU: WHAT IT MEANS TO US
We are all concerned with the worldwide spread of
the avian flu known as H5N1.
Because of this, listed below are many of the most
often asked questions concerning this probable
problem we in America will be soon be faced with.
Armed with knowledge, the birding community can
continue to enjoy the fascinating and rewarding
pastime of watching wild birds both in the backyard
and in the field.
Where has the H5N1 avian flu been reported
it reach the US? H5N1 first appeared in
Kong in 1997. Since 2001
H5N1 has spread its wings and infected birds in 21
countries across Asia, Africa, and now Europe. Most
avian scientists are certain it will reach North America
in 6 to 12 months.
What is the concern to humans? To
date the virus cannot spread other than by direct
physical contact with infected birds or by eating
meat not thoroughly cooked. As of this writing, 105
humans in Asia and Africa have died from H5N1.
Almost all lived in households that harbored backyard
poultry flocks. If, and until the virus mutates to one
that can be transferred between humans, there is
very little risk of becoming infected.
Is H5N1 a concern to wild birds? So
poultry birds (chickens) have the highest risk.
H5N1 first appeared in Asian wild birds in 1997. It has
killed some, but not all, of the wild birds infected.
However, last April 6,000 bar-headed geese died
at Qinghai Lake in central China. It has been proven
that wild birds can carry the virus and not have the
How will it most likely spread?
Health and wildlife officials agree that the most likely
route into the US is via migrating birds from the
Pacific flyway. Migrating birds from the East Asia
flyway will mingle with North American birds, such as
the Sandhill Crane, in their Alaskan breeding grounds
this summer. Those birds returning to the western
states this fall will be highly suspect. Bird experts are
most concerned however about H5N1 arriving
through the pet trade and poultry industry either
legally or illegally. Their biggest concern is the
smuggling of wild birds and fighting cocks.
What is the US doing to test for and combat
spread to North America?Starting now
researchers, in a coordinated
federal/state agency effort, will test about 100,000
wild birds for the virus in all 50 states. All samples are
sent to the U. S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife
Center in Madison, Wis. for testing. Additionally the
USDA has banned all bird imports from countries the
virus has been detected in. Quarantine and sanitation
plans are in effect for the nations poultry industry.
Major zoos have plans that range from shutting down
walk-through aviaries to quizzing visitors on recent
Why is this happening?
Avian flues are nothing new. There are at least 144
types of bird flu viruses. Only 2, the rare H7 and H5
strains have proved fatal to birds in the past. The U.
S. has had outbreaks of these strains in 1924, 1983,
and 2004. All were contained with minimal
consequence to human health. Protecting the
country’s hobby flocks, exhibition birds, and live
poultry markets will be the biggest challenge.
H5N1 can be viewed as a natural step in avian
diseases that ebb and flow in the wild.
What can we as wild bird enthusiast do?
Stay informed and educate others as to what they
can expect. As backyard birders, you can help by
keeping feeders and birdbaths clean. Always wash
your hands after servicing wild bird stations and
report to wild life officials any unusual sightings. Now
is the time to seriously give consideration to keeping
cats indoors. Their natural instinct to hunt will most
likely be our greatest concern.
Get outside and enjoy nature! It’s a great, positive
hobby that helps teach respect for life and our fragile
environment for both young and old alike. Share the
joy with your children and grandchildren.
See you at the store.
COME ON OUT TO THE OPEN HOUSE APRIL 29TH!
ENJOY THE MASTER FALCONERS OF HAWKQUEST AS
PRESENT THEIR RAPTORS.
OPEN HOUSE AND FRBC BIRDING FESTIVAL FEATURES HAWKQUEST, DOVE RACE AN ART AND CRAFT FAIR ON APRIL 29TH 2006
The Front Range Birding Company celebrates
International Bird Day on April 29th. A full day of fun
and events will take place at the Jefferson
Village/Kohl’s Shopping Center from 10AM till 5PM.
The raptor conservation group HawkQuest is
featured attraction from 11AM to 1PM as they
present a live Bald Eagle, Barn Owl, Peregrine Falcon
and Harris Hawk for display. You will be able to get up
close and personal with each of these exquisite birds
of prey. Their expert trainers will actually fly a Harris
Hawk outdoors for all to see at 12 Noon.
All during the day local artists and craftsmen will
have their wares available at an outdoor crafts
In addition, local park rangers, division of wildlife
officials, and the Audubon Society of Greater Denver
will man educational booths. Together they offer
interesting and intriguing nature programs for both
adults and children to enjoy.
At 2PM the 2nd annual “Dove Race For Youth”
place as we release up to 200 white homing pigeons
for local charities. These doves will “race” back to
their home lofts in Lakewood, CO. Valuable prizes are
given to the sponsors of the winning birds. This year
the first place dove will fetch a spotting scope and
tripod from Vortex Optics for its lucky sponsor worth
over $500 Individuals can sponsor a dove for a small
contribution to either The Jason Dahl Scholarship
Foundation or The Greater Littleton Youth Initiative
Jason Dahl was the Captain of United Flight 93 on
9/11/2001. Jason was a Littleton Ken-Caryl resident
and an outstanding member of our local community.
His story is well known for the brave acts he
preformed that fateful day 5 years ago. The
foundation named for him raises money for
scholarships at Denver’s Metro State.
GLYI was born out of the tragic Columbine High
School shootings. This proactive organization of
community leaders takes a strategic approach in
developing programs to help reduce youth violence.
Last year over $5,500 was raised at the 2005 dove
race, all of which directly benefited the local
You can visit both of these fine local charities on the
web athttp://www.glyi.org and
Schedule of Events:
10AM – 5PM Arts and Crafts Fair
11AM – 1PM HawkQuest!
12 NOON Live flight of Harris Hawk
2PM Dove Race for Youth
2PM – 5PM Live Bluegrass music
Come on out to the open house and enjoy all the
festivities. Big discounts on food and beverages will
be available at participating restaurants in the
shopping center. It promises to be a blast for the
Location: Jefferson Village/Kohl’s Shopping
9956 W Remington Place
(NE corner of Kipling and
Littleton, CO 80128
Contact: Tom Bush
The Front Range Birding
FIRST PLACE DOVE WINS A SANDPIPER SPOTTING SCOPE & TRIPOD WORTH OVER $500 FROM VORTEX OPTICS!
The Front Range Birding Company - A Proud Corporate Sponsor of the Audubon Society of Greater Denver
TILLEY SUMMER AIRFLOW & new for 2006 MESH HATS - Great hats for in the field!
Great Optics are here at FRBC
Our wild bird food is delivered fresh each week from the Audubon Park Company in Akron, Colorado.
CHECK OUT OUR FULL LINE OF DROLL YANKEE FEEDERS