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The Meadowlark Times The Official Newsletter of The Front Range Birding Company
Summer 2006

Greetings!

FRBC: A Nature Center For You and Your Family

in this issue
  • 2006 SUMMER SEMINAR SERIES TAKES FLIGHT
  • SUMMER TIPS: HUMMERS ARE IN HIGH SEASON
  • OPEN HOUSE 2006: A BIG SUCCESS FOR THE COMMUNITY
  • WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE - NOT ON THE FRONT RANGE by Sara Nelson
  • THE DAY TRIPPER: Red Rocks Touring by Caroline Hancock
  • THE 2006 DOVE RACE WINNERS

  • SUMMER TIPS: HUMMERS ARE IN HIGH SEASON

    On the Colorado Front Range we are extremely fortunate to have 4 species of hummingbirds that visit our area: Broadtail, Black Chinned, Rufus, and Calliope. Depending on your elevation and habitat you may get all 4! Try these few ideas to help you get full enjoyment from these most entertaining backyard visitors.

    -Place several feeders out 3 to 6 feet apart. Hummingbirds are territorial and will try to “overprotect” a single feeder. Place some out of line of sight from others if the birds get too feisty. Clean every 5 days.

    - Mix sugar water at 1 part sugar and 4 parts water for the feeders. You can put one feeder out with a 1 to 3 mix when the Rufus Humming- bird arrives. They are an extremely aggressive species but seem to lay claim to the sweetest feeder allowing others to feed on the rest.

    - Red on the feeder attracts Hummers, you do not need red dye in the sugar water. Avoid yellow colors on feeders as they attract wasps.

    - Habitat is the big attractor. Put out flowering summer plants close to the house and develop a natural area in the yard with shrubs and trees. They love cover and may nest there.

    Stop by the store and let us help you get started watching these seasonal favorites.


    OPEN HOUSE 2006: A BIG SUCCESS FOR THE COMMUNITY

    WINNERS OF THE 2006 “DOVE RACE FOR YOUTH” HAVE BIG HEARTS

    The second annual “Dove Race For Youth” was held on April 29th. Over 120 people from the community sponsored doves (white homing pigeons) that flew from Jefferson Village to their home lofts in Arvada. The sponsors’ generous donations raised over $3,000 for both The Jason Dahl Scholarship Foundation and The Greater Littleton Youth Initiative.

    The dove that won the “race” turned out to be only a small part of a story that began in Middleton, Wisconsin. For the second year in a row Vortex Optics of Middleton has donated the event’s first place prize. This year it was a Sandpiper Spotting Scope and Tripod worth $500 The scope was presented to the winning dove’s sponsor Terry Hubbard of Littleton. His dove made it back home in just over an hour’s flight time. The dove’s owner, Tom Loux of White Bird’s Unlimited, said strong headwinds out of the north (10 knots) caused flight delays that day. “Normally, all doves would have made the journey in much less time,” was his explanation.

    Nonetheless, Terry, owner of the Jefferson Village UPS Store, was very proud his dove won over a very experienced avian field. Terry’s heart was elsewhere however and immediately returned the Vortex Scope to the race event sponsors with the stipulation “please sell it and give the proceeds to the Jason Dahl foundation, I love the work they are doing.”

    It did not take long for another big heart in the community to see a good use for this fine prize. John Steuble of Littleton wrote a check directly to the foundation for the full value of the spotting scope. John did not keep the scope for himself either; he promptly donated it to the Children’s Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico where it will be put up for auction to help raise funds for young people who have tragically developed cancer at an early age.

    Not to be outdone by an employee, John's company, McElvain Oil & Gas Properties, Inc of Denver, matched in full his donation to the charity. Actually, the McElvain company has a very generous Gift Matching Program that is very benificial to many charities. We are deeply appreciative of both their contributions.

    The dove race has a “corporate division” as well. Many local businesses donated valuable products and services. This year The Perfect Landing Restaurant in Centennial sponsored the first place dove. The Copper Poppy store of Ken-Caryl sponsored the second place dove and The Colorado Credit Union dove came in third place. The event was truly for the community and by the community. Every dollar donated goes to help young people in our local area realize their goals and to help keep their lives on the right track.

    We at the Front Range Birding Company and White Birds Unlimited want to thank everyone who participated in the dove race event. We believe the charities benefiting from the community’s generosity are deeply committed to our community’s youth. The charities are with us today due to the tragic circumstances of Columbine and 9/11. These two events, of course, should never be forgotten.

    Tom


    WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE - NOT ON THE FRONT RANGE by Sara Nelson

    (but you can provide)

    Our Colorado “high desert plain” makes water an extremely important consideration not taken lightly by birds. One really great thing you can provide for the birds in your backyard is a source of water for drinking and bathing. Water is a basic requirement for all living things, and is a real easy way to attract even more kinds of birds.

    The best way to begin providing a source of water is a simple birdbath. Birdbaths come in all different shapes and forms, such as plastic, copper, concrete and ceramic. They can be made to hang, mount on a deck railing, slip into the ground, or stand on a patio. Baths can also be heated for the wintertime, or a heater can be placed inside.

    The most important thing about a birdbath is to keep it clean. Change the water frequently, and keep the bath clean of droppings. The birdbath should be located close to a tree for shade and a place to find shelter. Keep the bath far enough away from any feeders so seed doesn’t fall into it. Most songbirds don’t like to actually swim, so the water shouldn’t be any deeper than three inches. Placing a few rocks into the bath will keep it secure in the wind, and give the birds a safe, steady footing.

    If you already have a birdbath, try adding a bath accessory such as a dripper or mister. Drippers and misters can attach to the bath and provides a steady drip or a fine mist of water. Misters can also be pointed at a bush and birds can shower themselves under the dripping leaves. Hummingbirds especially love misters.

    If you have the room in your yard, you can also consider putting in a small pond. Kits are available with anywhere from one to three cascading pools, and can be set up in many kinds of arrangements. The water recirculates with a pump, and the moving water is especially attractive to lots of birds. Stop in the store and we’ll be happy to help you with our selection of baths, drippers, misters and ponds. The birds will thank you for it!

    Sara


    THE DAY TRIPPER: Red Rocks Touring by Caroline Hancock

    On June 16th I took a trip to Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The Front Range Birding Company has donated two birdfeeders to the Trading Post souvenir shop for public viewing. The feeders are located behind the shop overlooking some of the most scenic views on the Front Range.

    When I arrived I spotted a White-breasted Nuthatch, a Black-headed grosbeak and a few House Finches. Off to the right of the shop is the Trading Post Trail which is about a mile or so long. One bird commonly seen on this trail is the Bullock’s oriole, bright orange and very vocal. I only walked a mile of the trail. After that you’ll need your hiking boots.

    The trail goes west and around one of the enormous red rocks behind the shop. It winds into a small forest of Cottonwood trees and Scrub Oak. There I saw a Lazuli Bunting (beautiful blue feathers with red upper breast), Spotted Towhee, American Robin, Scrub Jay and Swallows flying overhead.

    The birds I saw this day do not even come close to the number of species to be found in this area. Opportunities abound here for sighting rare birds. The Trading Post is located at the south end of the Amphitheatre.

    Happy Birding

    Caroline


    THE 2006 DOVE RACE WINNERS

    CONGRATULATIONS!

    Pictured from left to right at the Perfect Landing Restaurant are:

    Sue Chandler- Littleton Public Schools Board of Education member; Diana Holland- Co-chairman of The Greater Littleton Youth Initiative; Diane Bush; Dan Hatlestad- President of The Captain Jason Dahl Scholarship Foundation; Lisa Hatlestad; Terry Hubbard- 1st Place "Peoples Division" winner; Jim Carter- 1st Place "Corporate Division" winner and owner of The Perfect Landing Restaurant; Tom Bush


    2006 SUMMER SEMINAR SERIES TAKES FLIGHT

    THE FRONT RANGE BIRDING COMPANY AND SUSIE MOTTASHED PRESENT: Who Lives In Your Backyard?

    (An Introduction to Nature Journaling and Field Sketching)

    You can join Susie Mottashed, author of the award winning nature journaling book "Who Lives In Your Backyard?," for a wonder filled 2 day lecture and field trip in spectacular Red Rocks Park!

    Creating your own nature journal is just plain fun! Instructor and author Susie Mottashed teaches how easy it is to observe, sketch and record what's going in your own backyard.

    You will learn that sketching is fun, quick and easy. You will experience first hand the joy in keeping an ongoing nature journal. Your observation skills will improve and you will have the confidence to do quick sketches that capture a moment.

    In addition to learning how to set up your journal, you will learn several observation techniques. Sketching techniques will be discussed and demonstrated. This introductory class is for beginners but all are welcomed.

    Previous drawing skills are not required! Participants need to bring an 8 1/2 x 11 blank hardback journal, pens and pencils. There will be instruction in both the classroom and in the field.

    Classroom session meets at the Front Range Birding Company store from 6:30PM till 8:30PM on August 3rd. A field trip will take place at Red Rocks Park. Participants will meet at the Red Rocks Park Trading Post at the base of the Amphitheater on August 5th at 8AM for a 2 hour 1 mile trail hike to practice their new journaling and sketching skills.

    This seminar and field trip is truly an inspiring delightful experience.

    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR ALL OUTDOOR ENTHUSIASTS!

    Classroom Session: August 3, 2006 (Thursday evening) 6:30pm-8:30pm

    Field Trip: August 5, 2006 (Saturday morning) 8:00am- 10:00am

    Cost: $45 per person.

    Preregister at The Front Range Birding Company to reserve a spot.

    Susie has been keeping nature journals since 1997. She is the author of the award-winning book, Who Lives In Your Backyard? Visit her website at www.sketchesfromtheheart.com

    visit Susie at www.sketchesfromtheheart.com
    Quick Links...

    Cornell Lab of Ornithology

    North American Bluebird Society

    Colorado Audubon At Home

    Sketches From The Heart by Susie Mottashed

    Audubon Colorado

    Colorado Field Ornithologist

    Denver field Ornithologist

    The Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory

    Red Rocks Park

    TILLEY SUMMER AIRFLOW & new for 2006 MESH HATS - Great hats for in the field!


    Our wild bird food is delivered fresh each week from the Audubon Park Company in Akron, Colorado.


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