FRBC LOGO
The Meadowlark Times The Official Newsletter of The Front Range Birding Company
Fall 2011

Greetings!

THE FRONT RANGE BIRDING COMPANY - FRBC: A Nature Center For You and Your Family

online at frontrangebirding.com

in this issue
  • FRONT RANGE SPECIES PROFILE: THE AMERICAN GOLDFINCH
  • THE 2011 FRBC/WILD DELIGHT PHOTO CONTEST
  • 20% OFF FALL SEED SALE ON FOR ENTIRE MONTH OF OCTOBER
  • SPORT BIRDING WITH THE FRONT RANGE BIRDING COMPANY
  • Northern California: September 9 to 14, 2012 with Harry Fuller
  • Minnesota Owls and More February 12 to 16 and February 26 to March 1 , 2012
  • HOGBACK HONEY - THE 2011 HARVEST IS IN!
  • From all the crew at Front Range Birding - Thanks for your support of our nature store.

  • THE 2011 FRBC/WILD DELIGHT PHOTO CONTEST
    2010 photo contest winners

    $375 worth of premium Wild Delight seed is up for grabs to the top 3 winners!

    Once again we at FRBC have secured the partnership of the Wild Delight Company of Greeley, Colorado to co-sponsor with us the annual Front Range Birding Photo Contest. This is our 7th year to enjoy all the incredible wildlife photos that people who visit our nature store provide us. All you need is a camera and the photographic opportunity to snap that perfect shot.

    Whether you are on the trail or in the backyard you never know when that opportunity will present itself - Sooo always be ready! . We will be looking for the best backyard or in-the-field photo.

    The contest rules remain essentially the same and no purchase is necessary. Visitors in the store will be given the opportunity to judge and rank the top 3 entrants. Remember picture quality, subject uniqueness, and creative talent all count in the voting process.Please don't be shy, even if you are not a prize winner the contest is great fun and everyone enjoys all the wonderful photos.


    Burrowing owl 1st place

    The 2010 FRBC contest winners are pictured above from left to right. They are: 3rd place Darin Ziegler, 2nd place Gloria Verrastro, 1st place Phil Lyon, and FRBC Owner Diane Bush, Pictured to the right is Phil Lyon's first place photo in the 2010 contest of a Burrowing Owl peaking from a roadside Prairie dog town.

    The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will receive $200, $100, and $75 worth of premium Wild Delight birdseed respectively.

    Contest Rules:

    1. 4" x 6" photos of birds & wildlife only
    2. Accepting photos from Oct 1 till Nov 30
    3. Voting done in store by customers Dec 1 till Dec 31
    4. Winners will be announced January 5, 2012
    5. All species count (even squirrels, bears & raccoons!)
    6. 1st place gets $200, 2nd place gets $100, & 3rd gets $75 of premium Wild Delight Bird food

    Good luck and good shooting (photos that is!) Sharpen your skills for next year's contest by joining me on a special birding photography trip to California and the fabulous Monerey Bay area with expert birder Harry Fuller. See details below.


    20% OFF FALL SEED SALE ON FOR ENTIRE MONTH OF OCTOBER
    WILD DELIGHT

    SAVE ON SEED!

    Anything birds eat will be on sale at 20 percent off regular price for all of October.


    seed layout

    You can use our Seed Vault program and save for months to come. Buy as much as you like and we will keep it at the store fresh.


    This popular FRBC seed vault program allows you to pick up your seed anytime you like as you need it.

    There is no time limit on withdrawing your seed from storage at the store. Your savings are locked in no matter what the economic future of seed prices bestows upon us.


    SPORT BIRDING WITH THE FRONT RANGE BIRDING COMPANY

    At FRBC we will continue our series on Sport Birding through our partnerships with organizations like the Audubon Society of Greater Denver (ASGD.) We also have a great relationship with the Partnership for International Birding (PIB) and participate in a number of high quality birding adventures with them. We just returned from a terrific trip with the ASGD to Walden, Colorado and viewed many of the colonial nesting birds there to include among many others the American White Pelican.

    If you think this "sport" may be for you let us help. Our expertise and knowledge of where, when, and how can get you started on a life-long extremely stimulating and pleasurable endeavor. .

    The incredible world of birding is at your doorstep.

    Join us with the ASGD the first Sunday of each month as we WALK THE WETLANDS of Chatfield State Park. This very popular walk always is full of surprises.

    1. Sunday, October 2, 2011, 9:00 am - Noon
    2. Sunday, November 6, 2011, 9:00 am - Noon
    3. Sunday, December 4, 2011, 9:00 am- Noon

    LEADERS: Hugh & Urling Kingery (303-814-2723) and other Master Birders

    Pre-registration is NOT required. Meet in the parking lot at the Audubon Center at Chatfield. The Audubon Center is located on Waterton Road, 4.4 miles south of C-470 and Wadsworth.


    Northern California: September 9 to 14, 2012 with Harry Fuller

    Our next trip with PIB will be to Northern California and the exquisite birding areas of Lake Merced, Golden Gate Park and Land's End in San Francisco, Point Reyes National Seashore, Big Sur, and Monterey Bay. These areas, all within a short drive of each other, offer birds that nest above the Arctic Circle and migrate south along with birds that breed in Mexico and migrate north! Many of California's epidemics can also be found in this area.

    Our expert guide Harry Fuller will lead, entertain, and provide many birding facts and details along with full coverage of the California flora and fauna. Among Mr. Fuller's many accomplishments, he is currently writing a bird guide for Interstate 5, covering California, Oregon and Washington.

    Learn more about Harry Fuller here.

    Pelagic Extension Available over the Weekend with :Shearwaters Journeys

    1. Nearly everyone on the trip will extend at least one day for a pelagic
    2. Further extension possible for those wishing to make the trip south to Ventura

    Trip Pricing and Costs and Contacts:

    1. We estimate the price of this trip will be $1,390 for the main trip, including lodging for 6 days of birding, 5 nights,
    2. Please call us at Front Range Birding at 303-979-2473 or Charles Thornton-Kolbe at 888-203-7464, ext. 912 or by email at charles@pibird.com to learn more

    For full details visit Partnership For International Birding at www.pibird.com.

    Book early to ensure your spot!


    Minnesota Owls and More February 12 to 16 and February 26 to March 1 , 2012

    Interested in a little extreme birding Steve Martin al la The Big Year movie style this winter? Join us as we and Partnership for International Birding travel to northern Minnesota to view the many raptor opportunities not afforded us in Colorado.

    Boreal Owls will be irrupting into northeast Minnesota, complementing the existing owling and winter birding in the area. Good owl irruption years occur about every 4 years, and we are due for a good year in 2012. The best months to look for owls and other winter birds in Minnesota have always been January and February.

    Expected sightings include

    • Northern Hawk Owl
    • Great Grey Owl
    • Snowy Owl
    • Gyrfalcons
    • a host of grosbeaks, finches, shorebirds, and other unique birds not normally seen in Colorado

    Our trip leader will be expert birder Mike Hendrickson as Bird Guide and BG Adams as Trip Host.

    For more information or to register for this trip, call us at FRBC toll free at 888-979-9260 or Charles at 888-203-7464 or Charles directly at 720-320-1974 or by email at info@PIBird.com.

    For complete details and description visit PIBirding here.

    Catch the buzz about birding on the wild side. Check out interviews with Ken Kaufman, Big year arthur Mark Obmascik and others here.


    HOGBACK HONEY - THE 2011 HARVEST IS IN!
    Tom & His Hives

    Pure raw local honey.

    It's official - The Hogback Honey Company has been formed as a registered trademark Colorado company. We have 20 working hives located at Jared Gardens and Gift Center.

    The bees had a tough season with a relatively small flower crop this year. They did produce over 200 pounds of at our new location at Jared's on Bowles Ave. in Littleton. The honey sure tastes great!

    We are also in contact with other local beekeepers for access to their honey crops as well. Check with us for availability. Bee there!

    Click here to check out the Hogback Honey Bees at work on YouTube!

    We are taking honey reservations for this year's harvest. If you love our Hogback honey be sure to call and get on the list.

    Hogback Honey is now sold at the Humphrey Memorial Park and Museum in Evergreen. Check out this fantastic home and grounds that preserve turn-of-the-century living.


    From all the crew at Front Range Birding - Thanks for your support of our nature store.
    outside store 08 festival

    Enjoy all nature has to offer!

    Tom, Sara, Diane, Shannon, Dave, Jennifer, Esther, Randy, and Megan





    FRONT RANGE SPECIES PROFILE: THE AMERICAN GOLDFINCH
    american goldfinch

    Carduelis tristis

    Photo by Lee Farrell

    American Goldfinches are perhaps the most recognizable member of the Carduelis tristis family that contains 23 species found in North America.

    A Colorado backyard favorite is the brilliantly colored American Goldfinch nicknamed "Wild Canary "for its bright yellow breeding season plumage. Because it is a predominately strict vegetarian, craving several types of seed, it is a frequent backyard bird feeder visitor. In fact here along the Front Range many of the family Finch to include Lesser Goldfinches, Pine Siskins, and several Grosbeaks can easily offer multi-season entertainment.

    Since Goldfinches breed later than most other birds, the bright yellow breeding molt of the males helps to signal the approaching mid-summer heat. Goldfinches time their breeding season to coincide with the seeding milkweed, thistle, and sunflowers that can produce fibrous material for nest building and an abundance of high fat/protein rich seeds for new born clutches of baby birds. This strategy has an additional benefit of protecting the Goldfinch family from Brown- headed Cowbird dead beat parents. It seems that Cowbird chicks cannot survive for more than about 3 days when fed only the strictly seed menu offered by their Goldfinch foster parents.

    Goldfinches move south in winter following a pattern that seems to coincide with regions where the minimum January nighttime temperature is no colder than 0 degrees Fahrenheit on average. Their need for seed means they only move as far as necessary to find food. They are not long distance trans-continent travelers like neo-tropical insect and nectar eaters.This means along the Front Range we will continue to enjoy their upside down hanging acrobatic antics as they pick seeds from the wilting seed heads of thistle, sunflower, and other fading pluck-your-own plants. Clinging only seed feeders fit nicely in this Goldfinch feeding pattern.

    Goldfinches readily join other members of their family at feeders and your fall/winter backyard can come alive with color as a feeding frenzy can develop. Expect Lesser Goldfinches, Pine Siskins, House Finches, Dark Eyed Juncos, Spotted Towhees, along with a host of chickadees, woodpeckers, and jays to join in.

    Watch out for the winter molt of the American Goldfinch. Many think a new bird is at their feeder when in fact it is our old friend now decked out in his olive-drab attire.

    Don't forget to keep your feeders clean and in good shape. Some finches, in particular the House Finch, occasionally become infected with eye diseases that can be fatal. This eye disease, caused by a common pathogen in domestic turkeys and chickens, is not harmful to humans. We recommend cleaning feeders as needed or once every 3 months to help prevent birds from becoming sick.

    The winter is a great time to feed birds in the backyard. It will certainly help in their survival plans. This and all the while those pesky bears are now enjoying a nap.

    Chatfield State Park Hosts the Annual Big Sit! Event details here

    Tom

    Quick Links to Front Range Great Birding and Nature sites...

    Cornell Lab of Ornithology

    North American Bluebird Society

    Audubon Society of Greater Denver

    The Plains Conservation Center

    Audubon Colorado

    Colorado Field Ornithologist

    Denver field Ornithologists

    The Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory

    Red Rocks Park

    The Front Range Birding Blog

    The Captain Jason Dahl Scholarship Fund

    The American Birding Association

    Partnership for International Birding

    White Birds Unlimited

    South Platte Park on Facebook

    Jared's Garden Center

    Humphrey Memorial Park and Museum

    CORINTHIAN BELLS WINDCHIMES BY QMT ASSOCIATES: The folks at QMT of Manassas Park, VA are committed to providing the best chimes on the market, all proudly made in the USA.

    Corienthian Bells


    leica digiscoping

    Great Optics are here at FRBC. Leica, Swarovski, Vortex and now Zeiss are offering exceptional deals on their high quality products.




    Join our mailing list!
    phone: (303) 979-2473
     
    -
    -
    FRBC COUPON

    15% OFF ANY NESTBOX OR FEEDER CUT OUT OR JUST MENTION THIS EMAIL PROMOTION FOR YOUR DISCOUNT! FORWARD TO A FRIEND AS WELL. OFFER EXPIRES December 31, 2011

    -
    -
     
    -
    -
    OCTOBER 20% SEED SALE

    20% off anything birds eat. All of October. You can use our seed vault program and save on all future seed needs. Buy as much as you want on sale and we keep it fresh ready for you to pick it anytime at your convenience.

    -
    -
     
    -
    -
    See "The Big Year" for free!

    On October 14th the Movie "The Big Year" staring Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson opens. It is a delightful comedy about extreme birding I think you will enjoy. If you see it bring in your ticket stub and we will give you credit for the entire amount on any purchase over $30. Please only one ticket refund per customer per visit. Tickets and redemptions are completely transferable and unlimited. Enjoy the big year and do a little extreme birding with us at FRBC!

    -
    Offer Expires: 31 Dec 2011
    -