Walden, CO April 2008


We drove up to Walden, CO on Friday afternoon and had time to look around the area.  We saw these Angelope near Lake John, West of Walden.


We made a stop Southeast of Walden at the Moose Visitor Center.  
There were a number of birds flying around, including this Dark Eyed Junco...



... a Pine Grosbeak...


... the same Pine Grosbeak again...


...and a White Breasted Nuthatch walking down the side of the roof.


Looking out over Lake John, we saw the this hawk (or eagle?) soaring with the nice mountain landscape in the background.


The next morning, we left the hotel at 0400 and were escorted to a secret location to see a collection of Greater Sage-Grouse on a Lek,
or breeding ground.  We sat in a horse trailor with the sides lifted up and waiting for the sun to rise; this is the first picture
I was able to take, but it was actually quite a bit darker to the human eye than the picture shows.  
Also worth noting:  It was about 21 degrees F when we arrived, and it didn't warm up much in the 2-3 hours we were bird watching...



Here are the crazy people freezing while watching the birds.  Kyle is in the foreground, glued to the view finder...


Above is a male Greater Sage-Grouse, as are the following few pictures.  The males made interesting popping / clicking sounds by inflating and deflating the air sacs on their chests.  This apparently really impresses the ladies.

























Below are photos of boys and girls (er, males and females) hanging out on the Lek.  The females are smaller and less mobile; in these pictures, they sometimes look like brown rocks.  Don't worry, this is still a family website: I'm sure all these birds are just good friends.