Local events celebrate International Migratory Bird Day | SteamboatToday.com

Local events celebrate International Migratory Bird Day

Evan Jaffe, a volunteer with Nature's Educators, holds a turkey vulture during a presentation at North Routt Community Charter School Friday morning. Nature's Educators also had presentations in Hayden and will be at the Bud Werner Memorial Library in Steamboat Springs from 9-10:30 a.m. today as part of Migratory Bird Day.

— Birds are creatures of habit.

Each year, various species can be expected back in the Yampa Valley based on seasonal migratory patterns.

"Birds are smart, and they are driven to do what they do by some internal brain instinct," said Betsy Blakeslee, the Nature Conservancy's Carpenter Ranch facilities manager. "They are built for survival and know how to extract from nature what they need, without really destroying anything in their habitat."

On Saturday, International Migratory Bird Day will be celebrated in Steamboat Springs with a variety of events for all ages, from a bird walk to education programs that include live raptors from Nature's Educators and the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies.

Open to all levels of birding, the Yampa Valley Birding Club will host a bird walk from 8 to 10 a.m. Nature Conservancy Carpenter Ranch. The walk will be about a mile and is fairly flat. Waterproof shoes are advised.

Guides will point out birds found in the area and discuss bird behavior. Blakeslee said about 50 different kinds of birds can be seen on the bird walks and about 150 different species are seen throughout the summer at Carpenter Ranch, near Hayden and 20 miles west of Steamboat.

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"There is such a variety of habitat here and it's bird migration time, so you will see new birds appearing every day," said Tresa Moulton, who will be guiding Saturday's bird walk with her husband, David Moulton.

The bird habitat found on the Carpenter Ranch, Moulton said, allows for the dynamic, rare combination of plants and wildlife habitats to flourish with the tall, narrow leaf cottonwood trees, and the lower, box elder and red-osier dogwood trees.

The kinds of bird species bird walkers can expect to see include bald eagles, red tail hawks, American kestrel falcons, yellow warblers, sparrows and Bullocks oriole, to name a few.

"This is an opportunity every year to begin the spring season by understanding more about birds and their global interdependence," Blakeslee said. "Not just here, but they are migrating to other areas in the world, which places an emphasis on protecting those habitats."

Encouraging education for all ages, Yampatika, the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies and Nature's Educators will host events from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Bud Werner Memorial Library.

There will be live raptors and presentations on the various species to educate and inspire the community about the idiosyncrasies of birds.

Starting at 9 a.m. and continuing to 10:15 a.m., Nature's Educators will have a table set up for informal discussions and viewing of the birds. Then, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., there will be a formal equation program.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

If You Go…

What: International Migratory Bird Day

When: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Bud Werner Memorial Library, 1289 Lincoln Ave.

If You Go…

What: Bird walk

When: 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday

Where: Nature Conservancy Carpenter Ranch, 13250 U.S. Highway 40, Hayden