Rocky Mountain National Park, Part 1, Birds

tundraI spent a morning above the tree line in Rocky Mountain National Park. We saw more mammals than birds (next post), and the two target species, Brown-capped Rosy Finch and White-tailed Ptarmigan, both eluded me. But any trip to this area is well worth it, whatever you manage to find.

pipit frontOne of the more common species on the tundra is American Pipit.

pipit 2The choice of habitat, along with the scruffy plumage, really threw me, but this seems to be a Sage Thrasher.
pipit 4

ravensThese Common Ravens were feeding on an Elk carcass.

clark's nutcracker 2A few Clark’s Nutcrackers were hanging out near one of the parking lots.

Other species seen but not photographed included Golden Eagle, Horned Lark, and a couple of fly-by hummingbirds, probably Broad-tailed. So there was not a huge bird list by the end of the morning, but it is a treat to visit this habitat at an elevation over two miles higher than my home in Portland.

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2 thoughts on “Rocky Mountain National Park, Part 1, Birds

  1. I’ve had the pleasure of driving through this place above the timber line. I always felt that, without trees to catch me, I was about to tumble over the edge of the top of the world. Rocky Mountain High, indeed.

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