Do you need expensive binoculars, field guides and excursions to become a birder? Or do you just need a curiosity for the natural world? Read on to learn how our Environmental Educator, Payson got his “late” start into birding and how he used this new hobby to find community and start a career.
If you had to name one pollinator other than a honeybee, what would be your first guess? More bees? Well, you wouldn’t be wrong, nearly every species of bee pollinates flowers and food crops. But what about beetles? Certain birds? The winged night terrors we call bats? While there are no denying honeybees are crucial to our environment and provide us with an excellent service, the fact is, they are not native to North America.
Flowers are blooming, birds are singing and kids are learning! The Environmental Learning Center (ELC) at Bird Conservancy of the Rockies has become a place of respite and refueling for both people and nature. Situated on the northwest shore of Barr Lake State Park where the cottonwoods grow tall is our outdoor learning center that provides a unique space for all people to visit and learn about the local ecosystem and all it has to offer.
Mindful birding is a powerful practice that combines the joys of birdwatching with the benefits of mindfulness. Exposure to nature is linked to a host of benefits, including improved attention, lower stress, better mood, reduced risk of psychiatric disorders, and even an increase in empathy and cooperation.
Field Sketching, or Nature Journaling, is a method that can be used to connect with nature through first-hand observations. All you need is a view outside, a pencil, a piece of paper and an open mind.
The Bird Conservancy of the Rockies’ social media posting on August 31 grabbed my attention. Featuring a close up of a Black Swift in hand, the accompanying post announced that the Black Swift Research Team had recently caught three Black Swifts, all of which had been banded 17 years ago in 2005 as adults, breaking the longevity record of oldest known for the species. My heart nearly stopped.
Every year during spring and fall, billions of birds across North America migrate between their breeding grounds and wintering grounds. The vast majority of these birds migrate primarily at night, using the night sky to navigate. However, much of the night sky throughout the United States experiences some degree of light pollution from our cities, disorienting birds and leading to exhaustion and death. Luckily, there are several simple and easy solutions to the problem of light pollution that all of us can help achieve!
Decisions we make every day can help birds. Over half of the people who live in the U.S. drink coffee, but few understand the environmental impacts of growing it. Many of our favorite migratory bird species— including warblers, tanagers, ovenbirds and thrushes—spend their winters in coffee-growing landscapes in the tropics. Understanding sustainable coffee growing practices helps us become better consumers and make choices that benefit birds, the habitats they rely on, and coffee producers!
Birds make our lives better. They provide beauty and song, as well as vital ecosystem services like seed dispersal and pest control. Bird habitat conservation is a great investment, returning millions of dollars in economic benefits and contributing to clean air and water for people. Read on to learn more about why we should all care about birds!