Birds in the Garden

I am so often blown away by the variety of Colorado birds in our Garden.  I mean, we wouldn't have known the difference if God made only a couple birds - and all the same color.  But just for us, He gifted us with different sizes and vivid colors and beautiful songs. 

American Kestrel - Falco sparverium

American Kestrel Colorado Birds
American Kestrel Colorado birds

American Kestrel - Falco sparverium
Size:  10 - 12”  -  the smallest and most common falcon in North America
Coloring:  Back is rust colored with black.  Chest is light with black spots. White face has black lines.  The wings are blue-black.  Tail is rusty with white tip.  Female very similar, a bit bigger, with brown wings and rust and black striped tail. 

American Robin - Turdus migratorius

American Robin Colorado Birds
American Robin Colorado Birds

American Robin - Turdus migratorius
Size:  9 - 11”
Coloring:  Male is mostly black with red/orange chest. White ring around his eyes.  Female has a grey head and her chest isn’t as brilliant red/orange.  More white on her face.

Black-billed Magpie - Pica pica - Pica hydsonia

Black-billed Magpie  Visit Garden of the Gods
Black-billed Magpie Visit Garden of the Gods

Black-billed Magpie -Pica pica - Pica hydsonia
Size:  20”
Coloring: The males and females are the same.  They have a black head, bright white torso and long, long black tail.  Their wings and tails are iridescent in the sunlight.  And remember to watch for their nests in the Garden.  They’re the only bird whose nest has a roof and a front and back door.  Hard to turn around with that long tail.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird - Selasphorus platycercus

Broad-tailed Hummingbird Visit Garden of the Gods
Broad-tailed Hummingbird Visit Garden of the Gods

Broad-tailed hummingbird - Selasphorus platycercus
Size: 4”
Coloring:  This tiny bird has an iridescent green body with a red throat.  His wings and back are green and his chest is white.  The female doesn’t have the red throat, is much more tan in color, and still has the vibrant green back.

Canyon Wren - Catherpes mexicanus

Canyon Wren Visit Garden of the Gods
Canyon Wren Visit Garden of the Gods

Canyon wren - Catherpes mexicanus
Size:  5.5”
Coloring:  The male and female are the same.  Chestnut brown except for gray head and neck and white chest.  Note the long bill that curves slightly downward. 

American Crow - Corvus brachyrhynchos

American Crow Visit Garden of the Gods
American Crow Visit Garden of the Gods

American Crow - Corvus brachyrhynchos
Size 18”
Coloring:  All black of course.  But in the sunlight, they have a wonderful purple iridescence.

Common Raven - Corvus corax

Common Raven  Visit Garden of the Gods
Common Raven  Visit Garden of the Gods

Common Raven - Corvus corax
Size 22 - 27”
Coloring:  All black again.  Unlike his smaller cousin Mr. Raven has a beard of feathers on his neck.  By the way, the raven mates for life.

(Are you like me and, when you see Mr. Raven, start reciting Edgar Allen Poe?  Maybe it's just me.)

Differences between Crows and Ravens - besides the size?  Crows are seen in large groups while ravens hang out in pairs.  Mr. Crow's tail is fan-shaped and the raven's is more wedge-shaped.  Their call is different as well. 

Dark-eyed junco - Junco hyemalis

Dark-eyed Junco Garden of the Gods
Dark-eyed Junco Garden of the Gods

Dark-eyed junco - Junco hyemalis
Size 5.5”
Coloring:  The male has a dark black head, back, and upper chest.  His belly is white and his bill is pink.  The Female is brown and tan.

Mountain Chickadee - Poecile gambeli

Mountain Chickadee Visit Garden of the Gods
Mountain Chickadee Visit Garden of the Gods

Mountain Chickadee - Poecile gambeli
Size 5.5”
Coloring:  The male and female are the same with a gray body and a black hat.   Both have that white eyebrow.

Northern harrier - Circus cyaneus

Northern Harrier Visit Garden of the Gods
Northern Harrier Visit Garden of the Gods

Northern harrier - Circus cyaneus
Size:  24”
Coloring:  This hawk is grey with a white belly.  The tips of his wings are black. 
The female is dark brown on her back and her chest and belly are streaked brown and tan.  The tips of her wing is black. 

Northern Flicker - Colaptes auratus

Northern Flicker Visit Garden of the Gods
Northern Flicker Garden of the Gods

Northern Flicker - Colaptes auratus
Size:  12”
Coloring:  This woodpecker is brown and black with a gray head and brown or rust cap. They are reddish orange under their wings.  This bird likes to eat bugs from the ground instead of from the bark of trees. 

Prairie Falcon - Falco mexicanus

Prairie Falcon Visit Garden of the Gods
Prairie Falcon Visit Garden of the Gods

Prairie Falcon - Falco mexicanus
Size:  16”
Coloring:  This falcon has a gray-brown body with white above the eyes and black under the wings.

Red-Tailed Hawk - Buteo jamaicensis

Red Tailed Hawk Visit Garden of the Gods
Red Tailed Hawk Visit Garden of the Gods

Red-Tailed Hawk - Buteo jamaicensis
Size:  19 - 25”
Coloring:  This guy comes in a wide range of colors from almost white to dark brown.  His “red-tail” is not seen from below.  He has a dark shoulder patch along wings.  The female is the same as the male but larger.

Rock Pigeon - Columba livia

Rock Pigeon Visit Garden of the Gods
Rock Pigeon Visit Garden of the Gods

Rock Pigeon - Columba livia
Size:  13’
Coloring: Both males and females are grey to white with iridescent colors around the neck. 

Spotted Towhee - Pipilo maculatus

Spotted Towhee Visit Garden of the Gods
Spotted Towhee Visit Garden of the Gods

Spotted Towhee - Pipilo maculatus
Size: 8.5”
Coloring:  Both male and female have black bodies with rusty sides and a white belly.  They have a long black tail and rust colored eyes. They love the gambol oak in the Garden of the Gods.

Violet-Green Swallow - Tachycinetathalassina

Violet-Green Swallow Visit Garden of the Gods
Violet-Green Swallow Visit Garden of the Gods

Violet-Green Swallow - Tachycinetathalassina
Size:  5.5”
Coloring: Both male and female have dark green heads and backs with a white patch below the eyes. Their wings and tails are violet-blue.  The female is less vibrant than the male.

Western Meadowlark - Sturnella neglecta

Western Meadowlark Visit Garden of the Gods
Western Meadowlark Visit Garden of the Gods

Western Meadowlark - Sturnella neglecta
Size:  9”
Coloring: Both male and female have a brown back and very yellow chest and belly.  They have a distinct black necklace.  Their tail feathers are white. 

Western Scrub Jay - Aphelocoma coerulescens

Western Scrub Jay Visit Garden of the Gods
Western Scrub Jay  Visit Garden of the Gods

Western Scrub Jay - Aphelocoma coerulescens
Size:  9 - 11”
Coloring:  This guy has a long black bill, a blue/gray head and back and a grey chest. 

Western Tanager - Piranga ludoviciana

Western Tanager Visit Garden of the Gods
Western Tanager Visit Garden of the Gods

Western Tanager - Piranga ludoviciana
Size:  7.25”
Coloring:  The male has a very yellow chest and belly and a red/orange head.  His back is black. He has yellow and white wing bars.  The female is less vibrant and doesn’t have the red head. 

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