White Sands National 1Monument New Mexico

The loud, obnoxious songs and rasping creeek calls of cactus wrens can hardly be ignored especially when they are the very first creatures to greet you on your arrival at White Sands National Monument. Few species of wildlife are as dependable as White Sand's cactus wrens. And if at least one of these robin-sized birds is not already present when you arrive, a few squeaks or spishing sounds will immediately attract one or more from wherever they might be to investigate the disturbance. The...

Mesa Verde National Vark Colorado

Mesa Verde's pinyon pine seeds were ripe and ready for harvest. The mature, rounded cones had opened to expose the abundant seeds, and resident birds and mammals were taking advantage of the fall crop. The rich pinyon seeds were once harvested by early-day Indians, but now the bounty is left to the wildlife. Clark's nutcrackers and Steller's and scrub jays were the most obvious gatherers. While the jays retrieved many of their pinyon seeds from the ground, Clark's nutcrackers gathered theirs...

Ndex

American Ornithologists' Union (AOU) general, viii brown towhee taxonomy, 250 junco taxonomy, 125 avalanche ecology, 49 avocet, American, 84, 359 Baird, F. S., 343-44 Ballard, Larry (in The Audubon Society Master Guide to Birding), western tanager song, 124 Barnes, F. A. (Canyon Country Hiking), Canyonlands trails, 174 Bates, Henry Walter (The Naturalist on the River Amazons), sphinx moth, 322 Bellrose, Frank C. Ducks, Geese & Swans of North America) Barrow's goldeneye nesting, 71 Canada...

Tonto National Monument Arizona

One can only imagine how the pre-Columbian Salado people, who occupied Tonto's cliff dwellings from about A.D. 1300 to 1450, perceived their natural environment. In order to survive in the arid landscape, they undoubtedly took advantage of every possible resource, plants and animals. But I couldn't help but wonder if those early inhabitants also had enjoyed the scenic splendor of their canyon, wondered at the soaring vultures and hawks, or been in awe of the myriad of birdsongs rising from the...

White Sands National Monument

Park naturalist John Mangimeli told me that pyrrhuloxias are common all winter Open water is extremely rare within the monument since Garton Pond, located across the highway from the visitor center, dried up. Little more than a tenth of an acre of open water and cattails remain. Only occasional marsh wrens and common yel-lowthroats still use their old haunts. Migration time, however, can be something special in the monument, when thousands of birds stream...

Info

(Banff and Jasper National Turks, Alberta, and ootenay and Yoho National Turks, < British Columbia The Clark's nutcracker is the self-proclaimed good-will ambassador at Lake Louise, Banff National Park. No other native attempts to compete with this busy and vociferous creature. Nutcrackers occur everywhere along the lakeshore and hotel grounds, and park visitors from around the world receive equal welcome from these avian diplomats. Clark's nutcrackers are, without a doubt, one of the bird...

Qlacier National Turk JMontana and Waterton Lakes National Tark Silberta

1 followed the boardwalk across the open expanse of Rocky Mountain tundra. Millions of alpine flowers dotted the landscape. Their bright reds, purples, and yellows were in sharp contrast to the velvety-green sedges, lichens, mosses, and algae growing at ground level. The 2-mile (3.2 km) Hidden Lake Trail, which starts just behind the Logan Pass Visitor Center, provided easy access to the alpine tundra and the high-country bird life. Almost immediately I detected bird songs resounding across the...

Utah

Chukars stood like sentinels over Fruita Campground. Their loud, coughing chuck or chuck-or calls resounded off the steep, barren slopes and echoed across the campground. It took me several minutes to find these territorial birds they blended perfectly into the ancient landscape. One exception had chosen an outcropping where it was silhouetted against the early morning light. It may have been a dominant male because it seemed that each time it called, it set off a series of other chuck calls...

Qrand Teton National Turk Wyoming

An osprey suddenly dropped from its hovering flight, diving almost straight down for about 100 feet (30 m), its great talons extended forward, its tail spread, and wings slightly folded. It hit the water with a huge splash and, for a second or two, totally disappeared underwater. Then it emerged with a great thrashing of wings, and was soon airborne once again. It tightly held a 10- to 12-inch (25-30 cm) trout by both talons. A moment later in midair, it shook vigorously to remove the remaining...

Bird life

The Colima warbler is the park's most renowned songbird, in spite of the fact that it is resident only from mid-April through September. It spends the rest of the year in Mexico's western mountains from Sinaloa to northern Oaxaca. Seeing the Colima warbler on its U.S. breeding grounds in the Chisos Mountains is not easy, however, and normally requires at least a 6-mile (9.6 km) round-trip hike to Laguna Meadows, its most accessible habitat. The most reliable place to find this warbler is in...

Morro National Monument New Mexico

The pool at the base of Inscription Rock had attracted numerous birds, residents as well as a wide variety of migrants. I stood in the shade of a ponderosa pine and watched their comings and goings. The bravest of the lot were some of the migrants, mostly sparrows and warblers that had recently passed through the arid countryside before discovering this tiny oasis. The patch of flowers below the pool, dominated by snakeweed, desert groundsel, and evening primrose, was literally crawling with...

Qreat Sand Dunes National Monument Colorado

The high-pitched chaeck, chaeck call of a black-billed magpie erupted from the cottonwood foliage behind me. I turned just as it flew to the adjacent cottonwood, where it landed among the bright green leaves and announced its arrival with another emphatic chaeck call. A moment later it hopped to a higher branch in full sunlight, so that its entire black-and-white plumage shined like a bright jewel. Its snow white belly and wing patches contrasted with its all-black back, head, and tail. With...

Grand Canyon National TarR Arizona

The view from the South Rim's Yavapai Point contains a vast and magnificient spectrum of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River. The multiple layers of rock cliffs and terraces represent almost all the known ages of the earth, laid out within the canyon like the open pages of a great book. Geologists can point out each chapter of the earth's history, exposed in sequence, from the deepest inner canyon to the highest rimstone. One day in May, I watched the morning light gradually crawl into the...

Chiricahua National Monument jlrizona

Chiricahua s dominant bird is undoubtedly the Mexican jay. One can t spend any amount of time within the park without getting acquainted with this charismatic creature. It usually is a bold and aggressive bird that will approach a camper or hiker with great curiosity. But at other times, especially during the nesting season, it can be shy and elusive. It usually occurs in active and noisy flocks of five to 18 individuals, moving through the forest with little heed for human beings. At other...

Zion National

Zion's Gateway to the Narrows Trail begins at the Temple of Sinawava and follows the Virgin River past Watercress Spring and the hanging gardens for 1 mile (1.6 km). Looking upriver from the end of the paved trail, one can see the beginning of the narrowest portion of the gorge, where the 2,000-foot (610 m) cliffs become so narrow in places that two people standing at the base, holding hands with arms outspread, can touch both sides. Walking the Gateway to the Narrows Trail is like entering a...

Colorado National iMonument Colorado

The high-pitched twittering of white-throated swifts echoed from the canyon below. Seconds later a dozen or more black-and-white birds zoomed by me and ascended several hundred more feet before they dived back into the canyon depths. One or two of the swifts passed so close that for a brief moment I could clearly see their cigar-shaped bodies and narrow, swept-back wings. Above me, their all-white breasts gleamed in the sunlight, contrasting against their black bodies. With binoculars I could...

Mount Revelstoke und Glucier Nationul Purks British Columbiu

A myriad of bird songs greeted me on my early morning visit to the Skunk Cabbage Nature Trail. The descending, flutelike song of a veery, the rich caroling of American robins, the melodious war-blings of yellow and MacGillivray's warblers, and the fee-bee call of a black-capped chickadee provided a welcoming chorus at the parking area. I crossed the little wooden bridge and entered the moist canopy of black cottonwoods and western redcedars. Mountain alders, willows, elderberries, honeysuckles,...

Common and Scientific

Acacia greggii Acacia, mescat. Acacia constricta Agave, Havard. Agave havardiana Agave, New Mexico. Agave neomexicana Agave, Utah. Agave utahensis Alder. Alnus Alder, green. Alnus crisp a Alder, mountain. Alnus tenuifolia Alder, thinleaf. Alnus tenuifolia Antelopebrush. Purshia tridentata Apache-plume. Fallugia paradoxa Arnica, heartleaf. Arnica cordifolia Ash, desert. Fraxinus velutina Ash, fragrant. Fraxinus cuspidata Ash, mountain. Sorbus scopulina Ash, singleleaf. Fraxinus...

Bighorn Canyon National iRecreation 7Lreay Montana and Wyoming

The views from Devil Canyon Overlook are truly spectacular, whether one is looking up or down Bighorn Canyon. The more than 1,000 foot (305 m) canyon walls tower over the sparkling blue waters of the Bighorn River and Lake, a narrow ribbon far below. Occasionally, bighorn sheep, for which the mountains, river, lake, and park were named, can be seen from the overlook, grazing at patches of grasslands on the open benches above the cliffs. But the most prominent wildlife visible from the overlook...

Acknowledgments

This book would not have been possible without the kind assistance of dozens of employees of the U.S. and Canadian national park systems superintendents, rangers, naturalists, resource specialists, scientists, and a few other individuals. I especially want to thank the following individuals Christine Beekman at Arches Craig Allen at Bandelier Heather Dempsey, Doug Leighton, and Mark Tierney at Banff Rick LoBello, Jeff Selleck, and Keith Yarborough at Big Bend Superintendent Bill Binnewies and...

Dinosaur National Monument Colorado and Utuh

A bright yellow-breasted bird suddenly arose from the riverside thicket, flew straight up 20 to 25 feet (6-8 m) above the vegetation, and then, with wings flopping, tail pumping, and legs dangling, floated back to the same place from where it had first appeared. It sang a remarkable song during its descent, a jumble of whistles, clucks, mews, squawks, and gurgles. A moment later, it let loose with a series of kuk kuk kuk notes, very different from any it had produced in flight. I watched it...

Tiandelier National Monumenty New Mexico

Early mornings in Frijoles Canyon are like being in a great cathedral. The high canyon walls, stately trees that guard the banks of Frijoles Creek, and reverberant birdsong create an atmosphere of peace and contentment. The sounds echo back and forth from one side of the canyon to the other, producing a mantra-like aura. The loud, descending songs of canyon wrens, twittering calls of white-throated swifts, clear whistles of solitary vireos, loud caroling of American robins, and flutelike...

Illustrations By Mimi Hoppe Wolf

John Muir Publications Santa Fe, New Mexico John Muir Publications, P.O. Box 613, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504 Cover 1993 by John Muir Publications All rights reserved. Published 1993. Printed in the United States of America Printed on recycled paper First edition. First printing September 1993. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Wauer, Roland H. The visitor's guide to the birds of the Rocky Mountain national parks United States and Canada by Roland H. Wauer p. cm. Includes...

Bibliography

Desert Solitaire. New York Random House, Ballantine Books. Able, Kenneth P. 1991. Migration biology for birders. Birding. April 64-72. American Ornithologists' Union. 1983. Check-list of North American Birds. A.O.U., Lawrence, Kansas Allen Press. Bailey, Florence Merriam. 1939. Among the Birds in the Grand Canyon Country. U.S.D.I., Washington, D.C. GPO. Ballard, Larry R. 1983. Western tanager. In The Audubon Society Master Guide to Birding, ed. John Farrand, Jr. New York...

Yellowstone National Park Montana Wyoming ami Idaho

The steam and fog rising from the numerous geysers, pots, and vents gave the scene a ghostly appearance, like a gigantic abstract painting. Boiling, gurgling, and hissing sounds dominated my hearing, while the more subtle sounds of the Firehole River, flowing through the little valley, and a few distant bird songs were barely audible as I began my circle walk of the Old Faithful Geyser Basin that early summer morning. The appearance of a coal black common raven, which suddenly burst out of the...

Southwestern Rocky Mountains

Are gray-tan, except for the yellowish wash on their bellies, and the male's red caps. In flight they show small but bright white wing patches. And their call is loud chuur notes. The larger gilded flicker has been lumped with the western red-shafted and eastern yellow-shafted flickers under the single title of northern flicker. And like the Gila woodpecker, this bird's range also coincides with that of the large tree-cacti. It can readily be identified as a flicker with yellow-shafted wings, a...

Sirches and Canyonlands National Parks Utah

Words can't adequately describe the awesome beauty of the Canyonlands from Grand View Point Overlook. The scenery, spread out from horizon to horizon, is immense and lonesome, the essence of solitude. It embodies the true sense of wilderness, rarely so obvious elsewhere. The silence, the gentle breeze, the smell of juniper and cliffrose, all help to calm the soul and place one's self in perspective. There was something very appropriate about the sudden appearance of a common raven, like a...

Arks as Islands

The wild things on this earth are not to do with as we please. They have been given to us in trust, and we must account for them to the generations which will come after us and audit our accounts. The last viable peregrine falcon populations anywhere in North America south of Alaska were those in national parks in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Plateau, and West Texas. The discovery that populations of this and several other high-level predators were being decimated by DDT and other chlorinated...