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All Articles written by // Bill Maynard

Bill Maynard, a botanist and former high school biology teacher, has worked for various government agencies from Alaska to South Florida and for The American Birding Association. He discovered the 87,000 acre Chico Basin Ranch to be the perfect natural laboratory to study and photograph birds, dragonflies, grasshoppers and other insects. Chico Basin Ranch Natural History Resources : BIRDING CHECKLIST // BIRDING MAP // DRAGONFLY & DAMSELFLY CHECKLIST //

September 18, 2017

Tropical Kingbird

9/17/17: The first recorded sighting of a Tropical Kingbird in Colorado occurred on Chico Basin Ranch.

September 12, 2017

Then They Go And Change Their Plumage

The poet, Ogden Nash, humorously wrote about how difficult it is to identify birds in his poem “Up From The Egg.” He mentions that even after finally being able to identify a bird it changes its plumage writing…”then it goes and changes its plumage, which plunges you back to ignorant ‘gloomage’…”  This is true but what he doesn’t say is that juvenile birds take weeks, months and sometimes even a year to molt to adult plumage. I have shown in

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September 8, 2017

Mimicry

Queen and Viceroys mimic Monarch butterflies to escape predators.

August 16, 2017

Playa Lakes

Ephemeral lakes are full and attracting birds.

August 5, 2017

Grasshopper Walk

Twelve people joined Saturday’s grasshopper field trip sponsored by Chico Basin Ranch and the Mile High Bug Club. Participants were able to see way more insects than just grasshoppers and the three young girls present seemed impressed by the two preying mantises, a black widow spider, and of course the colorful grasshoppers, including ones called barber-pole, dinosaur, great crested, ebony, plus more than 30 other species.

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August 1, 2017

Mourning Doves

Mourning Doves nest on the Chico and nest in 48 of our 50 states. Their common name comes from their song with sounds mournful to many.  They nest early and often.  The species name, macroura, comes from the Greek macros (long) and oura (tail) and adults have a long tail making this species 12 inches in length. Their song is low-pitched, soft and mournful and sounds like oo-ah cooo-cooo-coo. Because it so soft, the song can easily go undetected.  This species usually leaves Colorado by mid-September although a

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July 26, 2017

Second Annual Grasshopper Walk

One of the most important food items for nesting birds is grasshoppers. Last year the Chico grasshopper field trip tallied 41 grasshopper species. On August 5th, starting at 0730 at headquarters, we will try see what new species we can add to the list that already has over 50 grasshopper species on it. Because there are so many different micro-habitats, we will visit as many as time allows.  We hope to see representatives of all the grasshopper groups, Pygmy Grasshoppers

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