July 25, 2017

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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 //

The majority of the over 10,000 bird species on planet Earth feed their young insects.  The flush of insects in the summer months in temperate North America is the reason migratory birds leave their home in the tropics and subtropics to fly north to breed.  Tons of food is available for their young. This week is National Moth Week and Chico Basin Ranch along with the Mile High Bug Club hosted the first moth night at Bell Grove.  Thirteen enthusiastic buggers came to find interesting bugs, moths, beetles, a damselfly, grasshopper nymphs, and other fascinating insects. Although no nocturnal owls came to visit, predatory insects did show up including a praying mantis, a mantisfly (scary looking), carrion beetles (orange insect in photo), and a robber fly (called the wolf of the insect world).  The photo shows the variety of insects attracted to a white sheet with a black light used in one setup and an ultraviolet light used in one of the other setups.  A species of moth new for Colorado might have been discovered on Saturday evening.