July 8, 2012
By: Laurence Pitcher
I didn’t really know what exactly to expect in terms of Bird watching at Zapata as it is not often mentioned in the bird guides, especially as I arrived after the bulk of spring migrants had moved through. But I left truly enlightened to what this “oasis” in the plains produced.
Upon arrival I was immediately struck by how much bird activity there was around the Ranch HQ, Yellow Warblers sang from the Cottonwoods, Mountain Chickadees could be heard …
March 22, 2012
We’ve spent quite a bit of time over the past 2 weeks talking Sandhill Cranes. It starts each March with our Sandhill Crane Photo Trip, where we follow the cranes around the valley watching them interact, court, feed and roost. About 30,000 cranes come through the valley each year on their Spring migration, some headed as far as Antarctica!
Around the same time the cranes start arriving, the temperature gently slides up a degree or two, a few bulbs begin breaking …
February 16, 2012
This morning as I was laying in bed, I heard cranes flying through the sky above the house. Their call is unmistakable– an almost prehistoric bantering. They fly over the ranch and stop to roost and feed at Dollar and Cotton Lakes, both just West of our house. I’ve heard that they’re migrating early this year…I guess it’s true!
August 20, 2010
When most people think of a dove they think of the white dove, the dove of peace.
One of the most common dove species however is the mourning dove, also known as the turtle dove, which is all over the ranch right now. Every year around this time the dove begin to grow in numbers and feast on the sunflowers that dot the highways and prairies.
This year there are a lot of sunflowers and a lot of really fat dove as …
August 16, 2010
This past week, I had the pleasure of going out birding for a day with local birder/naturalist extraordinaire John Rawinski and two of our guests, Frank and Sharon Sturgess. We spent all day traversing back roads, looking into trees and over bluffs for birds, and came away with quite a few spottings.
Frank and Sharon also spent a lot of time birding around the lodge and found the following just outside their room:
Orange Crowned Warbler
Yellow Rump Warbler
White Breasted Nuthatch