Hudson Gardens Bird Walk With Front Range Birding’s Patti Galli – October 29, 2021


What a beautiful Colorado fall day! There are not many places like this in the US,  if I do say so myself, especially this time a year.  The trees were still gorgeous and the  temperature perfect. Maybe there were not a lot of birds today, but the walk was still very enjoyable for all.

The first birds we saw were the ever dependable House Finches – singing away! Though very abundant, House Finches do thrive very well. The males do not always have red breast coloring  Once in a while, depending on what the eat, the male breast can be orange or even yellow in coloring.


                 photo of Great Blue Heron by Bill Schmoker

We got a fantastic view of a Great Blue Heron right by the South Platte river. It sat still for a moment, but after seeing us, as we were getting maybe to close, it took to flight. We saw it lift its large wings into the air and fly right past us! The Great Blue Heron is in the wading bird family, such as Bitterns, Herons and Egrets. They have spear like bills and seize prey with lightning -quick forward strikes. We all cheered in delight!

Making our way along the South Platte river, we noticed many ducks are returning here to their wintering grounds. Our walk takes us over a bridge for another look at the ducks, and right into the riparian area for some Chickadees, Northern Flickers, American Robins, and another fun find, a juvenile Coopers Hawk! We noticed he was still a little unsure of himself when it came to hunting.

We finally made our way to the Hudson Gardens feeders for a good look at  Dark- eyed Juncos , Blue Jays,  and White breasted-Nuthatches. Truly a wonderful morning with our new birding friends! We spotted a total of 23 species , which we thought was not too bad.

ebird Checklist share here:


Hudson Gardens: March 31, 2018 with Jennifer O’Keefe & Chip Clouse

Our merry group of 27 birders ventured into Hudson Gardens and along the South Platter River on a brisk, beautiful day with plenty of sun. We spotted 25 species of birds during our 3-hour walk covering just under 2 miles.

We began by walking clockwise through Hudson Gardens, looking and listening for birds in the trees, on the ground, in the sky, and everywhere in between. American Robins and Red-winged Blackbirds were both observed singing out in the open, giving us a great opportunity to associate the song with the bird.

Out along the South Platte trail, we saw many of the waterbirds we’d anticipate seeing this time of year such as Bufflehead, American Wigeon, Green-winged Teal and Gadwall.

One exciting observation was a Northern Harrier behaving very un-Harrierlike. These medium-sized raptors with long tails and a distinctive white rump patch are most often seen flying low over grasslands or marshes. This behavior is explained by their habit of not only looking for its prey, but listening as well. The Northern Harrier we observed was soaring high in the sky, a behavior we typically expect from other raptors such as the Red-tailed Hawk. What a treat to see a bird exhibiting an unexpected behavior!

Female Northern Harrier @ Bill Schmoker

Another big highlight was a pair of nest-building Bushtits. These tiny gray birds are often seen in marauding flocks that descend upon your suet feeder and then disappear, often for weeks at a time. This time of year, they are paired up to nest and often start earlier than many other perching birds.

Bushtit @ Bill Schmoker

As spring migration continues, we will say goodbye to many species of waterbirds, and hello to some of our summer favorites such as hummingbirds, swallows, and Bullock’s Orioles. Be sure to sign up early for the next walk on April 28th, 2018 by visiting the Hudson Garden’s website.

Species List:

American Robin – 30

Black-capped Chickadee – 5

Northern Flicker – 3

European Starling – 9

Red-winged Blackbird – 25

Northern Harrier – 1

Song Sparrow – 4

Green-winged Teal – 4

Bufflehead – 7

Double-crested Cormorant – 2

Mallard – 14

American Coot – 1

House Finch – 12

American Goldfinch – 4

Killdeer – 1

Bushtit – 4

American Wigeon – 12

Gadwall – 6

Swallow spp. – 10 (flying high)

Canada Goose – 26

Blue Jay – 5

Common Grackle – 3

Eurasian Collared-Dove – 2

Common Raven – 1

Black-billed Magpie – 3