More than hummingbirds at the ranch

Whether you are an experienced birder or just out for a fun morning watching hummingbirds, birding at Rudeen Ranch can be interesting. In either case, bring binoculars, camera and a bird book, if you have them. Sorry to say that your bird identification Aps probably won't work as there is no cell service at the house. 

A Mountain Blue bird family and House Wrens are using nest boxes on the side of the house. If we are lucky, the birds should be busy catching insects and feeding their crews despite the crowd. Although Mama Bluebird tends to be shy, the demands of her hungry youngsters causes her to keep up her duties. Watch her slip in and out of the birdhouse quickly and quietly.

Other common birds that may be seen in the yard include Violet Green Swallows, Yellow-Rumped Warblers, catbirds and flycatchers. Occasionally beautiful Western Tanagers and Lazuli Buntings show up with colors so bright it will knock your socks off. 

Watch also for several species of woodpeckers in the trees. Cute little Downy Woodpeckers and their larger cousin the Hairy Woodpecker can be seen in the aspen trees, or you might spot a Red-Naped Sapsucker or Northern Flicker. Watch the sky for Red-Tailed Hawks and Kestrels. If you are lucky, a Wake of Turkey Vultures may float overhead.

Don't forget to watch for birds on your way up the road, too. Great Horned Owls, Northern Harriers and Swainson's Hawks are common near Indian Springs and Golden Eagles are often spotted near the first cattle guard.