Colorado has an official State Bird --
the Lark Bunting. (Tom Grey photo )
Bill Schmoker's bird photos:www.schmoker.org/BirdPics/index.html
|These bird families are in the order Passeriformes, or perching birds.|
This order has more than half of all bird species.
Family Alaudidae. Larks.
Family Cardinalidae Cardinals, Grosbeak, Tanager.
Family Corvidae Ravens, Crows, jays, magpies, etc
Family Emberizidae Juncos, Towhees & some Sparrows
Family Fringillidae True Finches
Family Hirundinidae Swallows and Martins
Family Icteridae. Blackbirds, orioles, meadowlarks, etc.
Family Paridae tits, chickadees, and titmice
Family Parulidae . New World Warblers
Family Passeridae Sparrows
Family Sittidae Nuthatches
Family Sturnidae -- Starlings
Family Troglodytidae -- Wrens
Family Turdidae Thrushes (Bluebirds, Robins, etc)
Family Tyrannidae Kingbirds, Tyrant flycatcher
| These families are in other orders.|
Family Accipitridae. Hawks and Eagles
Family Anatidae. Ducks, Geese.
Family Ardeidae Herons and Egrets.
Family Cathartidae New World vultures.
Family Cerylidae Kingfishers
Family Charadriidae. Killdeer, Plovers, dotterels, and lapwings
Family Columbidae. Pigeons and Doves
Family Falconidae. Falcons and Caracaras
Family Gruidae Cranes
Family Laridae. Gulls and Terns
Family Meleagrididae Wild Turkeys
Family Odontophoridae Quail
Family Pandionidae . Osprey.
Family Pelecanidae Pelicans
Family Phalacrocoracidae Cormorants
Family Picidae. Woodpeckers
Family Podicipedidae. Grebes.
Family Rallidae Coots & Rails.
Family Recurvirostridae Avocets
Family Scolopacidae Sandpipers
Family Strigidae -- Owls
Family Trochilidae Hummingbirds
|A Cliff Swallow colony, at Pueblo lake.
With the nests built under an overhang, the ground-based predators can not reach the nests.
|A Cliff Swallow colony was busy building nests at
Antero lake, Park Co., CO on 9 Jun 2011. Their nests are considerably longer than
those built by the barn swallows, and the opening is on the side, instead of the top
like barn swallows prefer.
|A Barn Swallow glaring at me from it's nest,
at the Fountain Creek Nature center, at Fountain, Colorado.
and the one we have in Colorado is the H. r. erythrogaster sub-species.
This video of one of them building a nest was taken on 14 May 2011: www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtnPaDoJJHA at the Fountain Creek Nature Center.
|Three baby Barn Swallows waiting to be fed, at the Fountain Creek Nature Center
on June 26, 2016.
|On 19 May 2011, I saw a large number of Violet-Green Swallows
flying low and fast over moving water at the Fountain Creek Regional Park.
I didn't get a good picture, since they would not stop and pose for pictures.
I'll try again next trip.
|A Horned Lark, Eremophila alpestris,
is also called the Shore Lark outside of North America. This is the only
species of the Lark family that is in North America.
The first two pictures were taken on October 26, 2016 in Elbert County, Colorado.
The third picture was taken in rural Elbert County on 27 May 2011. The male Horned Lark will have two tufts of feathers on its head during the breeding season. These horns are clearly visible, but other wise this photo would not be good for identification.
|Another Horned Lark, also in rural Elbert county, Colorado. This was taken on 13 December 2012, and was one of several feeding in some grass. This one shows some of the yellow on the head.|
|A Mountain Chickadee, Poecile gambeli, on a bird feeder in Colorado Springs, Colorado
on 18 December 2010.
The second picture was taken on 13 November 2007 in El Paso County, CO. He would fly to the bird feeder, and stay no longer than 2 seconds, usually less. So waiting until he arrived to pick up the camera didn't work. I finally just got the camera ready and pointing, and waited.
|A Black-capped Chickadee.
The first picture was taken on 24 November 2008 in El Paso County, CO.
The second and third were at the Fountain Creek Nature Center, 17 May 2009.
|A White-breasted Nuthatch. Typically, they feed on insects on the trunk
of trees, but in an up-side down position. The first picture was taken on 23 March 2008,
in El Paso county, CO.
The second picture was taken on 17 December 2009 at the Fountain Creek Nature center,
|Black-headed Grosbeak, male and female.
The pictures were taken 10 May 2008 in Colorado Springs, CO. The identification was provided by Gary Lefko, at coloradobirder.ning.com/.
|This is an immature Black-headed Grosbeak. It was found at the Bear Creek Nature Center
in Colorado Springs, CO on 3 June 2011. Identified by Adrienne Petterson.
|Male Western Tanager.
These pictures were taken in May 2013 by Alyssa Erickson, near Colorado Springs, CO.
The identification was provided by Wayne Erickson.
| European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris.
The first picture was taken 10 April 2008, in El Paso County, CO. They were attracted to
a slice of bread.
The second picture was taken on 27 September 2008.
The last three pictures were taken near Brush Hollow, Fremont Co., Colorado on 21 May 2010.
These birds are unusual in that the beak will be dark in the fall, and orange/yellow the rest of the year.
Watch www.youtube.com/watch?v=iECROV45tgQ some of them at a bird feeder on 30 April 2011.
| These European Starlings appear to be juveniles.
At this time of year, the breeding adults will have an orange bill,
and spots on the body. These photos were taken on
13 June 2011 in Colorado Springs.
|This European Starling is in the process of losing it's juvenile plumage. It was seen on 9 August 2011 in Colorado Springs.|
| A male and female House Finch.
Below that, another male & female pair in El Paso County, Colorado on 7 January 2011.
Bill Schmoker has more pictures at|
Also, see www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywR97DEc0tY to see a male eating suet on 28 April 2011, in Colorado Springs, CO.
|A female Lesser Goldfinch.
The pictures were taken in El Paso County, Colorado on 14 November 2007.
was provided by Gary Lefko, at
The third picture is a male Lesser Goldfinch, found on 25 August 2009 at the Fountain Creek Nature Center.
The fourth picture is a better shot of a male Lesser Goldfinch, 31 July 2010 same place.
| American Goldfinch. These pictures were taken on 27 August 2009 at the
Fountain Creek Nature Center. They were eating sunflower seeds.
| House Sparrows. The top picture, of a male, was taken 16 June, 2008 in
Colorado Springs, Colorado. The second picture is of a female, taken 15 March 2009 in Colorado Springs.
This bird is not native to Colorado. It is an African species, introduced in 1850, and first reported in Colorado in 1895 (ref. the rticle "Alien Invasion" by Mary Taylor Young, in the July/August 2010 issue of the Colorado Outdoors magazine. This bird is now well established.
|A Spotted Towhee, found at the Bear Creek Nature Center, on the west side
of Colorado Springs, Colorado on 1 September 2009.
The third picture was taken at the same place, but on 25 May 2011.
|Another Spotted Towhee, this one in my front yard on 30 January 2013.||
| A Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia.
Found 1 November 2009 at the Fountain Creek Nature Center.
The second picture looks like another Song Sparrow. This one was running around in a thick tangle of cat-tails at the Fountain Creek Nature Center on 2 March 2011.
|This small bird didn't give me time for more than these two quick shots. The experts at the Colorado Birder web site said this is a Song Sparrow. The tail looked too long, but I guess holding it vertical made it look longer than a Song Sparrow would have. Found at the Fountain Creek Nature Center on 20 July 2011.|
|White-crowned Sparrows. Thes first two were found at the Fountain Creek Nature Center
on March 29, 2010.
The third picture was taken on May 3, 2010 in Colorado Springs in my front yard.
|Another White-crowned sparrow, in poor light. It was seen on December 17, 2010 in Colorado Springs.|
|Another White-crowned sparrow, found in the Fountain
Creek Nature Center on 5 April 2011.
|A Lark Sparrow, found in rural Elbert county, Colorado on 27 May 2011.
|This is a Dark-eyed Junco. That species comes in four different races (maybe),
and this one appears to be the Oregon Race version.
The picture was taken in El Paso County, Colorado on 10 March 2008.
Some experts say that if the hood in clearly defined, then it is the Oregon Race.
There seems to be a lot of disagreements among the experts about how many species of Juncos there are, and which ones are a sub-species or a race of which ones. So, there are at least 3, and maybe as many as 8 species of Juncos.
| This is another version of the Dark-eyed Junco,
this one called the Slate-colored Junco. This picture was taken on 12 March 2008, in
El Paso Co., Colorado.
But some say that this species of Juncos is not present in the Rocky Mountain region,
The first picture of a Junco was taken in Colorado Springs, 16 March 2009,
and is probably a Pink-sided Junco, sometimes considered a part of the Oregon sub-race,
and sometimes considered to be a separate species.
The second picture was taken on 15 December 2010 in Colorado Springs. It appears to be the same as in the preceding picture.
|Another Pink-sided Junco, 5 January 2011 in Colorado Springs, El Paso county, Colorado.|
|This is the Gray-headed type of Dark-eyed Junco. It is not as widespread, and nests mostly in Utah and Colorado. It was found on 14 February 2011 at the Bear Creek Nature Center in Colorado Springs.|
|This one is a Yellow-rumped Warbler, and the Myrtle sub-species.
It was found on 28 April 2011 at Prospect Lake in Colorado Springs.
It was not willing to pose for pictues, and kept trying to keep a lot of tree
branches in the way.
|This one is the same Yellow-rumped Warbler species as the one above, but it is the Audubon's sub-species. The most noticeable difference is that the throat is yellow in the Audubon's version. The first picture was taken on 19 May 2011 at the Fountain Creek Regional Park, and the second was taken on 21 May 2011, same place.|
|A Yellow Warbler, seen on 28 May 2011
at the Fountain Creek Nature Center.
There were a pair of them, but the other one escaped before
I could get my camera ready.
| A male Northern Parula. See Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_parula. |
Pictures taken by Wayne Erickson, in Colorado Springs May 2015.
|A Western Bluebird. Seen on 11 May 2009 in Colorado Springs, CO.
|A Mountain Bluebird. Seen on 6 November 2010 near Pueblo Lake, Pueblo county Colorado.
|More Mountain Bluebirds, these at Elevenmile Lake,
Park county Colorado, on 20 March 2011.
A few of them were hovering in one spot above the beach, and would then drop down to the sand. Catching insects, I suppose. The temperature was about 45 degrees F, and fairly windy.
|This bird was on the roof of the rest stop at the summit of Wilkerson Pass, Park county Colorado, on 9 June 2011. One of the attendants there said it was a female Mountain Bluebird that had been hanging around for some time.|
|A Robin, newly arrived back in El Paso county
CO in March 2008. The second picture was taken in the summer of 2007, and the third
picture is later, when the baby robin is almost ready to leave the nest.
|This is a Say's Phoebe. It's breeding area is western North America from Alaska
to Mexico. They migrate to southern Mexico for the winter. This one was found in Elbert county,
Colorado on 17 May 2010. Gary Lefko at the
Colorado birder web site
identified it for me.
|This Say's Phoebe spent quite a bit of time beside the firing line at the Ben Lomond Gun Club's high power shooting range in Elbert county, Colorado on 24 June 2011. It did not seem to mind the shooting, even a big .50 caliber rifle. It has something in it's beak, maybe some seed pods.|
|This is the nest built by a Say's Phoebe, under the roof covering the firing positions at the high power rifle range. Since the parents seem to have no problem with the noise caused by a lot of rifles, I guess the young ones will also be acclimated. Picture taken on 14 May 2012 in Elbert county, Colorado.|
|This one is a Western Kingbird.
The first picture was taken on 8 June 2010, Elbert county, Colorado.
The second and third pictures were taken at the same place, but on 27 May 2011.
|This is an Eastern Kingbird.
The first picture was taken in Elbert County, Colorado on 8 June 2010.
The second and third pictures were taken on 21 May 2011 at the Fountain Creek Nature Center, near Fountain, Colorado.
|A Western Meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta. This is a medium-sized blackbird.
At one time, they were thought to be the same species as the Eastern Meadowlark, and in fact
they sometimes interbreed. But the young seem to have low fertility, so they are now considered
These pictures were taken on 30 April 2009 in Elbert County, Colorado.
This is the state bird of Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon and Wyoming.
Click here to hear the song courtesy of Cornell bird song library.
|This one appears to be a juvenile Western Meadowlark. It was found in Elbert county, Colorado on 18 June 2010.|
|Another Western Meadowlark, this one at Elevenmile Lake, in Park Co., CO on 20 March 2011.|
|A Brewer's Blackbird, at Elevenmile Lake, Park County Colorado, on 29 August 2008.
|Another Brewer's Blackbird, also at Elevenmile Lake, Park County Colorado, on 17 June 2011.|
|Common Grackles. The first picture was taken in 2007,
and originally identified as a Blackbird.
Later research has shown that it was a Common Grackle.
It was being picky about what it wanted from the bird feeder.|
The next two pictures are of two birds were part of a group of about 10 that visited our back yard in Colorado Springs on 21 July 2008. The identification was made by the experts on coloradobirder.ning.com/.
Here is a video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHPJUX_cX4w showing a Grackle having lunch on 30 May 2011 at my bird feeder in Colorado Springs, CO.
|Another Common Grackle, photographed at my bird feeder in Colorado Springs on 16 April 2011. The sun was shining on him, and his irridescent feathers show up nicely.|| |
|This one appears to be a male Great-tailed Grackle.
It was found at the Fountain Creek Nature Center on 28 May 2011.
It's tail is almost as long as it's body.
| Red-Wing Blackbird.
The first two pictures were taken at the Fountain, CO Nature Center
on 20 March 2008. The third picture is of a female, taken 8 May 2008 at the same place.
The fourth picture shows more Redwing blackbirds, but with smaller wing patches.
For more Red-wing Blackbird pictures, click here .
|This is another immature female Red-Winged Blackbird, found on 26 July 2010 at the Fountain Creek Nature Center, in a patch of Milkweed plants. This one has been banded, and why would anyone band a Red-Winged blackbird?||
|Four or five of these birds were found at Antero lake, Park Co., CO on 9 June 2011.
They tried to stay behind the branches of a bush, so I did not get clear photos, but
I am satified that these are Yellow-Headed Blackbirds. They acted like Blackbirds,
sounded quite a bit like Blackbirds, and their coloring appears to be a match
to the Yellow-Headed Blackbird.
The first photo is a female. The second may be a male, but I'm not sure.
|This is a female Orchard Oriole. Picture taken 8 August 2009
at the Fountain Creek Nature Center.
The experts at coloradobirder.ning.com/
confirmed my identification. The male has a different color pattern.
|A female Bullock's Oriole.
She stopped by my bird feeder on 20 May 2011, but stayed only a few seconds.
I got about a 3 second video, and took this picture from the video. |
Video is at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fh3z53ZBKCg .
|Another female Bullock's Oriole. This one visited on 18 June 2012 in Colorado Springs. Identification was provided by Austin Hess on ColoradoBirder.ning.com.|
|These are Brown-headed Cowbirds. They were seen on 7 May 2010 in Colorado Springs, CO.
These birds are unusual in that they do not build nests; the female lays her eggs in
the nests of other birds, and lets those other birds hatch and feed the young ones.
The second picture appears to be of a female.
|A House Wren.
Seen at the Fountain Creek Nature Center on 4 June 2009.
These are small birds.
|These are Rock Wrens.
They look like House Wrens, only bigger. These were a little bigger
than a sparrow. They spend their time digging for spiders and insects
around and under big rocks.
They were found on 3 August 2011 around the rocks at Eleven Mile Lake, Park county Colorado. As long as I stood still, they would come fairly close.
| A Blue Jay.
This picture was taken 1 October 2009 in Colorado Springs, CO. Males and females are
almost identical in appearance, so I don't know which this one is.
The second picture was taken on 16 September 2009 in Colorado Springs, CO. This one has a crest on the back of it's head, although it does not show well from this angle. The crest on it's head can lay flat, or stand up, depending on the mood of the bird.
|This Bluejay visited my new feeder which I put close to a window, so I can get
good pictures. I should have thought of this years ago.
It has a lot of brown on it. This would be a young one, maybe not finished moulting.|
This one was seen on 14 December 2010 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
|Four Bluejays at one time in my feeder. Two with white breasts, and two young ones
with the brown or tan
They were here on 17 December 2010, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
This video www.youtube.com/watch?v=EN8Qm10xKpM was taken on 2 May 2011.
|I think that this one is a Steller's Jay. It looked and acted like some
kind of Jay, but would not get out in the open in some sun so I could get a better picture.
The picture was taken on 1 September 2010 at the Bear Creek Nature Center in Colorado Springs.
The folks that work there say they have several species of Jays, including a Steller's Jay.
|I think that this one is a Western Scrub Jay.
It also looked and acted like some
kind of Jay, and would not get out in the open in some sun so I
could get a better picture.
This picture was taken on 20 August 2011 at the Bear Creek
Nature Center in Colorado Springs.
|This one is a Western Scrub Jay for sure. It was at my bird feeder on 13 September 2012, and I was able to get some fairly good pictures.|
| American Crows. These pictures were taken on
2 October 2009, in a parking lot in Colorado Springs.
Actually, the bird on the right in the second picture looks more like a Raven. The bill looks more curved, there appears to be some fur on the upper part of the beak, and the legs do not seem to have the pronounced scales found on Crows.
The third picture is of a crow which was attracted to the suet in my bird feeder on 29 March 2011 in Colorado Springs.
There are many species of crows, with a dozen or so being found in Central and North America. The American Crow is the most common.
| A Raven. This one was on the roof of the Wendy's
restaurant in Woodland Park, Colorado on 15 June 2009. It was much larger than a
crow, and had a very different voice. |
|Another Raven, this one on one of the old buildings in Cripple Creek, Teller county Colorado. Photo taken on 28 August 2012.|
| Magpies. The variety that we have in
Colorado is the Black-billed Magpie, Pica hudsonia.
The first picture was taken in El Paso county, CO. on 5 May 2009. The second was taken on 28 September 2009.
The third picture is of a somewhat small and ragged looking Magpie, with a short tail. It was at Elevenmile Lake on 22 July 2008. It is probably a young one.