Cooper Mountain Nature Park.

I had such a great time on my last visit to Cooper Mountain that I decided to check it out again this morning.  Once again I spent over three hours wandering the trails and saw lots of great birds...

The first bird I took a picture of was this Brown-headed Cowbird...

In the same tree were lots of warblers, mainly Townsend's and Black-throated Gray...

There were tons of hummingbirds, including a couple Rufous guys...

Orange-crowned Warblers were abundant...

Once the sun came out it seemed there was a Black-headed Grosbeak singing on top of every tree...

I was hoping for good views of the resident bluebirds but only one gave a brief appearance...

And it wouldn't be a spring birding excursion without at least one mystery flycatcher...

I suppose I should mention how beautiful it was- the flowers are blooming and the bugs and slugs are out and about...

Good times!


  1. Great post, Jen!

    While I am a complete novice with Empidonax identification, I want to call your mystery flycatcher a Dusky for these reasons:

    - Short bill and short-to-medium primary extensions.

    - Eye-ring doesn't look prominent or tear-dropped enough to be a Pacific-slope, and its overall color seems more grayish than greenish.

    I also noticed that the tail isn't obviously notched. I don't know how reliable this field mark is, but Sibley mentions Hammond's tail as being notched. One of the Empids. I photographed on Tabor recently showed a strongly notched tail, and we just so happened to call it a Hammond's for several other reasons.

    In any case, Empids. are fun :-)


  2. Good to see the camas is blooming there too.

  3. Great post, Jen! The black-headed grosbeak looks just like the baltimore oriole except of course for the beak. Mystery flycatcher yes; I have been struggling with that too in on of my pics: Is it an Alder, Willow or Least Flycatcher? Very frustrating.

  4. Well Im off the hook because I am not familiar with Western Birds...I thought it was a kinglet--- so shows what I know!!!
    Great bunch of birds for your walk today...Excellent photos too--

  5. Hi, Jen! What a great birding outing. I would love to see the Blackhead grosbeak and the Orange Crowned Warbler. Wonderful photos and the mosaic with the wildflowers is pretty.

  6. @Jen
    Awesome photographs, as usual! Cooper Mountain is one of my local haunts, so I really enjoy reading about what other people observe there.

    A pair of western bluebirds appear to be nesting in one of the nest boxes this year. If you wait near where the southern leg of Little Prairie Loop emerges from the woods (woods to the east, field to the west), and keep an eye on the nearby nest box, you should get some pretty good views of the bluebirds as they fly to the nest.

    Name the empid, one of my favorite games. :)

    Given the choice between Hammond's and Dusky, I would tend to agree with Dusky based on primary extension, tail notch, and habitat.

    Even though it's not real bright, that eye ring looks really wide behind the eye to me. If I have to choose between Pacific-Slope and Dusky, I might lean towards PSFL.

    Dang, now I want to run out to Cooper Mountain and search for flycatchers.

  7. Well, first impression is also Dusky, for the reason Rhett mentions. But that's based on this one photo.

    I was up there last week and no flycatchers whatsoever, though over 50 other species.


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