Townsends Solitarie

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The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology describes the Townsend’s Solitaire as “A long-tailed gray bird of the high western mountains, the Townsend’s Solitaire descends in the winter to lower elevations where it feeds almost exclusively on juniper berries. ”

That pretty much sums up our experience with these birds. We see them only in winter and always in, around and defending their patch of Juniper berries.

Although described as grey they are much more than that and deserving of the spotlight on a stage all their own.

At Rivers edge

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The rivers pace has slowed as the mountain snowmelt that gives it life has become a trickle.

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The summer sun has moved to the south and the shadows are getting long.

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The golden colors shout look at me yet whisper of the winter that is to come.

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Deep in the Rio Grande gorge, Nov 13th, 2016.

Mr. Finch

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Extracting tiny seeds from a dried thistle seems like a tough way to earn your keep but this finch is a master of his trade. We watched as this guy quickly pulled seeds from the dried thistle and had himself quite a meal. Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.