‘Bout Being a Bigger, Better, Bolder Birder in Beautiful Boulder

After reading about my fearlessly epic takeover of the Utah birding scene, I’ll bet hundreds of my faithful readers have been compelled to ask this very question but simply forgot to leave any blog comments: “Hey BBBBinB, what exactly is it even really like to be a birder in Boulder? Tell us all about what exactly it’s even really like to just live out there in the genuine Wild Wild West!”

Well, hypothetical questioner, I sort of already did that here: 2015: My “Big Year” of Birding in the Utah Desert and here: A tad bit more about myself: Why I’m such a birding expert, not to mention the post I wrote about my 2014 Thanksgiving visit to Utah: Happy “Turkey Day” from the BBB… Out West!, oh and I dearly hope you haven’t forgotten this captivating report about my first tantalizing taste of Garfield County eBird glory: Nov. 24th – Dec. 10th, 2014: The ‘Burgher Birder Blogger’s Better Birding in Boulder, but yeah let me tell you all about what exactly it’s even really like to be the best birder in Boulder, and beyond!

0301161720

Now that I’m fully acclimated to the Utah birding lifestyle, don’t I just naturally look the part of the best birder within a hundred miles?! Check out my cool camo binocular suspenders, my cool hairstyle, of course my cool bandanna, and how cool it is to be able to get away with drinking a thirst-quenching and respectably low-in-alcohol can of beer while out birding in the middle of the desert, because it is truly LAWLESS out here, just like in the movies!!!

goldfinch

We still have some regular American Goldfinches here like back in the ‘Burgh, but right in my Boulder backyard (you can tell it’s mine since there’s a bird feeder) I found this other yellow (gold) finch, known as the Lower Goldfinch. These males are not quite as vibrantly colored as the American Goldfinch, which makes sense, since nothing shines brighter than America.

falconer

Again reiterating that this is called “The Wild Wild West,” there are actual falconers out here! And here’s me in front of a real live falconer’s falconing falcon! You can tell this one is a juvenile due to the extensive barring on its chest and the extensive barring on its window.

So those three images nicely exemplify my current birding life: how cool I look while birding, plus a couple of endemic birds of The Wild Wild West! And all this sweet birding action has pretty much totally paid off big time, as I’m already over ONE HUNDRED birds for the year,  which is over TWICE as much as the sorry second-place competition (my girlfriend Heather): Top 100 eBirders in Garfield County, 2016

But delving deeper, allow me to demonstrate how a desert dweller like me must fully appreciate and utilize the entire desert landscape in order to survive, not merely the beautiful birds. There are even some decent-looking rocky areas to look at! Sadly there aren’t really that many plants around since it’s the desert and all, but otherwise I would be forced to admire even those!

rocks

Scenes like this are all too commonplace out here. While this provided a fine enough vista for the solo picnic outing I took last week, can you even imagine how much more incredible this would look if they Rushmored it?! Maybe carve a few of our modern heroes up there, like Ronald Reagan, or even Nancy Reagan, rest her soul.

ashtray

There actually are some pretty neat desertological features out here, like this magical place known collocally as “The Cosmic Ashtray,” which I guess is because it’s filled with some sort of reddish-brown ashes. Though I should really point out the coolest part of this photograph: my cool bird bandanna that I only wear to magical places like this and the dishwasher’s station at work!

But beyond walking aimlessly and sweatily around the empty desert, and finding every last bird in the county, there really isn’t really a whole lot to really do out here in Utah really… So unfortunately I don’t have many other breathtaking photographs or delightful tales about my life Out West, sorry fans. Thank Godwit I’ve got the title of Best Ever County Birder to boast about, otherwise one might think I’m wasting my time being out here when I could easily be living somewhere more fun like Downtown in the ‘Burgh or even Buffalo, NY.

cliff geese

I do need to show off my biggest local birding achievement to date: I discovered the county’s first record of nesting Cliff Geese! I think that must be their nests tucked up under the ledge there, which I deduced scientifically by simply observing that this would be a safe place for warding off predators, so that is naturally where the geese’s instincts would tell them to nest! Darwinism at its finest!

native

And here’s a shot of a “family moment” between Heather & me. While I was trying to photographically depict my cooler new mullet hairstyle and cooler new bandanna with feather, little did I know Heather was pranking me by making this selfie too raunchy and thus unsuitable to print and frame like all my others!

One final amazing Western fact involving that last image: since this is the desert, there is only one local bird big enough and black enough to have left behind that feather which I grandly thrust into my bandanna like a modern day Yankee Doodle: the California Condor! As you may have heard, these birds are now extinct, so in a way, this photograph is a poignantly symbolic homage to the countless extinct tribes of Native Americans, who also wore feathers in their bandannas like I do. Having spent a full year Out West, I can now confidently say I wholly understand the plight of the American Indian.

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This entry was posted in ADVENTURES, BIRDING, BIRDS, GEOLOGY, SCIENCE, UTAH and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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