• Five killed in plane crash in southwestern Colorado
  • Counterfeit money surfacing in Grand Junction
  • Connecting The Drops: Winter water for ducks

The greater sage grouse is a peculiar and distinctly Western bird. It's about the size of a chicken and about as adaptable as the dodo bird, which is to say it's not very adaptable at all — at least not in a human-driven time scale.

In biological terms, the greater sage grouse is perfectly adapted for its habitat: the rolling hills of knee-high silver scrub that's sometimes called the sagebrush sea. It's the oft-forgotten parts of the fast-changing West — The Big Empty, as settlers used to call it.

  • Livestock disease spreads across Western Slope
  • Water storage tank in Paonia requires more repairs
  • Lake City hires new town clerk
  • CPW releases first draft of strategic plan
  • An iSeeChange story looking into the mystery of dying finches

iSeeChange: Dead Finches

Aug 14, 2015
Flickr User quinet

Earlier this summer, we received an observation over at about finches.  Ann Cabillot  had a mystery: dead purple finches found across Paonia.


  • School board OK’s alternative education in Paonia Elementary
  • Parachute allows recreational marijuana
  • Annual local government meeting in Breckenridge wraps up
  • Migratory bird protections may be removed
  • Gas leak causes explosion in Lake City

greater sandhill cranes
Carole Scott Photography

This past weekend was the 15th annual Eckert Crane Days event. People from across Colorado came to Delta County to witness the spring migration of the sandhill crane. 

It’s a clear morning at Fruitgrowers Reservoir in Eckert. There are about 30 people here waiting to see a flock of greater sandhill cranes take flight.

"We have it on 45 power so we so that we can bring the cranes in close," Susan Chandler-Reed with the Black Canyon Audubon Society says.

bird watchers, birding

The National Audubon Society and its local chapters need helping counting birds this holiday season. 

The 115th annual Christmas Bird Count starts Dec. 14th.

Bird enthusiasts across the world will get out their binoculars and notepads to count the feathered creatures they see in their communities.

The Black Canyon Audubon Society and the Bureau of Land Management are looking for volunteers to help assess local bird populations.

yellow-billed cuckoo
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A migratory bird found in the western United States has been given federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.   

The yellow-billed cuckoo population in 12 western states including Colorado has been listed as a threatened species.

Steve Segin with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the designation was announced Thursday.

"One of the major threats to the yellow-billed cuckoo has been the loss of riverside habitat," Segin says. "It lives in these riparian areas and streams and rivers."

All is not well with the nation's birds. The most comprehensive study ever of birds in America is out today, and it says many populations are in steep decline, even as others are doing well.

The report, called "The State of the Birds," comes from the federal government, universities and conservation groups — 23 organizations that have spent years examining bird populations, as well as habitats where the various species live.

People in Maryland love their Baltimore orioles — so much so that their Major League Baseball team bears the name of the migrating bird. Yet, by 2080, there may not be any orioles left in Maryland. They migrate each year and, according to a new report, could soon be forced to nest well north of the Mid-Atlantic state.

Marty Durlin/KVNF

As the special monitoring projects coordinator for the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, Jason Beason has surveyed yellow billed cuckoos and monitored the breeding sites of great blue herons, snowy egrets and other water birds. KVNF’s Marty Durlin spoke to Jason at the farm he owns with his wife Kerry near the North Fork of the Gunnison. 

Marty Durlin, KVNF

On the Almanac last week, P Kaech reported seeing snow on the top of Mt. Baldy near Crested Butte, and Andrea Lecos noticed that monsoon rains have brought up mosquitoes and other insects. Humans may hate the bugs, but birds are feasting on them. 

Image: "Soul Sailing" by Missy Rogers
Missy Rogers

Aired Sunday, May 5th, 2013 Watching the congregation of birds in the back yard, I celebrate these creatures as talismans, blessings and messengers.