Part 2: Community Science with iNaturalist at the Denver Audubon Nature Center and Trails

Part 2: Community Science with iNaturalist at the Denver Audubon Nature Center and Trails

By Rick Kenney and Tom Loucks

We have now returned twice to the project to see how things have evolved over the summer, and to cover new ground in the search for additional species.

In mid-August we walked north from the fishing pond. Plants were in full bloom or already fading, and, among other observations, we saw a juvenile cedar-waxwing flitting between tree tops, reminding us that new birds had fledged and the next generation was out and foraging for food.

A sampling of our other observations is shown in the accompanying photos, and we’ll post more soon. (click on the images for identification).

Cedar Waxwing
Juvenile Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)

As August turned to September, we covered the terrain located south of the Pavilion and also along the Platte, walking upstream from the bird banding station. Numerous plant species were producing fruit (seeds), including golden currant, Woods’ rose, poison ivy, and American plum, which was spotted at several locations including near the gate of the bird banding station.

Other species were sighted in their normal seasonal appearance and behavior. A young mule deer buck, with small, velvety antlers was seen grazing along the trail. Boxelder bug nymphs and adults were preparing to overwinter in sheltered places, including the Audubon Nature Center!

Mule Deer
Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus)
Box Elder Beetles
Eastern Boxelder Bug. (Boisea trivittata)

Birds have commenced their migration southward, and we sighted a Rock Wren, normally ubiquitous in the foothills around Waterton Canyon or South Valley, foraging along the south bank of the fishing pond.

Rock Wren
Rock Wren (Salpinctes obsoletus)

We expect to make further trips from fall and into winter and look forward to observing further seasonal changes.