Live Bird Camera
Friends of Alta partners with similarly driven organizations and learning institutions to better understand the environment of Alta and the Albion Basin by studying local and migratory bird populations.
In order to assess the health of Alta’s ecosystem, Friends of Alta has partnered with Tracy Aviary, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, and Alta Environmental Center, to conduct bird surveys. These studies will be the first systematic survey of the bird species present at Alta. Starting in early Spring 2015, volunteers were trained to record baseline breeding bird surveys this summer. The protocol followed by volunteers calls for data to be collected along a pre-defined grid, at least once each breeding season. In addition to the breeding bird surveys, monthly resident bird surveys will take place throughout the winter. If you can’t make it up the canyon, we have put up bird feeders and a live streaming camera outside our office (first floor of the Town of Alta building). These are very popular with the local birds, and birdwatchers. For more information on volunteer opportunities and events, please visit our volunteer page.
The first year of this study recorded 4,259 individual birds recorded and documented 82 species of birds. The five most abundant species were the White-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Clark’s Nutcracker, Chipping Sparrow, and Pine Siskin. The researchers saw six new bird species never before documented at Alta. These were the Northern Goshawk, American Pipit, White-winged Crossbill, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Yellow Warbler, and Plumbeous Vireo. In addition to the birds the researchers saw, the birds they did not see say a lot about the forest health in Albion Basin. American Three-toed Woodpeckers and Evening Grosbeaks feed exclusively on Spruce Bark beetles and budworms. The lack of these birds indicates that population of Spruce Bark beetles and budworms is low, and the trees are in good health.